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The accents of North America

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:37 am
by Erik_Kowal
An article in The Economist points to an excellent website devoted to mapping the accents of North America.

The website is the creation of Rick Aschmann, and is the fruit of his long-standing fascination with the variety of the continent's dialects, with emphasis being given to differences of accent and pronunciation rather than syntax and vocabulary.

It's a site with a lot of content, and allows you to hear many accent and dialect samples by means of sound and (mostly) video clips. Though the main focus is on the USA's speech forms, the site also pays quite a bit of attention to those of Canada.

I've only just started to sample the fruits of Mr Aschmann's research, but it is already clear what an invaluable reference source it is. Among other unique features, the site contains a detailed accent/dialect map of North America that you can print out: for the full-scale version you'll need nine sheets of letter-size or A4 paper...