Dialect 101

A dialect is known as a linguistic system that derives from another but that does not exhibit sufficient differentiation with respect to others of common origin. The dialects, therefore, are usually considered in relation to a set of several linguistic systems of a common trunk or that are found in the same geographical limit. Another definition of dialect refers to the linguistic structure that does not reach the social category of language.

Dialects are linked to linguistic variety and thus linguistic diversity. Although the dialect is usually considered as a kind of system of lower category or simpler than a language, dialects are, in reality, particular ways of speaking or writing a certain language.

Dialects are linguistic systems. See Abbreviation Finder for acronyms related to dialect.

Characteristics of a dialect

It is also interesting to establish and know that, in a habitual way, there are a series of criteria to differentiate a dialect. In this sense, it should be noted that among them is the fact that it does not have a written tradition, it does not have too many grammatical differences with respect to the dominant language, those who speak this dialect do not have their own nation and, furthermore, that its speakers they are usually few.

All this without forgetting that the term dialect is frequently used with a marked pejorative meaning, since it is considered to be “inferior” to the official language and basically demonstrates the lesser social or cultural importance of those who speak it regularly..

Three criteria are generally taken into account to consider whether two linguistic systems are dialects or independent languages: the dialects must be mutually intelligible without prior learning, they must form part of a politically unified territory, and they must have a common writing system.

A dialect can allow the development of a conversation.

The case of Spain

In the case of Spain we find the fact that there are two clearly differentiated groups of dialects. Thus, on the one hand, there are the northern ones, which are the ones spoken in the northern half of the country, and on the other hand, there are the southern ones, which are the ones used in the southern half of the nation.

Examples of the first case are the Asturian-Leonese, the Castilian Riojan or the Castilian churro, which is the one that is present in the area of ​​the Valencian Community.

In the second case, that of the southern dialects, we find examples of great importance, such as the case of the Madrid dialect, characterized by Yeísmo, Laísmo, Leísmo or Loísmo. Likewise, another of the most important dialects is Andalusian, which has a great variety in terms of lexicon of Mozarabic, Romani or Arabic origin.

In this sense, dialects can arise from geographical variety. In the case of Castilian Spanish, for example, the dialect spoken in Spain uses words like “computer” or “matches”, while in Latin America these terms are not used (they are replaced by “computer” and “fósforos”).

It is interesting to note, on the other hand, that specialists speak of a prestigious dialect to refer to the dialect chosen by the most prestigious people or those who belong to the highest social classes in a community of speakers where several dialects co-exist.


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