Could you repeat that?
Well, at least, they understand themselves.
After all, Eliza Doolittle sounded natural to herself, before ‘enry ‘iggins tried to mold her into “a lady.”
Paul Kerswill, professor of sociolinguistics at Lancaster University, claims the cockney dialect will become extinct in three decades, morphing into a new hybrid language, which he describes as “multicultural London English.”
Dialect is from the Greek Language word dialektos and is used mainly to apply to regional speech patterns, distinguished by its vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.
Accent, from the Latin accentus “tone, signal, or intensity,” is more concerned with pronouncing a language.
Yes, the differences between the two are confusing even to the experts.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, for instance, speaks English with an Austrian accent. Or is that Austrian with an English accent?
Different dialects often bring up something called “Why do they have to talk like that” snootiness, where we look askance when Bostonians drop their r’s and says “caw,” as if they could help themselves.
Or Eastern Kentuckians indulge in something called prefixing (attaching an a where it doesn’t belong) at least to non-prefixers.
Like, “Here she comes a crying and a moanin.”
Or when someone in Brooklyn, which seems like a foreign country, might say, “I’m gonna see my Muda in Lawn Guyland.”
Yiz? If you lived in Philadelphia, the cradle of Democracy, you’d know it was a plural of “you.”
Meanwhile in New Orleans, Louisiana, it’s easy to pick the locals by the way they say “Nawlins.”
According to linguists, it all depends on who settled the area first, or in what combination, whether it was the French, Irish, African, Creole, Spanish, Dutch, Irish, Jewish or Italian.
If you live in isolated areas, where there are few contacts between regions, you’re going to keep your little insular peculiarities.
In some cases, dialects fade from generation to generation, as we get further from the original source.
They’re also disappearing since residents buy into the idea that something’s wrong with their dialect, according to a study by American Dialect Society Professor Dennis R. Preston.
Someone said, “English is a funny language; that explains why we park our car on the driveway and drive our car on the parkway.”
Fun is good to keep around.
So “Yiz,” “Y’all,” and “Youse” have a great weekend.