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Dialect variation - Research Paper Example

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This paper will look at the phonological aspect and the techniques that linguistics use to study dialect variation. There are several aspects of dialectal variation, and the most significant ones are grammar; syntax and morphology, lexicon; vocabulary and phonology; and pronunciation…
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Dialect variation

Download file to see previous pages... A common mistake made by a majority of people is to confuse accents with dialects by messing up with the differences between sounds people make and pronunciation and the words they use. If one has to consider grammar and vocabulary alongside pronunciation, then it is reasonable to use the term “dialect.” However, when discussing a dialect, an individual will usuallyfully concentrate on pronunciations. If sounds alone are what are being spoken of, then the area of study in language is phonology or pronunciation. Phonology is a special aspect of dialect that requires separate attention to be understood precisely (Riggle and Godsmith 38).
Phonological variation is the difference in pronunciation across and within dialects, for instance, people from different countries may pronounce “easy” with an “s” while people from another country pronounce it with a “z”. Arguably, the most common phonological difference in England is the sound of “bath vowel” which differs between North and Southern England populations. Another example is the issue of rhoticity, relative to whether or not letter r should be sounded when it comes after a vowel (McKay Lee 70). While most Wales and England populations do not pronounce this later r, those in Lancashire and English West countries do pronounce it. Variations in phonology are important in marking regional dialects. In order to represent the pronunciations precisely, linguistics tend to use a phonetic alphabet, where distinctively dissimilar sounds are represented by varying symbols, instead of unphonetic English spelling systems.
One sound is usually symbolized by different spellings, like the “sh” sound being pronounced as sh in “sheep”, but as “ti” in “nation” (Brown, 108). Approaches to phonological variations The well-known phonological variations are word stress and syllable structure. The main question is whether there are generalizations to be made in various patterns of these variations. For the no-pattern approach, no attempt is made to find an overall pattern that applies to most or all words, maybe because no generalization exists (Riggle and Godsmith 40). For instance, there are no rules to determine which syllable of polysyllabic English words swallows the stress. Consequently, stress patterns are merely listed in the lexicon. Any evident statistical preferences or trends for particular patterns are likely due to historical mistakes. The norm-and-exceptions approach assumes that English has a default stress structure with four different versions namely; language parameters, language typology, optimology theory, and rule-based theory. Language typology assumes a limited number of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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