Docstoc

Spanish_Dialects

Document Sample
Spanish_Dialects Powered By Docstoc
					Spanish Dialects

Word Count:
496

Summary:
A dialect is defined in linguistic terms as a language variety which is
spoken in a specific territory. In the Spanish peninsula, for example,
there are different dialects of Spanish. One should not, however, mix up
the different dialects in Spain with the different languages spoken in
the Peninsula: Spanish, Catalan, Basque and Galician.

The existence of dialects is a natural consequence of the dynamism of
languages. For example, throughout its evolution, Spanish has adop...


Keywords:



Article Body:
A dialect is defined in linguistic terms as a language variety which is
spoken in a specific territory. In the Spanish peninsula, for example,
there are different dialects of Spanish. One should not, however, mix up
the different dialects in Spain with the different languages spoken in
the Peninsula: Spanish, Catalan, Basque and Galician.

The existence of dialects is a natural consequence of the dynamism of
languages. For example, throughout its evolution, Spanish has adopted
unique characteristics in the different places where it is spoken. Some
of the dialects of Spanish in Spain are canario (from the Canary
Islands), andaluz (from Andalusia), and madrileño (from Madrid). The
different Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America also present
national and regional variations. Thus, we can speak of an Argentinean, a
porteño (from Buenos Aires city), a Chilean, or a Colombian dialect,
among others.

The differences between dialects are usually limited to intonation,
pronunciation and isolated words and expressions. An example of word
variation within the Spanish peninsula is “candle”. Candle is referred to
as “vela” in the northern and center parts of Spain, but as “candela” in
the South. As for pronunciation, the word “Madrid” is pronounced in the
capital of Spain as “Madrith”, whereas in the bilingual areas of the East
coast, and because of the contact between Spanish and Catalan, it becomes
“Madrit”. In the South, however, people tend to eliminate the final
consonant and say “Madrí”.

One of the main differences between the dialects of Spain and those of
Latin America is the use of pronouns. Thus, in Spain, the informal
pronoun that has remained for the second person singular (in English
“you”) is “tú”. However, some Latin American countries, (Argentina,
Uruguay or Paraguay, for example) have retained the pre-modern “vos”.
This leads to unique verb forms such as “¿entendés?” for “do you
understand?” instead of the peninsular “¿entiendes?” or mixtures such as
“¿Vos te marchás ya?” Instead of “¿Tú te marchas ya?” (In English, “are
you leaving now?”).

The plural “you” also varies, and thus in Spain people differentiate
between an informal “vosotros” and a formal “ustedes”, whereas this
difference does not exist in Latin America at all. As for pronunciation
differences, the only country where we can find speakers who pronounce
the letter “c” before “e” and “i” as the English “th” is Spain. In the
rest of the countries, (and also in the South of Spain) this “c” is
pronounced as an “s”. Try to pronounce the word “cenicero” (ashtray) in
both ways and you´ll hear the difference!

Even though dialects are socially valued differently (Andalusian, for
example, is perceived as less educated than Castilian), linguistically
speaking all dialects are equally valid. What we need to remember is that
everyone speaks a dialect, and therefore dialects are NOT incorrect or
less valid versions of a language. If you study Spanish in Buenos Aires
and interact -as you should- with locals, you will learn the
particularities of that area.