cross-border dialects?

Geoffrey Steven Nathan geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU
Sun Nov 18 23:15:16 UTC 2012

Not sure exactly what you mean by this question. Here in Detroit the local dialect is a classic version of the US Northern Cities dialect (i.e. it exhibits the NC Vowel Shift) and has a few local lexical and syntactic oddities.
Across the river, in Windsor, is Southern Ontario Canadian English, marked by Canadian Raising, and the shift from ash [æ] to IPA Cardinal Vowel 4 (the one transcribed [a]). Not to mention Canadian lexical and syntactic features such as 'in hospital' and 'shell-outing' (for 'trick-or-treating').
This despite the fact that the distance between the two cities is about a half mile, and they share radio and television stations, traffic reports, sports enthusiasms, and many Windsorites work in Detroit and commute daily.
A student of mine did a pilot dialectology study a couple of years ago and found no evidence of phonological convergence.


Geoffrey S. Nathan
Faculty Liaison, C&IT
and Professor, Linguistics Program
+1 (313) 577-1259 (C&IT)

----- Original Message -----

> From: "Dan Goodman" <dsgood at IPHOUSE.COM>
> Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2012 3:39:24 PM
> Subject: cross-border dialects?

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> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: Dan Goodman <dsgood at IPHOUSE.COM>
> Subject: cross-border dialects?
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> What dialects of English, French, etc. cross the US-Canada border?

> What dialects of English, Spanish, etc. cross the US-Mexico border?

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> Dan Goodman

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