As a modern topographical and cultural term, East Anglia refers to an area with no official status. Most people would agree that the English counties of Norfolk and Suffolk are prototypically East Anglian. Historically, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of East Anglia at its greatest extent consisted of the habitable parts of Norfolk and Suffolk plus eastern Cambridgeshire. East Anglian English has probably always been a distinctive area. East Anglia has a serious claim to be the first place in the world where English was ever spoken. Subsequently, East Anglian English played an important role in the formation of Standard English, in the development of colonial Englishes, notably the American English of New England and also formed part of the input for the formation of the Englishes of Australia and New Zealand. More recently, however, East Anglia, particularly the northern area, has become much more isolated, and its English has retained a number of conservative features. Modern linguistic East Anglia consists of a core area (Norfolk and Suffolk, except for the Fenland areas of western Norfolk and northwestern Suffolk, plus northeastern Essex) together with surrounding transition zones (Norfolk and Suffolk Fens, together with eastern Cambridgeshire, central Essex, and a small area of NE Hertfordshire).