Every country has different accents for different regions within their country. In the U.S. there are many identifiable accents like the New York accent (Noo-Yawk). It has distinct features, for example the dropping of the R. Another example is the southern accent. It stretches across the southern states and is distinctive for its draw. The latter also with its own nuances whether it be the actual “drawl” from the South or the “twang” from inland areas.

These “accents” are actually considered dialects. An accent refers more to a pronunciation that sounds non-native, such as a foreign accent, whereas a dialect refers to the native in both grammar and sounds of native speakers of a language. These two dialects, like many others in the U.S., have been around for many years. Derived from immigrants that came to the United States in the 19th and 20th century.

There is a reason people visiting Miami might hear a difference in the English pronunciations when speaking with locals. Large populations of immigrants in one specific area are a big influence for dialects. Different language communities have certain ways of talking that set them apart from others. Pronunciation in grammar, vocabulary, syntax and common expression create these differences in dialects. Regional or social groups that are somewhat isolated from other groups will develop a characteristic dialect.

Miami, has one of the largest Hispanic communities within the United States. With a Spanish speaking population of 24% it now has its own new dialect. Miami’s immigrants arrived with the influx that came to Miami in the 1960’s through the 1990’s. Immigrants came from Spanish speaking countries like Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Spanish speech patterns were integrated into the English language to create this new dialect. For instance, children in Miami are growing up and learning English in a Spanish-speaking environment. Children are sharing cultures, idioms, accents and speech patterns in their schools and communities. This is creating a new English “accent” that incorporates some non-native features.

So next time you visit Miami listen a bit closer and you may be able to hear the new dialect influenced by Miami’s local Hispanic population.

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