Canadian english - dialect

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Juan David Barragán Méndez 200923406
University of the Andes October 20/2011

Western-Central Canadian English


As can be seen in whichever map, Canada has one of the largest areas in the world. It occupies a vast territory gathering several regions that differentiate between them in climate, topography, languages and multicultural population. The word "Canada"adopted from the Huron-Iroquois kanata in english called "village" was first used by Jacques Cartier to refer to a settlement that later became Quebec city. Afterwards, the word was used to refer to New France until the British conquest of 1759 when it was replaced by the word "Québec". referring to the colony north of the St Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. In 1791, Canada was divided inLower Canada and Upper Canada, which belongs to the recent distinction between Québec and Ontario. Then, in 1841, these lands became the Province of Canada composed by Canada West and East Canada,adhered later in 1867, by Nova Scotia and New Brunkswick to form the dominion of Canada. In spite of having a mixture colony , English and French are the official languages of Canada. All regions areinstitutionally bilingual. Cheshire says "According to 1981 census figures, 67.0 per cent are monolingual English speakers. 16.6 per cent are monolingual French, 15.3 per cent are English-French bilinguals, and 1.2 per cent have a mother tongue neither English nor french." Cheshire (1991).
When I was 10 years old, I spent time reading books about geography of the world. Night by night, I regardedthose books that in spite of having geography, cultural content was explicit and well explained; in other words, they were so didactic to understand. Especially one of them that had an interesting section of Canada, that personally was outstanding from others. My attention was attracted by a curious picture of a humongous barn with a big red maple leaf on its gigantic doors. Aside at the first pageof this section, there was a general description of the country about the area, population, religion and language. The reasons were two: the first one was that two languages were spoken: English and French; the second one, English was spoken, but that kind of English was the same that is spoken in the United States. So, day by day, I grew up remembering all time this book.

Later, this beliefwas reinforced in my school. The English teacher usually taught some differences between American English and British English. In that class, he explained how different countries speak English in different ways and how they pronounce word endings differently. This explanation triggered many questions about differences between each one of the English in every country in their use of language.Nevertheless, the answer to the question of "How Canadians use English language" was convincing: They spoke American English, the same spoken in the United States.

Meanwhile, I have acquired some stuff in the university to understand better the English language which let me rethink my idea. For instance, Wolfram says that in a language there are some varieties of speech, and each variety is what iscalled a dialect of the language. In this sense, dialects are different ways of word usage, syntax, and pronunciation in on some language (Woolfram 262-263) Simultaneously, Elaine Chaika defines the concept of dialect as speech style.This notion means the group of linguistic forms of a language to interact with others which employs different features such as different pronunciation, aspects ofvoice, grammar or word choice (Chaika page 1)
There are some arguments to state that language used in Canada is different to the same used in the United States in many ways, although the development of language in Canada is historically related with the United States. For example, the Ontario province was settled by migration of Europeans who lived in the United States but left that country...
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