eye dialect

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From eye +‎ dialect, by analogy with eye rhyme. First used by George Philip Krapp in The English Language in America (1925) in reference to written dialogue that uses nonstandard spelling but does not indicate an unusual pronunciation.

Noun[edit]

eye dialect (countable and uncountable, plural eye dialects)

Examples

womenwimmin
saidsed
listenlissen
boysboyz

  1. (uncountable) Nonstandard spellings which, although they indicate a standard pronunciation, are deliberately substituted in place of the standard spellings, often to indicate that a speaker's regular use of language is nonstandard or dialectal.
  2. (countable) A set of such nonstandard spellings, collectively used to reflect a certain form of speech.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Whether a given nonstandard spelling is eye dialect depends on the standard pronunciation in the respective country or area. For example, the spelling fatha for father is eye dialect in comparison to a predominantly nonrhotic standard pronunciation (as in most of England), but it would more properly be considered dialect spelling or pronunciation spelling in comparison to a predominantly rhotic standard pronunciation (as in most of the US).

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