End of ADS-L Digest - 24 Mar 1994 to 25 Mar 1994 ************************************************ There is one message totalling 55 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Wisconsin accent ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 27 Mar 1994 20:19:00 EDT From: "David A. Johns" Subject: Wisconsin accent # What I meant to type was that a company here in Wilmington, NC # needs help get- ting an actor to deliver lines as a (generic) # Wisconsin native. I'm not native mid-western, so I could use some # advise as to which features you would predict have highest # utility. What sources might you suggest? Dan Noland # (nolandd[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]vxc.uncwil.edu) Coincidentally, the night before I read this I had just spent an hour on the phone with a friend who grew up on a farm in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin (about 100 miles northwest of Milwaukee) and has lived in Burlington (45 miles southwest of Milwaukee) for the past 20 years. He's high school educated, of Norwegian extraction. His pronunciation is basically "general American," but some deviations stand out: * He has a very wide tone range in his intonation. As compared to standard speakers, people in that area sound excited all the time. * He has a tense, monophthongal /o/ (in BOAT, GO, etc.). Sounds very much like the corresponding German vowel. * He raises the vowel in WRITE, etc. * The vowel in ABOUT, HOUSE, etc., is just about like the general American vowel in BOAT, GO. If you're not listening for it, you'll think that ABOUT and A BOAT are homophones, but the former has a diphthong and the latter doesn't. The conditioning environment seems to be the same as in the Canadian phenomenon, but the vowel is noticeably different. * His /e/ (as in PLAY, TODAY) is tenser and more monophthongal than in general American, but not quite as Germanic sounding as the /o/. * The /a/ (HOT) is a little fronted, and the /O/ (CAUGHT) is less rounded than in general American. * The glide in /aj/ diphthongs (TIME) goes further toward [i] than it does in general American. This may also be true of /aw/, but I really notice it with /aj/. I can't think of any words that he pronounced with a different vowel than I would expect, but some people in that area pronounce the prefix UN- with /a/ instead of /^/. David Johns