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North American English (USA and Canada)

 

Regional dialects of the United States are clearly defined in the East coast: dialect from the North, middle and South. The first one is spoken in New England, the second one, from Point Pleasant (New Jersey) until Dover, in Delaware. The third one covers the coast region of Delaware until South Carolina and extends towards Florida. Besides these differences, the rest of the territory identifies itself with the English language known as "General American".

 

Dialects from the North, where first British colony settlements occurred, keep better the way of talking from the South and Southeast of England, with the incorporation of indigenous words. Naturally, a constant incorporation of words from other languages from European immigrants that arrived to America constantly (French, German, Italian, Slavic and Scandinavian languages), have given a unique terminology and pronunciation to these English dialects, particularly in the Atlantic coast. However, nowadays the fast development of the media and transportation have been eliminating progressively the smaller dialectal differences between Americans.

Canadian English, even though subject to the huge influence of American English, still owns strong British features, particularly in the great cities. Specially; the Scottish influence can be felt in Ontario. An example of the characteristics of Canadian English is the phonological process called "Canadian raising". According to this process the beginning of diphthongs /ay/ y /aw/ are raised to medium vowels when they precede voiceless consonants (like /p/, la /t/, la /k/, la /s/ y la /f/), what causes an apparent convergence of pronunciation between Canadians and Americans. This way, when saying the word "about", for example, a Canadian raises to a medium vowel his pronunciation of /aw/ instead of doing it in a lower position, so for any American ear it would sound like "aboot", although is only an illusion. This feature is very notorious between natives of Toronto, which also have an unique way of pronouncing the name of their city.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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