American English
"U.S. English" redirects here. For the political organization, see U.S. English (organization).
For other uses, see American English (disambiguation).
American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US),[b] sometimes called United States English or U.S. English,[5][6] is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States.[7] Currently, American English is the most influential form of English worldwide.​[8]​[9]​[10]​[11]​[12]​[13]
American English
RegionUnited States
Native speakers
225 million, all varieties of English in the United States (2010 census)[1]
25.6 million L2 speakers of English in the United States (2003)
American English
Early forms
Old English
Latin (English alphabet)
Unified English Braille[2]
Official status
Official language in
32 US states, 5 non-state US territories[a]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Speech example

An example of a black woman from Georgia with a General American accent (Alice Walker).
Problems playing this file? See media help.
Speech example

An example of a white man from California with a General American accent (Conrad Anker).
Problems playing this file? See media help.
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.[14][15] 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.[16]
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.[17] 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.[18][19] The sound of American English continues to evolve, with some local accents disappearing, but several larger regional accents having emerged in the 20th century.[20]
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 leveling in which English varieties across the colonies became more homogeneous compared with varieties in England.[21][22] English thus predominated in the colonies even by the end of the 17th century's first massive immigration of non-English speakers from Europe and Africa, and firsthand descriptions of a fairly uniform American English became common after the mid-18th century.[23] 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,[24] primarily European languages.[25]
For all phonemes of American English, see General American § Phonology.
For the phonologies of regional American dialects, see North American English regional phonology.
Compared with English as spoken in the United Kingdom, North American English[26] 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.[27]
Full rhoticity (or R-fulness) is typical of American accents, pronouncing the phoneme /r/ (corresponding to the letter ⟨r⟩) in all environments, including after vowels, such as in pearl, car, and court.[28][29] Non-rhotic American accents, those that do not pronounce ⟨r⟩ except before a vowel, 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".​[28]​[30]​[31]
Rhoticity is common in most American accents although it is now 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.[32] The preservation of rhoticity in North America was also supported by continuing waves of rhotic-accented Scotch-Irish immigrants, most intensely during the 18th century and moderately during the following two centuries, when the Scotch-Irish eventually made up one seventh of the colonial population. Scotch-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, American dialect areas that a consistently resisted upper-class non-rhotic influences and that consequently remain rhotic today.[33] The pronunciation of ⟨r⟩ is a postalveolar approximant [ɹ̠] (listen) or retroflex approximant [ɻ] (listen),[34] but 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.[35]
American accents that have not undergone the cot–caught merger (the lexical sets LOT and THOUGHT) have instead retained a LOTCLOTH split: a 17th-century split in which certain words (labeled as the CLOTH lexical set) separated away from the LOT set. The split, which has now reversed in most British English, simultaneously shifts this relatively recent CLOTH set into a merger with the THOUGHT (caught) set. Having taken place prior to the unrounding of the cot vowel, it results in lengthening and perhaps raising, merging the more recently separated vowel into the THOUGHT vowel in the following environments: before many instances of /f/, /θ/, and particularly /s/ (as in Austria, cloth, cost, loss, off, often, etc.), a few instances before /ŋ/ (as in strong, long, wrong), and variably by region or speaker in gone, on, and certain other words.[36]
The standard accent of southern England, Received Pronunciation (RP), has evolved in other ways. General American English has remained relatively more conservative, for example, regarding today's RP features of a trap–bath split and the fronting of /oʊ/, neither of which is typical of General American accents. Moreover, American dialects do not participate in H-dropping, an innovative feature that now characterizes perhaps a majority of the regional dialects of England.
Innovative phonology
However, General American is more innovative than the dialects of England or elsewhere in the world in a number of its own ways:
T-glottalization and flapping
mountain (glottalized t)

partner (glottalized t)

leader (d-flapping)

cattle (t-flapping)

party (t-flapping)

Optional flapping in certain contexts
relatively without flapping

relatively with optional flapping

/æ/ raising in North American English[63]
New York
New England,
Western US
Midland US,
/m, n/
fan, lamb, stand[ɛə][67][A][B][ɛə][67][ɛə][ɛə~ɛjə][69][ɛə][70][ɛə][71][67]
/m, n/
animal, planet,
/ŋ/[72]frank, language[ɛː~eɪ][73][æ][72][æ~æɛə][69][ɛː~ɛj][70][eː~ej][74]
bag, drag[ɛə][A][æ][C][æ][67]
Prevocalic /ɡ/dragon, magazine[æ]
/b, d, ʃ/
grab, flash, sad[ɛə][A][æ][75][ɛə][75]
/f, θ, s/
ask, bath, half,
Otherwiseas, back, happy,
  1. ^ a b c d In New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, most function words (am, can, had, etc.) and some learned or less common words (alas, carafe, lad, etc.) have [æ].
  2. ^ In Philadelphia, the irregular verbs began, ran, swam, and wan (a local variant of won) have [æ].[68]
  3. ^ In Philadelphia, bad, mad, and glad alone have [ɛə].
  4. ^ In New York City, certain lexical exceptions exist (like avenue being tense) and variability is common before /dʒ/ and /z/ as in imagine, magic, and jazz.[76]
    In New Orleans, [ɛə] additionally occurs before /v/ and /z/.[77]
"Short o" before r before a vowel: In typical North American accents (both U.S. and Canada), the historical sequence /ɒr/ (a short o sound followed by r and then another vowel, as in orange, forest, moral, and warrant) is realized as [oɹ~ɔɹ], thus further merging with the already-merged /ɔr/–/oʊr/ (horsehoarse) set. In the U.S., four words (tomorrow, sorry, sorrow, borrow, and morrow) usually contain the sound [ɑɹ] instead and thus merge with the /ɑr/ set (thus, sorry and sari become homophones, both rhyming with starry).[40]
General American /ɑr/ and /ɔr/ followed by a vowel, compared with other dialects
Some New England, NYC,
Mid-Atlantic, Southern American
Only borrow, sorry, sorrow, (to)morrow
/ɒr/ or /ɑːr/
Forest, Florida, historic, moral, porridge, etc.
Forum, memorial, oral, storage, story, etc.
Some mergers found in most varieties of both American and British English include the following:
Main article: American English vocabulary
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.[79] Examples of such names are opossum, raccoon, squash, moose (from Algonquian),[79] wigwam, and moccasin. The languages of the other colonizing nations also added to the American vocabulary; for instance, cookie, from Dutch; kindergarten from German,[80] levee from French; and rodeo from Spanish.[81][82][83][84] Landscape features are often loanwords from French or Spanish, and the word 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 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 usually lack 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, shanty in the 19th century; project, condominium, townhouse, mobile home in the 20th century; and parts thereof (driveway, breezeway, backyard).[citation needed] 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.[85] 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.[86] 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]
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).[87][88] 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);[89][90] 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.[91] 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), backdrop, teenager, brainstorm, 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).[92] 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).[93]
Noun endings such as -ee (retiree), -ery (bakery), -ster (gangster) and -cian (beautician) are also particularly productive in the U.S.[91] 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."[94][better source needed] Gotten (past participle of get) is often considered to be largely an Americanism.[25][95] 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.[96][97][98]
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.[99] 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,[100] 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.
Grammatical and other differences between American and British English
Main article: Comparison of American and British English
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: typically a lack of differentiation between adjectives and adverbs, employing the equivalent adjectives as adverbs he ran quick/he ran quickly; 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,[101] 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."[102] 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.).[103] 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').[104]
Vocabulary differences vary by region. For example, autumn is used more commonly in the United Kingdom, whereas fall is more common in American English. Some other differences include: aerial (United Kingdom) vs. antenna, biscuit (United Kingdom) vs. cookie/cracker, car park (United Kingdom) vs. parking lot, caravan (United Kingdom) vs. trailer, city centre (United Kingdom) vs. downtown, flat (United Kingdom) vs. apartment, fringe (United Kingdom) vs. bangs, and holiday (United Kingdom) vs. vacation.[105]
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.
Rhode Island
Chesapeake &
Outer Banks
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,[106] 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
Main articles: Regional vocabularies of American English and North American English regional phonology
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 leveling, while others are diversifying and deviating further away from one another.[107]
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 LOT /ɑ/ vowel in the mouth toward [a] and tensing of the TRAP /æ/ vowel wholesale to [eə]. These sound changes have triggered a series of other vowel shifts in the same region, known by linguists as the "Inland North".[108] The Inland North shares with the Eastern New England dialect (including Boston accents) a backer tongue positioning of the GOOSE /u/ vowel (to [u]) and the MOUTH /aʊ/ vowel (to [ɑʊ~äʊ]) in comparison to the rest of the country.[109] Ranging from northern New England across the Great Lakes to Minnesota, another Northern regional marker is the variable fronting of /ɑ/ before /r/,[110] for example appearing four times in the stereotypical Boston shibboleth Park the car in Harvard Yard.[111]
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.[112]
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 LOT vowel with the THOUGHT vowel (/ɑ/ and /ɔ/, respectively):[113] 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.[108] For that Northeastern corridor, the realization of the 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: [oə].[114] A split of TRAP into two separate phonemes, using different a pronunciations for example in gap [æ] versus gas [eə], further defines New York City as well as Philadelphia–Baltimore accents.[115]
Most Americans preserve all historical /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,[116] but which has conversely lost prestige in the U.S. since at least the early 20th century.[117] Non-rhoticity makes a word like car sound like cah or source like sauce.[118]
New York City and Southern accents are the most prominent regional accents of the country, as well as the most stigmatized in terms of perceived "incorrectness".​[119]​[120]​[121]​[122] Southern speech, strongest in southern Appalachia and certain areas of Texas, is often identified by Americans as a "country" accent,[123] and is defined by the /aɪ/ vowel losing its gliding quality: [aː], the initiation event for a complicated Southern vowel shift, including a "Southern drawl" that makes short front vowels into distinct-sounding gliding vowels.[124] The fronting of the vowels of GOOSE, GOAT, MOUTH, and 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:
Accent nameMost populous urban centerStrong /aʊ/ frontingStrong /oʊ/ frontingStrong /u/ frontingStrong /ɑr/ fronting
Cot–caught merger
Pin–pen merger
/æ/ raising system
General AmericanNoNoNoNoMixedNopre-nasal
Inland NorthernChicagoNoNoNoYesNoNogeneral
Mid-Atlantic StatesPhiladelphiaYesYesYesNoNoNosplit
New York CityNew York CityYesNoNo[125]NoNoNosplit
North-Central (Upper Midwestern)MinneapolisNoNoNoYesYesNopre-nasal & pre-velar
Northern New EnglandBostonNoNoNoYesYesNopre-nasal
SouthernSan AntonioYesYesYesNoMixedYesSouthern
WesternLos AngelesNoNoYesNoYesNopre-nasal
Western PennsylvaniaPittsburghYesYesYesNoYesMixedpre-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.[107] 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 an 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.[c] 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,[126] 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 AmericanOrthodox Jews, Cajun Vernacular English by some Cajuns in southern Louisiana, and Pennsylvania Dutch English by some Pennsylvania Dutch people. 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. American English also gave rise to some dialects outside the country, for example, Philippine English, beginning during the American occupation of the Philippines and subsequently the Insular Government of the Philippine Islands; Thomasites first established a variation of American English in these islands.[127]
See also
  1. ^ English and Hawaiian are both official languages in Hawaii, and English and 20 Indigenous languages are official in Alaska. Algonquian, Cherokee, and Sioux are among many other official languages in Native-controlled lands throughout the country. French is a de facto, but unofficial, language in Maine and Louisiana, while New Mexico law grants Spanish a special status. In five territories, English as well as one or more indigenous languages are official: Spanish in Puerto Rico, Samoan in American Samoa, Chamorro in both Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Carolinian is also an official language in the Northern Mariana Islands.[128][129]
  2. ^ en-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).
  3. ^ 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 /ɒ/ vowel variant (as in cot, lot, bother, etc.) the same as the /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 [ɑ~ɑ̈]. Finally, most of the U.S. participates in a continuous nasal system of the "short a" vowel (in cat, trap, bath, etc.), causing /æ/ to be pronounced with the tongue raised and with a glide quality (typically sounding like [ɛə]) particularly when before a nasal consonant; thus, mad is [mæd], but man is more like [mɛən].
  1. ^ English (United States) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ "Unified English Braille (UEB)". Braille Authority of North America (BANA). November 2, 2016. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  3. ^ "English"; IANA language subtag registry; named as: en; publication date: 16 October 2005; retrieved: 11 January 2019.
  4. ^ "United States"; IANA language subtag registry; named as: US; publication date: 16 October 2005; retrieved: 11 January 2019.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Zentella, A. C. (1982). Spanish and English in contact in the United States: The Puerto Rican experience. Word, 33(1–2), 41.
  7. ^ Crystal, David (1997). English as a Global Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-53032-3.
  8. ^ Engel, Matthew (2017). That's The Way It Crumbles: the American Conquest of English. London: Profile Books. ISBN 9781782832621. OCLC 989790918.
  9. ^ "Fears of British English's disappearance are overblown". The Economist. July 20, 2017. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  10. ^ Harbeck, James (July 15, 2015). "Why isn't 'American' a language?". www.bbc.com. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  11. ^ Reddy, C. Rammanohar. "The Readers' Editor writes: Why is American English becoming part of everyday usage in India?". Scroll.in. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  12. ^ "Cookies or biscuits? Data shows use of American English is growing the world over". Hindustan Times. The Guardian. July 17, 2017. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  13. ^ Gonçalves, Bruno; Loureiro-Porto,José J. Ramasco,David Sánchez, Lucía; Ramasco, José J.; Sánchez, David (May 25, 2018). "Mapping the Americanization of English in space and time". PLOS ONE. 13 (5): e0197741. arXiv:1707.00781. Bibcode​:​2018PLoSO..1397741G​. doi​:​10.1371/journal.pone.0197741​. PMC 5969760. PMID 29799872. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  14. ^ Crawford, James (February 1, 2012). "Language Legislation in the U.S.A." languagepolicy.net. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  15. ^ "U.S. English Efforts Lead West Virginia to Become 32nd State to Recognize English as Official Language". us-english.org. Archived from the original on April 1, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  16. ^ "48 U.S. Code § 864 – Appeals, certiorari, removal of causes, etc.; use of English language | LII / Legal Information Institute". Law.cornell.edu. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  17. ^ Kretzchmar 2004, pp. 262–263.
  18. ^ Labov (2012:1–2)
  19. ^ Kretzchmar 2004, p. 262.
  20. ^ "Do You Speak American?: What Lies Ahead?". PBS. Retrieved August 15, 2007.
  21. ^ Kretzchmar (2004:258–9)
  22. ^ Longmore (2007:517, 520)
  23. ^ Longmore (2007:537)
  24. ^ Hickey, R. (2014). Dictionary of varieties of English. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 25.
  25. ^ a b Harbeck, James (July 15, 2015). "Why isn't 'American' a language?". www.bbc.com. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  26. ^ North American English (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.
  27. ^ "What Is the Difference between Theater and Theatre?". Wisegeek.org. May 15, 2015. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  28. ^ a b Plag, Ingo; Braun, Maria; Lappe, Sabine; Schramm, Mareile (2009). Introduction to English Linguistics. Walter de Gruyter. p. 53. ISBN 978-3-11-021550-2. Retrieved July 4, 2013.
  29. ^ Collins & Mees (2002:178)
  30. ^ Collins & Mees (2002:181, 306)
  31. ^ Wolchover, Natalie (2012). "Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents?" LiveScience. Purch.
  32. ^ Lass, Roger (1990). "Early Mainland Residues in Southern Hiberno-English". Irish University Review. 20 (1): 137–148. JSTOR 25484343.
  33. ^ Wolfram, Walt; Schilling, Natalie (2015). American English: Dialects and Variation. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 103–104.
  34. ^ Hallé, Best & Levitt (1999:283) citing Delattre & Freeman (1968), Zawadzki & Kuehn (1980), and Boyce & Espy-Wilson (1997)
  35. ^ Kortmann & Schneider 2004, p. 317.
  36. ^ Wells (1982:136–7, 203–4)
  37. ^ Wells (1982:136–37, 203–6, 234, 245–47, 339–40, 400, 419, 443, 576)
  38. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006:171)
  39. ^ Labov (2006), p. 61.
  40. ^ a b Wells (1982), p. 476.
  41. ^ Vaux, Bert; Golder, Scott (2003). "Do you pronounce 'cot' and 'çaught' the same?" The Harvard Dialect Survey. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Linguistics Department.
  42. ^ Vaux, Bert; Jøhndal, Marius L. (2009). "Do you pronounce "cot" and "caught" the same?" Cambridge Online Survey of World Englishes. Cambridge: Cambridge University.
  43. ^ According to Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.
  44. ^ "Want: meaning and definitions". Dictionary.infoplease.com​. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  45. ^ "want. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000". Bartleby.com. Archived from the original on January 9, 2008. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  46. ^ "Want – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". M-w.com. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  47. ^ Vaux, Bert and Scott Golder (2003). "How do you pronounce Mary / merry / marry?" The Harvard Dialect Survey. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Linguistics Department.
  48. ^ Kortmann & Schneider (2004), p. 295.
  49. ^ Vaux, Bert and Scott Golder (2003). "flourishArchived 2015-07-11 at the Wayback Machine". The Harvard Dialect Survey. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Linguistics Department.
  50. ^ Vaux, Bert and Scott Golder (2003). "the first vowel in "miracle"". The Harvard Dialect Survey. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Linguistics Department.
  51. ^ Wells (1982:481–482)
  52. ^ Wells (1982), p. 247.
  53. ^ Seyfarth, Scott; Garellek, Marc (2015). "Coda glottalization in American English". In ICPhS. University of California, San Diego, p. 1.
  54. ^ Vaux, Bert (2000_. "Flapping in English." Linguistic Society of America, Chicago, IL. p .6.
  55. ^ Grzegorz Dogil; Susanne Maria Reiterer; Walter de Gruyter, eds. (2009). Language Talent and Brain Activity: Trends in Applied Linguistics. Walter de Gruyter GmbH. p. 299. ISBN 978-3-11-021549-6.
  56. ^ Grzegorz Dogil; Susanne Maria Reiterer; Walter de Gruyter, eds. (2009). "General+American"+"velarized"&pg=PA299 Language Talent and Brain Activity: Trends in Applied Linguistics. Walter de Gruyter GmbH. p. 299. ISBN 9783110215496.
  57. ^ Wells (1982:490)
  58. ^ Jones, Roach & Hartman (2006), p. xi.
  59. ^ A Handbook of Varieties of English, Bernd Kortmann & Edgar W. Schneider, Walter de Gruyter, 2004, p. 319.
  60. ^ Wells (2008), p. xxi.
  61. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006:114): "where Canadian raising has traditionally been reported: Canada, Eastern New England, Philadelphia, and the North"
  62. ^ Freuhwald, Josef T. (November 11, 2007). "The Spread of Raising: Opacity, lexicalization, and diffusion". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  63. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006), p. 182.
  64. ^ a b c Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006), pp. 173–4.
  65. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006), pp. 260–1.
  66. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006), pp. 238–9.
  67. ^ a b c d Duncan (2016), pp. 1–2.
  68. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006), p. 238.
  69. ^ a b Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006), pp. 178, 180.
  70. ^ a b Boberg (2008), p. 145.
  71. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006), pp. 175–7.
  72. ^ a b Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006), p. 183.
  73. ^ Baker, Mielke & Archangeli (2008).
  74. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006), pp. 181–2.
  75. ^ a b Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006), pp. 82, 123, 177, 179.
  76. ^ Labov (2007), p. 359.
  77. ^ Labov (2007), p. 373.
  78. ^ a b Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006:52)
  79. ^ a b Skeat, Walter William (1892). Principles of English etymology: The native element – Walter William Skeat. At the Clarendon Press. p. 1. Retrieved June 1, 2015. moose etymology.
  80. ^ "You Already Know Some German Words!". Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  81. ^ Montano, Mario (January 1, 1992). ""The history of Mexican folk foodways of South Texas: Street vendors, o" by Mario Montano". Repository.upenn.edu: 1–421. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  82. ^ Gorrell, Robert M. (2001). What's in a Word?: Etymological Gossip about Some Interesting English Words – Robert M. Gorrell. ISBN 9780874173673. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  83. ^ Bailey, Vernon (1895). The Pocket Gophers of the United States. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Division of Ornithology and Mammalogy. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  84. ^ Mencken, H. L. (January 1, 2010). The American Language: A Preliminary Inquiry Into the Development of English ... – H. L. Mencken. ISBN 9781616402594. Retrieved June 1, 2015.
  85. ^ 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).
  86. ^ Elizabeth Ball Carr (August 1954). Trends in Word Compounding in American Speech (Thesis). Louisiana State University.
  87. ^ "The Maven's Word of the Day: gesundheit". Random House. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  88. ^ Trudgill (2004)
  89. ^ "Definition of day noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary". Oup.com. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  90. ^ "Definition of sure adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary". Oup.com. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  91. ^ a b Trudgill (2004:69)
  92. ^ "The Word » American vs. British Smackdown: Station wagon vs. estate car". Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  93. ^ 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.)".
  94. ^ Harper, Douglas. "fall". Online Etymology Dictionary.
  95. ^ A Handbook of Varieties of English, Bernd Kortmann & Edgar W. Schneider, Walter de Gruyter, 2004, p. 115.
  96. ^ "angry". Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Archived from the original on March 9, 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  97. ^ "intelligent". Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Archived from the original on March 9, 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  98. ^ "Definition of ill adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary". Oald8.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com. Archived from the original on May 27, 2013. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  99. ^ Vaux, Bert and Scott Golder. 2003. The Harvard Dialect Survey Archived 2016-04-30 at the Wayback Machine. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Linguistics Department.
  100. ^ Katz, Joshua (2013). "Beyond 'Soda, Pop, or Coke.' North Carolina State University.
  101. ^ Algeo, John (2006). British or American English?. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37993-8.
  102. ^ Algeo, John. "The Effects of the Revolution on Language," in A Companion to the American Revolution. John Wiley & Sons, 2008. p.599
  103. ^ Peters, Pam (2004). The Cambridge Guide to English Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-62181-X, pp. 34 and 511.
  104. ^ "Punctuating Around Quotation Marks" (blog). Style Guide of the American Psychological Association. 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  105. ^ "British vs. American English – Vocabulary Differences". www.studyenglishtoday.net​. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  106. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006:148)
  107. ^ a b Labov (2012)
  108. ^ a b Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006:190)
  109. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006:230)
  110. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006:111)
  111. ^ Vorhees, Mara (2009). Boston. Con Pianta. Ediz. Inglese. Lonely Planet. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-74179-178-5.
  112. ^ Labov, p. 48.
  113. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006:60)
  114. ^ "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".Labov, Ash & Ash (2006:226)
  115. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006:173)
  116. ^ Trudgill (2004:46–47)
  117. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006:5, 47)
  118. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006:137, 141)
  119. ^ Hayes, Dean (2013). "The Southern Accent and 'Bad English': A Comparative Perceptual Study of the Conceptual Network between Southern Linguistic Features and Identity". UNM Digital Repository: Electronic Theses and Dissertations. pp. 5, 51.
  120. ^ Gordon, Matthew J.; Schneider, Edgar W. (2008). "New York, Philadelphia, and other northern cities: Phonology." Varieties of English 2: 67-86.
  121. ^ Hartley, Laura (1999). A View from the West: Perceptions of U.S. Dialects from the Point of View of Oregon. Faculty Publications - Department of World Languages, Sociology & Cultural Studies. 17.
  122. ^ Yannuar, N.; Azimova, K.; Nguyen, D. (2014). "Perceptual Dialectology: Northerners and Southerners' View of Different American Dialects". k@ ta, 16(1), pp. 11, 13
  123. ^ Hayes, 2013, p. 51.
  124. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006:125)
  125. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006:101, 103)
  126. ^ Cf. Trudgill 2004, p. 42.
  127. ^ Dayag, Danilo (2004). "The English‐language media in the Philippines". World Englishes. 23: 33–45. doi​:​10.1111/J.1467-971X.2004.00333.X​. S2CID 145589555.
  128. ^ Cobarrubias 1983, p. 195.
  129. ^ García 2011, p. 167.
Further reading
History of American English
External links
Look up American English in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article "Americanisms".
Wikiversity has learning resources about American English
Last edited on 15 May 2021, at 15:18
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0 unless otherwise noted.
Privacy policy
Terms of Use
HomeRandomNearbyLog inSettingsDonateAbout WikipediaDisclaimers