ERIC Number: ED374658
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Linguistic Diversity in America: Will We All Speak "General American?"
Patterns of dialect shift and language standardization in the United States are examined and illustrated with regional dialect maps. In particular, the relationship between the disappearance of regional accents and negative attitudes about accents is discussed. It is concluded that there is a long-term trend toward a more uniform accent among educated individuals, a national standard of pronunciation, in all regions of the country and that the standard regional dialects are in decline. Syntax and morphology are already virtually uniform, and vocabulary differences are largely restricted to terms for local phenomena. It is also predicted that the prominent dialect differences within the country will eventually correlate with social class and be perceived not as neutral but as deviant, supporting stereotypes. The only solution to this situation seen as feasible is a popular movement to counter negative stereotypes of regional accents and slow down the trend toward cultural homogeneity. (MSE)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A