American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes 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 developed into new dialects, in some cases under the influence of West African and Native American languages, German, Dutch, Irish, Spanish, and other languages of successive waves of immigrants to the United States.
Any American or even Canadian 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". Otherwise, however, historical and present linguistic evidence does not support the notion of there being a mainstream standard English of the United States. 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....LESS