from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A regional or social variety of a language distinguished by pronunciation, grammar, or vocabulary, especially a variety of speech differing from the standard literary language or speech pattern of the culture in which it exists: Cockney is a dialect of English.
- n. A variety of language that with other varieties constitutes a single language of which no single variety is standard: the dialects of Ancient Greek.
- n. The language peculiar to the members of a group, especially in an occupation; jargon: the dialect of science.
- n. The manner or style of expressing oneself in language or the arts.
- n. A language considered as part of a larger family of languages or a linguistic branch. Not in scientific use: Spanish and French are Romance dialects.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A variety of a language (specifically, often a spoken variety) that is characteristic of a particular area, community or group, often with relatively minor differences in vocabulary, style, spelling and pronunciation.
- n. A dialect of a language perceived as substandard and wrong.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Means or mode of expressing thoughts; language; tongue; form of speech.
- n. The form of speech of a limited region or people, as distinguished from ether forms nearly related to it; a variety or subdivision of a language; speech characterized by local peculiarities or specific circumstances
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Language; speech; mode of speech; manner of speaking.
- n. One of a number of related modes of speech, regarded as descended from a common original; a language viewed in its relation to other languages of the same kindred; the idiom of a district or class, differing from that of other districts or classes.
- n. The idiom of a locality or class, as distinguished from the generally accepted literary language, or speech of educated people.
- n. 4 Dialectic; logic.
- To make dialectal.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the usage or vocabulary that is characteristic of a specific group of people
The second part of my reason for not writing these poems in dialect is the weightier.
OF what shall be said herein of dialect, let it be understood the term dialect referred to is of that general breadth of meaning given it to-day, namely, any speech or vernacular outside of the prescribed form of good English in its present state.
Assyrian tongue differed only in dialect from the Hebrew, but in the
Note that the a dialect is a distinctive usage of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.
Whether you call it a different language or a dialect is academic, all that is at issue here is whether a story told from a British point of view should be read/can be understood by Americans if presented as originally written.
First, although the dialect is the exact instrument for voicing certain traditional phases of Negro life, it is, and perhaps by that very exactness, a quite limited instrument.
A dialect is a variant within a language, and there's no hard and fast rule on when a dialect becomes a separate language (is Espanglish a dialect of English, of Spanish, or a separate language, por exemplo), but the point here is that a Tzotzil speaker is not using a "dialect" of Spanish, but a different language, from a different language family.
But most people reserve the word dialect for varieties of language that are seen as expressive and colorful, but illogical and illiterate.
"It had better be one from the Jungle Book, or Just So Stories, not something written in Cockney dialect!"
Mandarin, the main Chinese dialect, is spoken by 726 million people in north-central China and Taiwan.