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Old March 13 2013, 12:46 PM   #50
Alidar Jarok
Everything in moderation but moderation
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Location: Norfolk, VA
Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

TorontoTrekker wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
I have never heard a Canadian actually talk like the old cliché about "I'm going oot of the hoose, eh?"
There are some, but they tend to be from the east coast or northern Ontario (listen closely to Michael Hogan from Battlestar Galactica some time - he's from Kirkland Lake, Ontario, which is about 350-400 miles north of Toronto. (Alan Thicke is from Kirkland Lake as well, but his accent is less pronounced.) Hogan's accent is more noticeable in earlier episodes (I read somewhere recently that he was actually rather self-conscious about it).
The pronunciation in question is called the Canadian Rising. Interestingly, while more subtle for some than others, it is a uniquely Canadian phenomenon. Normally accents reflect the people who settled the area. However, British Columbia, which was settled by many people from the western United States, has it as well. It's the only accent (that I'm aware of) that stops at a political border. Although, I think in the East coast, the line is a bit more blurry.

There's also a similar, but different phenomenon called the Northern Cities Vowel Shift (I'm using wikipedia's name, I usually just call it the Northern Vowel Shift), which is that accent you hear in Fargo (or Sarah Palin or the mother from Bobby's World). Linguists apparently think it's the most significant change in the English language since the Great Vowel Shift in Middle English.

ETA: Blog Post Discussing the Two Accents. He points out the political boundary thing is most significant when comparing Detroit to Windsor. They're literally right next door, but have completely different accents.
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