Why would an author use dialect in a story?
- Characters are often written to signal their geographic origins through their use of a regional dialect. Regional speech patterns can contribute to a sense of place by adding a dimension of local color. Of course, within a given setting dialect usage may vary across characters because authors use dialect to mark social differences as well.
People also ask
Why would an author use dialect in a story?
How does a dialect differ from a language?
What are best defines the literacy term dialect?
What is the difference between dialect and dialogue?
A dialect (pronounced DIE-uh-lect) is any particular form of a language spoken by some group of people, such as southern English, Black English, Appalachian English, or even standard English. In literature, “dialect” means a form of writing that shows the accent and way people talk in a particular region.
- Dialect Definition
- Examples of Dialect in Literature
- Examples of Dialect in Poetry
- Dialects in American and British English
- Function of Dialect
A dialect is the language used by the people of a specific area, class, district, or any other group of people. The term dialect involves the spelling, sounds, grammar and pronunciation used by a particular group of people and it distinguishes them from other people around them. Dialect is a very powerful and common way of characterization, which elaborates the geographic and social background of any character.
Example #1: Huckleberry Finn
One of the best dialect examples in literature, in which it is used as a literary device, occurs in this piece by Mark Twain. Here, Twain uses exaggerated dialect to distinguish between the characters.
Example #2: To Kill a Mockingbird
Characters that are less educated and less sophisticated are usually shown to be speaking with a much stronger dialect. At certain points you might even need translations. Such as: Translation: I suppose I have. The first year I came to school and ate those pecans, I almost died. Some people accuse him [Mr. Radley] of poisoning them, and keeping them over on the school side of the fence.
Example #5: Gipsy
You can also find great examples of dialect usage in two of George Eliot’s novels, Silas Mariner and Middlemarch. Another method of using dialect is to knowingly misspell a word to build an artistic aura around a character, which is termed “metaplasmus.”
There have been several very unique dialects in literature in the past, out of which some have grown to be more dominant. Old and middle English had distinctive regional dialects. The major dialects in old English involved Kentish, Northumbrian, Mercian, and West Saxon dialects. As the years passed, the West Saxon dialect became the standard. Moreover, middle English included Southern, West Midlands, Northern, East Midlands, and Kentish dialects. In the British Isles, modern English give out hints of class as well as regional dialects. Almost every British country has its own variation to a certain extent. A. C. Baugh pointed out that in one place, at times, you can mark three dialectal regions in a single shire. Modern American English consists of dialects such as Eastern New England, Mid-southern, Inland Northern, Southern, General American North, Midland, New York, and Black English Vernacular.
The narrative voice in literature usually aspires to speak in concert with the reality it illustrates. African American authors often criticize this condition, while discussing the significance of speaking in so-called “standard” American English in comparison with African American English. Toni Cade Bambara has made a remarkable contribution to this aspect by choosing the language of her culture and community. She used her language as a very productive critical tool, and her dialect illustration in The Lesson functioned as an examination of how the people who listen to it ultimately hear the disparaged speech. By reviving the language, which had long been marginalized, she contributes towards the effort to salvage the cultural identity of African Americans. This integration of non-standard linguistic features into the literature in “the lesson” works as an insightful response to marginalization. It also proves the strength and powerof language in portraying the diverse realities of...
One of the most enduring examples of a story told in regional dialect is Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In one of the most famous examples of dialect in children’s literature, Twain famously weaves several different dialects throughout the story, as explained in his preface. But as the narrator, Huck Finn himself carries a ...
- What Is dialect?
- Dialect vs. Accent
- American English Dialect Examples
- Example of Dialect in Literature
A dialect refers to a branch of a language. Within this branch, different terms are used for different things. Dialects are usually formed around particular regions. However, they may also be used within certain groups of people. For example, in The United States, there is a particular dialect in the Southern states. Within that Southern dialect, however, there may be subgroups who speak yet another dialect. Foods are the most common terms to change within a dialect. What one dialect might call shrimp, another might call crawfish or crawdads.
Dialect and accent are two different aspects of language. However, there are some overlaps. An accent is also specific to a region. In English, there might be an American, British, or Australian accent. An accent is an inflection that occurs with word pronunciation. A dialect is entirely different words or ways of communicating altogether. Dialect goes beyond mere pronunciation. Examples of Accent: 1. An American might pronounce the word, “hello,” by speaking the “h” sound. 2. A Brit might pronounce the word, “hello,” without speaking the “h” sound. 3. This is still the same word, just spoken with a different accent. Examples of Dialect: 1. A Northern American might say, “hello.” 2. A Southern American might say, “howdy.” 3. This is an example of the differences in dialect.
Different dialects exists in American English, and in all areas of spoken English. There are dialects for each region, in fact. Even if the particular peoples of that region do not think they speak in a dialect, they probably do. Some of the more pronounced American regional dialects are the Northeastern (East Coast) and Southern dialects. Someone from the East Coast might say, “What’s poppin’?” A Southern American would understand this, but would probably never say it. Someone from the South might say,” How’r y’ll?” A Northeastern American would understand this, but probably never say it.
Dialect is used commonly in literature. An author may elect to use dialect if he or she wants to represent the characters well. In order to do so, the author will write dialogue specific to the region of the character. Authors want their characters to seem genuine; therefore, they must write dialogue between characters in such a way as they would speak it. George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmaliondoes this well. A Cockney girl is “adopted” by a well-to-do gentleman who tries to change both her dialect and hear accent to Standard British English. For many, this play is difficult to read because the Cockney is only specific to that region. However, if the play work not written with the Cockney dialect, it would not be effective at all.
Define dialect: the definition of dialect is a linguistic variety peculiar to a particular geographical region or used by members of a specific social class. In summary, a dialect is a type of language that is spoken by a particular region or group of people. Dialect is much more broad and far reaching that accent. Most dialects will include with them their own accents, but they are more than mere pronunciation differences.
A dialect (pronounced DIE-uh-lect) is any particular form of a language spoken by some group of people, such as southern English, Black English, Appalachian English, or even standard English. In literature, “ dialect ” means a form of writing that shows the accent and way people talk in a particular region.