The Northern Cities Vowel Shift

September 14, 2012

Evan Morien

With the advent of free (or very cheap) national and global communication, it was thought that regional dialects would gradually disappear, and that eventually speakers of the same language would all speak a homogenized dialect. But outside of a few notable exceptions, this appears not to be the case. For the first time in several hundred years, there is a major change in the way English vowels are being pronounced by native speakers, and it’s happening in the Great Lakes region of the US.