Boston/Worcester "cahn't"

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Mon Mar 9 13:38:03 UTC 2009

I've probably asked this before, so if someone is patient enough to
explain it to me again, very slowly, using small words, you can
e-mail me directly instead of bothering the whole list.

What rule is it that is governing the lengthening of  "a" in "can't"?
I hear it out hear in some Worcester pronunciations and it really
jumps out at my foreign ear. Why is it happening?

---Amy West

>  And when you hear "y'all" mixed with Bostonisms
>like "cahn't," "bahth," "Meery" (Mary), "Ian" (Ann), "so risn't [i.e.,
>*is*] yaws [yours]," etc. it's all you can do to keep a straight face.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list