Download American Voices: How Dialects Differ from Coast to Coast by Walt Wolfram, Ben Ward PDF

By Walt Wolfram, Ben Ward

American Voices is a set of brief, readable descriptions of varied American dialects, written through most sensible researchers within the box. written by way of best researchers within the box and contains Southern English, New England speech, Chicano English, Appalachian English, Canadian English, and California English, between many others interesting examine the total diversity of yank social, ethnic, and neighborhood dialects written for the lay individual

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Extra resources for American Voices: How Dialects Differ from Coast to Coast

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The oldest speakers, however, clearly distinguish between them, while middle-aged speakers vary: in some words the two vowels may be identical, for example in Don and dawn, whereas in others they may make a distinction, as in cot vs. caught. The merger of these two vowels is one of the most vigorous sound changes occurring in North American English today, expanding rapidly across many dialect regions, and Charleston is participating in this change. Another recent development in Charleston is the so-called pin/pen merger: a lack of distinction between the vowel of pin and the vowel of pen because of the nasal sound that follows the vowel.

You can’t stand people who say the Mardi Gras or the Jazzfeast. You write eaux for the sound o, as in Geaux Zephyrs or Alfredeaux sauce. New Orleanians are also sentimental about street names (Chase 1949). Part of local identity is knowing that, for example, Milan Street is pronounced MY-lan, Burgundy is bur-GUN-dee, and Calliope is KAL-ee-ope. Over the past twenty years, a name has taken hold for the distinctive lower- and middle-class vernacular of whites in New Orleans. It is called Yat, and for the first time merits an entry in the American Heritage Dictionary (2000).

In most dialects of English today, these vowels are actually pronounced as a combination of two vowel sounds one after another, or diphthongs. In the case of words such as day and made, the vowel begins close to the vowel of dead and ends like the one in see. The gliding nature of these vowels is sometimes reflected in the spelling, as in day or maid. Similarly, the vowel in words such as go and boat is a combination of two vowel elements: it begins as the vowel in bought and ends as the vowel in boot.

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