A language is used in many ways, and sometimes speakers of the same language have a hard time understanding each other. Within our own countries, we see that the use of national languages can vastly differ from one region to another- whether it is in terms of grammar, specific expressions or even words that have been localized to some extent. Regional variations in how the same language is constructed and employed is thus what are referred to as regional dialects. Regional dialects are considered to be a distinct form of a standard or common language, that could be geographically from a province, rural spaces or in some cases also specific to a social group.
Though dialects can be considered of various kinds, the most widespread and evident way of differentiating or defining a dialect is regional or geographical. The differences between regional dialects, as it would seem, depends on proximity- the further you move from one region to another in the same country or territorial space, the more dissimilar the dialect. The classification of regional dialects, however, more concretely follows specific linguistic features as displayed in the usage of the language. Grammar and vocabulary, studying the word formation, helps us understand better where the classification of one regional dialect starts, and another stops.
Regional Dialects In The English Language
The English language is one such language that is considered to have a wide variation in regional dialects in countries where it is spoken as a native tongue. Taking an example of how regional dialects vary, countries such as the United Kingdom come up as an interesting case with 37 dialects to boast of- while these differ between smaller and larger regional dialects, yet the sheer variation in the way English is used showcases the power of regional dialects. In the UK, regional accents include the famous Cockney, considered to have emerged as a social dialect of working class Londoners but also now associated with the region in and around London itself. Another regional dialect from the UK is the Yorkshire dialect, which is spoken in the Yorkshire county itself. Interestingly, though one could classify Scottish dialect as a regional one, within the dialect as well there are smaller differing dialects.
Languages are malleable and fluid, not only in their use, but also in their sound. While some might argue there’s only one proper way to pronounce a specific word in a language, variations in accents and dialects show how this isn’t the case. Both these words are used to explain the distinctive ways of using the same language. The differences in accents, however, is mostly limited to the aspect of sound in the usage of specific words and phrases, whereas regional dialects showcase variations or versions of a language, which includes not only pronunciation but also grammar, vocabulary as well as syntax. While accents are generally used to differentiate between the way a native speaker and a non-native speaker of a language speaks it, dialects differ between native speakers themselves. More importantly, accents can also be considered as part or subject of a regional dialect.