The Northern Cities Vowel Shift is radically changing the sound of English:
Despite fears that the growth of TV and radio would homogenize English dialects in the US, the Great Lakes region (from Syracuse to Milwaukee) has been in fact diverging with respect to how people there pronounce English words. Rob Mifsud writes: Consider the three-letter words that begin with b and end in t: bat, bet, bit, bot, and but. All five of those words contain short vowel sounds. Their long-vowel equivalents—bate, beet, bite, boat, boot, and bout—arrived at their modern pronunciations as a result of the Great Vowel Shift that began around 1400 and established the basic contours of today’s English. But those short vowels have remained pretty much constant since the eighth century—in other words, for more than a thousand years. Until now. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead
on Aug 24, 2012 -
Do you speak American?
The companion website to a PBS series, full of interactive language and dialect tools. You can map your attitudes
about regional correctness, guess the speaker's home
, learn about American varieties
, track the history of certain words
, hear samples of regional dialects
, and more.
Further reading: Dialect Map of American English
's local terms, and this collection of local phrases
Previously on MetaFilter: The Dialect Survey (and results), The Speech Accent Archive, Pop vs. Soda.
posted by stopgap
on Jan 20, 2005 -