Fascinating Maps of Americans' Dialects

Joshua Katz, a North Carolina State University doctoral student in statistics, has created an amazing series of over 100 maps delineating the different dialects that make up America.

The maps were created based on responses to a survey of 120 questions to Americans from Cambridge professor Dr. Bert Vaux, among which were questions such as how they pronounced certain words, or which words they would choose to describe different objects.

Katz said, “I’ve always found variations in dialect fascinating. Language says so much about who a person is. To me, dialect is a badge of pride – it’s something that says, ‘This is who I am; this is where I come from.”’

Some sample questions included:

What word(s) do you use to address two or more people? (Y’all, you guys, you, you all)

Would you say “Are you coming with?” as a full sentence, to mean, “Are you coming with us?”

What do you call the drink made with milk and ice cream? (Milkshake, shake, frappe)

How do you pronounce Mary/merry/marry?

How do you pronounce aunt?

How do you pronounce caramel?

What do you say when you want to lay claim to the front seat of a car? (shotgun, dibs)



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