List of prestige dialects

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

A prestige dialect is the dialect that is considered most prestigious by the members of that speech community. In nearly all cases, the prestige dialect is also the dialect spoken by the most prestigious members of that community, often the people who have political, economic, or social power.


  • Arabic – In the Arab League countries, Modern Standard Arabic is considered the H-language, or high-prestige language. In contrast to most prestige dialects, it is not used in day-to-day conversation, but rather as a language of the political/social media programs and as a written language. If someone speaks it in streets and regular conversations, people will laugh about it.[1]



  • Dutch - Standard Dutch is considered most prestigious when no clear traces of a speaker's dialect can be recognised.[5]


  • English – In the UK, the prestige dialect is often considered to be Received Pronunciation whereas General Australian English and Cultivated South African English have traditionally been the prestige dialect in those countries. The United States is said to have no single prestige dialect;.[6] However, American dictionaries, broadcast journalists, and stage, cinema, and television actors favor General American as the standard form of American speech. Before 1945, Mid-Atlantic English enjoyed a high level of prestige. In modern India, Indian English, a slightly Indianized version of English having some influence of Indian local languages is generally used in practice.




  • Marathi – the dialect of Pune is considered to be the standard and prestige dialect.[9]



  • Tamil - in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka and Singapore. High prestige dialect is Senthamizh, the proper and standard form, which is also widely used in literature, newspapers and formal documents, as well as on the Internet. Colloquial dialects differ with region and vary less from the standard form. Colloquial dialects contain loan words, slang words and heavy use of English and Hindi words instead of standard Tamil, and are used only in conversations.
  • Telugu – The standard form is based on the dialect and accent as spoken in Krishna District. In Hyderabad, the Telugu is heavily influenced by Urdu[12]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Germanus, the orientalist who loved Koran & Arabic language#The love of Arabic languuge “‘Germanus’ [...] looked forward to Cairo, to be entertained by listening the (Classical) Arabic language [...] He was shocked [...] for who were laughing at him for his speaking in (Classical) Arabic and they answered him back with vernacular vocabulary...”
  2. ^ Norman (1988), p. 215.
  3. ^ Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World, p. 219
  4. ^
  5. ^ M. van der Wal, Geschiedenis van het Nederlands, 1992. ISBN 90-274-1839-X
  6. ^ Wilson, Kenneth G (1993). The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. New York: Columbia University Press. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-12-23. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  8. ^ Leo P. Chall (1961). Sociological abstracts. Sociological Abstracts. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  9. ^ . Encylcopædia Britannica. 1998 Retrieved 9 August 2017.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ Punjabi University, Patiala.
  11. ^ Grierson, George A. (1916). Linguistic Survey of India. Volume IX: Indo-Aryan family. Central group, Part 1, Specimens of western Hindi and Pañjābī. Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India. p. 609. 
  12. ^ Dictionary of Languages: The Definitive Reference to More Than 400 Languages By Andrew Dalby, Columbia University Press, page no. 301, ISBN 0-231-11569-5
  13. ^ a b Miriam Butt (1995). The structure of complex predicates in Urdu. Center for the Study of Language and Information. p. 8. Retrieved 31 December 2011. The Urdu spoken in Lucknow is held to be the representative of pure Urdu. 
  14. ^ a b Anwar S. Dil (1965). Studies in Pakistani linguistics. Linguistic Research Group of Pakistan. Retrieved 31 December 2011. However, the dialect which enjoys the highest prestige is the Delhi-Lucknow Urdu. 
  15. ^ a b Christopher Rolland King (9 December 1999). One language, two scripts: the Hindi movement in nineteenth century north India. Oxford University Press. p. 24. Retrieved 31 December 2011. A line of major Urdu poets arose in Delhi and continued well into the nineteenth century, while somewhat later poets in the eastern UP city of Lucknow began to rival their colleagues in Delhi.