what affects the variables in a language's regional accents?
July 13, 2010 7:50 PM Subscribe
in english, for the most part, it's vowel sounds that differ across regional accents. in other languages i've studied (italian, hungarian), consonant transpositions seem to be more common. what gives? or am i even drawing accurate conclusions?
posted by nevers to Writing & Language (23 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
this is a hard question to ask because i have so little information to go on. but it seems like the most dramatic feature of various regional english accents is their vowel variation. meanwhile in italian, a florentine might replace the K sound with H, and in hungarian a budapestian might say vayok instead of vagyok (if my vague memory is correct). my understanding is that vowel sounds in italian are mostly the same across the country.
1a. is it true that in some languages, consonants are what vary the most, whereas in other languages, vowels vary more?
1b. if so, what aspects of the language or culture govern or affect this?
2. if that generalization is unfounded, is there a way to explain why a certain language has the variables it does in its regional accents? for example, you'd never find an english accent that consists of dropping K sounds (right?). i imagine it has something to do with what phonemes create meaning or differentiate among words -- we need our K sounds, but in italian, words rely more on unique vowel sounds/combinations?