American English

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American English
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{{Redirect|U.S. English|the political organization|U.S. English (organization)}}{{Other uses}}{{Use American English|date=March 2017}}{{short description|Set of dialects of the English language spoken in the United States}}{{Use mdy dates|date=August 2019}}

|speakers2=25.6 million L2 speakers of English in the United States (2003)|familycolor=Indo-EuropeanGermanic languages>GermanicWest Germanic languages>West GermanicAnglo-Frisian languages>Anglo–FrisianEnglish language>English| fam6 = North American English|ancestor=Old English|ancestor2=Middle EnglishEarly Modern English>17th century British English|nation= *{{USA}} (de facto)Latin script>Latin (English alphabet)Unified English BrailleHTTP://WWW.BRAILLEAUTHORITY.ORG/UEB.HTML>TITLE=UNIFIED ENGLISH BRAILLE (UEB)DATE=2 NOVEMBER 2016ACCESS-DATE=2 JANUARY 2017, |isoexception=dialect|glotto=nonepropertyP305}}|notice=IPA}}(File:English USC2000 PHS.svg|thumb|upright=1.6|English language prevalence in the United States. Darker shades of blue indicate higher concentrations of native English speakers in the corresponding states)American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-USen-US is the language code for U.S. English, as defined by ISO standards (see ISO 639-1 and ISO 3166-1 alpha-2) and Internet standards (see IETF language tag).), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English,Plichta, Bartlomiej, and Dennis R. Preston (2005). "The /ay/s Have It: The Perception of /ay/ as a North-South Stereotype in the United States English." Acta Linguistica Hafniensia 37.1: 107–130.Zentella, A. C. (1982). Spanish and English in contact in the United States: The Puerto Rican experience. Word, 33(1–2), 41. is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States.BOOK, Crystal, David, David Crystal, 1997, English as a Global Language, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 978-0-521-53032-3, American English is considered to be the world's most influential form of English.BOOK, That's The Way It Crumbles: the American Conquest of English, Engel, Matthew, Profile Books, 2017, 9781782832621, London, 989790918, NEWS,weblink Fears of British English's disappearance are overblown, 2017-07-20, The Economist, 2019-04-18, 0013-0613, WEB,weblink Why isn't 'American' a language?, Harbeck, James, July 15, 2015,, en-GB, April 18, 2019, WEB,weblink How Americanisms are killing the English language, Anderson, Hephzibah,, en, 2019-04-18, WEB,weblink The Readers' Editor writes: Why is American English becoming part of everyday usage in India?, Reddy, C. Rammanohar,, en-US, 2019-04-18, English is the most widely spoken language in the United States and is the de facto common language used by the federal and state governments, to the extent that all laws and compulsory education presume English as the primary language. English is explicitly given official status by 32 of the 50 state governments.WEB,weblink Language Legislation in the U.S.A.,, 1 February 2012, Crawford, James, 29 May 2013, WEB,weblink U.S. English Efforts Lead West Virginia to Become 32nd State to Recognize English as Official Language,, dead, 13 May 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 1 April 2016, While the local courts in some divisions of the United States grant equivalent status to both English and another language—for example, English and Spanish in Puerto Rico—under federal law, English is still the official language for any matters being referred to the United States district court for the territory.WEB,weblink 48 U.S. Code § 864 – Appeals, certiorari, removal of causes, etc.; use of English language | LII / Legal Information Institute,, 2015-06-01, The use of English in the United States is a result of British colonization of the Americas. The first wave of English-speaking settlers arrived in North America during the 17th century, followed by further migrations in the 18th and 19th centuries. During the 17th century, dialects from many different regions of England existed in every American colony, allowing a process of extensive dialect mixture and levelling in which English varieties across the colonies became more homogeneous compared with varieties in England.{{Harvcoltxt|Kretzchmar|2004|pp=258–9}}{{harvcoltxt|Longmore|2007|pp=517, 520}} English thus predominated in the colonies even by the end of the 17th century's first massive immigrations of non-English speakers from Europe and Africa, and firsthand descriptions of a fairly uniform American English became common after the mid-18th century.{{Harvcoltxt|Longmore|2007|p=537}} Since then, American English has developed into some new varieties, including regional dialects that, in some cases, show minor influences in the last two centuries from successive waves of immigrant speakers of diverse languages,Hickey, R. (2014). Dictionary of varieties of English. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 25. primarily European languages.American English varieties include many patterns of pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and particularly spelling that are unified nationwide but distinct from other English dialects around the world.{{citation|url=|title= A Handbook of Varieties of English|author-first=William A.|author-last=Kretzchmar|editor-first=Bernd|editor-last=Kortmann|editor2-first=Edgar W.|editor2-last=Schneider|publisher=Mouton de Gruyter|location=Berlin/New York|year=2004|pages=262–263|isbn= 9783110175325}} Any American or Canadian accent perceived as free of noticeably local, ethnic, or cultural markers is popularly called "General" or "Standard" American, a fairly uniform accent continuum native to certain regions of the U.S. and associated nationally with broadcast mass media and highly educated speech. However, historical and present linguistic evidence does not support the notion of there being one single "mainstream" American accent.{{harvcoltxt|Labov|2012|pp=1–2}}{{citation|url=|title= A Handbook of Varieties of English|author-first=William A.|author-last=Kretzchmar|editor-first=Bernd|editor-last=Kortmann|editor2-first=Edgar W.|editor2-last=Schneider|publisher=Mouton de Gruyter|location=Berlin/New York|year=2004|page=262|isbn= 9783110175325}} The sound of American English continues to evolve, with some local accents disappearing, but several larger regional accents having emerged in the 20th century.WEB,weblink Do You Speak American?: What Lies Ahead?, PBS, 2007-08-15,


{{For|all phonemes of American English|General American#Phonology}}{{For|the phonologies of regional American dialects|North American English regional phonology}}Compared with English as spoken in the United Kingdom North American EnglishNorth American English {{harv|Trudgill|2004|p=2}} is a collective term used for the varieties of the English language that are spoken in both the United States and Canada. is more homogeneous, and any phonologically unremarkable North American accent is known as "General American". This section mostly refers to such General American features.

Conservative phonology

Studies on historical usage of English in both the United States and the United Kingdom suggest that spoken American English did not simply deviate away from period British English, but is conservative in some ways, preserving certain features contemporary British English has since lost.WEB,weblink What Is the Difference between Theater and Theatre?,, 2015-05-15, 2015-06-01,
Full rhoticity (or R-fulness) is typical of American accents, pronouncing the phoneme {{IPA|/r/}} (corresponding to the letter {{Angbr|r}}) in all environments, including after vowels, such as in pearl, car, and court.BOOK, Plag, Ingo, Braun, Maria, Lappe, Sabine, Schramm, Mareile, Introduction to English Linguistics,weblink 4 July 2013, 2009, Walter de Gruyter, 53, 978-3-11-021550-2, {{Harvcoltxt|Collins|Mees|2002|p=178}} Non-rhotic American accents, those that do not pronounce {{angbr|r}} except before a consonant, such as some Eastern New England, New York, a specific few (often older) Southern, and African American vernacular accents, are often quickly noticed by General American listeners and perceived to sound especially ethnic, regional, or "old-fashioned".{{Harvcoltxt|Collins|Mees|2002|pp=181, 306}}Wolchover, Natalie (2012). "Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents?" LiveScience. Purch.Rhoticity is common in most American accents (yet nowadays rare in England), because, during the 17th-century British colonization, nearly all dialects of English were rhotic, and most North American English simply remained that way.JOURNAL, 25484343, Early Mainland Residues in Southern Hiberno-English, Irish University Review, 20, 1, 137–148, Lass, Roger, 1990, This preservation of rhoticity in North America was also supported by continuing waves of rhotic-accented Scots-Irish immigrants, most intensely during the 18th century (and moderately during the following two centuries), when the Scots-Irish eventually made up one-seventh of the colonial population. Scots-Irish settlers spread from Delaware and Pennsylvania throughout the larger Mid-Atlantic region, the inland regions of both the South and North, and throughout the West, all American dialect areas that consistently resisted upper-class non-rhotic influences and that consequently remain rhotic today.Wolfram, Walt; Schilling, Natalie (2015). American English: Dialects and Variation. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 103–104. The pronunciation of {{Angbr|r}} is a postalveolar approximant {{IPAblink|ɹ̠|audio=y}} or retroflex approximant {{IPAblink|ɻ|audio=y}},{{Harvcoltxt|Hallé|Best|Levitt|1999|p=283}} citing {{Harvcoltxt|Delattre|Freeman|1968}}, {{Harvcoltxt|Zawadzki|Kuehn|1980}}, and {{Harvcoltxt|Boyce|Espy-Wilson|1997}} though a unique "bunched tongue" variant of the approximant r sound is also associated with the United States, and perhaps mostly in the Midwest and the South.A Handbook of Varieties of English, Bernd Kortmann & Edgar W. Schneider, Walter de Gruyter, 2004, p. 317.For those American accents that have not undergone the cot–caught merger (the lexical sets {{sc2|LOT}} and {{sc2|THOUGHT}}), they have instead retained a {{sc2|LOT}}–{{sc2|CLOTH}} split: a 17th-century split in which certain words (labeled as the {{sc2|CLOTH}} lexical set) separated away from the {{sc2|LOT}} set. This split, which has now reversed in most British English, simultaneously shifts this relatively recent {{sc2|CLOTH}} set into a merger with the {{sc2|THOUGHT}} (caught) set. Having taken place prior to the unrounding of the cot vowel, this results in lengthening and perhaps raising, merging the more recently separated vowel into the {{sc2|THOUGHT}} vowel in the following environments: before many instances of {{IPA|/f/}}, {{IPA|/θ/}}, and particularly {{IPA|/s/}} (as in Austria, cloth, cost, loss, off, often, etc.), a few instances before {{IPA|/ŋ/}} (as in strong, long, wrong), and variably by region or speaker in gone, on, and certain other words.{{Harvcoltxt|Wells|1982|pp=136–7, 203–4}}The standard accent of southern England, Received Pronunciation (RP), has evolved in other ways too, compared to which General American English has remained relatively more conservative, for example, regarding today's RP features of a trap–bath split and the fronting of {{IPA|/oʊ/}}, neither of which is typical of General American accents. Moreover, American dialects also do not participate in widespread H-dropping, an innovative feature characterizing perhaps a majority of regional dialects of England.

Innovative phonology

On the other hand, General American is more innovative than the dialects of England, or English elsewhere in the world, in a number of its own ways:
  • Unrounded {{Sc2|LOT}}: The American phenomenon of the {{Sc2|LOT}} vowel (often spelled {{angbr|o}} in words like box, don, clock, notch, pot, etc.) being produced without rounded lips, like the {{Sc2|PALM}} vowel, allows father and bother to rhyme, the two vowels now unified as the single phoneme {{IPA|/É‘/}}. This father–bother vowel merger is in a transitional or completed stage nearly universally in North American English. Exceptions are in northeastern New England English, such as the Boston accent, as well as variably in some New York accents.{{harvcoltxt|Wells|1982|pp=136–37, 203–6, 234, 245–47, 339–40, 400, 419, 443, 576}}{{Harvcoltxt|Labov|Ash|Boberg|2006|p=171}}
  • Cot–caught merger in transition: There is no single American way to pronounce the vowels in words like cot {{IPA|/É‘/}} (the ah vowel) versus caught {{IPA|/É”/}} (the aw vowel), largely due to a merger occurring between the two sounds in some parts of North America, but not others. American speakers with a completed merger pronounce the two historically separate vowels with the exact same sound (especially in the West, northern New England, West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, and the Upper Midwest), but other speakers have no trace of a merger at all (especially in the South, the Great Lakes region, southern New England, and the Mid-Atlantic and New York metropolitan areas) and so pronounce each vowel with distinct sounds {{Pronunciation|Cot-caught distinction.ogg|listen|(|help=no}}.{{sfnp|Labov|2006|p=61}} Among speakers who distinguish between the two, the vowel of cot (usually transcribed in American English as {{IPA|/É‘/}}), is often a central {{IPAblink|ä|audio=y}} or advanced back {{IPA|[É‘ÌŸ]}}, while {{IPA|/É”/}} is pronounced with more rounded lips and/or phonetically higher in the mouth, close to {{IPAblink|É’|audio=y}} or {{IPAblink|É”|audio=y}}, but with only slight rounding.{{sfnp|Wells|1982|p=476}} Among speakers who do not distinguish between the two, thus producing a cot–caught merger, {{IPA|/É‘/}} usually remains a back vowel, {{IPA|[É‘]}}, sometimes showing lip rounding as {{IPA|[É’]}}. Therefore, even mainstream Americans vary greatly with this speech feature, with possibilities ranging from a full merger to no merger at all. A transitional stage of the merger is also common in scatterings throughout the U.S., most consistently in the American Midlands lying between the historical dialect regions of the North and South, while younger Americans in general tend to be transitioning toward the merger. According to a 2003 dialect survey carried out across the United States, about 61% of participants perceive themselves as keeping the two vowels distinct and 39% do not.Vaux, Bert; Golder, Scott (2003). "Do you pronounce 'cot' and 'çaught' the same?" The Harvard Dialect Survey. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Linguistics Department. A 2009 followup survey put the percentages at 58% non-merging speakers and 41% merging.Vaux, Bert; Jøhndal, Marius L. (2009). "Do you pronounce "cot" and "caught" the same?" Cambridge Online Survey of World Englishes. Cambridge: Cambridge University.
  • {{Sc2|STRUT}} in special words: The {{Sc2|STRUT}} vowel, rather than the one in {{sc2|LOT}} or {{Sc2|THOUGHT}} (as in Britain), is used in function words and certain other words like was, of, from, what, everybody, nobody, somebody, anybody, and, for many speakers because and rarely even want, when stressed.According to Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.WEB,weblink Want: meaning and definitions,, 29 May 2013, WEB,weblink want. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2008-01-09, 29 May 2013, WEB,weblink Want – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary,, 29 May 2013,
  • Vowel mergers before intervocalic {{IPA|/r/}}: The mergers of certain vowels before {{IPA|/r/}} are typical throughout North America; the only exceptions exist primarily along the east coast. Such mergers include:
    • Mary–marry–merry merger in transition: According to the 2003 dialect survey, nearly 57% of participants from around the country self-identified as merging the sounds {{IPA|/ær/}} (as in the first syllable of parish), {{IPA|/É›r/}} (as in the first syllable of perish), and {{IPA|/ɛər/}} (as in pear or pair).Vaux, Bert and Scott Golder (2003). "How do you pronounce Mary / merry / marry?" The Harvard Dialect Survey. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Linguistics Department. The merger is already complete everywhere except along some areas of the Atlantic Coast.{{sfnp|Kortmann|Schneider|2004|p=295}}
    • Hurry–furry merger: The pre-{{IPA|/r/}} vowels in words like hurry {{IPA|/ÊŒ/}} and furry {{IPA|/Éœ/}} are merged in most American accents to {{IPA|[É™~Éš]}}. Only 10% of English speakers across the U.S. acknowledge the distinct hurry vowel before {{IPA|/r/}}, according to the same dialect survey aforementioned.Vaux, Bert and Scott Golder (2003). "flourish {{Webarchive|url= |date=2015-07-11 }}". The Harvard Dialect Survey. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Linguistics Department.
    • Mirror–nearer merger in transition: The pre-{{IPA|/r/}} vowels in words like mirror {{IPA|/ɪ/}} and nearer {{IPA|/i/}} are merged or at least very close in most American accents. The quality of the historic mirror vowel in the word miracle is quite variable.Vaux, Bert and Scott Golder (2003). "the first vowel in "miracle"". The Harvard Dialect Survey. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Linguistics Department.
    • Americans vary slightly in their pronunciations of R-colored vowels—such as those in {{IPA|/ɛər/}} and {{IPA|/ɪər/}}—sometimes monophthongizing towards {{IPA|[ɛɹ]}} and {{IPA|[ɪɹ]}} or tensing towards {{IPA|[eɪɹ]}} and {{IPA|[i(É™)ɹ]}} respectively, causing pronunciations like {{IPA|[pÊ°eɪɹ]}} for pair/pear and {{IPA|[pÊ°iəɹ]}} for peer/pier.{{harvcoltxt|Wells|1982|pp=481–482}} Also, {{IPA|/jÊŠÉ™r/}} is often reduced to {{IPA|[jÉš]}}, so that cure, pure, and mature may all end with the sound {{IPA|[Éš]}}, thus rhyming with blur and sir. The word sure is also part of this rhyming set as it is commonly pronounced {{IPA|[ʃɚ]}}.
  • Yod-dropping: Dropping of {{IPA|/j/}} after a consonant is much more extensive than in most of England. In most North American accents, {{IPA|/j/}} is "dropped" or "deleted" after all alveolar and interdental consonants (i.e. everywhere except after /p/, /b/, /f/, /h/, /k/, and /m/) so that new, duke, Tuesday, assume are pronounced {{IPA|[nu]}}, {{IPA|[duk]}}, {{IPA|[ˈtÊ°uzdeɪ]}}, {{IPA|[əˈsum]}} (compare with standard British {{IPA|/nju/}}, {{IPA|/djuk/}}, {{IPA|/ˈtjuzdeɪ/}}, {{IPA|/əˈsjum/}}).{{sfnp|Wells|1982|p=247}}
{{Listen| header = T-glottalization and flapping| plain = yes| style = float: right; border: 1px solid lightgray;| filename = en-us-mountain.ogg| title = mountain (glottalized t)[ˈmaʊnʔn̩]}}| filename2 = en-us-partner.ogg| title2 = partner (glottalized t)[ˈpʰɑɹʔnɚ]}}| filename3 = en-us-leader.ogg| title3 = leader (d-flapping)[ˈliɾɚ]}}| filename4 = en-us-cattle.ogg| title4 = cattle (t-flapping)[ˈkʰæɾɫ̩]}}| filename5 = en-us-party.ogg| title5 = party (t-flapping)[ˈpʰɑɹɾi]}}}}{{listen| plain = yes| style = float: right; border: 1px solid lightgray;| header = Optional flapping in certain contexts| filename = En-US relatively.ogg| title = relatively without flapping[̍ɹɛɫətʰɪvɫi]}}| filename2 = En-US relatively (flapped).ogg| title2 = relatively with optional flapping[̍ɹɛɫəɾɪvɫi]}}}}
  • T-glottalization: {{IPA|/t/}} is normally pronounced as unreleased or as a glottal stop {{IPA|[Ê”]}} when occurring both (1) after a vowel or {{IPA|/r/}} and (2) before a consonant or syllabic {{IPA|[nÌ©]}}, as in button {{IPA-all|ˈbʌʔnÌ©||en-us-button.ogg}}. Following a vowel, {{IPA|/t/}} is also glottalized when before a significant pause or when in absolute final position: thus, what {{IPA|[wʌʔ]}} or sit {{IPA|[sɪʔ]}}. (This innovation of /t/ glottal stopping also may occur in British English, as well as variably between vowels.)
  • Flapping: {{IPA|/t/}} or {{IPA|/d/}} becomes a flap {{IPAblink|ɾ|audio=y}} when occurring both (1) after a vowel or {{IPA|/r/}} and (2) before an unstressed vowel or a syllabic consonant other than {{IPA|[nÌ©]}}, including water {{IPA-all|ˈwɔɾɚ||En-us-water.ogg}}, party {{IPA|[ˈpʰɑɹɾi]}} and model {{IPA|[ˈmɑɾɫ̩]}}. This results in pairs such as ladder/latter, metal/medal, and coating/coding being pronounced the same. Flapping of {{IPA|/t/}} or {{IPA|/d/}} before a full stressed vowel is also possible, but only when that vowel begins a new word or morpheme, as in what is it? {{IPA|[wʌɾˈɪzɪʔ]}} and twice in not at all {{IPA|[nɑɾəɾˈɔɫ]}}. Other rules apply to flapping too, to such a complex degree in fact that flapping has been analyzed as being required in certain contexts, prohibited in others, and optional in still others.Vaux, Bert (2000_. "Flapping in English." Linguistic Society of America, Chicago, IL. p .6. For instance, flapping is prohibited in words like seduce {{IPA|[səˈdus]}}, retail {{IPA|[ˈɹitÊ°eɪɫ]}}, and monotone {{IPA|[ˈmÉ‘nÉ™tÊ°oÊŠn]}}, yet optional in impotence {{IPA|[ˈɪmpəɾɪns]}}.
    • Both intervocalic {{IPA|/nt/}} and {{IPA|/n/}} may commonly be realized as {{IPAblink|ɾ̃}} (a nasalized alveolar flap) or simply {{IPA|[n]}}, making winter and winner homophones in fast or non-careful speech.
  • L-velarization: England's typical distinction between a "clear L" (i.e. {{IPAblink|l|audio=y}}) and a "dark L" (i.e. {{IPAblink|É«|audio=y}}) is much less noticeable in nearly all dialects of American English;BOOK, Language Talent and Brain Activity: Trends in Applied Linguistics, Grzegorz Dogil, Susanne Maria Reiterer, Walter de Gruyter, 2009, Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 299,weblink 978-3-11-021549-6, it is often altogether absent,BOOK,weblink"General+American"+"velarized", Language Talent and Brain Activity: Trends in Applied Linguistics, Walter de Gruyter GmbH, 2009, 9783110215496, Grzegorz Dogil, Susanne Maria Reiterer, Walter de Gruyter, 299, with all "L" sounds tending to be "dark," meaning having some degree of velarization,{{Harvcoltxt|Wells|1982|p=490}} perhaps even as dark as {{IPAblink|ÊŸ|audio=y}} (though in initial position, perhaps less dark than elsewhere among some speakers).{{sfnp|Jones|Roach|Hartman|2006|p=xi}} The only notable exceptions to this velarization are in some Spanish-influenced U.S. English varieties (such as East Coast Latino English, which typically shows a clear "L" in syllable onsets) and in older, moribund Southern speech of the U.S., where "L" is clear in an intervocalic environment between front vowels.A Handbook of Varieties of English, Bernd Kortmann & Edgar W. Schneider, Walter de Gruyter, 2004, p. 319.
  • Weak-vowel merger: The vowel {{IPA|/ɪ/}} in unstressed syllables generally merges with {{IPA|/É™/}}, so effect is pronounced like affect and abbot and rabbit rhyme. The quality of the merged vowels varies considerably, though it is typically closer to {{IPA|[ɪ]}} when before a consonant; otherwise it is closer to {{IPA|[É™]}}.{{sfnp|Wells|2008|p=xxi}}
  • Raising of pre-voiceless {{IPA|/aɪ/}}: Many speakers split the sound {{IPA|/aɪ/}} based on whether it occurs before a voiceless consonant or not, so that in rider it is pronounced {{IPA|[äɪ]}} but in writer it is raised to {{IPA|[ʌɪ]}} (because {{IPA|[t]}} is a voiceless consonant while {{IPA|[d]}} is not). Thus, words like bright, hike, price, wipe, etc. with a following voiceless consonant (such as {{IPA|/t, k, θ, s/}}) use a more raised vowel sound compared to bride, high, prize, wide, etc. Because of this sound change, the words rider and writer {{Pronunciation|En-us-rider-writer.ogg|listen|(|help=no}}, for instance, remain distinct from one another by virtue of their difference in height (and length) of the diphthong's starting point (unrelated to both the letters d and t being pronounced in these words as alveolar flaps {{IPA|[ɾ]}}). The sound-change also applies across word boundaries, though the position of a word or phrase's stress may prevent the raising from taking place. For instance, a high school in the sense of "secondary school" is generally pronounced {{IPA|[ˈhɐɪskuÉ«]}}; however, a high school in the literal sense of "a tall school" would be pronounced {{IPA|[ËŒhaɪˈskuÉ«]}}. This sound change began in the Northern, New England, and Mid-Atlantic regions of the country,{{Harvcoltxt|Labov||Ash|Boberg|2006|p=114}}: "where Canadian raising has traditionally been reported: Canada, Eastern New England, Philadelphia, and the North" and is becoming more common across the nation.
    • Many speakers in the Inland North, Upper Midwestern, and Philadelphia dialect areas raise {{IPA|/aɪ/}} before voiced consonants in certain words as well, particularly {{IPA|[d]}}, {{IPA|[g]}} and {{IPA|[n]}}. Hence, words like tiny, spider, cider, tiger, dinosaur, beside, idle (but sometimes not idol), and fire may contain a raised nucleus. The use of {{IPA|[ʌɪ]}} rather than {{IPA|[aɪ]}} in such words is unpredictable from phonetic environment alone, though it may have to do with their acoustic similarity to other words that do contain {{IPA|[ʌɪ]}} before a voiceless consonant, per the traditional Canadian-raising system. Hence, some researchers have argued that there has been a phonemic split in these dialects; the distribution of the two sounds is becoming more unpredictable among younger speakers.WEB,weblink University of Pennsylvania, The Spread of Raising: Opacity, lexicalization, and diffusion, November 11, 2007, September 21, 2016, Freuhwald, Josef T.,
  • Conditioned /æ/ raising (especially before {{IPA|/n/}} and {{IPA|/m/}}): The raising of the {{IPA|/æ/}} or {{sc2|TRAP}} vowel occurs in specific environments that vary widely from region to region, though nationwide most commonly before {{IPA|/n/}} and {{IPA|/m/}}. With most American speakers, for whom the phoneme {{IPA|/æ/}} operates under a somewhat continuous system, {{IPA|/æ/}} has both a tense and a lax allophone (with a kind of "continuum" of possible sounds between those two extremes, rather than a definitive split). In these accents, {{IPA|/æ/}} is overall realized before nasal stops as more tense (approximately {{IPA|[eə̯]}}), while other environments are more lax (approximately the standard {{IPA|[æ]}}); for example, note the vowel sound in {{IPA|[mæs]}} for mass, but {{IPA|[meə̯n]}} for man). In some American accents though, specifically those from Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City, {{IPA|[æ]}} and {{IPA|[eə̯]}} are indeed entirely separate (or "split") phonemes, for example, in planet {{IPA|[pÊ°lænɪ̈ʔ]}} vs. plan it {{IPA|[pÊ°leÉ™nɪ̈ʔ]}}. These are called Mid-Atlantic split-a systems. Note that these vowels move in the opposite direction (high and forward) in the mouth when compared to the backed Standard British "broad a", though the two nation's a systems are probably related phonologically if not phonetically; a British-like phenomenon occurs among some older speakers of the eastern New England (Boston) area for whom {{IPA|/æ/}} changes to {{IPA|/a/}} before {{IPA|/f/, /s/, /θ/, /ð/, /z/, /v/}} alone or when preceded by a homorganic nasal.
{{/æ/ tensing in North American English|hidden=yes}}
  • "Short o" before r before a vowel: In typical North American accents (U.S. and Canada alike), the historical sequence {{IPA|/É’r/}} (a short o sound followed by r and then another vowel, as in orange, forest, moral, and warrant) is realized as {{IPA|[oɹ~ɔɹ]}}, thus further merging with the already-merged {{IPA|/É”r/–/oÊŠr/}} (horse–hoarse) set. In the U.S., four words (tomorrow, sorry, sorrow, borrow and, for some speakers, morrow) usually contain the sound {{IPA|[ɑɹ]}} instead, and merge with the {{IPA|/É‘r/}} set (thus, sorry and sari become homophones, both rhyming with starry).{{sfnp|Wells|1982|p=476}}
{{English -or- table|header=General American {{IPA|/ɑr/}} and {{IPA|/ɔr/}} followed by a vowel, compared with other dialects|hidden=yes}}Some mergers found in most varieties of both American and British English include:
  • Horse–hoarse merger: This merger makes the vowels {{IPA|/É”/}} and {{IPA|/o/}} before {{IPA|/r/}} homophones, with homophonous pairs like horse/hoarse, corps/core, for/four, morning/mourning, war/wore, etc. homophones. Many older varieties of American English still keep these sets of words distinct, particularly in the extreme Northeast, the South (especially along the Gulf Coast), and the central Midlands,{{Harvcoltxt|Labov|Ash|Boberg|2006|p=52}} but the merger is evidently spreading and younger Americans rarely show it.
  • Wine–whine merger: This produces pairs like wine/whine, wet/whet, Wales/whales, wear/where, etc. homophones, in most cases eliminating {{IPA|/ʍ/}}, also transcribed {{IPA|/hw/}}, the voiceless labiovelar fricative. However, scatterings of older speakers who do not merge these pairs still exist nationwide and perhaps most strongly in the South.


The process of coining new lexical items started as soon as English-speaking British-American colonists began borrowing names for unfamiliar flora, fauna, and topography from the Native American languages.BOOK,weblink Principles of English etymology: The native element – Walter William Skeat, 2015-06-01, Skeat, Walter William, 1892, Examples of such names are opossum, raccoon, squash, moose (from Algonquian), wigwam, and moccasin. The languages of the other colonizing nations also added to the American vocabulary; for instance, cookie, from Dutch; kindergarten from German,WEB,weblink You Already Know Some German Words!, 9 January 2017, levee from French; and rodeo from Spanish.JOURNAL,weblink "The history of Mexican folk foodways of South Texas: Street vendors, o" by Mario Montano, 1–421,, 1992-01-01, 2015-06-01, Montano, Mario, BOOK,weblink What's in a Word?: Etymological Gossip about Some Interesting English Words – Robert M. Gorrell, 2015-06-01, 9780874173673, Gorrell, Robert M., 2001, BOOK,weblink The Pocket Gophers of the United States, Bailey, Vernon, 1895, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Division of Ornithology and Mammalogy, en, June 1, 2015, BOOK,weblink The American Language: A Preliminary Inquiry Into the Development of English ... – H. L. Mencken, 2010-01-01, 2015-06-01, 9781616402594, Mencken, H. L., Landscape features are often loanwords from French or Spanish, and the word (wikt:corn|corn), used in England to refer to wheat (or any cereal), came to denote the maize plant, the most important crop in the U.S.Most Mexican Spanish contributions came after the War of 1812, with the opening of the West, like ranch (now a common house style). Due to the Mexican culinary influence, many Spanish words are incorporated in general use when talking about certain popular dishes: cilantro (instead of coriander), queso, tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, tostadas, fajitas, burritos, and guacamole. These words don't really have an English equivalent and are found in popular restaurants. New forms of dwelling created new terms (lot, waterfront) and types of homes like log cabin, adobe in the 18th century; apartment, (Wikt:shanty|shanty) in the 19th century; project, condominium, townhouse, mobile home in the 20th century; and parts thereof (driveway, breezeway, backyard).{{Citation needed|date=April 2010}} Industry and material innovations from the 19th century onwards provide distinctive new words, phrases, and idioms through railroading (see further at rail terminology) and transportation terminology, ranging from types of roads (dirt roads, freeways) to infrastructure (parking lot, overpass, rest area), to automotive terminology often now standard in English internationally.A few of these are now chiefly found, or have been more productive, outside the U.S.; for example, jump, "to drive past a traffic signal"; block meaning "building", and center, "central point in a town" or "main area for a particular activity" (cf. Oxford English Dictionary). Already existing English words—such as store, shop, lumber—underwent shifts in meaning; others remained in the U.S. while changing in Britain. Science, urbanization, and democracy have been important factors in bringing about changes in the written and spoken language of the United States.WEB,weblink From the world of business and finance came new terms (merger, downsize, bottom line), from sports and gambling terminology came, specific jargon aside, common everyday American idioms, including many idioms related to baseball. The names of some American inventions remained largely confined to North America (elevator, gasoline) as did certain automotive terms (truck, trunk).{{Citation needed|date=April 2019}}New foreign loanwords came with 19th and early 20th century European immigration to the U.S.; notably, from Yiddish (chutzpah, schmooze) and German (hamburger, wiener).WEB,weblink The Maven's Word of the Day: gesundheit, Random House, 29 May 2013, {{harvcoltxt|Trudgill|2004}} A large number of English colloquialisms from various periods are American in origin; some have lost their American flavor (from OK and cool to nerd and 24/7), while others have not (have a nice day, for sure);WEB,weblink Definition of day noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary,, 29 May 2013, WEB,weblink Definition of sure adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary,, 29 May 2013, many are now distinctly old-fashioned (swell, groovy). Some English words now in general use, such as hijacking, disc jockey, boost, bulldoze and jazz, originated as American slang.American English has always shown a marked tendency to use words in different parts of speech and nouns are often used as verbs.{{harvcoltxt|Trudgill|2004|p=69}} Examples of nouns that are now also verbs are interview, advocate, vacuum, lobby, pressure, rear-end, transition, feature, profile, hashtag, head, divorce, loan, estimate, X-ray, spearhead, skyrocket, showcase, bad-mouth, vacation, major, and many others. Compounds coined in the U.S. are for instance foothill, landslide (in all senses), (Wikt:backdrop|backdrop), teenager, brainstorm, (Wikt:bandwagon|bandwagon), hitchhike, smalltime, and a huge number of others. Other compound words have been founded based on industrialization and the wave of the automobile: five-passenger car, four-door sedan, two-door sedan, and station-wagon (called an estate car in England).WEB,weblink The Word » American vs. British Smackdown: Station wagon vs. estate car, 2019-04-18, Some are euphemistic (human resources, affirmative action, correctional facility). Many compound nouns have the verb-and-preposition combination: stopover, lineup, tryout, spin-off, shootout, holdup, hideout, comeback, makeover, and many more. Some prepositional and phrasal verbs are in fact of American origin (win out, hold up, back up/off/down/out, face up to and many others).British author George Orwell (in English People, 1947, cited in OED s.v. lose) criticized an alleged "American tendency" to "burden every verb with a preposition that adds nothing to its meaning (win out, lose out, face up to, etc.)".Noun endings such as -ee (retiree), -ery (bakery), -ster (gangster) and -cian (beautician) are also particularly productive in the U.S. Several verbs ending in -ize are of U.S. origin; for example, fetishize, prioritize, burglarize, accessorize, weatherize, etc.; and so are some back-formations (locate, fine-tune, curate, donate, emote, upholster and enthuse). Among syntactical constructions that arose are outside of, headed for, meet up with, back of, etc. Americanisms formed by alteration of some existing words include notably pesky, phony, rambunctious, buddy, sundae, skeeter, sashay and kitty-corner. Adjectives that arose in the U.S. are, for example, lengthy, bossy, cute and cutesy, punk (in all senses), sticky (of the weather), through (as in "finished"), and many colloquial forms such as peppy or wacky.A number of words and meanings that originated in Middle English or Early Modern English and that have been in everyday use in the United States have since disappeared in most varieties of British English; some of these have cognates in Lowland Scots. Terms such as fall ("autumn"), faucet ("tap"), diaper ("nappy"; itself unused in the U.S.), candy ("sweets"), skillet, eyeglasses, and obligate are often regarded as Americanisms. Fall for example came to denote the season in 16th century England, a contraction of Middle English expressions like "fall of the leaf" and "fall of the year."{{OEtymD|fall}} Gotten (past participle of get) is often considered to be largely an Americanism.A Handbook of Varieties of English, Bernd Kortmann & Edgar W. Schneider, Walter de Gruyter, 2004, p. 115. Other words and meanings were brought back to Britain from the U.S., especially in the second half of the 20th century; these include hire ("to employ"), I guess (famously criticized by H. W. Fowler), baggage, hit (a place), and the adverbs overly and presently ("currently"). Some of these, for example, monkey wrench and wastebasket, originated in 19th century Britain. The adjectives mad meaning "angry," smart meaning "intelligent," and sick meaning "ill" are also more frequent in American (and Irish) English than British English.WEB,weblink angry, Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, dead, 29 May 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 9 March 2013, WEB,weblink intelligent, Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, dead, 29 May 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 9 March 2013, WEB,weblink Definition of ill adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary,, 29 May 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 2013-05-27, dead, Linguist Bert Vaux created a survey, completed in 2003, polling English speakers across the United States about their specific everyday word choices, hoping to identify regionalisms.Vaux, Bert and Scott Golder. 2003. The Harvard Dialect Survey {{Webarchive|url= |date=2016-04-30 }}. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Linguistics Department. The study found that most Americans prefer the term sub for a long sandwich, soda (but pop in the Great Lakes region and generic coke in the South) for a sweet and bubbly soft drink,Katz, Joshua (2013). "Beyond 'Soda, Pop, or Coke.' North Carolina State University. you or you guys for the plural of you (but y'all in the South), sneakers for athletic shoes (but often tennis shoes outside the Northeast), and shopping cart for a cart used for carrying supermarket goods.

Differences between American and British English

{{American and British English differences}}American English and British English (BrE) often differ at the levels of phonology, phonetics, vocabulary, and, to a much lesser extent, grammar and orthography. The first large American dictionary, An American Dictionary of the English Language, known as Webster's Dictionary, was written by Noah Webster in 1828, codifying several of these spellings.Differences in grammar are relatively minor, and do not normally affect mutual intelligibility; these include: different use of some auxiliary verbs; formal (rather than notional) agreement with collective nouns; different preferences for the past forms of a few verbs (for example, AmE/BrE: learned/learnt, burned/burnt, snuck/sneaked, dove/dived) although the purportedly "British" forms can occasionally be seen in American English writing as well; different prepositions and adverbs in certain contexts (for example, AmE in school, BrE at school); and whether or not a definite article is used, in very few cases (AmE to the hospital, BrE to hospital; contrast, however, AmE actress Elizabeth Taylor, BrE the actress Elizabeth Taylor). Often, these differences are a matter of relative preferences rather than absolute rules; and most are not stable, since the two varieties are constantly influencing each other,Algeo, John (2006). British or American English?. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. {{ISBN|0-521-37993-8}}. and American English is not a standardized set of dialects.Differences in orthography are also minor. The main differences are that American English usually uses spellings such as flavor for British flavour, fiber for fibre, defense for defence, analyze for analyse, license for licence, catalog for catalogue and traveling for travelling. Noah Webster popularized such spellings in America, but he did not invent most of them. Rather, "he chose already existing options [...] on such grounds as simplicity, analogy or etymology."Algeo, John. "The Effects of the Revolution on Language," in A Companion to the American Revolution. John Wiley & Sons, 2008. p.599 Other differences are due to the francophile tastes of the 19th century Victorian era Britain (for example they preferred programme for program, manoeuvre for maneuver, cheque for check, etc.).Peters, Pam (2004). The Cambridge Guide to English Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. {{ISBN|0-521-62181-X}}, pp. 34 and 511. AmE almost always uses -ize in words like realize. BrE prefers -ise, but also uses -ize on occasion (see Oxford spelling).There are a few differences in punctuation rules. British English is more tolerant of run-on sentences, called "comma splices" in American English, and American English requires that periods and commas be placed inside closing quotation marks even in cases in which British rules would place them outside. American English also favors the double quotation mark ("like this") over single ('as here').WEB
, Punctuating Around Quotation Marks
, Style Guide of the American Psychological Association
, 2011
, blog
, 2015-03-21,
Vocabulary differences vary by regions. For example, autumn is used more commonly in England, whereas fall is more common in American English. Some other differences include: aerial (England) vs. antenna, biscuit (England) vs. cookie/cracker, car park (England) vs. parking lot, caravan (England) vs. trailer, city centre (England) vs. downtown, flat (England) vs. apartment, fringe (England) vs. bangs, and holiday (England) vs. vacation.WEB,weblink British vs. American English – Vocabulary Differences,, 2019-04-18, AmE sometimes favors words that are morphologically more complex, whereas BrE uses clipped forms, such as AmE transportation and BrE transport or where the British form is a back-formation, such as AmE burglarize and BrE burgle (from burglar). However, while individuals usually use one or the other, both forms will be widely understood and mostly used alongside each other within the two systems.British English also differs from American English in that "schedule" can be pronounced with either {{IPA|[sk]}} or {{IPA|[ʃ]}}.BOOK, English Pronouncing Dictionary, Jones, Daniel, Cambridge University Press, 1991, 9780521425865,


{{Side box|above={{Map of American English}}|text=The map above shows the major regional dialects of American English (in all caps) plus smaller and more local dialects, as demarcated primarily by Labov et al.'s The Atlas of North American English,{{Harvcoltxt|Labov|Ash|Boberg|2006|p=148}} as well as the related Telsur Project's regional maps. Any region may also contain speakers of a "General American" accent that resists the marked features of their region. Furthermore, this map does not account for speakers of ethnic or cultural varieties (such as African-American English, Chicano English, Cajun English, etc.).}}While written American English is largely standardized across the country and spoken American English dialects are highly mutually intelligible, there are still several recognizable regional and ethnic accents and lexical distinctions.

Regional accents

The regional sounds of present-day American English are reportedly engaged in a complex phenomenon of "both convergence and divergence": some accents are homogenizing and levelling, while others are diversifying and deviating further away from one another.{{harvcoltxt|Labov|2012}}Having been settled longer than the American West Coast, the East Coast has had more time to develop unique accents, and it currently comprises three or four linguistically significant regions, each of which possesses English varieties both different from each other as well as quite internally diverse: New England, the Mid-Atlantic States (including a New York accent as well as a unique Philadelphia–Baltimore accent), and the South. As of the twentieth century, the middle and eastern Great Lakes area, Chicago being the largest city with these speakers, also ushered in certain unique features, including the fronting of the {{sc2|LOT}} {{IPA|/ɑ/}} vowel in the mouth toward {{IPA|[a]}} and tensing of the {{sc2|TRAP}} {{IPA|/æ/}} vowel wholesale to {{IPA|[eə]}}. These sound changes have triggered a series of other vowel shifts in the same region, known by linguists as the "Inland North".{{Harvcoltxt|Labov|Ash|Boberg|2006|p=190}} The Inland North shares with the Eastern New England dialect (including Boston accents) a backer tongue positioning of the {{Sc2|GOOSE}} {{IPA|/u/}} vowel (to {{IPA|[u]}}) and the {{Sc2|MOUTH}} {{IPA|/aʊ/}} vowel (to {{IPA|[ɑʊ~äʊ]}}) in comparison to the rest of the country.{{Harvcoltxt|Labov|Ash|Boberg|2006|pp=230}} Ranging from northern New England across the Great Lakes to Minnesota, another Northern regional marker is the variable fronting of {{IPA|/ɑ/}} before {{IPA|/r/}},{{Harvcoltxt|Labov|Ash|Boberg|2006|p=111}} for example appearing four times in the stereotypical Boston shibboleth Park the car in Harvard Yard.BOOK, Vorhees, Mara, Boston. Con Pianta. Ediz. Inglese,weblink 2009, Lonely Planet, 978-1-74179-178-5, 52, File:Non-RhoticityUSA.png|thumb|upright=1.15|The red dots show every U.S. metropolitan area where over 50% non-rhotic speech has been documented among some of that area's local white speakers in the twenty-first century. Non-rhotic speech may be heard from black speakers throughout the whole country.Labov, p. 48.]]Several other phenomena serve to distinguish regional U.S. accents. Boston, Pittsburgh, Upper Midwestern, and Western U.S. accents have fully completed a merger of the {{Sc2|LOT}} vowel with the {{Sc2|THOUGHT}} vowel ({{IPA|/ɑ/}} and {{IPA|/ɔ/}}, respectively):{{Harvcoltxt|Labov|Ash|Boberg|2006|p=60}} a cot–caught merger, which is rapidly spreading throughout the whole country. However, the South, Inland North, and a Northeastern coastal corridor passing through Rhode Island, New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore typically preserve an older cot–caught distinction. For that Northeastern corridor, the realization of the {{sc2|THOUGHT}} vowel is particularly marked, as depicted in humorous spellings, like in tawk and cawfee (talk and coffee), which intend to represent it being tense and diphthongal: {{IPA|[oə]}}."This phonemic and phonetic arrangement of the low back vowels makes Rhode Island more similar to New York City than to the rest of New England".{{Harvcoltxt|Labov|Ash|Ash|2006|p=226}} A split of {{sc2|TRAP}} into two separate phonemes, using different a pronunciations for example in gap {{IPA|[æ]}} versus gas {{IPA|[eə]}}, further defines New York City as well as Philadelphia–Baltimore accents.{{Harvcoltxt|Labov|Ash|Boberg|2006|p=173}}Most Americans preserve all historical {{IPA|/ɹ/}} sounds, using what is known as a rhotic accent. The only traditionally r-dropping (or non-rhotic) regional U.S. accents are spoken in eastern New England, New York City variably, and some of the former plantation South primarily among older speakers (and consequently African-American Vernacular English variably across the country), though the vowel-consonant cluster found in "bird," "work," "hurt," "learn," etc. usually retains its r pronunciation, even in these non-rhotic American accents. Non-rhoticity among such speakers is presumed to have arisen from their upper classes' close historical contact with England, imitating London's r-dropping, a feature that has continued to gain prestige throughout England from the late 18th century onwards,{{harvcoltxt|Trudgill|2004|pp=46–47}} but which has conversely lost prestige in the U.S. since at least the early 20th century.{{Harvcoltxt|Labov|Ash|Boberg|2006|pp=5, 47}} Non-rhoticity makes a word like car sound like cah or source like sauce.{{Harvcoltxt|Labov|Ash|Boberg|2006|pp=137, 141}}The most prominent and stigmatized regional accents of the country are New York City and Southern accents.Hayes, 2013, p. 51. Southern speech, strongest in southern Appalachia and certain areas of Texas, is commonly identified among Americans as a "country" accent, and is defined by the {{IPA|/aɪ/}} vowel losing its gliding quality: {{IPA|[aː]}}, the initiation event for a complicated Southern vowel shift, including a "Southern drawl" that makes short front vowels into distinct-sounding gliding vowels.{{Harvcoltxt|Labov|Ash|Boberg|2006|p=125}} The fronting of the vowels of {{sc2|GOOSE}}, {{sc2|GOAT}}, {{sc2|MOUTH}}, and {{sc2|STRUT}} tends to also define Southern accents as well as the accents spoken in the "Midland": a vast band of the country that constitutes an intermediate dialect region between the traditional North and South. Western U.S. accents mostly fall under the General American spectrum.Below, ten major American English accents are defined by their particular combinations of certain vowel sounds:{| class="wikitable sortable"! Accent name !! |Most populous urban center !! Strong {{IPA|/aʊ/}} fronting !! Strong {{IPA|/oʊ/}} fronting !! Strong {{IPA|/u/}} fronting !! Strong {{IPA|/ɑr/}} fronting !! Cot–caught merger !! Pin–pen merger !! /æ/ raising systemGeneral American >Mixed}} {{No}} pre-nasalInland Northern >| generalMid-Atlantic American English>Mid-Atlantic States Philadelphia {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} splitMidland American English>Midland Indianapolis {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{No}} {{PartialMixed}} pre-nasalNew York accent>New York City New York City {{Yes}} {{No}} {{No}}{{HarvcoltxtAsh2006| splitNorth-Central American English>North-Central (Upper Midwestern) Minneapolis {{No}} {{No}} {{No}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{No}} pre-nasal & pre-velarNew England English>{{nowrap''' >| pre-nasalSouthern American English>Southern San Antonio {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{No}} {{Partial| SouthernWestern American English>Western Los Angeles {{No}} {{No}} {{Yes}} {{No}} {{Yes}} {{No}} pre-nasalWestern Pennsylvania English>Western Pennsylvania Pittsburgh {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{Yes}} {{No}} {{Yes}} {{Partial| pre-nasal

General American

In 2010, William Labov noted that Great Lakes, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and West Coast accents have undergone "vigorous new sound changes" since the mid-nineteenth century onwards, so they "are now more different from each other than they were 50 or 100 years ago", while other accents, like of New York City and Boston, have remained stable in that same time-frame. However, a General American sound system also has some debated degree of influence nationwide, for example, gradually beginning to oust the regional accent in urban areas of the South and at least some in the Inland North. Rather than one particular accent, General American is best defined as an umbrella covering any American accent that does not incorporate features associated with some particular region, ethnicity, or socioeconomic group. Typical General American features include rhoticity, the father–bother merger, Mary–marry–merry merger, pre-nasal "short a" tensing, and other particular vowel sounds.Dialects are considered "rhotic" if they pronounce the r sound in all historical environments, without ever "dropping" this sound. The father–bother merger is the pronunciation of the unrounded {{IPA|/ɒ/}} vowel variant (as in cot, lot, bother, etc.) the same as the {{IPA|/ɑ/}} vowel (as in spa, haha, Ma), causing words like con and Kahn and like sob and Saab to sound identical, with the vowel usually realized in the back or middle of the mouth as {{IPA|[ɑ~ä]}}. Finally, most of the U.S. participates in a continuous nasal system of the "short a" vowel (in cat, trap, bath, etc.), causing {{IPA|/æ/}} to be pronounced with the tongue raised and with a glide quality (typically sounding like {{IPA|[ɛə]}}) particularly when before a nasal consonant; thus, mad is {{IPA|[mæd]}}, but man is more like {{IPA|[mɛən]}}. General American features are embraced most by Americans who are highly educated or in the most formal contexts, and regional accents with the most General American native features include North Midland, Western New England, and Western accents.

Other varieties

Although no longer region-specific,Cf. {{harvnb|Trudgill|2004|p=42}}. African-American Vernacular English, which remains the native variety of most working- and middle-class African Americans, has a close relationship to Southern dialects and has greatly influenced everyday speech of many Americans, including hip hop culture. Hispanic and Latino Americans have also developed native-speaker varieties of English. The best-studied Latino Englishes are Chicano English, spoken in the West and Midwest, and New York Latino English, spoken in the New York metropolitan area. Additionally, ethnic varieties such as Yeshiva English and "Yinglish" are spoken by some American Orthodox Jews, Cajun Vernacular English by some Cajuns in southern Louisiana, and Pennsylvania Dutch English by some Pennsylvania Dutch in Pennsylvania and the Midwest. American Indian Englishes have been documented among diverse Indian tribes. The island state of Hawaii, though primarily English-speaking, is also home to a creole language known commonly as Hawaiian Pidgin, and some Hawaii residents speak English with a Pidgin-influenced accent.

See also






  • JOURNAL, 10.1121/1.418333, Boyce, S., Espy-Wilson, C., 1997, Coarticulatory stability in American English /r/, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 101, 6, 3741–3753, 9193061, 1997ASAJ..101.3741B, harv,weblink
  • BOOK, The Phonetics of Dutch and English, 5, Leiden/Boston, Brill Publishers, 2002, Beverley, Collins, Inger M., Mees,weblink harv, July 20, 2019,weblink" title="">weblink December 28, 2016, dead,
  • JOURNAL, Delattre, P., Freeman, D.C., 1968, A dialect study of American R's by x-ray motion picture, Linguistics, 44, 29–68, harv
  • JOURNAL, 10.1006/jpho.1999.0097, Hallé, Pierre A., Best, Catherine T., Levitt, 1999, Phonetic vs. phonological influences on French listeners' perception of American English approximants, Journal of Phonetics, 27, 281–306, Andrea, 3, harv
  • BOOK, Labov, William, 2012, Dialect diversity in America: The politics of language change', University of Virginia, harv,
  • BOOK, Labov, William, William Labov, Ash, Sharon, Boberg, Charles, Charles Boberg, harv, 2006, The Atlas of North American English, Berlin, Mouton de Gruyter, 978-3-11-016746-7,
  • JOURNAL, Longmore, Paul K., 2007, 4139476, 'Good English without Idiom or Tone': The Colonial Origins of American Speech, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 37, 4, 513–542, MIT, harv, 10.1162/jinh.2007.37.4.513,
  • BOOK, Peter Trudgill, Trudgill, Peter, 2004, New-Dialect Formation: The Inevitability of Colonial Englishes, harv,
  • BOOK, John C. Wells, Wells, John C., Accents of English, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1982, 978-0-521-22919-7, 0-521-22919-7 (vol. 1), {{ISBN, 0-521-24224-X, (vol. 2), {{ISBN|0-521-24225-8}} (vol. 3) |ref=harv}}
  • JOURNAL, 10.1159/000259995, Zawadzki, P.A., Kuehn, D.P., 1980, A cineradiographic study of static and dynamic aspects of American English /r/, Phonetica, 37, 4, 253–266, 7443796, harv

Further reading

  • Bailey, Richard W. (2012). Speaking American: A History of English in the United States 20th–21st century usage in different cities
  • BOOK, Bartlett, John R., John Russell Bartlett, 1848, Dictionary of Americanisms: A Glossary of Words and Phrases Usually Regarded As Peculiar to the United States, New York, Bartlett and Welford,
  • Garner, Bryan A. (2003). Garner's Modern American Usage. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • BOOK, Mencken, H. L., H. L. Mencken, 1921, 1977, The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States, 4th, New York, Knopf, The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States,

History of American English
  • Bailey, Richard W. (2004). "American English: Its origins and history". In E. Finegan & J. R. Rickford (Eds.), Language in the USA: Themes for the twenty-first century (pp. 3–17). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Finegan, Edward. (2006). "English in North America". In R. Hogg & D. Denison (Eds.), A history of the English language (pp. 384–419). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

External links

{{Wiktionary|American English}}{{NIE Poster|Americanisms|year=1905}}{{Wikiversity|American English}} {{Navboxes|title = Articles Related to American English|list ={{United States topics}}{{English dialects by continent}}{{English official language clickable map}}}}{{Authority control}}

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