Difference Between Dialect and Accent

Dialect vs Accent

Dialect and Accent are two words that are often used in the branch of linguistics and are confused when it comes to their meanings. Actually they are two different words that have to be understood differently in terms of their connotations.

A dialect is another form of a given language. It also refers to a language derived from a primary language. For example if Greek is considered a primary language then the other languages that are derived from it such as Attic, Doric and Ionic are all called as dialects. In the same way if Sanskrit is to be considered as a parent language or the primary language, then the languages that are derived from Sanskrit such as Hindi, Oriya, Marathi and Gujarati are all called as dialects.

Hence the word ‘dialect’ is always used in the sense of ‘a secondary language’ to any given primary language. Sometimes the word ‘dialect’ is used in the sense of a regional language. Regional language refers to any language that is spoken in a particular region or place. It is commonly believed that a dialect is impure in nature to some extent. This is possibly due to the fact that most of the words that belong to a dialect are borrowed from the parent language.

An accent on the other hand is the stress or emphasis to be laid on a particular letter or groups of letters in a word. Any language of the word has rules pertaining to accent or stress. It is important to note that accent plays a major role in the writing of poetry.

Accent plays a major role in the art of pronunciation.  Different regions or social groups have different accents, in other words, accent of the speaker is an identity of his/her origin. Accents should never be altered.