How can you make up a convincing dialect?
I often need to introduce one, if not several, made up dialects. We're talking about fictional worldbuilding: so any real world dialect is ruled out. They can be used as a source of inspiration, but they can't be straight up applied.
Creating a dialect from scratch is easier than making a completely new language, since it relays a lot on an already existing and estabilished tongue. If English is the base, we'll have a lot of vocabulary and grammar to draw from.
Yet making a dialect comes with its own challenges.
I'm specifically looking for ways to change, distort and "misuse" the base language in a convincing way, while mantaining readability for the readers. More on this point:
- I'd rather not use nonces and completely made up words. While dialects usually have a lot of new terms, it's hard for the reader to familiarize with new vocabulary. And I'd rather avoid the squanch effect (Source: no less than a a rick&morty scene).
- For a similar reason, I'm kinda wary of accents. They are hard to convey without telling the reader (she was speanking with a southern accent ... she used to drag on the vocal at the end of each word ..) and can't be transcribed in text effectively*.
As a point of reference, I consider Brandon Sanderson' High Imperial a well made dialect, albeit delightfully confusing: link.
*N.B.: to be fair, some accents probably CAN be transcribed effectly, but while this is somewhat doable for real dialects with actual references, I feel it would be significantly difficult for an invented one.