Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.
College of Liberal Arts
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
Northern Minnesota English, Minnesota Accent, Central Minnesota English, General American English, Midwest English, Winnipeg Canadian English, Acoustic Phonetics
The dialect of Northern Minnesota English (NMNE) has been acknowledged as a leading suspect in the search for the Minnesota accent. The majority of the commenters who accept the Minnesota accent at the bottom of a Youtube video page (Bartholid 2015: Are You MN Enough?) indicate that if any Minnesotans have this accent, it is probably the residents of Northern Minnesota. Thus, this study begins to reveal just what that particular dialect of Northern Minnesota actually looks like acoustically. Twenty speakers from the queried region were recorded saying the following eleven vowel phonemes three times [i, ɪ, e, ɛ, æ, ɑ, ɔ, o, ʊ, u, ʌ] within an isolated hVd structure. After recordings were imported into Praat, they were spliced, measured, and analyzed under six acoustic correlates: F1, F2, F3, duration, F0, and intensity. The total number of tokens analyzed in this study is 3,960 (20 x 11 x 3 x 6).This acoustic data was then compared with four other English dialects, General American English (Peterson and Barney 1952), Midwest English (Hillenbrand, Getty, Clark, and Wheeler 1995), Central Minnesota English (Koffi 2017b; 2016c; 2014; 2013), and Winnipeg Canadian English (Hagiwara 2006). What has been exposed thus far is that NMNE men are most similar to men who speak Winnipeg Canadian English (WCE) although there are some inconsistencies. However, these conclusions are not reflective in the women’s speech. NMNE women are actually more similar to their southern neighbors, whom are the women who speak Central Minnesota English (CMNE).
Backstrom, Michel, "An Acoustic Phonetic Analysis of Northern Minnesota English Vowel Spaces" (2018). Culminating Projects in English. 144.