THE BEGINNINGS OF AMERICAN ENGLISH
Where does American English begin? Early settlements were points of linguistic entry:
New England: 1. Boston, Massachusetts, Bay Colony (early 17c) 2. New London (early 18c)
Middle Atlantic 1. New York (founded as New Amsterdam; seized by the English from the Dutch in 1644) 2. Pennsylvania (Philadelphia founded by William Penn in 1681)
South Atlantic 1. Virginia, Jamestown Colony (1607) 2. Charlestown, South Carolina (late 17c) 3. Georgia (1730s)
These areas of settlement are points of dialect origin. Each place was settled by speakers of distinctive English dialects, and the sounds and forms of the lg descend from those earlier English regions.
Settlements at the months of rovers became points of linguistic change. Natural boundaries are more important in this sense than man-made ones.
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