“Language Variation In American English Is Something That

1821 Words8 Pages
“Language variation in American English is something that all speakers of our language notice in one way or another” (Wolfram & Christian, 1976). Dialect is a variation in language that is specific to a region or group. There are many different dialects and variations of Standard American English, but this research paper focuses on Appalachian English. Appalachian English varies heavily from Standard American English in many ways such as; the vocabulary, morphology, syntax, and phonology. With language variations comes many stereotypes and challenges that the speakers have to overcome. Since a dialect other than our own sounds so different and often times “wrong,” there are many misunderstandings and negative stigmas that surface. When…show more content…
Some of the vocabulary is very similar to words you hear in Standard American English and are often times derived from it. For example, when talking about a good writer, a mountaineer may say a “good scribe” and a cemetery would be referred to as a “burial ground” (Hendrickson, 2000). Conversely, there are some words that have no relation and seem to belong only to Appalachian English. For example, a bag is often referred to as a “poke” and something that is unusually crooked would be called “sigogglin” (National Geographic, 2014). So, if you were on a road with a lot of curves and twists, a mountaineer would say, “the road is sigogglin” (Wolfram, 2008). Sometimes, an individual will create a new word to describe something if they can’t think of another word. If someone is around to hear this word, they may start using it and then a chain reaction occurs and sooner or later this sort of made up word becomes an accepted term (Wolfram, 2008). Appalachian English is heavily made up of colloquialisms unique to its territories (National Geographic, 2014). The morphology of Appalachian English also varies from Standard American English. Often times, the g is omitted from words that end in –ing (National Geographic, 2014). They also do something called a-prefixing which means, an “a” is placed at the beginning of a word (Hamilton & Hazen, 2008). An example would be, “She was a-runnin’.” Often times, the plural –s gets left off
Get Access