Friday, March 17, 2006

I'm goin' dahntahn tomorrow to catch me a bus

There's a cute article in the New York Times (reg req'd) [via the CogSci Librarian] about a roadtrip across the Eastern U.S. to listen to different dialects starting in New York City, going up through Rochester and down into Pittsburgh.

Having been in Pittsburgh for the last six weeks, I can attest to the reality of the pronunciation of "downtown" as "dahntahn". I heard it when I first got on a bus and asked, "Is this bus going downtown?" and the driver replied, "Yeah, dahntahn." It was like a lightbulb going off in my head, bringing back memories of Linguistics 109 ("I'm goin' dahntahn to get me a sammich"). I can't say I've noted too many other Pittsburgh quirks though - didn't notice any sammiches, for instance. Being in the university area, most people I hear are decidedly not native Pittsburghers.

I'll try to pay more attention this weekend as I travel into the Northern Cities Vowel Shift area, but seeing as I lived in upstate New York for four years, the accent around there seems pretty normal to me now.


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12:06 AM  

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