differences between the terms accent and dialect

Essay by hickfriendUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, August 2014

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Explain the differences between the terms accent and dialect.

Table of Contents


Introduction 1

What is a dialect? 1-2

What is an accent? 3

Two dialects 4-6

West Midland dialect 4-5

Liverpool dialect (Scouse) 5-6

Conclusion 6-7

References 8


Like all languages, English is very varied, because language in general changes over time. It comes in many different regional and social varieties. People are very used to talking about "the English language as if it were a single, clearly defined entity" (Trudgill 1994, p. 1). When looking at it on one way, this is only understanding, particularly when we think of the written language. The English language has its own grammar books, its own literature, and its own dictionaries (cf. Trudgill 1994, p. 1). It is also a language which is quite clearly distinguishable to other languages. With certainty you can say that it is not German, not Chinese - or any other language.

However, it is equally understanding, looked at in another way, to claim that there is no such thing as the English language. English comes in many different forms and consists of so much more, particularly when we think of the spoken language and not only of the written language. Everyone can tell that the English of the British Isles is different from the English of the United States. The English of England is clearly different from the English of Scotland, Wales or Ireland. The English of the south is noticeably different from the English of the north. And the English of Liverpool is not the same as the English of Manchester.

There is very "considerable regional variation within the English language as it is spoken in different parts of the British Isles and different parts of the world" (Trudgill 1994, p.2). The fact...