Monthly Archives: August 2011

Will English Dialects Become Languages?

It’s a fair question to ask if English dialects may eventually split off into separate languages.  This has happened before, of course, Latin being perhaps the most notable example. And while I find it a compelling question, I think we’re … Continue reading

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 26 Comments

[hur-i-keyn]

I am currently in the path of the hurricane about to pummel the Northeastern United States. We’re not entirely sure what the power situation is going to be for the next couple of days, which may or may not result … Continue reading

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Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

A Pronunciation Mystery: American ‘Father’

Sometimes the most common words have the most illogical pronunciations. Such is the case with the American pronunciation of ‘father.’ It seems so self-evident this word is pronounced with a broad a (i.e. an ‘ah’ sound) that this fact barely … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged | 77 Comments

How Do Falkland Islanders Speak?

English has a number of isolated speaker communities throughout the world.  Among the most isolated are the Falkland Islands, which comprise a sparsely populated British territory of about 3,000.  To date, I’ve only found one speech sample of someone truly … Continue reading

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Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

The Most Controversial Thing I Said on this Site

Writing about dialects (or anything language-related), it’s hard to avoid disagreement.  Yet of all the things I’ve said here, my most controversial statement, it seems, is something fairly trivial. That would be my assertion that comedian Ricky Gervais speaks with an … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged | 31 Comments

The Accent(s) of the Pacific Northwest

I’m moving to the Pacific Northwest in about six weeks.  I will soon be able to participate in a hotly debated topic: is there such a thing as a Pacific Northwest accent?  And if there is, what does it sound like? … Continue reading

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Posted in American English | Tagged , | 41 Comments

Apologies About the Comments

A very quick note of apology.  Due to a hectic schedule, I’ve been out of the loop and have had limited time to work on this blog over the past few days.  Unbeknownst to me, the comments have been disabled … Continue reading

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Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The Anglo-Indian Dialect

Below is an interesting short film created from outtakes of The End of the Raaj, a recent documentary about the Anglo-Indian community. This snippet discusses the Anglo-Indian dialect, and the various words and terms associated with this sub-culture. It’s a long clip, … Continue reading

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Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Anne Hathaway’s Accent in ‘One Day’

In news of the dialect work of movie stars, the romantic comedy One Day opens soon. As I did with Mel Gibson’s accent in The Beaver, I’d like to briefly examine Anne Hathaway‘s “Yorkshire accent” in this adaptation of the popular … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 37 Comments

‘Thou’ on Google NGram Viewer

For dialect enthusiasts and language buffs, Google’s NGram Viewer is the kind of thing that keeps us up till the wee hours.  For those out of the loop: type any word (or phrase) into Google’s NGram search, and you’ll get … Continue reading

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 15 Comments