Sample Essay on Dialect exploration: the Southern American dialect

Dialect exploration: the Southern American dialect


Trudgill (2004) said that contact between different British dialects would have occurred in the American settlements, which have led to the appearance of new, mixed dialects not precisely like any others spoken in the homeland (2). On analyzing the linguistic features in one’s speech, one will be able to figure out where the speaker is from. Such linguistic features include syntactic patterns phonological features, lexical items, and phonetic aspects. This paper will implore the Spanish America dialect; its emergence, development as well as cite some of the Phonological and lexical changes the language has undergone.

Language is always sprouting. It’s not a static object handed over from one generation to the next and therefore dialects have emerged in the course of language history. The American English is generally believed to have its roots n England can be traced back to the Spanish colonizers. Though they had invaded America and settled in America, they had not come from the same geographical region. On their coming to America, each came with their variety of the Spanish language which on getting into contact with the indigenous languages in America impacted a linguistic drift. As times progressed so did the Spanish language evolve. As Spanish immigrants settled in America, the impact of their language was felt as they send their Spanish-speaking children to bilingual schools and as they engaged in activities like Commerce and even in the government leading to the government printing articles in the Spanish language.

However, linguistic changes have over time been experienced. In some cases, voiced sounds are lost or reduced. This is especially when such sound segments are placed close to a voiced consonant. In addition, Lipski argued that word-final is routinely verbalized, preconsonantal/l/ and /r/ are frequently neutralized, usually in favor of /r/, and intervocalic and word-final /d/ is usually lost for example, words such as car and card will be pronounced as ca and car respectively. The use of apical in place of the velar nasal is evident. The –ing in words such as morning, talking, and running is unstressed.

            The southern American dialects make use of you-all as well as yall as the pronoun that is used for the second person. The southerners use more than auxiliary in a verb phrase. For example, “she might go to the hospital next week” instead of “she might be able to go to the hospital next week.” In most cases, the first modal is usually may/might and the second one is always either oughta, could, can, would, will, or should. At times use is used after the modals.

According to Nagle and Sanders; “all dialects, of course, contain and are frequently rich in lexical innovations and archaisms” (203). On the lexical features, they further give an example of the auxiliary-verb fixin’ to as used in ‘I’m fixin’ to go’ to mean ‘I’m about to go’. Nagle and Sanders also expounded on the use of adverbial Liketa derived from Like[d] to as ‘She liketa had an accident’ to mean, ‘she almost had an accident (203).


From the above discussion, it is evident that the Spanish America dialect came into existence with the coming of the Spanish speakers into America. The different Spanish varieties that they spoke were influenced by indigenous speakers in America. This resulted in the Spanish American dialect. Several changes have been witnessed in the dialect up to date. This includes the phonological and lexical changes.

Works cited

Lipski, John M.“The role of the city in the formation of Spanish American dialect zones” The Pennsylvania State University (n.d). Web. April 1, 2014, <>

Nagle, Stephen J.and L. Sanders Sara. “Identity in Structure, Sound and Word of a Dialect that Lost a War: Southern American English.” linguae Mundi 5 (2010): 197-207.Print.

Trudgill, Peter. New-dialect Formation: The Inevitability of Colonial Englishes. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Print.