Entertainment / Literature / Dialect: The language of a particular district, class, or group of persons. The term dialect encompasses the sounds, spelling, grammar, and diction employed by a specific people as distinguished from other persons either geographically or socially. Dialect is a major technique of characterization that reveals the social or geographic status of a character. For example, Mark Twain uses exaggerated dialect in his Huckleberry Finn to differentiate between characters: Jim: We's safe, Huck, we's safe! Jump up and crack yo' heels. Dat's de good ole Cairo at las', I jis knows it. Huck: i'll take the canoe and go see, Jim. It mightn't be, you know. Other famous uses of dialect include the novels Silas Mariner and Middlemarch by George Eliot. The act of intentionally misspelling a word to create an artistic effect or the effect of dialect is called metaplasmus. Old-English and Middle English also had unique regional dialects. In Old English, the four major regional dialects were West Saxon, Kentish, Mercian, and Northumbrian. As the centuries went by, West Saxon became increasingly the standard. In Middle English, the major dialects included Southern, Kentish, West Midlands, East Midlands, and Northern.

Other Words for Dialect

Dialect Verb Synonyms: speech (pattern), phraseology, idiom, accent, pronunciation, patois, vernacular, jargon, cant,, argot, language, tongue, Creole, pidgin, brogue, burr, lingo

Register Dialect

Entertainment / Literature / Register Dialect: A dialectal variation used only for a particular circumstance or for a specific purpose. For instance, the ceremonial language of sermons, weddings, and funerals often uses words like brethren or belo MORE

Caste Dialect

Entertainment / Literature / Caste Dialect: A dialect spoken by specific hereditary classes in a society. Often the use of caste dialect marks the speaker as part of that particular class. MORE

Social Dialect

Entertainment / Literature / Social Dialect: In linguistics, a dialect used by a special social group rather than through an entire ethnicity or region. MORE