Many people are probably not aware of the
extent to which sistematic differences exist
Internal variation refers to the property of
languages of having
different ways of
expressing the same meaning. This is a
property that is inherent to all human
languages and to all speakers of a
The term language variety is used among
linguistcs as a cover term to refer to many different
types of language variation. The term may be used
in reference to a distinct language such as Italian
or French, or in reference to a particular form of a
language spoken by a specific group of people
such as Appalachian English, or even in reference
to the speech of a single person.
When a group of speakers of particular
language differs noticeably in its speech
from another group we say that they are
It is any variety of a language spoken by a
group of people that is characterized by
systematic differences from other varieties of
the same language in terms of structural or
The appropiate term for systematics
phonological variation is accent.
It is often used in refference to foreign
accent or regionally defined accents
such as southern or northern accents.
The form of a language spoken by one
person is known as an idiolect.
One criterion used to distinguish dialects
from languages is mutual intelligibility.
If a speaker of one language variety can
understand speakers of another language
variety and vice versa, we say that this
variety are mutually intelligible.
Another complication for the criterion of
mutual intelligibility is found in a fenomenon
known as a dialect continuum.
This is a situation where, in a large number
of contiguous dialects each dialect is closely
related to the next, but the dialects at either
and of the continuum( scale)are mutually
A group of people speaking the same dialect
is known as a speech community.
Speech communities may be defined in
terms of a number of extralinguistic
factors (extra- in the sense of ‘outside of’
, that is, factors non based in linguistic
structure), in cluding region, socioeconomic
status, and ethnicity.
Communicative isolation results when a
group of speakers forms a coherent speech
community relatively isolated from speakers
outside of that community.
This type of isolation was perharps once a
posibility but is beoming increasingly rare
these days owing to social and geographic
mobility, mass media, ect.
• Silva-Corvalán, Carmen (2001) Sociolingüística y
pragmática del español. Washington D.C. Georgetown