Monthly Archives: December 2011

‘Couple Dialects’

Couples speak their own languages.  Whether these could be called ‘dialects’ or not is up for debate. But couples certainly seem to engage in code shifting, the act of changing one’s mode of speech depending on context.  They engage in different … Continue reading


Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged | 11 Comments

Anovver Fing About Th-Fronting

In our discussions of dialect evolution in the UK, a common denominator is th-fronting. To review: th-fronters turn ‘th‘ words into ‘f’ or ‘v’ words: ‘thing’ becomes ‘fing,’ ‘bother’ becomes ‘bovver,’ and ‘both’ becomes ‘bof.’ It’s a feature common in … Continue reading


Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Dialects and Registers

One afternoon some years ago, an overheard conversation on the subway piqued my interest. A few train stops before my apartment, a pair of young men got on the car and sat across from me.  After exchanging a few friendly greetings … Continue reading


Posted in American English | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

How People Think They Make Sounds

When I was younger, I believed I made the English /r/ sound with my lips.  When I visualized this consonant, I pictured myself making a tight half-pout.  I saw /r/, in essence, as a more emphatic version of/w/. So it … Continue reading


Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments