which of the US's many accents and dialects is 'American English'. This is due to the fact that language is not stable. Its ever-changing nature means that a few decades after this Entry is finished, its descriptions will be out of date. However, increasingly, students of English in non-English speaking countries will opt to learn American English.
There are literally thousands of small variations on accents throughout America. In the past, the difficulty of communication and transportation led to languages being developed in relative isolation. Accents might spread where transportation is easy, so a particular dialect would have been common amongst people living near a particular river or along a paved road.
There are umbrella groupings that many dialects fall under, but there are subtle shades and nuances to each dialect. Unfortunately, many local accents are being flattened or absorbed by regional accents due to increased communication and migration between areas of the United States that used to be very remote from each other. There is actually some concern that local accents will totally die out due to the influences of mass media and migrants. There is some evidence that local American dialects are dying out, and are being absorbedContinued page 3/7