Is there a region in Canada where they have adopted the southern accent?

By: | Post date: 2016-10-09 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: English, Linguistics

Not that I know, but there’s a region of the South that does a stereotypically Canadian thing.

The stereotypically Canadian thing is Canadian raising: pronouncing the diphthongs /aɪ/ and /aʊ/ as /ɐɪ/ and /ɐʊ/ before voiceless consonants. It’s the thing that Americans make fun of, by saying Canadians say aboot instead of about.

Canadian raising is not restricted to Canada.

I went down to Lynchburg, Virginia once; friend of mine’s folks are from there.

And what do you think I heard?

Aboot!

Sure wasn’t expecting a 70 year old southern gentleman to sound like Terrence and Philip.

Older Southern American English

The major central (Piedmont) and eastern (Tidewater) regions of Virginia, excluding its Eastern Shore, once spoke in a way long associated with the upper or aristocratic plantation class in the Old South, often known as a Tidewater accent. Additional phonological features of this Atlantic Southern variety included:

A possibility of both variants of Canadian raising:

  • /aʊ/ pronounced as [aʊ], but [əʉ~ɜʉ] before a voiceless consonant.
  • /aɪ/ pronounced as something like [aε~aæ], but possibly [ɐɪ] before a voiceless consonant.

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