Introduction to American Dialects | Southern Drawl | Tawking the Tawk in Noo Yawk | New England's Wicked Good Accent
Philly Talk and Pittsburghese | The Midwestern 'Non-Accent' | Da Chicago Dialect and the Northern Cities Vowel Shift
Pronunciation is one of the easiest places for linguistic change to occur, because language, especially the English language, is not stable. Just as Shakespeare singlehandedly changed the language by adding all kinds of nifty new words and phrases, change in pronunciation is an ongoing process.
It has been remarked by American linguists that the city that speaks most like Chicago, Illinois is not nearby Green Bay, Wisconsin or neighbouring Gary, Indiana, but Rochester, New York on Lake Ontario, which is 600 miles to the east. The Great Lakes are a natural communication and transportation hub. Cities like Chicago easily come into contact with other industrial Great Lakes cities like Detroit, Gary, Rochester, Cleveland and Toledo. Probably for this reason there is a growing language change called a 'vowel shift' in Chicago and many cities in the inland north section of what is called the 'Midland' or Midwestern accent . In all, the Northern Cities VowelContinued page 2/7