"Authentic pronunciation"

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Sun Oct 3 16:38:41 UTC 2010

On 10/3/10 12:16 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> At 10/3/2010 10:31 AM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>> The stereotypical Minnesota pronunciation is that of the Coen
>> Brothers' "Fargo", as e.g. in the speech of Sheriff Gunderson
>> (Frances McDormand). Hardly among the "least-accented"! (Garrison
>> Keillor also portrays various lexical and phonological idiosyncracies
>> of Minnesota English on his Prairie Home Companion, and at one point
>> a semi-serious spin-off book appeared, Howard Mohr's _How to Speak
>> Minnesotan_. Could be worse, you betcha!
> I'll have to rent and re-view the movie. (Keillor I discounted as
> adopting various odd local dialects, as does Rose on "Golden
> Girls".) I seem to have moved the center of unaccented American
> English too far north and west.

I think we may be confusing two issues here--the quasi-scientific
identification of which dialect/accent is the least-accented variety of
American English and the folk-belief implicit in statements of "we don't
speak with an accent here". Clearly the former would consideration
wouldn't home in on Fargo, but the latter might well.

Alice Faber                                       faber at haskins.yale.edu
Haskins Laboratories                            tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                               fax (203) 865-8963

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

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