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The Canadian English Language: Autonomy and Homogeneity Essay


In the mid-20th century, Canadian English joined the constellation of the “World Englishes,” and the study of the dialect commenced. Territorially, the use of Canadian English is mostly characteristic for the areas located within the boundaries of Canada. The language bears a very strong resemblance to the British English and is traditionally opposed to American English.

It would be wrong, though, to consider the Canadian English a bland copy of the English language. The Canadian language is linked directly to the Canadian identity and, therefore, bears a range of distinctions that make it unique.

Nevertheless, even with all the evidence that displays the obvious independence of the Canadian English language, its autonomy is doubted by a range of scholars. The genesis and the historical development of the language, however, can be traced rather easily once the key pieces of evidence concerning the Canadian language are considered.

Still, claiming that there is a separate language called Canadian will be an exaggeration. The Canadian English language is currently interpreted as the variation of the English language, along with the Americana and Australian English languages.

Canadian English vs. American English

Despite being neighboring states, Canada and the United States do not share many similarities in terms of their language. Indeed, a closer look at the two will reveal that Canadian English has different ways of spelling words, a different manner of pronouncing them, etc.

However, Canadian English still could not avoid the process of assimilation with American English entirely. For example, the fact that some of the linguistic forms tended to assimilate to the supra-regional forms adopted and used widely in North America was obvious. The specified process should not be viewed as negative, though; instead, it may be interpreted as an essential step in the evolution of the Canadian English language.

Canadian English and British English

Though the languages are often considered very similar in terms of pronunciation and spelling, the number of people using each differs in Canada and Great Britain. The percentage of people speaking the Canadian English language in the state makes around 90%.

This is, in fact, a rather large number by all accounts; for instance, the number of people speaking the standard British language (the so-called “received pronunciation”) make only 3–5%, according to the recent calculations.

Evolution of Canadian English

Apart from the above-mentioned fusion with the British English language at some point, Canadian English has undergone impressive alterations since it emerged.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the language experienced a major Americanization. Nevertheless, the language maintained its homogeneity over decades, which manifests itself in a comparatively small number of dialects and a consistent development of phonetics and vocabulary of the Canadian English language across the state.

Even though the Canadian English language displays an impressive variety in its forms, this variety is traditionally referred to as homogenous. In other words, the language is considered to have been evolving in its direction.

Even though it has not been isolated from the influences of other languages and cultures, including the British and the American one, the specified language still displays an impressive tendency for defining its tracks for further development. While the accents spoken in Canada are very numerous, some of them featuring a distinct influence of French, the Canadian English retains its unique identity.

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IvyPanda. (2020, March 22). The Canadian English Language: Autonomy and Homogeneity. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-canadian-english-language-autonomy-and-homogeneity/

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"The Canadian English Language: Autonomy and Homogeneity." IvyPanda, 22 Mar. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-canadian-english-language-autonomy-and-homogeneity/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Canadian English Language: Autonomy and Homogeneity." March 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-canadian-english-language-autonomy-and-homogeneity/.


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IvyPanda. "The Canadian English Language: Autonomy and Homogeneity." March 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-canadian-english-language-autonomy-and-homogeneity/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "The Canadian English Language: Autonomy and Homogeneity." March 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-canadian-english-language-autonomy-and-homogeneity/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Canadian English Language: Autonomy and Homogeneity'. 22 March.

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