Language has sometimes been compared with a tree: from a a trunk grow limbs, from the limbs grow branches, and from the branches grow twigs. Unlike a tree, there are cross-connections between limbs and branches, and even with the tree trunk itself. In this study, the trunk of the language tree is the English of Great Britain during the late seventeenth century. Three great limbs that have grown from this trunk are American English (including Canadian), Australian English (sometimes called Strine). and South African English.
"Varieties of American English,"
Word Ways: Vol. 19
, Article 21.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/wordways/vol19/iss2/21