Vanishing Voices By Russel G. Rymers

The English language has and will continue to be the unifier of worldwide linguistic diversity. As a result of its globalization and its relative status symbol, the spread of the English language has facilitated the decline of several smaller languages such as those discussed in Russel G. Rymer’s article “Vanishing Voices”. Containing what is arguably the densest concentration of English speakers, the United States population speaks the language with a distinct vocabulary and accent. The form of English spoken by the United States population is merely a dialect, tangentially developing with the language as a whole. A study of the dialect would highlight an array of diverse factors and provide several lenses that could be taken to analyze the …show more content…
Noah Webster, the publisher of the first American dictionary, is cited by James Harbeck of BBC news as having said in his 1791 Dissertations on the English Language, ‘“As an independent nation, our honor requires us to have a system of our own, in language as well as government”’. Noah Webster, writing at the time of the political unrest between the English-speaking nations, provides modern interpreters with a primary insight to the linguistic motives of the early Americans. However, his commentary is also heavily biased for the same reason as he epitomizes the era’s patriotism. The effort to adopt new linguistic customs coincided with their venture for independence from the English crown. With this viewpoint, the conclusion can be drawn that in the early years of American history, when the settlers themselves were the immigrants, they were directly responsible for adopting a new …show more content…
The first wave of immigration into the United States consisted of Northern and Western Europeans, each of which had a significant influence on the formation of the dialect. In early Colonial immigration, ninety percent of the immigrants came from the British Isles (University of Western Georgia). The various regional dialects that existed within Modern Britain, such as those of the Irish, the Scottish, the Welsh, and the English, impacted the American dialect and this conglomeration of British English dialects could explain the initial difference between American and English; America hosted a population that already spoke variation of the English language in a confined area. As other colonists, the Dutch already had a presence in the Northeastern region of the New World. Their language not only added to the American vocabulary but it also expanded the grammatical organization of the dialect. In their essay published for the impact of the Dutch language is evident in words like cookie, dollar, boss, and Broadway. The phrase “How come?’ evolved from the Dutch word “Hoekom”. (Gao and Sun 2414). The Dutch were heavily concentrated in the area surrounding New York, as a result of its formerly being New Amsterdam. Its concentration in the cosmopolitan hub effectively led to its intermingling with the largest number of American settlers and thus allowed the Dutch syntax and

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