Monday, December 7, 2015

Accents of Canadian English

Canadian English is very uniform. It exhibits far less variety than many other varieties of English. Nevertheless, there are regional differences.

The diphthong in words such as about tends to be pronounced differently in western Canada and the Toronto area. In western Canada the diphthong is usually pronounced with a more advanced articulation than in the Toronto area.

The vowel in moose is a back vowel in the Atlantic provinces but is pronounced with a more advanced articulation in the rest of the country. It tends to be especially advanced in the western part of the country.

In words such as car, heart and park the vowel is a central vowel in the Atlantic provinces and a back vowel in the rest of the country. This is the opposite of the vowel in moose, a vowel which is more retracted in the Atlantic provinces.

In words such as case and face, the vowel is often a monophthong, a pure vowel, in the prairie provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) and a diphthong in the rest of the country. The pronunciation of face as a monophthong is typical of Scottish and Irish English.

Though Canadian English is usually spoken very similarly across the country, regional differences do exist. Many of these differences are reflected in the pronunciation of certain vowels. These differences can be heard in the English of the west, the prairie provinces, the Toronto area and the Atlantic provinces.

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