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Dialects and Accents in the US

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K Pech

on 17 October 2012

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Transcript of Dialects and Accents in the US

A brief journey in phonetics Dialects and Accents in the US "New England" "The South" The Map The West "This category covers the largest amount of territory, including most of the Mountain and Western states. Accents here can vary from sounding slightly Southern (as in parts of Colorado) to having a bit of a Canadian flavor (the Pacific Northwest).

Prominent Features: The one dominant feature here is something liguists call the Cot-Caught Merger, meaning that words like thought, paw and caught are pronounced with the same vowel as not, cod and rock." Above is a map that divides the United States into regions distinguished by their accents. Which is the largest region (in area) with a single accent? The New England accent is marked by the use of "AH" instead of the pronunciation of "R", otherwise known as "fronting".

For example, the word "market" will sound like "mAHket" when pronounced by someone from Boston. Listen to the video below and see if you can find examples of this type of pronunciation for words that include the letter R. A "diphthong" is a sound formed by the combination of two vowels in a single syllable, in which the sound begins as one vowel and moves toward another (as in coin, loud, and side) Southern accents will "diphthongize" singular vowels that may not actually appear in words with diphtongs. For example: the word "girlfriend" might sound like "gearlfriend". Check out the video of Paula Dean, a notorious chef in the South. One feature of California English is that vowels are almost drawn out (made longer) when spoken. Check out the pronunciation in this clip from the 90's film "Clueless". QUESTIONS? Here are some resources on English pronunciation: 1. Website with map and links to academic sources on liguistics: http://aschmann.net/AmEng/ 2. Wordpress blog on pronunciation and accents:
http://dialectblog.com/northamerican-accents/ 3. 50 mispronunciations to avoid:
http://www.dailywritingtips.com/50-incorrect-pronunciations-that-you-should-avoid/ Anything else? feel free to email me: kpecherer@gmail.com
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