Not only are there 160 distinct dialects of the English language, but there's also different and even words, used to describe one or other thing. It's of course outdated and I found myself disagreeing with some of what Mencken says, but overall very interesting. I was also amused to note how alarmist commentators in the nineteenth century were when it came to the divergence of American English from British English. A Guide to the World's Languages Volume 1: Classification, p. Jap-a-lac is a fine example.
Uto-Aztecan has the most speakers 1. The book was an early title published by Alfred A. Examples are in and in , where in practice, Spanish is dominant in all formal contexts. Despite the 1930's publication, it's fascinating to read the opinions of the transformation of the English language on American soil. But once cannot forget about the many Native American languages spoken by the original inhabitants of this area. It includes a study of regional dialects and other things as well.
In 1996, Guatemala formally recognized 21 Mayan languages by name, and Mexico recognizes eight more. We use American English to write. What makes it fascinating is that his analysis was done about 75 years ago, so the language has changed a great deal since then -- often in the directions he predicts, but frequently not. Other language groups, however, were smaller and the areas containing them correspondingly more in language. There have been large numbers of German immigrants coming into America for centuries since the colonization of the New World.
Mencken doesn't only focus how new words come into the language. The American Language Summary As a journalist, Henry Louis H. North American Indian language contact. Ultimately, however, the book could not hold my interest beyond about a third of it. Several indigenous languages have been given official status in the countries where they occur, such as in. The main body of the book can be split i I've wanted to read this for awhile, and eventually decided to pick it up during my recent sprint, to cleanse the palate between Harry Dresden's various lengthy and often amusing beat-downs. Mencken is gleefully Anglophobic, which is great; he argues for the richness and vitality of American English--it's protean, loose-footed, barbaric brilliance.
Mencken's classic is so old the shock hits when you realize that the 60s he is referring to are the 1860s! Regardless, this book would be very interesting to the philologically minded. For example, the 100-pages of appendix covering the influence of English on various foreign languages as spoken in the United States is strictly for academic specialists in those languages. This shows how essential it is to consult philological accounts from different periods when studying the history of a language. This is simply an essential book for anyone who wants to know how and why the American version of English developed the way it did. Because of its age and weightiness, this book is better read as a historical document, not a live discussion of language. In: Stoll, Günter, Vaas, Rüdiger: Spurensuche im Indianerland. The first five chapters covers the history of American as a language.
However, I could not get past page 253. I'm thankful for this school. Photo courtesy of the American School for the Deaf Early in the 1800s, there were only a few thousand deaf Americans. The area of greatest linguistic appears to have been in southern Mexico and the region now occupied by the northern Central American republics. See also the preface to Every-Day English, by Richard Grant White; Boston, 1881, p. When it came to America later, the spelling was simplified. The American Language; An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States abridged ed.
In spoken language, words are produced by using the mouth and voice to make sounds. Neither Jefferson nor Webster put a term upon his prophecy. In the last few chapters, Mencken tends to ditch narrative and undertake the role of cataloger. It took me awhile to finish, but honestly not as long as I thought it would, which is perhaps a testament to Mencken's ability to compellingly weave a tale about something as simultaneously ordinary and urbane as the everyday language in which we speak. Bureau of American Ethnology miscellaneous publication No. This is the 4th ed.
I appreciate his ability to turn a phrase, his high intelligence, humour and majestic scorn. Many languages throughout North America are are extreme examples , although this is not characteristic of all North American languages contrary to what was believed by 19th-century linguists. An expanded version of this review is I read this mostly because H. See also The English Language in America, by Harry Morgan Ayres, in The Cambridge History of American Literature, vol. Check the brilliant graphs about British Vs. The European colonizers and their successor states had widely varying attitudes towards Native American languages. Other language families, such as the , , families have entered Europe in later migrations.