Pennsylvania Dialects-Pittsburgh Vs. Philadelphia: From Slate-‘Where Yinz At’

Full piece here.

Our author calls Pennsylvania the most linguistically fascinating state in the country, with five comprehensive dialects.

There’s this opening paragraph:

‘The 4 hour and 46 minute drive from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh is marked by several things: barns, oddly timed roadwork projects, four tunnels that lend themselves to breath-holding competitions, turnpike rest stops featuring heat-lamped Sbarro slices and overly goopy Cinnabon.’

You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced Breezewood, Pa, the ‘Town Of Motels,’ after eating a few heat-lamped slices of Sbarro some hours before.

Here are some examples of central Pennsylvania dialect:

1. ‘It’s all (pronounced awl)’–It’s all gone.

2. ‘The lawn needs mowed–The lawn needs to be mowed.

3. ‘Slippy‘–Slippery

4. ‘Hoagie‘ (the ‘o’ sound more like ‘owe’)-Submarine sandwich

For the sake of pronunciation:

5. ‘It’s hawt owt–It’s hot out.

6. ‘Are yu’uns goin’ to the maul?’–Pardon me, will you (plural) be attending the nearby indoor commercial center?

–On that note, here’s an interview with William Labov (mentioned in the article) at the University of Pennsylvania on the changing nature of American English in relation to economic and political factors.

Depending on your ambitions, you really don’t want to be too local:

You’re dead on Madison avenue if you sound like New York

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