Comprensive look at American English dialects

May 5, 2013 | By | 2 Replies More

You could get lost in these maps and data regarding American English dialects for hours. I learned many things, so as the fact that there are 16 vowels (not just a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y), and 24 consonants. I invite you to check this out. dialect map

And the fact that we haven’s pulled things into a homogeneous language, despite all

the years of electronic mass communication demonstrates, I believe, that we are inherently tribal–that we are wired to strive to be like our local tribe and different than those who we perceive to be outsiders.

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Category: Communication, Language

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    Years ago, I saw a guest on a talk show who pulled random people out of the audience and guessed where they were from, based on how they pronounced just two or three words that he selected. His indicator words included pairs such as “marry” vs “merry,” and “roof” vs “rough.” He was amazingly accurate, in come cases placing the person within 50 miles of where they lived. In a couple of cases, his guesses were wildly off until the people admitted that they had grown up in the area he had guessed but no longer lived there.

    Interesting sidebar: there is a little-known field of science known as forensic linguistics that uses linguistic traits to try to solve crimes. In one case, an expert in this field was able to pinpoint the home city of a criminal on the basis of terminology the criminal had used in a ransom letter, because a distinctive phrase in the letter (“devil strip”) was unique to only one U.S. city (Akron, OH). One of the suspects was from this city, and this person later confessed to the crime.

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