American Voices by W Wolfram and B Ward

By W Wolfram and B Ward

American Voices is a suite of brief, readable descriptions of varied American dialects, written via 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 interesting examine the entire variety of yank social, ethnic, and local dialects written for the lay individual

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From Taggert’s (2000) Yat-speak: A Lexicon of New Orleans Terminology and Speech, much can be extracted about New Orleans pronunciation and vocabulary. The dialects of New Orleans often lack r after vowels. For example, charmer is pronounced CHAW-muh. Thus, for many New Orleanians, water, quarter, and oughtta rhyme, and autistic and artistic are homophones. The vowel sound ah merges with the sound aw (as in awful) so that John and lawn rhyme. The th spelling is pronounced d, as shown by da QUAW-tah for the Quarter.

The caught/cot merger is particularly interesting in Texas since it should signal the movement of the phonological system away from the “Southern Shift” pattern. In the Texas Panhandle, though, things are not quite so simple. Even as the caught/cot merger has become the norm among those born after World War II, the loss of the offglide in right and ride and Southern Shift features remain quite strong. What seems to be emerging on the west Texas plains, then, is a dialect that combines features of Southern speech and another major dialect.

Because of this problem of defining a single Appalachian English, we have begun to view it not as one dialect with a particular set of features, but as a number of dialects. The Roots of the Dialect One popular myth is that Elizabethan English is still spoken in the region. The varieties of Appalachian English are diverse, but Elizabethan English, which was spoken during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603), was never spoken in Appalachia. In 1603, the colony of Jamestown was only an idea, and major settlement in the region did not begin until the eighteenth century.

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