How do you say "barn"?

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Mon Sep 24 22:38:49 UTC 2001

We've got to assume Connolly has not seen American Tongues? Or he
would have known that his "theory" was propounded a long time ago.


>A discussion of Boston accents from the Boston Globe:
>'You've got to realize there is no `Boston accent'; there are several Boston
>accents,'' Connolly says. ''Charlestown and Somerville talk very differently
>from people in Dorchester. Boston English as spoken in the North End is very
>different from that spoken in South Boston.''
>Connolly tested his theory last weekend while roaming Fenway Park, which he
>called possibly the best dialect laboratory in the city. In the stands
>before a game, Connolly found examples of what he described as four major
>strains of Boston speech.
>To Connolly, there's the ''southern Boston'' accent, born in neighborhoods
>such as South Boston, Dorchester, and Roxbury; a ''northwest'' sound, rooted
>in Cambridge and Somerville; a ''northeast'' accent, formed in East Boston
>and the North End; and the hoary Brahmin dialect from the Back Bay and
>Beacon Hill.
>Grant Barrett
>gbarrett at
>New York Loves You Back

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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