Michigan Accent

Ryan   Tuesday, December 02, 2003, 08:06 GMT
I'm from Michigan. There are two different dialects in the state of Michigan, the Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula. I would definitely not say that the Michigan accent (the more widely spoken Lower Peninsula variety) is the same as what is spoken on the national news. It is characterized by a monopthongized "long o" sound, as made famous in Minnesota, but also by a vowel shift known as the "Northern Cities Shift" where the ae sound is extremely raised and nasal, and the "o" sound line in the word "on" is spoken in the same place as where the "ae" sound is normally spoken. Michiganders also have a very retroflex "r" sound, more so than in general American accents. The webmaster of the Michigan accent site says it makes us sound like pirates sometimes (Arrr!).

The Michigan accent is about the same as what is spoken in Chicago, Cleveland and Buffalo. It's probably the easiest accent to transform into a "CNN accent," but I wouldn't call it a prestige accent as people here in Kansas where I live now have been known to look at me funny when I talk sometimes. When I said the word "taxes" in an economic class one time it almost sounded like I was saying "Texas."

The site below is more a humorous site than a linguistic one, but it points out some good features of the Michigan accent.

ANE   Tuesday, December 02, 2003, 23:15 GMT
I made a real close guy from Michigan, he didn't have an accent to my Minnesotan ears, and people say theirs a difference, but I don't hear it.
mjd   Wednesday, December 03, 2003, 00:28 GMT

Are you a native speaker of English? If you are, you might want to proofread your sentences for errors in spelling in syntax. If you're not, please accept my apologies for bringing this up and I wish you the best learning English.

I don't know what "I made a real close guy" means. What I think you meant to write was:

"I met a guy from Michigan, which is close to where I live. Despite the fact that people say there is a difference, he didn't appear to have an accent to my Minnesotan ears."

Is this what you were trying to say?
mjd   Wednesday, December 03, 2003, 00:30 GMT
*for errors in spelling AND syntax....

I guess I should proofread too.