Midwestern English Is Also Diverse Enough To Have Sub-Varieties

991 WordsApr 27, 20174 Pages
Midwestern English is also diverse enough to have sub-varieties of English within the region. There are two notable sub-varieties: Yooper English and Iron-Range English. Yooper English is spoken in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is heavily affected by the Canadian Raising. While the origin of the term Yooper is ambiguous, speakers of this sub-dialect sound more like Northern Canadian speakers than English speakers from the Dakotas. Iron-Range English is along the Minnesotan coast of Lake Superior, and developed when the region was mined for iron and taconite. This dialect is heavily influenced by the Scandinavian pitch-accent and the Canadian Raising as well. There are also Midwestern English “dialect islands” – areas settled by…show more content…
However, Fargo is not a well-known movie among younger generations, and this stereotyping seems to be dying out. The second is the overriding concept that Midwestern English is inherently “accent-less,’ when compared to other variations of English within the United States. While Midwestern English is distinct enough to be included in many hand-drawn dialect maps of the US, the Midwestern “accent” is often labeled as “unknown accent” (Hartley 2005) (Preston et al 2002). This is because many people outside of the Midwest believe that the region has no distinguishable accent or linguistic feature to stereotype (Preston et al 2002). As much of the Midwest was (and continues to be) agriculturally based, there are very few distinct “working class accents,” as are common in New York City (Hartley 2005). In US mainstream culture, there is a tradition of associating the Midwest with “General American English” (Preston et al 2002) (Joos 1942) (Lippi-Green 2012). Consequently, there are many who refer to Midwestern English as the most accurate variation of English pronunciation in the United States (Preston et al 2002). This is, understandably, a very dangerous assumption to make. First, individual regions in the US are unified by a relatively common “accent:” Texas has the “Texan accent,” Southern states have the “Southern accent,” the Southwestern states have the “Western accent” and so on (Lippi-Green 2012). By identifying the Midwest as

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