👼 Set your curiosity free with rich, wide-ranging, hyper-connected information.

dialect definition

Overview

This page has 10 definitions of dialect in English, Dutch, Flemish, and Romanian, Moldavian, Moldovan. Dialect is a noun. Examples of how to use dialect in a sentence are shown. Also define these 36 related words and terms: linguistics, variety, language, area, community, social group, grammar, phonology, lexicon, sociolect, ethnolect, regiolect, derogatory, vernacular, lect, regional, minority, standardized, idiom, Cantonese, Mandarin, Chinese, Bavarian, Standard German, patois, computing, programming, variant, standardize, programming language, ornithology, vocalizations, dialect, non-standard, streektaal, and mondaard.

English dialect definition

Etymology

From Middle French dialecte, from Latin dialectos, dialectus, from Ancient Greek διάλεκτος (diálektos, conversation, the language of a country or a place or a nation, the local idiom which derives from a dominant language), from διαλέγομαι (dialégomai, I participate in a dialogue), from διά (diá, inter, through) + λέγω (légō, I speak).

Pronunciation

Noun

dialect (plural dialects)

  1. (linguistics) A variety of a language that is characteristic of a particular area, community, or social group, differing from other varieties of the same language in relatively minor ways as regards grammar, phonology, and lexicon.
    Hyponyms: sociolect, ethnolect, regiolect, geolect
    • 1988, Andrew Radford, Transformational Grammar: A First Course, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, page 139:
      And in addition, many dialects of English make no morphological distinction between Adjectives and Adverbs, and thus use Adjectives in contexts where the standard language requires -ly Adverbs
    • Linguistics definition
      The scientific study of language.
    • Regiolect definition
      A dialect spoken in a particular geographical region.
  2. (derogatory) Language that is perceived as substandard or wrong.
    • 1975, H. Carl, Linguistic Perspectives on Black English, page 219:
      Well, those children don't speak dialect, not in this school. Maybe in the public schools, but not here.
    • 1994, H. Nigel Thomas, Spirits in the Dark, Heinemann, page 11:
      [] on the second day, Miss Anderson gave the school a lecture on why it was wrong to speak dialect. She had ended by saying "Respectable people don't speak dialect."
    • 1967, Roger W. Shuy, Discovering American Dialects, National Council of Teachers of English, page 1:
      Many even deny it and say something like this: "No, we don't speak a dialect around here.
  3. (colloquial) A language existing only in an oral or non-standardized form, especially a language spoken in a developing country or an isolated region.
    Synonym: vernacular
  4. (colloquial) A lect (often a regional or minority language) as part of a group or family of languages, especially if they are viewed as a single language, or if contrasted with a standardized idiom that is considered the 'true' form of the language (for example, Cantonese as contrasted with Mandarin Chinese, or Bavarian as contrasted with Standard German).
    • 1995, Michael Clyne & ‎Michael G. Clyne, The German Language in a Changing Europe, →ISBN, page 117:
      The question could be put: 'Is there anything inherent in a dialect which gives it a negative stigma or is it that the status of the majority of the speakers is transferred to the dialect?' — something that occurs in many regions in different countries.
    • 2010, Mirjam Fried, ‎Jan-Ola Östman, & ‎Jef Verschueren, Variation and Change: Pragmatic perspectives, →ISBN, page 61:
      Bloomfield, for example, noted that “local dialects are spoken by the peasants and the poorest people of the towns” (1933: 50) though he also thought that the lower middle class spoke 'sub-standard' speech.
    • 2014, Elizabeth Mary Wright, Rustic Speech and Folk-Lore:
      Among common errors still persisting in the minds of educated people, one error which dies very hard is the theory that a dialect is an arbitrary distortion of the mother tongue, a wilful mispronunciation of the sounds, and disregard of the syntax of a standard language.
    Synonyms: vernacular, patois (often derogatory)
    • Standardized definition
      simple past tense and past participle of standardize
    • Idiom definition
      A manner of speaking, a mode of expression peculiar to a language, person, or group of people. (1 of 5 idiom definitions)
    • Bavarian definition
      Of or pertaining to Bavaria
    • Standard German definition
      The German language, especially as distinguished from the standardized varieties such as Luxembourgish or Low Saxon.
    • Patois definition
      A regional dialect of a language (especially French); usually considered substandard. (1 of 5 patois definitions)
  5. (computing, programming) A variant of a non-standardized programming language.
    Home computers in the 1980s had many incompatible dialects of BASIC.
    • Standardize definition
      Alternative spelling of standardise
    • Programming Language definition
      Code of reserved words and symbols used in computer programs, which give instructions to the computer on how to accomplish certain computing tasks.
  6. (ornithology) A variant form of the vocalizations of a bird species restricted to a certain area or population.

Usage notes

  • In some linguistic traditions, the term "dialect" is restricted to nonstandard lects. In scholarly English usage, it refers to both standardized and vernacular forms of language.[1]
  • The difference between a language and a dialect is not always clear, and often has more to do with political boundaries than with linguistic differences. It is generally considered that people who speak different dialects of the same language can understand each other, while people who speak different languages cannot, however, in some cases, people who speak different dialects of the same language are mutually unintelligible. Compare species in the biological sense.

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

Meronyms

See also

References

  1. ^ McGregor, William (2009) Linguistics: An Introduction, A&C Black, →ISBN, page 160

Further reading

  • "dialect" in Raymond Williams, Keywords (revised), 1983, Fontana Press, page 105.
  • Crystal, David (2008) , “dialect”, in A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics, 6 edition, Blackwell Publishing, →ISBN
  • Fodde Melis, Luisanna; (2002) Race, Ethnicity and Dialects: Language Policy and Ethnic Minorities in the United States, FrancoAngeli, →ISBN

Anagrams


Dutch dialect definition

Etymology

From Middle French dialecte, from Latin dialectos, dialectus, from Ancient Greek διάλεκτος (diálektos, conversation, the language of a country or a place or a nation, the local idiom which derives from a dominant language), from διαλέγομαι (dialégomai, I participate in a dialogue), from διά (diá, inter, through) + λέγω (légō, I speak).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˌdijaːˈlɛkt/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: di‧a‧lect
  • Rhymes: -ɛkt

Noun

dialect n (plural dialecten, diminutive dialectje n)

  1. (linguistics) dialect (language variety)
  2. non-standard dialect; vernacular
    Synonyms: streektaal, mondaard
    • Non-Standard definition
      Alternative spelling of nonstandard
    • Streektaal definition
      regiolect, regional language
    • Mondaard definition
      dialect

Derived terms

  • dialectgroep

Descendants

Anagrams


Romanian dialect definition

Etymology

From French dialecte.

Pronunciation

Noun

dialect n (plural dialecte)

  1. (linguistics) language socially subordinate to a regional or national standard language, often historically cognate to the standard, but not a variety of it or in any other sense derived from it
  2. (colloquial) dialect

Declension

Derived terms

See also