FW: Nebraskans/Standard English

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sat Jan 19 13:56:54 UTC 2002

In quite a lot of the perceptual work we have done with non-northern
Cities Shifters, the /a/ fronting (resulting in the "Wiscansin"
caricature) is more salient than the /ae/ raising. It would be
interesting to know more about the dialect background of the reporter
larry reports on.


>Laurence Horn said:
>>As it happens, a feature on Michael Jordan's return to Chicago to
>>play with the Washington Wizards against his old Bulls on ESPN last
>>night began with the reporter saying (against a backdrop of the
>>Jordan statue in front of the United Center that Jordan "built")
>>"HE'S BEEE-AACK", with a very exaggerated Northern Cities shifted
>>/ae/ (as a diphthong beginning with a high front vowel).  It's  the
>>same vowel, only more blatant, that Dennis Franz consistently employs
>>as the Andy Sipowicz character uses as a supposed New York cop on
>>NYPD Blue (others have pointed out that this character must have been
>>transplanted to NYC from Chicago without retaining any conscious
>>memory of his Midwestern roots).  Anyway, for the reporter in
>>question--I forget her name--Northern cities /ae/ is a functioning
>Steve Rushin's column in this week's Sports Illustrated (cover date Jan 21,
>2002) has a similar Northern Cities awareness. The column is entitled
>"Cheesehead Nation" and is about Green Bay Packers fans. It contains the
>following description of one fan: "Van Nguyen is a Midwesterner by way of
>Vietnam, from which he emigrated to Green Bay at age 15. Now 32, he speaks
>in a disarmingly hard-voweled Wiscansin accent." (The "can" in Wisconsin is

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