three questions to find out where someone is from

Benjamin Torbert btorbert at GMAIL.COM
Wed Oct 24 01:38:20 UTC 2012

Ask them a question to elicit weakglided /ai/, or raised /ae/.  This is
like the 20-questions prompt "is it larger than a breadbox?'  Proceed with
questions (2) and (3) from there.


On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 8:21 PM, Grant Barrett <grantbarrett at>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Grant Barrett <grantbarrett at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      three questions to find out where someone is from
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> It's a stunt we've seen in books, movies, and television (usually by
> British actors), but I've got a radio show listener who wants to know if it
> really can be done.
> In a casual, non-fieldwork situation -- a party, a bar, public
> transportation, etc. -- what would you say or ask in order to get someone
> to reveal their particular dialect, and, therefore, their likely point of
> origin -- without them being aware of what you're up to? Limit it to just
> three questions/conversation starters, if you can.
> I have a few ideas what might work, at least in the US, but I'll hold back
> pending responses.
> Grant Barrett
> grantbarrett at
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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