New PDF release: American Voices: How Dialects Differ from Coast to Coast

By Walt Wolfram, Ben Ward

ISBN-10: 1405121084

ISBN-13: 9781405121088

ISBN-10: 1405154454

ISBN-13: 9781405154451

American Voices is a set of brief, readable descriptions of assorted American dialects, written by way of most sensible researchers within the box. written by way of most sensible researchers within the box and contains Southern English, New England speech, Chicano English, Appalachian English, Canadian English, and California English, between many others attention-grabbing examine the total variety of yankee social, ethnic, and neighborhood dialects written for the lay individual

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

Sample text

Although outsiders may think that “mountain talk” is unsophisticated or uneducated, the complex features briefly surveyed here indicate that this dialect is anything but simple. The people of the Smoky Mountains have created and maintained a dialect that reflects both their history and their identity. This dialect is quite distinct both linguistically and socially. As you will hear when you visit the area, mountain talk displays and preserves local tradition, culture, and experience. To hear the language of the Smoky Mountains is to hear the mountains talk.

The accent that emerges from this study, as well as from tape-recordings of Charlestonians born around the beginning of the twentieth century, is distinct not only from most other dialects of American English but also from the rest of the South. The special position that it occupies among the dialects of North America is not necessarily due to the uniqueness of any single feature, as most of its traits can be found in other dialects of English, but rather to its unique combination of features and to the sources of these traits.

This pronunciation has been stereotyped in spellings such as a boot for about, pronounced something like uh-buh-oot. This pronunciation is found not only in Charleston; Canada is known for this pronunciation, as well as parts of the US such as the Tidewater region of Virginia. The initial part of the vowel sound is also raised in the pronunciation of like, rice, and tight. In its most extreme form, the vowel of like may sound more like lake and rice more like race. 32 Doing the Charleston AVC05 32 21/7/05, 10:47 AM Another feature of Charleston is a lack of distinction between certain vowels before r, leading to identical pronunciation of words such as ear and air, hear and hair, and beer and bear.

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


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