Variants and Dialects of the English and Armenian Languages

Categories: English Language

Every language allows different kinds of variations: geographical or territorial, perhaps the most obvious, stylistic, the difference between the written and the spoken form of the standard national language and others. English is the national language of England proper, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It is the official language of Wales, Scotland, in Gibraltar and on the island of Malta. Modern linguistics distinguishes territorial variants of a national language and local dialects. Variants of a language are regional varieties of a standard literary language characterized by some minor peculiarities in the sound system, vocabulary and grammar and by their own literary norms.

The differences between the English language as spoken in Britain. The USA, Australia and Canada are immediately noticeable in the field of phonetics.

However these distinctions are confined to the articulatory-acoustic characteristics of some phonemes, to some differences in the use of others and to the differences in the rhythm and intonation of speech. The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenians.

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It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. It has historically been spoken throughout the Armenian Highlands and today is widely spoken in the Armenian diaspora. Armenian can be divided into two major dialectal blocks and those blocks into individual dialects, though many of the Western Armenian dialects have become extinct due to the effects of the Armenian Genocide. Although Western and Eastern Armenian are often described as different dialects of the same language. Chapter 1

Standard English
Dialect defines a language variety where a user's regional or social background appears in his or her use of vocabulary and grammar.

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Almost most languages have dialects, each with a distinctive accent, grammar, vocabulary, and idiom. Traditionally, however, dialects have been regarded as socially lower than a 'proper' from of the language, such as the King's or Queen's English in Britain. Every dialect is in itself a legitimate from of the language, a valid instrument of human communication, and something worthy of serious study. Every dialect is a treasury of sounds and words and grammatical forms that allow its speakers to identity them and their values. Standard English — the official language of Great Britain taught at schools and universities, used by the press, the radio and the television. Its vocabulary is contrasted to dialect words or dialecticisms. Local dialeсts are varieties of the English language peculiar to some districts and having no normalised literary form.

Regional varieties possessing a literary form are called variant. In Great Britain there are two variants, Scottish English and Irish English, and five main groups of dialects: Northern, Midland, Eastern, Western and Southern. Every group contains several (up to ten) dialects. One of the best known Southern dialects is Cockney, the regional dialect of London. According to E. Partridge this dialect exists on two levels. As spoken by the educated lower middle classes it is a regional dialect marked by some deviations in pronunciation but few in vocabulary and syntax. As spoken by the uneducated, Cockney differs from Standard English not only in pronunciation but also in vocabulary, morphology and syntax. G.B. Shaw’s play “Pygmalion” clearly renders this level of Cockney as spoken at the time when the play was written. Cockney was phonetically characterised by the interchange of the labial and labio-dental consonants [w] and [v]: wery for very and vell for well. The voiceless and voiced dental spirants [θ] and [∂] are still replaced by [f] and [v] respectively: fing for thing and farver for father. The most marked feature in vowel sounds is the substitution of the diphthong [ai] for standard [ei] in such words as day, face, rain, way pronounced: [dai], [fais], [rain], [wai].

There are some specifically Cockney words and set expressions such as up the pole ‘drunk’, you’ll get yourself disliked (a remonstrance to a person behaving very badly). Cockney is lively and witty and its vocabulary imaginative and colourful. 1.1 General Characteristics of the English Language in different Parts of the English-Speaking World The differences between the English language as spoken in Britain, the USA, Australia and Canada are immediately noticeable in the field of phonetics. However these distinctions are confined to the articulatory-acoustic characteristics of some phonemes, to some differences in the use of others and to the differences in the rhythm and intonation of speech. The dissimilarities in grammar like AE gotten, proven for BE got, proved are scarce.

For the most part these dissimilarities consist in the preference of this or that grammatical category or form to some others. For example, the preference of Past Indefinite to Present Prefect, the formation of the Future Tense with will as the only auxiliary verb for all persons, and some others. Recent investigations have also shown that the Present Continuous form in the meaning of Future is used twice as frequently in BE as in the American, Canadian and Australian variants; infinitive constructions are used more rarely in AE than in BE and AuE and passive constructions are, on the contrary, more frequent in America than in Britain and in Australia. Since BE, AE and AuE have essentially the same grammar system, phonetic system and vocabulary, they cannot be regarded as different languages. 1.2 Lexical Differences of Territorial Variants

When speaking about the territorial differences of the English language philologists and lexicographers usually note the fact that different variants of English use different words for the same objects. Thus in describing the lexical differences between the British and American variants they provide long lists of word pairs like BEAE

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From such lists one may infer that the words in the left column are the equivalents of those given in the right column and used on the other side of the Atlantic. Lexical peculiarities in different parts of the English-speaking world are not only those in vocabulary, but also concern the very fashion of using words. For instance, the grammatical valency of the verb to push is much narrower in AuE, than in BE and AE. Thus, the lexical distinctions between different variants of English are intricate and varied, but they do not make a system. Chapter 2

The variety of English spoken in the USA has received the name of American English. The term variant or variety appears most appropriate for several reasons. American English cannot be called a dialect although it is a regional variety, because it has a literary normalised form called Standard American (or American National Standard). An Americanism may be defined as a word or a set expression peculiar to the English language as spoken in the USA. E. g. cookie ‘a biscuit’; guess ‘think’; mail ‘post’; store ‘shop’. The American variant of the English language differs from British English1 in pronunciation, some minor features of grammar, but chiefly in vocabulary. Many of the foreign elements borrowed into American English from the Indian languages or from Spanish penetrated very soon not only into British English but also into several other languages, Russian not excluded, and so became international due to the popularity of J.F. Cooper and H. Longfellow.

They are: canoe, moccasin,, wigwam, etc. and translation loans: pipe of peace, pale-face and the like, taken from Indian languages. The Spanish borrowings like cafeteria, mustang, ranch, sombrero, etc. are very familiar to the speakers of many European languages. Another big group of peculiarities as compared with the English of Great Britain is caused by some specific features of pronunciation, stress or spelling standards, such as [æ] for [a:] in ask, dance, path, etc., or [e] for [ei] in made, day and some other. The American spelling is in some respects simpler than its British counterpart, in other respects just different. The suffix -our is spelled -or, so that armor and humor are the American variants of armour and humour. Altho stands for although and thru for through. The table below illustrates some of the other differences. British spelling American spelling

It should of course be noted that American English is not the only existing variant. There are several other variants where difference from the British standard is normalised. Besides the Irish and Scottish variants there are Australian English, Canadian English, Indian English. Each of these has developed a literature of its own, and is characterised by peculiarities in phonetics, spelling, grammar and vocabulary. Canadian English is influenced both by British and American English but it also has some specific features of its own. Specifically Canadian words are called Canadianisms.

The vocabulary of all the variants is characterised by a high percentage of borrowings from the language of the people who inhabited the land before the English colonisers came. Many of them denote some specific realia of the new country: local animals, plants or weather conditions, new social relations, new trades. The local words for new notions penetrate into the English language and later on may become international, if they are of sufficient interest and importance for people speaking other languages. International words coming through the English of India are for instance: bungalow n, jute n, khaki a, mango n, nabob n, sahib, sari. Similar examples, though perhaps fewer in number, such as boomerang, dingo, kangaroo, are all adopted into the English language through its Australian variant and became international. Chapter4

Variants and Dialects of the Armenian Languages
4.1 Armenian language
The Armenian is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenians. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. It has historically been spoken throughout the Armenian Highlands and today is widely spoken in the Armenian diaspora. Armenian has its own unique script, the Armenian alphabet, invented in 405–406 AD by the ancient linguist Mesrop Mashtots. Linguists classify Armenian as an independent branch of the Indo-European language family. Armenian shares a number of major innovations with Greek, and some linguists group these two languages together with Phrygian and the Indo-Iranian family into a higher-level subgroup of Indo-European. 4.2 Variants of the Armenian Language

Armenian is a pluricentric language, having two modern standardized forms: Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian. The most distinctive feature of Western Armenian is that it has undergone several phonetic mergers; these may be due to proximity to Arabic- and Turkish-speaking communities. The two main variants today are '' Western Armenian '' spoken mainly by Armenians raised outside of Armenia and ''Eastern Armenian'' spoken by Armenians raised in Armenia, Iran and the States of the USSR. For example, Eastern Armenian speakers pronounce (թ) as an aspirated "t" as in "tiger", (դ) like the "d" in "develop", and (տ) as a occlusive, sounding somewhere between the two as in "stop." Western Armenian has simplified the occlusive system into a simple division between voiced occlusives and aspirated ones; the first series corresponds to the tenuis series of Eastern Armenian, and the second corresponds to the Eastern voiced and aspirated series. Thus, the Western dialect pronounces both (թ) and (դ) as an aspirated "t" as in "tiger", and the (տ) letter is pronounced like the letter "d" as in "develop". Western Armenian dialects have become extinct due to the effects of the Armenian Genocide. In addition, neither dialect is completely homogeneous: any dialect can be subdivided into several subdialects. Although Western and Eastern Armenian are often described as different dialects of the same language.

1. Iğdir, Kori, Alighuli, Mughanjugh, Karashen, Alilu, Angeghakot, Ghushchi, Tazakend, Uz, Mazra, Balak, Shaghat, Ltsen, Sisian, Nerkin Kilisa2. Artvin, Ardahan, Ardanuç, Oltu The Karabakh dialect also known as Artsakh dialect is an Eastern Armenian dialect mainly spoken in the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and partially in the southern and northeastern parts of the Republic of Armenia. The Armenian dialect of Artsakh is one of the earliest ever recorded Armenian dialects. The grammarian Stephanos Siunetzi first described it in the 7th century AD. The dialect was formerly spoken by Armenians living in Azerbaijan, particularly in the cities of Baku and Kirovabad (Ganja, Gandzak). As the Nagorno-Karabakh War escalated, Armenians of Azerbaijan were forced to leave their homes. Today, most of Armenians immigrants from Azerbaijan live in Armenia and Russia, where along with standard Armenian and Russian, the Karabakh dialect is spoken.

The dialect is considered to be one of the most widespread Armenian dialects. No accurate information on the number of speakers is available. The population of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is around 141,400, according to the 2010 data. An estimated 150,000 diaspora Armenians are originally from Karabakh. The Karabakh dialect is usually very easy to differentiate from standard Eastern Armenia. Unlike the Yerevan dialect (spoken by the majority of Armenians in the Republic of Armenia), the stress falls earlier in the word. Its speakers are "clearly recognizable." Besides including a great amount of Classical Armenian words, many word forms in the Karabakh dialect come directly from the Proto-Indo-European language. The Armenian Highland had been under foreign domination (Arabic, Turkic, Persian, Russian) for centuries and the Karabakh dialect, similar to other Armenian dialects, includes a significant number of foreign words and phrases.

Persian and Russian had the biggest influence on this dialect. Relivative to the modern Armenian literary language, the Artsakhian is one of isolated and less intelligible dialects, not least because it contains elements of Grabar (Old Church Armenian). In contrast to most other Armenian dialects, the Artsakhian has has its own literary tradition.


Bourcier, Georges "An introduction to the history of the English language", Chentenham:Thornes, 1981 Arnold I.V. "The English word "1986
R. S. Ginzburg "A course in Modern English Lexicology" 1966

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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Variants and Dialects of the English and Armenian Languages. (2016, May 24). Retrieved from

Variants and Dialects of the English and Armenian Languages essay
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