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Smith Islands

Language dialects
by

Jennifer Tonti

on 23 April 2010

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Transcript of Smith Islands

There is a small island community known as Smith Island. The Smith Islands It is an island located in the Chesapeake Bay Over the years the settlers have made a localized version of English which features a special dialect. It conserves special pronunciations used by the first settlers so that when voiced words like sink are pronounced as zink. Only accessible by boat The original settlers came from England in the seventeenth century Some of the more recent changes to pronunciation cause words like house to sound like hace. Inhabitants of Smith Islands have a tendency to add a- to verbs ending in –ing such as the men went a-huntin’. Many of the expressions used by the islanders usually have to do with the catching of crabs and their life stages. Now, usually when speech communities are so exclusive, they tend to lose their natural dialect and pick up “mainlander” dialect. However, Smith Islanders retain their dialect and it tends to be getting more predominent, even though it is located near Maryland! It is because of the seclution that they still speak differently. This small population has always prided itself on its independence and its language is a marker of that independence.
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