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Old 02-02-2011, 01:18 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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What are the main differences, if any, you notice between the general accent spoken in western states like Colorado and California, vs eastern Midwest and eastern states like Ohio and Jersey? Discounting the regional dialects like NY, Boston, I'm talking about the people in these areas that have a 'standard' Gen Am accent but maybe with some regional features.

The biggest one I think is whether 'sure' rhymes with 'sher' or 'shore'. What ones do you notice/have you heard? Not including regional slang/terms like pop/soda but the way words are said.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:33 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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Most people in the western half of the country have the cot/caught, don/dawn, hock/hawk merger; whereas most people in the eastern half still make the distinction, except for eastern Massachusetts & northern New England, western Pennsylvania, and increasingly much of West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. Also, many younger people in the Midland "strip" that includes cities like Columbus and Indianapolis have begun to lose the distinction.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:32 AM
 
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I see a huge difference in these words:

Camera (cAImra/cAAHmra)
Thanks (thIEnks/thAAHnks)
Panic (pAInic/pAAHnic)

Also, certain words that have the I in Pink (PEENK/Pihnk)

And of course
caught, fought, brought, sought, taught (Aht vs awwt)

This is hard to explain online.. but I can tell a west coast person a mile away due to their blatant misuse of vowels
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Both coasts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post

The biggest one I think is whether 'sure' rhymes with 'sher' or 'shore'.
I've heard "sure" pronounced as "shore" across the West as well.


In regards to OP, it is hard to describe but West Coast accents are a little "flatter" (inland Western states such as Arizona/ Colorado are less flat than West Coast) so there is less drawing-out of vowels (for instance "can" pronounced cAAn (west) vs. cAIn (midwest/ NE) vs. cAYAn (South).

But standard American English is general does drawl out vowels more than other English accents- for instance even in Seattle "can" is still more drawn out than how "can" is pronounced in Canadian English...

Last edited by f1000; 02-02-2011 at 08:53 AM..
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:24 PM
 
165 posts, read 434,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe84323 View Post
I see a huge difference in these words:

Camera (cAImra/cAAHmra)
Thanks (thIEnks/thAAHnks)
Panic (pAInic/pAAHnic)

Also, certain words that have the I in Pink (PEENK/Pihnk)

And of course
caught, fought, brought, sought, taught (Aht vs awwt)

This is hard to explain online.. but I can tell a west coast person a mile away due to their blatant misuse of vowels
Regarding the short "A" sound being pronounced as a diphthong, I believe you're referring to this
Northern cities vowel shift - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia You can hear this pronunciation from audience members in TV shows filmed in Chicago, such as "Oprah Winfrey" and formerly "Phil Donahue."
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:19 PM
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Location: Western Massachusetts
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I always found that short "A" sound extremely grating. For some reason I thought it was southern the first time I heard it.

There isn't really one east coast accent. But the west coast is mostly the same. When you were talking about "can", were you talking about the noun or the verb? Though I've noticed that west-coasters (and it seems a few parts of the east coast) seem to pronounce the verb and noun the same, which is kinda weird to me.
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:32 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I always found that short "A" sound extremely grating. For some reason I thought it was southern the first time I heard it.

There isn't really one east coast accent. But the west coast is mostly the same. When you were talking about "can", were you talking about the noun or the verb? Though I've noticed that west-coasters (and it seems a few parts of the east coast) seem to pronounce the verb and noun the same, which is kinda weird to me.
All Americans pronounce 'can' as in 'I can do it' and 'can' as in a 'can of beer' the same, as far as I know, with the possible exception of some in New England and Western Pennsylvania.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:28 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
All Americans pronounce 'can' as in 'I can do it' and 'can' as in a 'can of beer' the same, as far as I know, with the possible exception of some in New England and Western Pennsylvania.
Oh no. People in many Northern states (Great Lakes, most of the Midwest) have a very nasal "ey-ah" sound to a short "a". Can gets twisted into a "key-ahn" sound (sorry, I can't think of an exactly way to spell it phonetically).
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:41 PM
 
Location: The City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
All Americans pronounce 'can' as in 'I can do it' and 'can' as in a 'can of beer' the same, as far as I know, with the possible exception of some in New England and Western Pennsylvania.

I am not sure, just thinking through to me the verb and noun are pronounced completely different. And I am from far Eastern PA, not western PA


to me they would be "I ken do it" or "get me a c'anne of beer"
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:15 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,116,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
I am not sure, just thinking through to me the verb and noun are pronounced completely different. And I am from far Eastern PA, not western PA


to me they would be "I ken do it" or "get me a c'anne of beer"
Probably because you're from Philly...I should include the eastern seaboard among those that may distinguish, but I've watched alot of American TV and the verb and noun of 'can' are generally merged as one. Clipped vowels are rare/non-existent in the General American accent.
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