In 2017, it is estimated that there are more than 7,000 living languages in the world and along with that number, above ten thousand of dialects are already being spoken (Simons & Fennig, 2017). Language of a community is usually united yet including in itself the diversity feature. Its diversity can be witnessed through the variation of vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation from place to place within a language-area. This essay will attemp to answer the question of how dialectalization happens.
What is dialect? According to the Oxford Dictionary, dialect is explained as “A particular form of a language which is peculiar to a specific region or social group.” (n.d). Strictly speaking, the term “dialect” refers to differences between kinds of…show more content… Linguistically, dialectalization is a part of the very natural process - language change. Geographical separation and social distance are the two most basic factors promoting differences in speechways. (Petyt, 1980; Finegan, 1999). To clarify the impact of time, Petyt stated that “language is transmitted from one generation to the next, and in the course of time various innovations creep in” (1980). The possibility is that young inheritors might inexactly comprehend the original language system and make the language adapted by eliminating old-fashioned patterns. At the same time, language changes such as new words, ease of articulation are invented here and there. Though some of those might be quickly rejected by the majority of society for several reasons, some winning popularity over a locality would be adopted and through the time, become parts the local language, which later turn into regional…show more content… On the one hand, parochialism, which emphasizing the communality, keeps members of a group faithful to its own tradition, narrowly restricts them in outlook. Parochialism happens the same way with language. Our speech habits are largely acquired in childhood, when our circle of acquaintance is limited; we naturally adopted language features such as vocabulary and pronunciation of the local area in which we lived. Dialect then can serve as a distinct feature, an identifying mark. It is parochialism which encourages dialectalization process. On the other hand, “pressure of communication” forces people to interact and adapt. For example, members of a community seek contacts with outsiders (and vice versa) for work, commerce, education or even relationships. In this case, a dialect with distinct features belonging to merely a locality is not effective enough to gain mutual understanding. Hence, pressure of communication reduces the impacts of parochialism, prevents original language from separating into languages with their own dialects, and enables neighbouring groups within a language-area to understand each