‘Convergence and Divergence in British and American English: Culinary Vocabulary’ by ELAHEH JALILI ME’MARIAN

Abstract

This article explores the possible Convergence and/ or Divergence in “culinary vocabularies used in British English and American English”. This article explores ways to describe and understand the evolution of English language. The idea for this article formed when during a talk with friends, I conceived that there are different words for naming the same foods in close languages, and even within the same language. To put this idea into perspective, I fielded this question that “do the culinary vocabularies in American and British English are on a trend toward convergence or a divergence?” This study seems to have addressed an issue which has not seemingly been attended to yet under a linguistics umbrella. Therefore, this study focuses on depicting the possible future of these two varieties of English in terms of their historical and sociolinguistic changes. The historical and sociolinguistic changes include such features as “fashion”, “external factors”, and “social needs”. A similar survey including fifteen American and fifteen British students in an age range of 18-30, with the purpose of determining the interaction between the two varieties of English, it was found that the culinary vocabularies used by the two groups of speakers do not follow a total converging trend; with such words being in a constant partial convergence and divergence state.

Keywords: Language change, British English, American English, Culinary vocabulary, Divergence, Convergence

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