Thursday, October 30, 2008

North Carolina /o:/

One of the striking features of Southern (and many Eastern) varieties of US English that is not (yet) a stereotype is sometimes striking degree of fronting of the vowel in boat, no, hope, etc. Wonkette ran this YouTube video earlier today for its obvious political content. But these are plausibly at least mostly actual Tar Heels talking, and they pretty much all use the word 'vote' so that you can hear a good range of tokens from different speakers.

Many readers of this blog probably don't hear such vowels very often. Besides, it's hilarious.

1 comment:

Ben said...

I always associate this vowel with Maryland, SE Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey, but it is definitely a salient North Carolina feature, on more than one occasion I've confidently IDed someone with this vowel (and lacking overt Southern features) as being from "within a two-hour drive from Philadelphia" only to find out they were from North Carolina.

Here in New York there is a slight fronting of /o:/, which always strikes my Great Lakes ears as somehow un-Northern.