Texan English

Last updated
Texan English
Region Texas
Ethnicity Texans
Latin (English alphabet)
American Braille
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Texan English is the array of American English spoken in Texas, primarily falling under the regional dialects of Southern and Midland U.S. English. As one extensive study states, at the most basic level, the typical Texan accent is a "Southern accent with a twist." [1] The "twist" refers to major features of the Lower and Upper South coming into contact with one another, as well as some notable influences derived from an early Spanish-speaking population and German immigrants. [1] In fact, there is no single accent that covers all of Texas and few dialect features are unique to Texas. The most advanced (i.e., newest and most developed) accent features of the regional Southern U.S. dialect are reported in North and West Texas (but not El Paso), [2] associated with the Upper South, while elements of the same regional dialect are present but less consistent in East and South Texas, associated more with the Lower South. [2] In South Texas, particularly, Mexican Spanish characteristics are heavily influential as well. [3] Abilene, Austin, Corpus Christi appear to align to the Midland regional accent of the United States more than the Southern regional one; El Paso aligns to the Western regional accent; and Dallas is greatly variable. [4]

American English Set of dialects of the English language spoken in the United States

American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. It is considered one of the most influential dialects of English globally, including on other varieties of English.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.

Southern American English or Southern U.S. English is a regional dialect or collection of dialects of American English spoken throughout the Southern United States, though increasingly in more rural areas and primarily by White Southerners. The dialect is commonly known in the United States simply as Southern, while formal, much more recent terms within American linguistics include Southern White Vernacular English and Rural White Southern English.

Contents

Regional divisions of Texan English

English in Texas is not universal in every region of the state, and its dialect boundaries, in general, are rather vague; however, most of its dialects are classifiable under the larger Midland and Southern regional dialects of the United States. Scholar Bagby Atwood stated "I will not draw lines showing the limits of Southwestern [English] or any of its subareas. Far too many lines have been drawn already, probably by popular demand and certainly on insufficient evidence, purporting to show the limits of speech areas in the West". [5] Nevertheless, since 1935 and into the twentieth century, various linguists attempted to delimit Texas into dialect regions, although the evidence for their division was insufficient. [6] [ clarification needed ]

The largest group of those researchers divides Texan English into two regional varieties though with each researcher suggesting different boundaries than the others. [6] Some linguists draw their boundaries based upon phonological (sound) differences and others on lexical (word) differences, and research data can sometimes be conjectural. [6] Some linguists often regard East and South Texas as a particular dialect region, disagreeing on its western extension. [6] Another set of linguists divide "Texas linguistically in a more general East–West fashion". [6] According to Craig Carver, Texas can be delimited into two dialect regions: "a south Texas layer that runs by-and-large along the Texas–Mexico border and reaches up to San Antonio, and a central Texas region that includes the areas where large numbers of speakers of German and other European languages settled" (Carver in Walters). [7]

Phonology is a branch of linguistics concerned with the systematic organization of sounds in spoken languages and signs in sign languages. It used to be only the study of the systems of phonemes in spoken languages, but it may also cover any linguistic analysis either at a level beneath the word or at all levels of language where sound or signs are structured to convey linguistic meaning.

Central Texas geographic region

Central Texas is a region in the U.S. state of Texas surrounding Austin and roughly bordered by Brady to Brenham to Seguin to Waco. Central Texas contains the Texas Hill Country and corresponds to a physiographic section designation within the Edwards Plateau, in a geographic context.

Frederic Cassidy divides Texas into a border that "runs between Texarkana and Longview in East Texas and extends westward to the region south of Dallas and Fort Worth before curving southward clearly to the west of Waco, Austin, and San Antonio, putting all of the Lower Rio Grande Valley in the eastern zone" (Cassidy 1982:202 in Underwood, 106). [6] In contrast, Terry Jordan’s "line turns south between Longview and Tyler, snakes its way southeast of Bryan–College Station, curves westward through Gonzales County to the east of San Antonio, and turns back in a southeastern direction to Lavaca Bay just east of Victoria" (Jordan 1984:97, in Underwood, 106). [6]

Dallas City in Texas, United States

Dallas, officially the City of Dallas, is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin, Denton, Kaufman and Rockwall counties. With an estimated 2017 population of 1,341,075, it is the ninth most-populous city in the U.S. and third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. It is also the eighteenth most-populous city in North America as of 2015. Located in North Texas, the city of Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States and the largest inland metropolitan area in the U.S. that lacks any navigable link to the sea. It is the most populous city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country at 7.5 million people as of 2018. The city's combined statistical area is the seventh-largest in the U.S. as of 2017, with 7,846,293 residents.

Austin, Texas Capital of Texas

Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 11th-most populous city in the United States and the 4th-most populous city in Texas. It is also the fastest growing large city in the United States, the second most populous state capital after Phoenix, Arizona, and the southernmost state capital in the contiguous United States. As of the U.S. Census Bureau's July 1, 2017 estimate, Austin had a population of 950,715 up from 790,491 at the 2010 census. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,168,316 as of July 1, 2018. Located in Central Texas within the greater Texas Hill Country, it is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, and Lake Walter E. Long.

San Antonio City in Texas, United States

San Antonio, officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh-most populous city in the United States, and the second-most populous city in both Texas and the Southern United States, with more than 1.5 million residents. Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city became the first chartered civil settlement in present-day Texas in 1731. The area was still part of the Spanish Empire, and later of the Mexican Republic. Today it is the state's oldest municipality.

As Anglo-American settlers dominated central Texas, the influence of the German language in central Texas is proportionally less important than the influence of the Spanish language in south Texas. [8] The South Texas Layer lies south of the San Antonio River and is distinguished by a large number of Spanish loanwords. [8] The Central Texas Layer is characterized by German features, due to the large numbers of settlers. [8] The Texan word clook (= a setting hen), which derived from the German word Glucke, is pronounced with the original German high back vowel /ʊ/, whereas in other regions it is cluck and it is pronounced with the central vowel /ʌ/. In addition, the Central Texas layer is influenced by several dialects of other South Atlantic States and Northern States, due to settlement history. [8]

South Texas region of the U.S. state of Texas

South Texas is a region of the U.S. state of Texas that lies roughly south of—and sometimes including—San Antonio. The southern and western boundary is the Rio Grande, and to the east it is the Gulf of Mexico. The population of this region is about 4.96 million according to the 2017 census estimates. The southern portion of this region is often referred to as the Rio Grande Valley. The eastern portion along the Gulf of Mexico is also referred to as the Coastal Bend.

San Antonio River river in the United States of America

The San Antonio River is a major waterway that originates in central Texas in a cluster of springs in midtown San Antonio, about 4 miles north of downtown, and follows a roughly southeastern path through the state. It eventually feeds into the Guadalupe River about 10 miles from San Antonio Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. The river is 240 miles long and crosses five counties: Bexar, Goliad, Karnes, Refugio, and Wilson.

A loanword is a word adopted from one language and incorporated into another language without translation. This is in contrast to cognates, which are words in two or more languages that are similar because they share an etymological origin, and calques, which involve translation.

Phonology

There are many phonological processes which are characteristic for Texan speech. However, those processes are on no account universal in Texan English and each Texan may speak only some of the characteristics displayed below or even none. In addition, other regional dialects in the United States or dialects from other countries may share some of these features. In particular, dialects from other Southern states share many phonological characteristics of the language spoken in Texas.

  • Absence of the wine–whine merger: Most Texans distinguish the /hw/ of whale and whether from the /w/ of wail and weather. In most dialects of English, /hw/ does not exist anymore and is replaced by /w/.
  • Absence of the horse–hoarse merger: Parts of Texas, particularly the Dallas and Lubbock areas, do not merge /oʊr/ and /ɔr/.
  • Absence of yod-dropping: Some speakers in the Dallas area distinguish dew/dju/ and do/du/. [4]
  1. /ɛ/ is lower and backer than /eɪ/ which is the most conservative situation.
  2. /ɛ/ has moved to a fronter position but it remains lower.
  3. /ɛ/ is higher but remains backer than /eɪ/.
  4. /ɛ/ reversed its original relation to /eɪ/ by being higher and fronter.
It appears that the fourth situation is the most widespread in Texas. There are only the southeast of Texas and a few other places in which the fourth situation is not the most common. In parts of Amarillo, Abilene, Austin and Houston, for instance, /ɛ/ is lower and backer than /eɪ/. In a few other areas around Houston /ɛ/ is lower and fronter than /eɪ/. [4] [9]

Changes in phonology

Linguists propose that urbanization, geographic and social mobility, and the mass media have homogenized the speech of the United States to a national norm. [14] Consequently, dialect differences are disappearing.

Due to rapid urbanization, increasing dominance of high tech industries, and massive migration Texan speech has been reshaped as well, especially since 1990. [15] Whereas these changes are mainly phonological phenomena, changes in the Lexicon of Texan English can be detected as well. As much of the traditional regional vocabulary concerned farming and rural life these terms are now disappearing or being replaced by technical (book) terms. [14] The general tendency in the phonology of Texas English is that mergers expand at the expense of distinctions although traditionally, Texan Speech was determined by phonemic distinctions. [14] Guy Bailey identifies 11 changes:

Texan English phonology stereotypically is defined by the monophthongization of /aɪ/ (e.g. price is pronounced like [pɹaːs]), [16] which is best reported in Dallas, Lubbock, and Odessa; [17] other Texan cities, however, are reported as usually preserving the diphthong pronunciation of /aɪ/ (e.g. price pronounced as [pɹaɪs]). [16] Latest findings show a strong orientation of primarily young and urban Texans towards a diphthongization of /aɪ/. In fact, the monophthongization of /aɪ/ has left the central Texan speech almost entirely. [16] 89% of the "younger" speakers aged 21–30, use diphthongal realizations of /aɪ/, whereas only 11% use monophthongal or intermediate realizations of /aɪ/. [16] The change toward the diphthongization of /aɪ/ is led by young female Texans, as 92% of the 11% still using the monophthongization were males.

Urban–rural contrast

Another linguistic change in Texan English is an emerging rural–urban split, meaning that most stereotypically and traditionally Southern or Texan features remain strong in rural areas, whereas many of these features tend to disappear in large urban areas and small cities. [15] The urban-rural linguistic split mainly affects phonological phenomena.

Grammar

Southern American English has unique grammatical features which do not occur in Standard English, and as settlement patterns indicate, Texas English shares many of these characteristics with other states of the American South.

Y’all

No other grammatical feature has been more associated with Southern American English than y’all as the second person plural pronoun. As a list of phonological and grammatical features documented in Texas by Guy Bailey shows, it is also used frequently in Texan English. [18] As David B. Parker found out, the term y’all first appeared in the Southern Literary Messenger (published in Richmond, Virginia) in April 1858. [19] The term was used by an American humorist of the mid-nineteenth century, "Mozis Addums," penname of George William Bagby, describing the crowded conditions in the Washington D.C. boarding house where he was living:

"Packin uv pork in a meet house, which you should be keerful it don't git hot at the bone, and prizin uv tobakker, which y’all’s Winstun nose how to do it, givs you a parshil idee, but only parshil". [20]

The origin of y’all is an often debated question. Some clearly see it as a contraction of you and all whereas others like Montgomery point out the primary stress on you and the secondary on all would create you’ll as a contraction instead of y’all. [21] Thus sees it as a grammaticalized form of you coming from the Scots-Irish ye aw. This leads to the next question of y’all being used as only plural or also singular. Montgomery describes y’all as having the following six properties: [22]

  1. a paradigmatic gap for plural you
  2. an associative plural, including individuals associated, but not present with the singular addressee
  3. an institutional plural addressed to one person representing a group
  4. an unknown potential referent
  5. a form used in direct address in certain contexts (e.g., partings, greetings, invitations, and vocatives)
  6. a stylistic choice distinct in tone (e.g., in intimacy, familiarity, and informality). [23]

Most linguists, however, agree on y’all being used as the second person plural pronoun and therefore no singular reference is possible. (Note that an associative plural y'all might be used in the context of a single person, but its reference is always strictly plural.)

All y'all may be used to refer to a broader group of people when y'all has already referred to a constituent subgroup. All y'alls may then expand the group of reference to another degree.

Fixin' to

(a) It’s fixin' to rain [24]
(b) I was fixin' to come but I got held up [25]

It is not clear where the term comes from and when it was first used. According to dialect dictionaries, fixin' to is associated with southern speech and is most often defined as being a synonym of preparing to or intending to. [26] In sentences like (a) fixin' to may mean something like "about to" or "planning to". Sentence (b) expresses more the intention of doing something, in this case the speaker intended to come. [25] However, some linguists, i.e. Marvin K. Ching, regard it as being a quasimodal rather than a verb followed by an infinitive. [27] As can be found in the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States, the term is used by 57% of the population of Upper Texas and by 43% in Lower Texas. [28] It is a term used by all social groups, although more frequently by people with a lower social status than by members of the educated upper classes. Furthermore, it is more common in the speech of younger people than in that of older people. [26] The term is also more prevalent in rural areas than in urban areas. In addition, the term functions as an indicator for being from the South. As Ching points out, the precise meaning of the term "depends much upon its inherent linguistic meaning, which changes in shades of meaning with lexical and syntactic choice". [27] In other words, the term is used in different situations with a variety of meanings. Nevertheless, the meaning is mostly clear to speaker and addressee when used in a particular situation and when both actors are familiar with the term fixin' to.

Multiple modals

Standard English has a strict word order. In the case of modal auxiliaries Standard English is restricted to a single modal per verb phrase. Nevertheless, Texans have constructions which combine more than one modal auxiliary within the same verb phrase: I might could do that.

These constructions are used by every social class and are, as proven by the data of the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States, predominately used in the eastern parts of Texas (Upper East Texas and Lower East Texas). There are different opinions on which class preferably uses the term. Atwood, [29] for example, finds that educated people try to avoid multiple modals, whereas Montgomery [30] suggests the opposite. Considering all findings of different linguists who examined multiple modals in Southern speech, it can be said that multiple modals are quite widespread and are not particularly stigmatized. [25]

Possible double modals used by Texans as examined by Di Paolo are: [31]

may couldmight couldmight supposed to
may canmight oughtamight’ve used to
may willmight canmight woulda had oughta
may shouldmight shouldoughta could
may supposed tomight wouldbetter can
may need tomight bettershould oughta
may used tomight had betterused to could
can mightmusta coulda
could mightwould better


As the table shows, there are only possible combinations of an epistemic modal followed by deontic modals in multiple modal constructions. Deontic modals express permissibility with a range from obligated to forbidden and are mostly used as markers of politeness in requests whereas epistemic modals refer to probabilities from certain to impossible. [26] Multiple modals combine these two modalities.

The origin of multiple modals is controversial. Some say it is a development of Modern English, others found out that double modals already existed in Middle English and again others suggest that it derives from Scots-Irish settlers. [26]

Other grammatical features

Beside the three already mentioned grammatical features, there are a few others which aren’t used or are only rarely used today:

a-prefixing

Examples:

(a) I know he wasn’t a-telling the truth
(b) He come a-running out there and got shot
(c) She kept a-running
(d) She continued a-crying

The construction is called a-prefixing, because the a is seen as a prefix placed before the –ing participle form. Most often it occurs with progressive forms as it is the case in sentence (a). Other syntactic contexts in which a-prefixing occurs are as in sentence (b), with movement words such as come, go and take off or together with words of starting and continuing such as in sentence (c) and (d). Together with these words it functions as a type of adverbial complement to the verb. [24]

Phonological restrictions of a-prefixing include that only verbs accented on the initial syllable can occur in the form of a plus verb-ing: a-fóllowin but not *a-discóverin. [25] Moreover, it cannot occur on –ing forms functioning as nouns or adjectives. Thus, sentences like *the movie was a-charmin’ are ungrammatical. [25] 'A' can only be a prefix of verbs or complements of verbs with –ing. [25] As Frazer found out a-prefixing is more likely to be found in the speech of elderly people and might therefore disappear in a few years. [32] This can also be found in Appalachian English.

Mongomery (2009) argues that a-prefixing developed from the preposition "an"/"on" in Early Middle English and suggests that it arose from the loss of the -n from "on" in examples like "hee set before his eyes king Henrie the eight with all his Lordes on hunting in his forrest at Windsore. (Thomas Nashe, "Unfortunate Traveller," 1594)." [33]

Plural verbal -s

Our father and mother sends you their blessings.

This kind of grammatical feature is most often used in Black English Vernacular but also white people in Texas use it. [34] Bailey, Maynor and Cukor-Avila examined that 70% of the black population and 43% of the white population put an –s on the third person plural in folk speech. [34] But here again the use of the third person singular marker –s in the plural is also declining in frequency.

Existential it

(a) It is nothing more to say.
(b) It is a friend of mine who likes to hear that kind of music.

Standard English would prefer: There is nothing more to say and in the second example: There is a friend of mine who likes to hear that kind of music.

Accordingly, in Texan English some people use existential it instead of existential there. Existential there is used to say that something exists rather than saying where it is located. [35] The construction can be found in Middle English as in Marlowe's Edward II: "Cousin, it is no dealing with him now". [35]

like't'a

I like't'a died [36]

Like't'a is a conjunction of "like to have" coming from Appalachian English. It is most often seen as a synonym of almost. Accordingly, the phrase I like't'a died would be I almost died in Standard English. With this meaning, like't'a can be seen as a verb modifier for actions that are on the verge of happening. [25] Furthermore, it is more often used in figurative than in a literal sense. [25]

Perfective or completive done

(a) She done left [36]
(b) I done told you not to mess up [25]

The past participle form of do together with a past verb form may be used to emphasize the whole action as in sentence (b) or to put emphasis on the completion of the action as in sentence (a). The form can be found not only in Texan English, but also in other varieties of Southern American English and African American vernaculars. [25]

Lexicon

Many of these lexical terms are shared with the Midland and Southern dialects generally:

Texan terms with Spanish origins

Due to Spain's past influence in Texas, the vocabulary of Texas is much more influenced by Spanish than the vocabulary of other states. Some of the Texan terms that originated from Spanish are listed below. [38]

Vocabulary of the South Texas layer

Vocabulary of the Central Texas layer

Texan English styles, uses, phrases, and sayings

Use of conditional syntax

People from Texas often make use of conditional syntaxes as shown below: [44]

Conditional syntax in requests:

  1. "I guess you could step out and git some toothpicks and a carton of Camel cigarettes, if you a mind to".
  2. "If you be good enough to take it, I believe I could stand me a taste". [44]

Conditional syntax in suggestions:

  1. "I wouldn’t look for’m to show up if I was you".
  2. "I’d think that wiskey’d be a trifle hot".

Conditional syntax creates a distance between the speaker’s claim and the hearer. It serves to soften obligations or suggestions, make criticisms less personal, and to express politeness, respect, or courtesy. [44]

Evidentiality

Texans also often use "evidential" predicates such as think, reckon, believe, guess, have the feeling, etc.:

  1. "You already said that once, I believe."
  2. "I wouldn't want to guess, but I have the feeling we'll know soon enough."
  3. "You reckon we ought to get help?"
  4. "I don't believe I've ever known one."

Evidential predicates indicate the certainty of the knowledge asserted in the sentence is, or how it was acquired. According to Johnston, evidential predicates nearly always hedge the assertions and allow the respondents to hedge theirs. They protect speakers from the social embarrassment that appears, in case the assertion turns out to be wrong. As is the case with conditional syntax, evidential predicates can also be used to soften criticisms and to afford courtesy or respect. [44]

History

In its beginning Texas was populated by numerous native tribes before the first European explorers arrived. The Spanish were the first Europeans to visit the region in the 16th and 17th centuries. Since then Texas had continuously been a part of New Spain. [5] Except for the native languages Spanish was the first language spoken in Texas. After Mexico gained independence in 1821, Texas opened up to Anglo Settlements in the 1820s. Following the influx of English-speaking whites from the United States, English became as common as Spanish in central and north Texas while South Texas remained largely Spanish speaking.

Due to the immigration of mainly southern states of the United States, the English language was mainly introduced from the old South. [45] Immigrants who migrated to the east and southeast parts of Texas included Anglos from the lower or coastal South states such as Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana whereas Anglos from the Upper South (Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, the Carolinas, Missouri, and Arkansas) dominated most of northern and central Texas. [25] The immigration from the lower and coastal South to southern Texas can be proven by the 1850 census returns of Jefferson County, located in southeastern Texas. In this census citizens of Jefferson County named their origin among other things. The 1850 census returns of Grayson County which is located in the northeast of Texas proved that immigrants who moved to this area mainly came from the Upper South. [45] Any attempt to make an assumption of the immigration to West Texas is not possible due to the lack of information in the 1860 census concerning the origin of immigrants. However, after a military campaign against the Indians in 1875 the number of immigrants in West Texas grew rapidly. [45] In 1896 400,000 persons moved to north-central Texas, half of which came from northern Arkansas, and Tennessee.

After the Texas Revolution Texas became an independent republic in 1836. As a result, Anglos outnumbered Hispanics [15] and English became the predominant language in Texas. However, Spanish did not simply disappear but was united with the language and culture of the new settlers making a new kind of dialect. [15] Nevertheless, the formation of what we call Texan English was not finished until the 19th century when immigrants from Europe came in great numbers to Texas. [15] The language they brought with them strongly influenced general English as well as Texan English. The migration from Europe to Texas or the USA in general continued in the 20th century and was increased by other immigrants from all over the world, especially from Mexico. [25] In the beginning of the 20th century after the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920 there was a great number of Mexicans which immigrated to Texas. [25] [5] This then slowed down in the mid of the 20th century only to increase massively since 1990. [15] Due to the large number of Mexican immigrants Spanish will continue to have a great influence on the Texan dialect of English.

The history of immigration not only made English the predominant language, but also led to a difference between the pronunciation in West Texas and East Texas. This difference can be easily explained by the migration history of Texas in which different states of the United States and different countries of Europe settled in certain areas, thus "creating a dialectal zone of transition between East and West Texas". [45] Texas had a unique history, an individual migration process, and an existence as an independent Republic. All these factors contributed to form Texan English.

Texan English in the media

Texan English frequently shows up in the media. In the 1950s and 1960s many Hollywood western movies like Giant, Hud, and The Alamo were set in Texas. In those movies the Texan dialect took a big part. In fact, Hollywood stars like James Dean, Rock Hudson, Dennis Hopper, Paul Newman, and Patricia Neal first had to learn how to speak Texan English and were instructed by native Texans. Also the famous TV series Dallas was often characterized by Texan English.

Texas Instruments sometimes uses Texan English in its products. The TIFORM software for its TI-990 minicomputer sometimes displayed "Shut 'er Down Clancey She's a-Pumping Mud". Its documentation defined the error message as "An error has occurred in the TIFORM Executor which is not identifiable. Please call the TI customer representative". [46]

The Texan accent gained nationwide fame with the presidency of native Texan Lyndon B. Johnson. A lifelong resident of the Texas Hill Country, Johnson's thick accent was a large part of his personality and brought attention and fame to the dialect. [15] [47]

The Texan dialect gained fame again when George W. Bush started to serve as president. The former President, who moved to West Texas at the age of two, always emphasized his connection to Texas by retaining his dialect during his time in office. His dialect was particularly heavy. Words like America sometimes sounded like "Amur-kah" or even just like "Mur-kah". [15] [48] Former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also speaks with a distinctively Texan accent.

Languages spoken in Texas

Languages spoken in Texas Languages spoken in Texas.png
Languages spoken in Texas

Although the state of Texas does not have an official language, the majority of all Texans speak English. Because of the large number of Spanish-speaking immigrants from Mexico, Spanish is the second most widespread language. About 14 million Texan residents speak exclusively English, which is around two-thirds of the people over five years old in Texas. Due to thousands of Mexican immigrants, around 6 million (ca. 29%) people in Texas speak Spanish as the first language. [49] Recent data shows that Spanish is still increasing. [50] Since there are so many Spanish speakers in Texas, Spanish has a high impact on the English dialect spoken in Texas. [51] For instance, many Texan English words are derived or adopted from Spanish. Many Mexican Americans in Texas speak their own variety of English which has many Spanish features (terms, phonology, etc.). This dialect is called Tejano English (TE) and is mostly spoken by working-class Mexican Americans. A very distinctive feature of that dialect is the /-t,d/-deletion in words which contain a /t/ or /d/ in the final position. [52] In addition to Spanish, there are several other non-English languages, but compared to Spanish they are not very common (see table).

Source: [49]

LanguageSpeaker%
English 13,528,19166.35%
All languages other than English combined6,858,87033.64%
Spanish 5,932,60929.09%
Vietnamese 139,5340.68%
Chinese 83,6410.41%
German 61,3160.30%
French 57,9920.28%
Tagalog 56,7520.27%
Korean 45,2720.22%
Urdu 43,2020.21%
Hindi 39,5700.19%

Related Research Articles

Germanic languages Sub-branch Indo-European language

The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family spoken natively by a population of about 515 million people mainly in Europe, North America, Oceania, and Southern Africa.

Spoken English shows great variation across regions where it is the predominant language. This article provides an overview of the numerous identifiable variations in pronunciation; such distinctions usually derive from the phonetic inventory of local dialects, as well as from broader differences in the Standard English of different primary-speaking populations.

A diphthong, also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel sounds within the same syllable. Technically, a diphthong is a vowel with two different targets: that is, the tongue moves during the pronunciation of the vowel. In most dialects of English, the phrase no highway cowboys has five distinct diphthongs, one in every syllable.

Madí language Arawan language

Madí—also known as Jamamadí after one of its dialects, and also Kapaná or Kanamanti (Canamanti)—is an Arawan language spoken by about 1,000 Jamamadi, Banawá, and Jarawara people scattered over Amazonas, Brazil.

African-American Vernacular English, known less precisely as Black Vernacular, Black English Vernacular (BEV), Black Vernacular English (BVE) or colloquially Ebonics, is the variety of English natively spoken by most working- and middle-class African Americans and some Black Canadians, particularly in urban communities.

Portuguese dialects are mutually intelligible variations of the Portuguese language over Portuguese-speaking countries and other areas holding some degree of cultural bound with the language. Portuguese has two standard forms of writing and numerous regional spoken variations.

Spanish dialects and varieties Spanish dialects

Some of the regional varieties of the Spanish language are quite divergent from one another, especially in pronunciation and vocabulary, and less so in grammar.

Keres language language family or language isolate spoken by Native Americans in New Mexico, USA

Keresan, also Keres, is a Native American language, spoken by the Keres Pueblo people in New Mexico. Depending on the analysis, Keresan is considered a small language family or a language isolate with several dialects. The varieties of each of the seven Keres pueblos are mutually intelligible with its closest neighbors. There are significant differences between the Western and Eastern groups, which are sometimes counted as separate languages.

Chicano English or Mexican-American English, is a dialect of American English spoken primarily by Mexican Americans, particularly in the Southwestern United States, ranging from Texas to California but also apparent in Chicago. Chicano English is sometimes mistakenly conflated with Spanglish, which is a grammatically simplified mixing of Spanish and English; however, Chicano English is a fully formed and native dialect of English, not a "learner English" or interlanguage. It is even the native dialect of some speakers who know little to no Spanish.

Rioplatense Spanish dialect spoken in countries near the Río de la Plata

Rioplatense, locally known as Castellano, is a romance language spoken mainly in the areas in and around the Río de la Plata Basin of Argentina and Uruguay. It is also referred to as River Plate Spanish or Argentine Spanish. Being the most prominent dialect to employ voseo in both speech and writing, many features of Rioplatense are also shared with the varieties spoken in Eastern Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. This dialect is often spoken with an intonation resembling that of the Neapolitan language of Southern Italy, but there are exceptions. The usual word employed to name the Spanish language in this region is castellano and seldom español. See names given to the Spanish language.

Appalachian English dialect of the English language

Appalachian English is American English native to the Appalachian mountain region of the Eastern United States. Historically, the term "Appalachian dialect" refers to a local English variety of southern Appalachia, also known as Smoky Mountain English or Southern Mountain English in the United States, both influential upon and influenced by the Southern U.S. regional dialect, which has become predominant in central and southern Appalachia today, while a Western Pennsylvania regional dialect has become predominant in northern Appalachia. The 2006 Atlas of North American English identifies the "Inland South", a dialect sub-region in which the Southern U.S. dialect's defining vowel shift is the most developed, as centering squarely in southern Appalachia: namely, the cities of Knoxville and Chattanooga, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; and Asheville, North Carolina. All Appalachian English is rhotic and characterized by distinct phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon. It is mostly oral but its features are also sometimes represented in literary works.

North-Central American English is an American English dialect native to the Upper Midwestern United States, an area that somewhat overlaps with speakers of the separate Inland North dialect, centered more around the eastern Great Lakes region. The North Central dialect, often popularly though stereotypically recognized as a Minnesota accent, most strongly stretches from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to eastern Montana, including the northern tip of Wisconsin, the northern half of Minnesota, some of northern South Dakota, and most of North Dakota; however, many speakers of the dialect are also found scattered throughout Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin, as well as in the northern half of Iowa.

North American English regional phonology is the study of variations in the pronunciation of spoken North American English —what are commonly known simply as "regional accents". Though studies of regional dialects can be based on multiple characteristics, often including characteristics that are phonemic, phonetic, lexical (vocabulary-based), and syntactic (grammar-based), this article focuses only on the former two items. North American English includes American English, which has several highly developed and distinct regional varieties, along with the closely related Canadian English, which is more homogeneous geographically. American English and Canadian English have more in common with each other than with varieties of English outside North America.

Belize Kriol is an English-based creole language closely related to Miskito Coastal Creole, Jamaican Patois, San Andrés-Providencia Creole, Bocas del Toro Creole, Colón Creole, Rio Abajo Creole and Limón Coastal Creole.

Central American Spanish Spanish dialect family

Central American Spanish is the general name of the Spanish language dialects spoken in Central America. More precisely, the term refers to the Spanish language as spoken in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Although Panama is part of Central America, Panamanian Spanish is classified as a variety of Caribbean Spanish.

English diphthongs have undergone many changes since the Old and Middle English periods. The sound changes discussed here involved at least one phoneme which historically was a diphthong.

English language West Germanic language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. It is named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, as England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea. The language is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse, and to a greater extent by Latin and French.

Standard Canadian English dialect of English

Standard Canadian English is the greatly homogeneous variety of Canadian English spoken particularly all across central and western Canada, as well as throughout Canada among urban middle-class speakers from English-speaking families, excluding the regional dialects of Atlantic Canadian English. English mostly has a uniform phonology and very little diversity of dialects in Canada compared with the neighbouring English of the United States. The Standard Canadian English dialect region is defined by the cot–caught merger to [ɒ](listen) and an accompanying chain shift of vowel sounds, called the Canadian Shift. A subset of this dialect geographically at its central core, excluding British Columbia to the west and everything east of Montreal, has been called Inland Canadian English, and is further defined by both of the phenomena known as "Canadian raising", the production of and with back starting points in the mouth, and the production of with a front starting point and very little glide.

References

  1. 1 2 Colloff, Pamela (27 March 2019). ""Drawl or Nothin'." Do you speak American?". pbs.org.
  2. 1 2 "Mod 2 Lesson 2.3.2 American Regional Dialects". Emedia.leeward.hawaii.edu. Archived from the original on 2015-03-27. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  3. "Do You Speak American . Sea to Shining Sea . American Varieties . Texan - PBS". pbs.org.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Labov, William, Sharon Ash, and Charles Boberg. Atlas of North American English: Phonetics, Phonology and Sound Change. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2006.
  5. 1 2 3 Atwood, E. Bagby. The Regional Vocabulary of Texas. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1962.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Underwood, Gary N. (1990), "Scholarly Responsibility and the Representation of Dialects: The Case of English in Texas", Journal of English Linguistics 23: 95-112.
  7. Walters, Keith. "Dialects". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Web. 14 August 2012
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Carver, Craig M. (1987), American regional dialects : a word geography. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  9. 1 2 Feagin, Crawford. "Vowel Shifting in the Southern States." English in the Southern United States. Ed. Stephen J. Nagle and Sara L. Sanders. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. 126-140.
  10. 1 2 Bailey, Guy. "Directions of Change in Texas English.".Journal of American Culture 14.2 (1991): 125-134.
  11. "Pin-Pen Merger." The American Front Porch. The University of North Carolina. 5 Sept. 2012
  12. Bigham, Doug. "The PIN~PEN Merger: Movement of Front Vowel Allophones in Pre-Nasal Position." Department of Linguistics at the University of Texas. 2007. Accessed 5 September 2012
  13. Thomas, Erik R. (2004), "Rural Southern white accents", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, p. 308, ISBN   3-11-017532-0
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Bailey, Guy. "Directions of Change in Texas English." Journal of American Culture 14.2 (1991): 125-134.
  15. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Texas English." Do you speak American?. 6 Sept 2012
  16. 1 2 3 4 Jung, Natalie A. (2011) "Real-Time Changes in the Vowel System of Central Texas English". "Texas Linguistics Forum" 54:72-78.
  17. Labov et al., 2006, p. 246
  18. Bailey, Guy. "When Did Southern American English Begin?" Old Englishes and Beyond: Studies in Honour of Manfred Gorlach. Ed. Edgar Schneider. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1997. 255-275. .
  19. Parker, David B. "Y’All: Two Early Examples." American Speech 81.1 (2006): 110-112. .
  20. Bagby, Georege William. The letters of Mozis Addums to Billy Ivvins. Richmond: West & Johnson, 1862. .
  21. Montgomery, Michael. "The Etymology of ‘Y’all’." Old English and New: Studies in Language and Linguistics in Honor of Frederic G. Cassidy. Ed. Joan H. Hall, Nick Doane, and Dick Ringler, New York: Garland, 1992. 356–67..
  22. Montgomery, Michael. "Future of Southern American English." SECOL Review 20 (1996): 1–24.
  23. Ching, Marvin K.L. "Plural You/Ya’ll Variation by a Court Judge: Situational Use." American Speech. 76.2 (2001): 115-127.
  24. 1 2 Wolfram, Walt. "Toward a Description of A-Prefixing in Appalachian English." American Speech, 51.1-2 (1976): 45-56.
  25. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Wolfram, Walt, and Natalie Schilling-Estes. American English: Dialects and Variation. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2008.
  26. 1 2 3 4 Bernstein, Cynthia. "Grammatical features of southern speech: y'all, might could, and fixin' to." English in the Southern United States. Eds. Stephen J. Nagel and Sara L. Sanders, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. 106-119.
  27. 1 2 Ching, Marvin K. L. "How Fixed Is Fixin’ to?" American Speech, 62.4 (1987): 332-345.
  28. Pederson, Lee, ed. Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States: Social Pattern for the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1992.
  29. Atwood, E. Bagby. A Survey of Verb Forms in the Eastern United States. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1953.
  30. Montgomery, Michael. "Multiple Modals In LAGS and LAMSAS". From the Gulf States and Beyond: the legacy of Lee Pederson and LAGS. Eds. Michael Montgomery & Thomas E. Nunnaly, Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 1998.
  31. Di Paolo, Marianna. "Double Modals as Single Lexical Items." American Speech, 64.3 (1989): 195-224.
  32. Frazer, Timothy C. "More on the Semantics of A-Prefixing." American Speech, 65.1 (1990): 89-93.
  33. "A-prefixing | Yale Grammatical Diversity Project: English in North America". ygdp.yale.edu. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
  34. 1 2 Bailey, Guy, Natalie Minor, and Patricia Cukor-Avila. "Variation in Subject-Verb Concord in Early Modern English." Language Variation and Change, 1 (1989): 285-300.
  35. 1 2 "Existential it." Online Dictionary of Language Terminology. 4 Oct 2012
  36. 1 2 Bailey, Guy, and Jan Tillery. "The Persistence of Southern American English." Journal of English Linguistics, 24.4 (1996): 308-321.
  37. Barkley, Roy. "Blue Norther" .2012. Texas State Historical Association. 5 Sept 2012.
  38. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Metcalf, Allan. How We Talk: American Regional English Today. Boston: Houghton Mifflin,2000.
  39. 1 2 3 "Texas English". Do you speak American? Web. 14 August 2012
  40. 1 2 3 "Drawl or Nothin'". Do You Speak American?. PBS. 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
  41. 1 2 3 "The Handbook of Texas Online".
  42. Hisbrook, David (August 1984). "Texas Primer: The Icehouse". Texas Monthly .
  43. Pelado
  44. 1 2 3 4 Johnston, Barbara. "Features and Uses of Southern Style". English in the Southern United States. Eds. Stephen J. Nagle and Sara L. Sanders. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. 189-205.
  45. 1 2 3 4 Walsh, Harry, and Victor L. Mote. "A Texas Dialect Feature: Origins and Distribution." American Speech, 49.1-2 (1974). 40-53.
  46. Lener, Jeffrey (1984-04-03). "TI Talks Texan". PC Magazine. p. 49. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  47. "Do You Speak American . Sea to Shining Sea . American Varieties . Texan - PBS". www.pbs.org.
  48. "Drawl or Nothin’" Do you speak American?. 6 Sept 2012
  49. 1 2 Feal, Rosemary G., ed. "MLA Language Map Data Center." Modern English Association. 4 Sept 2012
  50. Feal, Rosemary G., ed. "MLA Language Map Data Center." Archived 2006-06-19 at the Wayback Machine Modern English Association. 4 Sept 2012
  51. "MLA Language Map Data Center." Modern English Association. Ed. Rosemary G. Feal. 4 Sept 2012
  52. Bayley, Robert. "Variation in Tejano English: Evidence for Variable Lexical Phonology." Language Variety in the South. eds. Cynthia Berstein et al. Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 1997. 197-210.

[1]