American English ― where from?


Magnifying glasses do not always make matters clearer. There has been much talk about American English, in terms ancestral. Researchers have analyzed speech sounds and “derived” them with particularity suggestive of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion.

“I’ll take it down first in Bell’s Visible Speech; then in Broad Romic; and then we’ll get… the phonograph.”
Joke emoticon

I have never pondered over any possibility to become my grandfather. Anyway, my grandfathers or grandmothers did not speak English.

My father spoke some English, but he said he had an accent. If I wanted a grammar book, he would buy it for me, same for note books or other stationery, but he would not teach me. He thought I could pick the language on my own: I was little enough, a kindergartner. He was right, though he was a historian. I chose American, and he helped me buy my beloved Webster Unabridged.

Back to deriving American English entire:
The main idea of the approach is that the origins of American English are somehow contained in the various regional dialects of British English, American English, An Introduction, by Zoltan Kovecses.


Poetry by Emily Dickinson:
Life | Love | Nature | Time and Eternity.

Notes for Emily Dickinson’s poetry | Fascicles and print, the poetic correlative with Webster 1828, Latin and Greek inspiration, an Aristotelian motif, Things perpetual — these are not in time, but in eternity. More→

Ben Trawick-Smith makes an interesting point: as well, we might think about the British as “talking American”. He would include American English with “a larger continuum of Southern England-derived dialects”, he yet adds the idea is debatable. Feel welcome to read, When did Americans stop “talking British”?

Importantly, if we do not say, the American English of the 1900s, or 1800s, we say the present-day American, and the language originated in the USA. We always tell language origins by the countries or lands of emergence. It is impossible to ascribe American English, as it is today, to dialects of England or scholarly dictates.

My theory is that humans have spontaneity to accompany reason and always part invent own skill. American was taking shape already with the Declaration and Constitution. We can see the honor that behavior followed; the definite article takes on a cognitive form, in citizens of a state rather than always the citizens (thereof), a phrase-governed use.

The Modal verb shall becomes a scope for legally provisioning, not prescribing: The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed.

Feel welcome to notes on modern American English and the US Constitution.
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