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Abstract

The Minnesota dialect of American English is often confused with some vague “Canadian English” (Bartholdi 2015).[1] The current study aims to identify precisely which Canadian dialect of English. In so doing, we extract F1 and F2 measurements of 11 monophthong vowels of English ([i, ɪ, e, ɛ, æ, ɑ, ɔ, o, ʊ, u, ʌ]) produced by 20 Northern Minnesota speakers (10 males and 10 females) and compare and contrast the same set of vowels produced by 10 speakers (5 males and 5 females) of Winnipeg Canadian English whose vowels were measured by Hagiwara (2006). Our findings confirm the impressionistic claims that Northern Minnesotans sound like Canadians. The sociophonetic investigation shows that the phonological processes that raise the “face” vowel [e] over the “kiss” vowel [ɪ], those that front and lower the “foot” [ʊ], and those that have caused the “lot” vowel [ɑ] and the “cloth” vowel [ɔ] to merge are the same in both dialects. However, in our considered opinion, the most important contribution of this paper to variationist sociolinguistics is “the discovery” that male Northern Minnesota English (NMNE) sound like males in Winnipeg Canadian English (WCE) speakers because of F1, while female NMNE speakers sound like female WCE speakers because of F2.

[1] The Youtube video can be found at. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVlNl_LX47I

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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