Skip to main content

American English: A Diverse Tongue

It takes little linguistic sophistication to recognize that American English comes in a variety of forms. A native resident of northern Michigan traveling south to New Orleans cannot help but notice the patchwork of dialect differences along the way, while the native of New Orleans traveling north experiences a mirror image of these observations. Dialect variation in the United States is hardly a recent phenomenon, for as long as English has been spoken in the New World, dialect differences have been noted. During the earliest periods the difference between the English spoken in the colonies and that spoken in England was the main focus of ...

Read Full Article

Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.