Standard American

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Standard American is the standardized language variety of American English (AmE or AE) and is often given in the abbreviated form as GA or GenAm. The language form is seen - comparable to Standard German - as the most neutral accent of the language, without any distinctive regional, ethnic or social peculiarities. Standard American is an umbrella term for the pronunciation of American English and is not influenced by regional dialects, accents, colloquial and technical languages, or sociolects. Standard American is spoken not only in the United States , but also in parts of Canada . Increasingly, Standard American is being used as a sample accent in English teaching for non-native speakers.

Standard American in the media

The accent that is most similar to Standard American is spoken in the highlighted region.

Just like Received Pronunciation in British English , Standard American is the most respected form of American English. While Standard American is not the country's accent, it is spoken in many American movies, series, television news, TV commercials, and on the radio.

Standard American is most closely related to the generalized Midwestern American accent, which is especially spoken by news anchors. For this reason, Standard American is commonly referred to as “newscaster accent” or “television English”.

"General", "Eastern", or "Western" American

In general, the American English language area is divided into three areas: "Southern", "New England" and "Eastern" or "General". Nevertheless, linguists do not agree on whether Standard American is called traditional "General American" or whether it is a Western accent. Still other linguists claim that the pronunciation of Standard American is similar to that of the North British Standard. The Americans themselves, on the other hand, are convinced that "General American" developed from midwestern dialects. Large cities such as Chicago and Minneapolis are excluded here, as these have been subjected to the Northern cities vowel shift (Eng. "Vowel shift of northern cities"). The fact that the Midwestern dialect forms the basis of Standard American is also attributed to the mass immigration of peasants and farmers from the Midwest to the west coast. As a result, the dialect spread further west.


  • Gunnel Melchers & Philip Shaw: World Englishes. Great Britain: Arnold Publishers, 2003.
  • John C. Wells: Accents of English 3. Beyond the British Isles. Cambridge University Press, 1982.
  • Hans Galinsky: American English, its inner development and international charisma: e. critical research report as an introduction to d. Foundation phase d. linguistic American Studies (1919-1945). Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1979, ISBN 3-534-07149-2 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Wells (1982: 471).
  2. Melchers (2003: 79).
  6. Galinsky (1979: 50).