about midwestern accents

Lilly   Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:05 pm GMT
''There's a lot of vowel raising going on in the areas surrounding the Great Lakes.''

To a Canadian from Windsor, Ontario, Californian accent sounds more familiar/closer than the Detroit accent, just across the bridge...That's funny.
That's why there's more Canadians in Hollywood than people from the Lakes region...They need less accent coaching...I would love to hear P. Anderson's original/Canadian accent :0) tho'
Sarcastic Northwesterner   Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:38 pm GMT
>> To a Canadian from Windsor, Ontario, Californian accent sounds more familiar/closer than the Detroit accent, just across the bridge...That's funny. <<

I'd like to drive over to that area some day. It'd be funny to drive all the way to Detroit and hear the accent, and then go across to Windsor and hear the accent immediatly change into something much more familiar. It would be kinda weird. I wonder how the accents developed like that since there is a bridge and people go back and forth every day. It's amazing that the accents haven't influenced each other.
logman   Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:16 pm GMT
hi im from wisconsin and here is one word i know that in wisconsin people use the word bubbler instead of water fountain. i don't know if that will help you. i really dont know what an eastern accent but southern sticks out.
Travis   Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:59 pm GMT
>>hi im from wisconsin and here is one word i know that in wisconsin people use the word bubbler instead of water fountain. i don't know if that will help you. i really dont know what an eastern accent but southern sticks out.<<

That's actually an eastern Wisconsin thing (it's commonly associated with Milwaukee but is really not specific to it either), and is not present out in western Wisconsin.
Ryan   Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:24 am GMT
"I'd like to drive over to that area some day. It'd be funny to drive all the way to Detroit and hear the accent, and then go across to Windsor and hear the accent immediatley change into something much more familiar. It would be kinda weird. I wonder how the accents developed like that since there is a bridge and people go back and forth every day. It's amazing that the accents haven't influenced each other."

I'm not convinced that the Detroit accent doesn't influence them. Of course it would work that way due to the relative populations of both areas and the "gravity effect" of dialects, not to mention the fact that more Windsor people come over to work in Detroit than the other way around. I haven't found a study that confirms my suspicions, though. Labov discovered some interesting phenomena in Windsor that don't seem to occur in many other places in Canada, such as the cot/caught merger not always happening before the letter t (the vowel in "cot" perhaps being fronted like it is in the Detroit area), or the fronting of the vowel in "car," which usually only occurs in the Maritimes. He only interviewed two speakers though, it seems. Anyway, they don't seem to sound exactly like the other Canadians that I hear on CBC. Perhaps a Canadian can elaborate if accents in Windsor or southern Ontario in general sound differently to other Canadians.

Of course, Detroit and Windsor people still sound completely different from each other despite the examples I highlighted. I live in the Detroit area now, but am originally from another area of Michigan, so I have limited exposure to the Detroit/Windsor accent difference, but I agree that it is interesting to hear, such as when people from both countries call in on local radio shows.

Also, the bridge and tunnel are more of linguistic barriers than one might think. It is kind of a hassle to go through those on a regular or even a semi-regular basis, due to customs checks and now the added security. Most people don't bother, although Detroiters occasionally party in Windsor (usually 19 year old kids at bars or men going after work to the "Windsor ballet," which is how the nudie bars across the border are jokingly referred to here).
Supra   Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:39 pm GMT
''Perhaps a Canadian can elaborate if accents in Windsor or southern Ontario in general sound differently to other Canadians. ''

They don't sound different.
People in Windsor do find Detroit accent ''funny'' the same way people in Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara-on-the-Lake find the accents of Buffalo and Rochester ''funny''. Being just across the border does not mean the accents ''flow''...think Belgian/French French, Ulster/Republic of Ireland English, Flemish Dutch/the Netherlands' Dutch...

CotCaught merger and Canadian vowel shift are normal in Windsor...
(no one pronounces ASK as [Esk] like in Detroit, but as [aesk] or [ask] (like in California ;0) )
Josh Lalonde   Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:11 pm GMT
I've never been to Windsor, but everyone I've met who's from there sounds like other southern Ontarians: fully c-c merged, no NCVS, possible Canadian Shift.
I think language is actually one of the best arguments for a distinct Canadian identity. We've been very resistant to American influence on our accent for the past fifty or so years (though less so in vocabulary), but in almost all other areas of culture, we've accepted it (music, TV, food, clothing, movies, etc.).
Lena   Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:04 pm GMT
''I think language is actually one of the best arguments for a distinct Canadian identity. We've been very resistant to American influence on our accent for the past fifty or so years (though less so in vocabulary)''

but, Southern Ontario accent is close to B.C accent which is close to
Pacific Northwest US accent and Californian accent...
So, there's no real resistance...Even the Californian and Canadian shift are similar...
Guest   Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:09 pm GMT
if you are thinking about canada then you mean the UP and minnesota. i live by greenbay so i am more city. if you want to hear somethin stand out try the forest where people don't have a lot of education. some people might say “over dere”. it depends where you are talking about. plus the farther north you go the more canadian you will here. another way is in the thumb of wisconsin it is kind of scandnavian and by milwaukee it is more german but that is background.
logman   Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:11 pm GMT
the guest is logman i forgot to pud mg name
Travis   Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:28 pm GMT
>>if you want to hear somethin stand out try the forest where people don't have a lot of education. some people might say “over dere”.<<

I live here in Milwaukee, which is definitely not rural to say the very least, and yet one can very commonly hear such hardening of interdental consonants in initial position (regardless of an individual's education), especially /D/, and such may also occur in the word "with" in final position. On the other hand, though, we do not have the kind of hardening of interdentals in medial positions which occurs Up North.
Giovanna   Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:58 am GMT
''I'm not convinced that the Detroit accent doesn't influence them.''

try here: http://www.cbc.ca/newsatsixwindsor/
http://cbc.ca/windsor/media/video/newsatsixwindsor/capture.wmv
the only USinfluenced thing I was able to hear was tomorrow w/ [A] rather than [Q]
logman   Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:24 am GMT
I live in the fox valley. I really think people get confused with the canadian accent. Since the midwest is by canada that might cause confusion. In general the U.S. accent is different like europe thinks we say water funny. They say it as “ w-aw-ter.” So you have to look at the small stuff for this. Look at different words.