Canadian Accent II

I was going to post this in ‘Canadian Accent…’ but Manhattan closed it for some bizarre reason.

Canadians do tend to pronounce their vowels more carefully than in ‘Standard American’, where the vowels all tend towards schwa. For example, ‘shout’ is pronounced shuh-oot, but with no break in the middle.

Newfoundland dialects are also quite divergent from ‘Standard American’. being described as basically 16th-century West country english, heavily influenced by Irish. The syntax, stress, and vocabulary are quite a bit different from that in the rest of Canada.

Many years ago, I worked at a resort in northern Ontario, and I shared a double room with an ‘Outport’ Newfoundlander. When I first spoke with him, he talked for several minutes, but I failed to understand a single word. The main differences were in rythm and stress, and in morphology, i.e. dropping and adding ‘h’ to the front of words.


did the other thread lack a general question, too?

Looks to me like a GQ asking about the differences between American and Canadian english.


OK, clearly I have to explain exactly why the other thread was stupid and had to die.

First things first. Canada, for the uninformed, is a really, really big country. I mean, really big. Sure, its inhabitants are mostly clustered where it’s slightly warmer, but that is still just a huge area. Lengthwise, it runs thousands of miles. A thread asking how to do an “American” accent would be silly, and the same is true of Canada. A person from Toronto has an accent very different from a person in Quebec City. So the question is stupid on its face.

Second, and I’m a little embarrassed to have to be repeating this, but the Straight Dope Message Board is a text medium. What that means is, among other things, is that only a trained linguist could gain from a textual description of an accent. And a trained linguist would already know the answer.

Finally, ** Groundskeeper Willie**, when I close a thread I do so for a reason. That reason is not so you can piss me off by re-opening it. Do not do this again.