Dialect Variants Types and 17 Examples

Simon Doyle

The dialect variants They are variations of a specific language, which occur depending on the geographical location and that despite these, is understood by all, does not affect communication or modify the language as a unit.

This means that within a territory that speaks the same language, slight variations or small differences may occur due to the particular characteristics of each particular area..

No language is uniform, it is determined by various factors that are constantly modifying it, so that in any territory variants can be found in the language: these variants are what are known as dialects.

Although dialect is usually considered as a kind of system of lower category or simpler than a language, in reality it is a particular way of speaking or writing that particular language.

It can then be said that a language is, in reality, the sum of all the dialects -regional or group forms of speech- as well as the idiolects -personal forms of speech-, sociolects and styles that exist at a given historical moment..

Reasons for dialect variants

The reasons for these variations are diverse: some may date back many years, and others may have been introduced into the language more recently. In general terms, it can be said that some of the reasons for the dialect variants are:

1- The historical moment

2- The region

3- Technological innovations

4- Fashion

5- Social changes

6- The migratory waves

7- Globalization and transculturation

Types of dialect variants

Diatopic variant

It is the one that causes differences in the language determined by geographical causes, such as climate, height, isolation, etc..

It gives rise to the formation of regional dialects or regionalisms. Examples of these are the peninsular, Caribbean dialects, etc. This is the dialect variant itself.

Diaphase variant

Determines language difference caused by style or personal way of expressing.

In style, connotations or concomitant non-linguistic details that accompany the word, such as the intonation of the speaker, are of particular importance..

Diachronic variant

In this variant, the changes in the language have to do with the passage of time. They are slow changes that can only be seen over a long period of time.

Diastratic variant

It is a socio-cultural variable that is mainly influenced by the cultural and socio-economic level of the speakers.

The dialect variants can also be classified according to their origin in:


They are words incorporated into the language that come from the languages ​​of the aboriginal peoples.


They are differences in vocabulary, grammar or intonation of the language in different regions within the same country or territory.


They are words belonging to other languages ​​that have been incorporated with the same or different meaning.

Examples of dialect variants

Some peculiarities of the dialect variants

Towns located in high altitude or cold climates tend to have a slower and more leisurely way of speaking and use fewer words than those settled on the coasts or hot climates..

In some cases, dialects or ways of speaking "in code" are developed, such as lunfardo in Argentina or coba in Ecuador..

Although they originated from particular situations of a certain historical moment, many words have been acquired by the general population and have incorporated them into language.

Dialects within countries: in Spain, for example, they are clearly identifiable as they use different words and very different pronunciations (Galician, Canarian, Madrid).

However, in other countries the differences are more subtle and are more noticeable by intonation than by the difference in words itself..

For example, in Colombia there are very marked differences between coastal and Andean and, within these dialects, other variants can be found (Cartagena, Guajiro, etc., or Tolima, Santander, Antioqueño, etc.).

In some cases the dialect is given a pejorative load or described based on the small number of people who speak it, however, this should not be considered literally.

Dialects are not degenerations of the language, but regional variations of it. For example: the Spanish who colonized America considered as dialects the languages ​​spoken by the natives, when in fact, at that time, they were the formal languages ​​of America.

Another example: Mandarin Chinese can be considered a dialect derived from Chinese, and is spoken by hundreds of millions of people.

A clear example of the dialects influenced by geographic regions occurs in, for example, in Portugal, the Transmontane dialect and Alto-Minoto have many similarities with Galician due to their proximity to Galicia.

Another good example is that of the coastal region of Colombia, where the way of speaking is more similar to that of Venezuela than that of the rest of Colombians.

Similarly, Venezuelans from the Andean region speak more similarly to central Colombians than to Venezuelans..


  1. Consuelo Yánez Cossío (2007). An introduction to general linguistics. Quito, Ecuador.
  2. Ronald Ross (1982). Investigating the syntax of Spanish. Editorial State Distance University. San Jose Costa Rica.
  3. How it is said in your country ... Recovered from mamalatinaenphilly.com.

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