*** Welcome to piglix ***

American English

American English
Region United States
Native speakers
225 million, all varieties of English in the United States (2010 census)
25.6 million L2 speakers of English in the United States (2003)
Latin (English alphabet)
Unified English Braille
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None

American English (variously abbreviated AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), also called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. English is the most widely spoken language in the United States and is the common language used by the federal government, considered the de facto language of the country because of its widespread use. English has been given official status by 32 of the 50 state governments. As an example, while both Spanish and English have equivalent status in the local courts of Puerto Rico. Under federal law, English is the official language for any matters being referred to the United States district court for the territory.

The use of English in the United States is a result of British colonization of the Americas. The first wave of English-speaking settlers arrived in North America during the 17th century, followed by further migrations in the 18th and 19th centuries. Since then, American English has been influenced by the languages of West Africa, the Native American population, German, Dutch, Irish, Spanish, and other languages of successive waves of immigrants to the United States.

Any American English accent perceived as free of noticeably local, ethnic, or cultural markers is popularly called "General American", described by sociolinguist William Labov as "a fairly uniform broadcast standard in the mass media", but otherwise there is not a mainstream standard English of the country, according to historical and present linguistic evidence. According to Labov, with the major exception of Southern American English, regional accents throughout the country are not yielding to this broadcast standard. On the contrary, the sound of American English continues to evolve, with some local accents disappearing, but several larger regional accents emerging and advancing.