Understanding Sarah Palin -- Her Accent, Anyway

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Sat Jun 13 13:08:26 UTC 2009

From:    Doug Harris <cats22 at STNY.RR.COM>

> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAjxCuGpYDU&NR=1

> needs no explanation.

What i found interesting is that Letterman and Fey both showed a pretty
good awareness of the Northern Cities Shift, including its geographical
distribution (the phenomenon, not the term). I knew people were aware of
it, but describing it as "Upper Midwest-Great Lakes" is a lot more
accurate than just "Fargo".

When i was in Alaska last March, there was a lot of discussion (as you
might expect) of the linguistics of Sarah Palin. I heard a lot of people
saying that "she doesn't sound like that" when she's talking to Alaskans.

I haven't verified this (though i'm sure audio/video recordings of a lot
of her addresses as governor of Alaska to Alaskan audiences are archived
somewhere, i just haven't checked)--maybe somebody could do an audience
design-type study on Sarah Palin? I know *i* for one would attend that
ADS session...

David Bowie                               University of Central Florida
     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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