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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ The narrator uses the local dialect where necessary.
▪ Many of the campesinos were illiterate; some spoke only their local dialects.
▪ These latter services must, to be effective, use local languages and dialects and have a high local-interest content.
▪ The information will be collected through collaborative teacher-pupil classroom projects on local dialect.
▪ There is a small literature on new dialect acquisition; it must be said that not a great deal is known about it.
▪ However, Trudgill also shows that different speakers may follow different routes towards complete acquisition of a new dialect.
▪ As I have already said, there are other dialects too, all of which are equally effective.
▪ It contrasts with regional dialects in its wide intelligibility and in the official recognition accorded it.
▪ Especially in large urban areas, a particular linguistic feature of a regional dialect might well be influenced by social factors.
▪ The changes in the languages as seen on television reflect its higher status and the loss of regional dialects.
▪ They scrutinize recorded songs to determine whether regional dialects exist among those of the same species.
▪ It has been shown that there are as many as 10 major regional dialect areas.
▪ We all speak the Yorkshire dialect here, but of course you don't understand that.
▪ Many of the campesinos were illiterate; some spoke only their local dialects.
▪ He just went to the pagoda until he met some one who spoke his dialect.
▪ But Wordsworth does not use any dialect expression, so that this difficulty need not be exaggerated.
▪ The narrator uses the local dialect where necessary.
▪ These latter services must, to be effective, use local languages and dialects and have a high local-interest content.
▪ "Nowt" is a northern dialect word meaning "nothing".
▪ a dialect of Arabic
▪ At home, they speak in dialect.
▪ He spoke a dialect of French that I found hard to understand.
▪ In some Yorkshire dialects, people say "spice" instead of "sweets" or "candy".
▪ In this region, the dialect sounds a lot like German.
▪ A dialect is a form of a language, and every form of any language is a dialect of it.
▪ But dialect features are not errors in this sense at all, but are characteristics of a pupil's native language.
▪ But Wordsworth does not use any dialect expression, so that this difficulty need not be exaggerated.
▪ Information was clearly presented, including the follow-up procedures, with translation into the patient's dialect when necessary.
▪ Many of the campesinos were illiterate; some spoke only their local dialects.
▪ Such a personal dialect or variety is usually termed an idiolect.
▪ Warning: Viewers may have trouble understanding some characters' dialects.
▪ You have a wonderful, happy combination of the northern dialects!
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Dialect \Di"a*lect\, n. [F. dialecte, L. dialectus, fr. Gr. ?, fr. ? to converse, discourse. See Dialogue.]

  1. Means or mode of expressing thoughts; language; tongue; form of speech.

    This book is writ in such a dialect As may the minds of listless men affect. Bunyan. The universal dialect of the world.

  2. The form of speech of a limited region or people, as distinguished from ether forms nearly related to it; a variety or subdivision of a language; speech characterized by local peculiarities or specific circumstances; as, the Ionic and Attic were dialects of Greece; the Yorkshire dialect; the dialect of the learned.

    In the midst of this Babel of dialects there suddenly appeared a standard English language.

    [Charles V.] could address his subjects from every quarter in their native dialect.

    Syn: Language; idiom; tongue; speech; phraseology. See Language, and Idiom.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1570s, "form of speech of a region or group," from Middle French dialecte, from Latin dialectus "local language, way of speaking, conversation," from Greek dialektos "talk, conversation, speech;" also "the language of a country, dialect," from dialegesthai "converse with each other," from dia- "across, between" (see dia-) + legein "speak" (see lecture (n.)).


n. 1 (context linguistics English) A variety of a language (specifically, often a spoken variety) that is characteristic of a particular area, community or group, often with relatively minor differences in vocabulary, style, spelling and pronunciation. 2 A dialect of a language perceived as substandard and wrong. 3 A (l/en: regional) or (l/en: minority) language. 4 (context computing programming English) A variant of a non-standardized programming language.


n. the usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people; "the immigrants spoke an odd dialect of English"; "he has a strong German accent" [syn: idiom, accent]

Dialect (disambiguation)

A dialect is a variety of a spoken or written language.

Dialect(s) may also refer to:

  • Dialect (computing)
  • Di•a•lects, a 1986 album by Joe Zawinul

The term dialect (from Latin dialectus, dialectos, from the ancient Greek word διάλεκτος diálektos, "discourse", from διά diá, "through" and λέγω legō, "I speak") is used in two distinct ways to refer to two different types of linguistic phenomena.

One usage—the more common among linguists—refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. Despite their differences, these varieties known as dialects are closely related and most often mutually intelligible, especially if close to one another on the dialect continuum. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors, such as social class or ethnicity. A dialect that is associated with a particular social class can be termed a sociolect, a dialect that is associated with a particular ethnic group can be termed as ethnolect, and a regional dialect may be termed a regiolect. According to this definition, any variety of a given language constitutes "a dialect", including any standard varieties. In this case, the distinction between the "standard language," or the "standard" dialect of a particular language, and the "nonstandard" dialects of the same language is often arbitrary and based on social, political, cultural, or historical considerations. In a similar way, the definition of the terms "language" and "dialect" may also overlap and are often subject to debate, with the differentiation between the two classifications often grounded in arbitrary and/or sociopolitical motives.

The other usage of the term "dialect", often deployed in colloquial or sociolinguistic settings, refers to a language that is socially subordinated to a regional or national standard language, often historically cognate or distantly genetically related to the standard language, but not actually derived from the standard language. In other words, it is not an actual variety of the "standard language" or dominant language, but rather a separate, independently evolved but often distantly related language. In this sense, unlike in the first usage, the standard language would not itself be considered a "dialect," as it is the dominant language in a particular state or region, whether in terms of linguistic prestige, social or political status, official status, predominance or prevalence, or all of the above. Meanwhile, under this usage, the "dialects" subordinate to the standard language are generally not variations on the standard language but rather separate (but often distantly related) languages in and of themselves. Thus, these "dialects" are not dialects or varieties of a particular language in the same sense as in the first usage; though they may share roots in the same family or subfamily as the standard language and may even, to varying degrees, share some mutual intelligibility with the standard language, they often did not evolve closely with the standard language or within the same linguistic subgroup or speech community as the standard language and instead may better fit the criteria of a separate language.

For example, most of the various regional Romance languages of Italy, often colloquially referred to as Italian "dialects," are, in fact, not actually derived from modern standard Italian, but rather evolved from Vulgar Latin separately and individually from one another and independently of standard Italian, long prior to the diffusion of a national standardized language throughout what is now Italy. These various Latin-derived regional languages are therefore, in a linguistic sense, not truly "dialects" of the standard Italian language, but are instead better defined as their own separate languages. Conversely, with the spread of standard Italian throughout Italy in the 20th century and the increase in dialect levelling, various regional versions or varieties of standard Italian developed, generally as a mix of the national standard Italian with local regional languages and local accents. These variations on standard Italian, known as regional Italian, would more appropriately be called "dialects" in accordance with the first linguistic definition of "dialect," as they are in fact derived partially or mostly from standard Italian.

A dialect is distinguished by its vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation ( phonology, including prosody). Where a distinction can be made only in terms of pronunciation (including prosody, or just prosody itself), the term accent may be preferred over dialect. Other types of speech varieties include jargons, which are characterized by differences in lexicon ( vocabulary); slang; patois; pidgins; and argots.

The particular speech patterns used by an individual are termed an idiolect.

Dialect (computing)

A dialect of a programming language or a data exchange language is a (relatively small) variation or extension of the language that does not change its intrinsic nature. With languages such as Scheme and Forth, standards may be considered insufficient, inadequate or illegitimate by implementors, so often they will deviate from the standard, making a new dialect. In other cases, a dialect is created for use in a domain-specific language, often a subset. In the Lisp world, most languages that use basic S-expression syntax and Lisp-like semantics are considered Lisp dialects, although they vary wildly, as do, say, Racket and Clojure. As it is common for one language to have several dialects, it can become quite difficult for an inexperienced programmer to find the right documentation. The BASIC programming language has many dialects.

The explosion of Forth dialects led to the saying "If you've seen one Forth... you've seen one Forth."

Usage examples of "dialect".

All he could remember were the sounds of voices over time, the subtle shifting and changing of accents and language dialects as the years passed.

They all consorted together, talking various dialects of Aeolic, Ionian, Attic Greek, and so forth, which were plainly not intelligible to each other.

The main body of ancient tradition here agrees with the evidence of language: the poems are composed in the Ionic dialect, with an admixture of Aeolic forms.

It is almost as difficult to learn a dialect as a new language, and but for the key which the Alemannic gave me, I should have been utterly at sea.

Gelnhausen told his wretched bawdy tales and decanted clownish wisdom in three different dialects, for in the course of the war Stoffel had acquired the Westphalian and Alemannic stammer on top of his native Hessian.

Kennebec, a stream in Maine, in the Algonkin means snake, and Antietam, the creek in Maryland of tragic celebrity, in an Iroquois dialect has the same significance.

Maine, in the Algonkin means snake, and Antietam, the creek in Maryland of tragic celebrity, in an Iroquois dialect has the same significance.

Now, astonishingly, it appeared that a dialect of Athapaskan might have migrated as far south as the Peruvian Amazon.

Journal of the American Oriental Society most fitly be called the Avestan dialect.

The collection, such as it was, was in the Avestan dialect, which had grown partially obsolete and unintelligible.

Sanskrit, Pali, Awadhi commonspeak, Bangla, Oriya, Tamil, Kannad, Marathi, Malayali, and a half-dozen other dialects of the subcontinent.

When they fell silent, unable to name a tree, the seer supplied its name, reeling off a succession of alternatives in Sanskrit, Pali, Awadhi commonspeak, Bangla, Oriya, Tamil, Kannad, Marathi, Malayali, and a half-dozen other dialects of the subcontinent.

A Turkic dialect, Azerbaijani is spoken by several million people in the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan and the contiguous areas of Iran and Afghanistan.

Martin spoke neither Urdu nor the Baluchi dialect, and the man from Karachi spoke only a smattering of Pashto, with sign language and some Arabic from the Koran they got along well.

The other was Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli -- a great poet, little known outside Rome, since he wrote in the rough, dirty, blasphemous dialect of the Roman streets.