Difference between accent and dialect
accent and dialect :
While the terms accent and dialect are used in the same context of language, they bear completely different meanings from each other. Yet this difference can be not so apparent to some whereas it can be quite blatant to others.
What is accent?
The term accent, derived from the Latin word accentus which means tone, signal or intensity, can be defined as the manner in which a person pronounces a language. It is often associated with a country, area, or social class with an emphasis given to certain syllables, words, or notes. Here, a certain prominence is given to certain syllables in terms of loudness, pitch or the length of a vowel. It can also be a combination of all these factors as well. An accent can denote the carrying of the the rhythms and the cadence of one’s mother language into another language. One can take the example of a French person speaking English with that rhythm and a certain emphasize on certain words.
What is dialect?
Derived from the Greek word dialektos which means discourse or the way of speaking, the term dialect can be defined as a form of a language which differs form other varieties of the same language in terms of phonology, grammar, and vocabulary and is peculiar to a specific region or social group that is separated either geographically or socially. It differs from the standard literary language or speech pattern of the culture in which it exists and also, these dialects can be many and can vary greatly as well.
For example, one can take the many dialects of the French Language that exist in France or the Spanish dialects which vary from region to region which deviate from the original language. These dialects can differ to the point of being mutually unintelligible.
What is the difference between dialect and accent?
While an accent speaks of pronunciation, a dialect refers to certain changes in vocabulary, grammar, syntax and phonology which in unique to a certain area or a group of people. Accents affect the way one speaks in terms of tonality, pitch, rhythm or the emphasize of certain sounds while dialects differ from region to region, from one group of people to the other.
An accent usually occurs when one speaks a language which is foreign to his or her own mother tongue. In this case, the rhythm and the tonality of a language that a certain individual is used to constantly using, affects the language that he or she is not so familiar with. For example, one can see the blatant difference in a British or an American speaking in English and a Spanish person speaking in English. In terms of accent, it is the pronunciation of words that is given the prominence here and the rhythm that one utilizes in speaking so.
accents can differ from one country to another as well. While speaking the same language, the way in which a British person speaks and pronounces certain words is largely different from the way in which an American speaks and pronounces certain words.
A dialect on the other hand, dos not solely concentrate on the pronunciation of the words. While dialects differ from region to region with sometimes slight differences to major differences which deviate completely from the main language, it focuses on all three aspects of the language such as morphology, phonology and syntax. Sometimes unique words are coined which are specific to that certain dialect and the way in which these words are pronounced is largely different as well. Therefore, while an accent tends to be country based, a dialect varies from region to region and sometimes from one ethnic group to the other as well.