Why Is It That These Dialects Even Exist

Categories: Slang Language

People from all over the word speak different languages, but why is it that people who come from the same, or similar cultures speak the same language in most cases, but they do not sound the same? There are more than 7,000 languages throughout the world, (Ethnologue, SIL International.) Given the amount of languages in the world, the amount of different dialects should not surprise anyone;

A dialect is “a particular form of a language that is peculiar to a specific region or social group,” (Merriam Webster.

) In “An Introduction to Sociolinguistics,” by Janet Holmes the word dialect is defined as “linguistic varieties which are distinguishable by their vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.” In chapter 6, Holmes points out that vernacular languages play a huge role in the way people sound when they speak because vernacular languages contrast with standard languages. She also adds that vernacular dialect features actually differ, and contrast with the dialect features that most of us view as standard features.

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Growing up, I always wondered whether or not slang is also considered a type of dialect. Recently, I learned that it is. Slang includes vocabulary that is actually more flexible than the type of dialect that was previously explained above. In chapter 7, Holmes states that slang is an area of vocabulary that manages to reflect the age of the speaker. on the speaker’s age group. Holmes adds that Slang is “used mainly by persons who in a sense could be considered to be bidialectal.” I like that Holmes also mentions that out of date slang is another way for those who are listening to you to be able to identify the age group you most fit in with.

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In chapter 9, Holmes explains a situation in which dialects may or may not be passed over to another group of people. On page 220 she states, “if people who speak dialects with post-vocalic [r] come in contact with people who do not, this will generally lead to the disappearance of post- vocalic [r] in the koine.” She adds that this is actually something that did happen in England. Holmes follows this statement by explaining that if the people with the post- vocalic [r] have more of a reputation then the [r] will actually end up a remaining part of the koime.

As someone who is employed in a middle school, I am surrounded by 11-14 year old students for most of the day. I find myself sometimes listening to the word choice they use and wonder if they’ll still use those words when they’re older, and if they do still use those words will it be because this is the type of “accent” their family member currently have, or have passed down to them? I sometimes feel as though the majority of the students who have these slang “accents” do it purposely due to the fact that they have peers who really are constantly speaking in slang because it was the way they were taught to speak.

While working in a retail story when I was a teenager I was constantly exposed to different dialects of the Arabic Language. I am Lebanese, and that is the dialect that I understand best, but I find that I struggle to understand the Yemeni and Iraqi dialects more than anything. At one point I struggled so hard to understand the two dialects, especially Yemeni, that I convinced myself that these people were not even speaking a type of Arabic. As days passed, I found myself dreading arabic speaking customers who I knew I could not understand. I hated that they looked at me like I was stupid when I repeatedly asked them to repeat their question. I found it crazy that they could understand my Lebanese dialect, but I could barely understand every other word they said to me. While reading about vernacular languages, I found myself looking back on those days. I realize now that I never should have judged someone due to the fact that I was unable to understand their accent, or dialect.

With over 7,000 languages in the world there are bound to be differences between all of us, whether or not those differences include looking different, or speaking differently, no one has the right to make anyone feel like they are less than what they are. Dialects are learned by someone, who then ends up teaching an entire culture full of people who will carry and possibly pass these dialects over from generation to generation.

So why is it that people of the same culture speak the same language, but sound different while pronouncing these words? It is not because of themselves, but the way they were taught to speak. Just like the [r] example provided above, if someone comes in contact with a population that does not use the [r,] it will be forgotten about, but if someone comes in contact with a population that does, than the [r] will stick around until no one else uses it.

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Why Is It That These Dialects Even Exist. (2022, Jan 09). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/why-is-it-that-these-dialects-even-exist-essay

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