Are you an Iowan?

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Sun Feb 27 20:02:41 UTC 2000

In a message dated 2/26/2000 7:26:24 PM, annelamb at GNV.FDT.NET writes:

<<Iowa isn't pronounced with an /o/ but [a schwa].>>

The joke list that <annelamb> refers to here suggested otherwise, and it was
widely circulated among Iowans, who thought it was very funny. It is
certainly true that the second vowel in <Iowa> is usually reduced to a schwa
(or barred [I]). Among natives of the upper Midwest, however, this reduction
is variable, so one will often hear a high, very tense [o] in this and other
words. Nonnatives find this quaint (recall the national commentary on the
dialect represented--on the whole very realistically--in the movie FARGO a
few years back).

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