Talk:North-Central American English

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An example in Minnesota is we tend to say "Miniee" "Soda" where the T\D is mangled. It extends into Wisconsin but not so much into Michigan or the Dakotas. It has been my experience that the eastern seaboard still tends to shape the T more as in the name "Tom" where natives in the area are more akin to say it as a D as in "Dominate" In addition the mid-west dialect tends to favor single syllable words and dropping portions of a sentence, ("Hi" instead of "Hello", "No thanks" versus "No thank you", even so far as "Thanks" instead of "Thank you"). A few words that seem distinct are "Yep", "Nope" vs "Yeah\Yes" and "No". kcp - 8/9/11 6:06 pm cst — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:15, 9 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

how come there's no page for the chicago accent? Ashwinr 19:40, 12 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ah. Look at that. I've moved the content inappropriately moved hither, to Yooper dialect, changed the opening sentence thereat, and turned this (North Central American English) into a stub clarifying that Yooper is a subdialect thereof. Tomer TALK 10:06, Jun 17, 2005 (UTC)
I live in Minnesota and I have to question the theory that Yooper is thickest in the UP.meccaneer 04:11, 11 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anyone ever heard a Minnesotan say "yah sure, you betcha" except as a joke? Neither I nor my roommate have, and we've both lived here a while. Jay Maynard 02:57, 23 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes but not together it is usually

"Bill you coming or what?" "Yeah sure, let me grab my coat."

"Dude did you gonna bring Debbie with?" "You betcha but I have to check if I can find a sitter."

You betcha tends to be more enthusiastic in nature that the WW2 and Baby Boomer generations. It's dying pretty quick. -kcp 8/9/11 6:18 pm cst — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:19, 9 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not by young people, that's for sure, but I live in NW Kansas and there is a small town near where I live and they seriously say 'Ya, shur, ya-becha' and 'There he was, gone' and lastly 'To the store I went today.'Cameron Nedland 23:17, 3 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have occasionally. Most people in Minnesota don't talk like that though. Especially in the Metro area which is steadily being replaced by the standard american accent. Showers 06:13, 24 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Re "yah sure", you've probably been talking with younger people. My deceased great uncle, from Rochester, NY talked like that.

Sorry everyone, I'm not good at using HTML so I just stuck this in where I could, but it seems like much of this article is very poorly cited. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:08, 27 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It should be added that this dialect uses the word 'yet' in a way that most Americans view as old fashioned, i.e. "The bus is coming yet," and also that in the more northern parts of this sprechraum 'th' is rendered as 'd' or 't' — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:11, 11 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Need for parallel reference to a Mid-Western Accent[edit]

People will say 'where?' when they read 'North Central American'. They'll think of Minnesota, but not Chi-KAH-go.

That's sort of the point - Chicago doesn't have the same accent, they're midlanders. I think something that would be useful is a map of where the NCA does occur, plus the names of the dialects bordering it. Where exactly the NCA accent occurs is hard to define minnecologies (talk) 12:35, 15 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was referring to the map here on p. 30/146. It's hard to define any dialect region. It's not the same as the Inland North because it has the cot-caught merger. Thegryseone (talk) 20:26, 15 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sarah Palin[edit]

Palin doesn't speak with a Minnesota accent. She lacks characteristic Minnesotan "flag-plague merger" and exhibits a much greater degree of Canadian raising than do most Minnesotans. (talk) 04:47, 9 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Several linguists have already come out and stated her accent is clearly Alaskan English. See also. Apparently Wisconsinites are not aware of this (per reverted IP user's location). davumaya 06:00, 9 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually, i'm from Rural mn so our accent is quite strong and believe me she sounds a lot like us! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:17, 25 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is a very simple matter. She was raised in Alaska, so she can't possibly speak this dialect no matter what she sounds like. I guess you would call it "Alaskan English". Sociolinguist William Labov called this area "a dialect region in formation". NYC English has a lot of influence on Yat, but that doesn't mean anyone from New Orleans speaks NYC English. Thegryseone (talk) 19:02, 8 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's it exactly. Furthermore, Palin has very little (if any) Canadian raising. I'm Jack(Lumber) and I approve this message. 00:48, 10 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will admit, however, that Sarah Palin does sound quite "Upper Midwestern" to me. I think this article explains it all. The Mat-Su Valley area (where Palin is from) has a large settlement of Minnesotans-who were moved there by a government relief program in the 1930s-and features of the Minnesotan dialect are thus prominent in that area. So her accent is a lot like a Minnesotan one, but we still can't call it that, because she wasn't raised there. It's more of a subdialect within "Alaskan English" if you ask me. It's kind of like how rural areas in the Midwest were often settled by Southerners, thus the people in those areas were and are still more likely to have the pin-pen merger than the urbanites, who were often from the Northeast. I believe there are pockets of Southern influence in the West as well because of settlement patterns. Thegryseone (talk) 02:03, 10 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes there are, and I have a couple of sources for that. I'm Jack(Lumber) and I approve this message. 01:42, 11 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You haven't mentioned the Op-ed in the New York Times by Steve Pinker. "The dialect is certainly for real. Listeners who hear the Minnewegian sounds of the characters from “Fargo” when they listen to Ms. Palin are on to something: the Matanuska-Susitna Valley in Alaska, where she grew up, was settled by farmers from Minnesota during the Depression." Regardless of opinions about finer distinctions, Steven Pinker has identified as being North Central American English.--Louiedog (talk) 19:22, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How about including Palin with a explanatory sentence, "Though Palin is not from the midwest, her speech from the Matanuska-Susitna Valley is strongly associated with the North Central American English."--Louiedog (talk) 19:24, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As much as I like that article and as much as I respect Steven Pinker after reading it, the fact of the matter is Steven Pinker never identified Sarah Palin as being a speaker of North Central American English. More importantly, William Labov (who's pretty much the leading accent expert of North America if you're not familiar with him), doesn't say she speaks this kind of English. He says she sounds like an Alaskan. Here's the interview where he says that. Please listen to it. Thegryseone (talk) 19:36, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How about my proposed wording above, that maybe we can't source that it is NCA English exactly, but that it's very strongly related?--Louiedog (talk) 19:51, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

But if you listened to the interview above, you'll hear that it isn't the same. Labov says that she doesn't pronounce her /oʊ/ in goat the same as people in Minnesota. People in Minnesota say [oː], she says something different like [oʊ]. If you make an article about Alaskan English, you can put her on the list of notable speakers and you won't get any complaints from me. My main point is that we can't say that someone who grew up around 3000 miles away from this region speaks with the accent from this region. The traditional accents of Cincinnati and New Orleans were influenced by the accent of New York City, yet no linguist would say that anyone who grew up in those two cities speaks with a true New York City accent because they are not from the Big Apple. In the same way, although the Australian accent may have been influenced by accents from the South East of England, no linguist would say that someone who grew up in Australia speaks with a true blue South East of England accent. I already made this point above if you read it. Thegryseone (talk) 20:06, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, I read above; I'm just dubious because I feel there's a stronger connection than in the examples you gave. Anyway, the Palin article is now claiming it's NCA English, so I suppose I'll have to tweak that now. But I'm pretty sure no article is going to be made about Alaskan English, and such a hypothetical article would probably qualify to be merged into this one. So what about a section in this article on the related Alaskan English?--Louiedog (talk) 20:14, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well you've probably never heard anyone speak the type of New Orleans and Cincinnati accents that I'm referring to, hence the term "traditional accent." Very few people actually speak them anymore and the New Orleans one is more similar to a traditional NYC accent than the Cincinnati one.
Why would Alaskan English qualify to be merged into this article? I don't understand that. Thegryseone (talk) 20:19, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Because of the heavy influence that NCA accent has on the Alaska accent through historical mechanisms, why not?--Louiedog (talk) 20:23, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There doesn't seem to be much research on that though. We don't really know too much about accents in Alaska at the moment. Also it doesn't seem that this accent influenced all Alaskan accents. The concept of North Central American English is pretty vague anyway and a lot of this article is original research. Thegryseone (talk) 20:31, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe if I explain the value I see in including it we can do something related: people hear Sarah Palin and go "well, dogonnit, I heard that in Fargo!" or in my case, they say, "I lived near that accent in Rochester." And in their curiosity, they look her up, hoping to find the connection, which this article does not currently provide though the proposed sources do.--Louiedog (talk) 20:35, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm pretty sure all the accents in Fargo were fake anyway though. In fact a lot of real Minnesotans and North Dakotans complained about how awful they were, so people shouldn't pay too much attention to Hollywood depictions of accents. Which Rochester are you referring to? Thegryseone (talk) 20:42, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Rochester, MN, donchaknow?--Louiedog (talk) 20:42, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Like I said before though, she isn't from this region, so I think it would be misleading to you and to the others you mention to include her in this article. There are people in the West and the Midland who have accents that sound pretty Southern, but we wouldn't include them in the Southern American English article as notable speakers because they aren't from the region where that variety of English is spoken.
It would be nice to get someone else involved in this discussion. Thegryseone (talk) 20:51, 3 November 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There are no citations, and it seems a bit inaccurate.[edit]

I've lived in Northern IOwa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin all my life and I've never heard people pronounce that way in even half the list... --Bandita Chinchilla (talk) 21:34, 21 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I really don't know what you mean. You've never heard people pronounce what what way? Thegryseone (talk) 20:41, 15 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links to folksy webpages[edit]

I linked to two websites [1][2] which are not scientific but seem to describe the accent accurately. If there is a problem with them not being good enough sources to include, per Wikipedia guidelines, please comment. Mapsax (talk) 23:44, 3 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Great Lakes accent"[edit]

The lead section currently reads, "It is also sometimes called the Great Lakes Accent." The only source cited for the lead section is Labov, Ash, and Boberg (2006). If memory serves, though, LAB use "Great Lakes" to refer to Inland North rather than North Central, and typically use the latter two labels when comparing regions. Are there reliable sources stating that "Great Lakes," "Upper Midwestern," and "North Central" are all names for the same dialect region? Cnilep (talk) 18:29, 17 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Per a 1978 review of Allen (1973), that atlas's "Upper Midwest" appears to be essentially the same region. Still no sources for "Great Lakes." Cnilep (talk) 18:50, 17 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree. I'm removing that term "Great Lakes Accent."

Requested move 29 June 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. Jenks24 (talk) 09:38, 14 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Upper Midwest American EnglishNorth-Central American English [originally, North Central American English] – I'm not really sure where "Upper Midwest American English" comes from, from the standpoint of the academic research. "North Central American English" certainly receives over 10 times more hits on Google, largely since respected linguists like Labov refer to the variety by names like the "North Central dialect" and the dialect area itself as the "North Central region." Also, "Upper Midwest American English" seems rather unclear; why not use "Upper Midwestern American English" or even delete American and thus call it "Upper Midwest English"? The answer: because "Upper Midwest" (a common, non-linguistics name for the region) has been arbitrarily tacked onto "American English" in order to follow a trend established by other dialect names on WP, such as "Inland Northern American English," "Southern American English," "Mid-Atlantic American English," etc. However, we can still follow this general trend while using the name actually favored by linguists. --Relisted. George Ho (talk) 04:08, 6 July 2015 (UTC) Wolfdog (talk) 02:55, 29 June 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

IMPORTANT! See below, Red Slash's reasoning for a preferred redirect to "North-Central American English" (now with a hyphen), which I support (from my perspective as the original nominator). Let me know, more experienced users, if there's something more formal I'm supposed to do. Wolfdog (talk) 01:32, 30 June 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Since no one else opined in between, you're totally fine to adjust the nomination. Thanks for proposing and running this. I also love what you've done to the article. So much clearer now. Red Slash 16:01, 2 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


In the "Grammar" section of the article, it says

"In this dialect, the preposition with is used without an object as an adverb in phrases like come with, as in Do you want to come with? for standard Do you want to come with me? or with us?."

I don't think that's quite right. I am from Minnesota, and my father's family uses non-standard grammar like this, but it isn't exactly as described in the article. Rather than using a preposition without an object, it's more like adding an unnecessary preposition onto the end of the sentence.

For example, my father will says things like: Where's my coat at? instead of Where's my coat? or: Where are you going to? instead of Where are you going?

For these examples, there is no object that would make the sentence grammatically correct; It just has an extra preposition in it for no reason.

I'm not suggesting any edits to the article. I'm not a language expert, and this is just something I've observed in my own family. I'm curious to know if any other Minnesota folk have seen this pattern, or if this is just something weird with my family. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TessTrella (talkcontribs) 15:30, August 8, 2016 (UTC)

I definitely say "do you want to come with?" I didn't even realize this was non-standard until I read this article. I've only lived in Minneapolis (in the US, anyway). I've also lived in Germany, and yeah, they say it the same way: Willst du mitkommen? (And Dutch: Wil je meekomen?)
"Where are you going to?" also has an analogue in German: Wohin gehst du?/Wo gehst du hin? "Hin" is used to indicate direction towards somewhere, and it's not optional. (Likewise you have to say: "Where are you coming from?" Woher kommst du? Wo kommst du her?) It could be typical Minnesotan. I don't think I say it, and I can't remember whether my parents do/did. --Gitchigami (talk) 17:43, 22 November 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Where are you going to?" doesn't seem to be uniquely Minnesota/North Central. For example, there's the popular Diana Ross song, "Do You Know Where You're Going To" -- (talk) 21:06, 13 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]