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-   -   Speech pattern and typographical variations across Canada (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=209368)

RueBulmer Apr 27, 2016 1:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hipster duck (Post 7421897)
I can't really prove you right or wrong, but are you sure you're not accounting for things like class differences or ethnic differences? I mean, if Anglos in Westmount talk differently from Anglos from Verdun, there's probably something else going on.


For sure, but the differences are there. Some are influenced by a prevailing ethnicity. As the ethnic fabric changes, some accents, like mine, become anachronistic.

SignalHillHiker Apr 27, 2016 1:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hipster duck (Post 7421892)
Or more like this wetsuit-wearing guy in Saint John (skip to 0:40)?

I don't hear many people from Saint John. That accent is really nice. It doesn't have a lot of the... chewy... sounds, but it maintains the clarity and American-ness.

RueBulmer Apr 27, 2016 1:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hipster duck (Post 7421897)
I can't really prove you right or wrong, but are you sure you're accounting for things like class differences or ethnic differences? I mean, if Anglos in Westmount talk differently from Anglos from Verdun, there's probably something else going on.

The follow-up question would be if you can hear the difference between a born-and-bred WASP Westmount lawyer vs. a born-and-bred WASP West Vancouver lawyer of the same general age.

As for the follow-up, probably not if they are speaking within their professional boundaries but obviously when pronouncing a proper noun of French origin. I know that's not what you were asking but I expect regional differences are more pronounced in casual conversation.

kwoldtimer Apr 27, 2016 1:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hipster duck (Post 7421892)
Good question. Does her family's accent sound more like these kids from your neck of the woods?

Or more like this wetsuit-wearing guy in Saint John (skip to 0:40)?

The kids from Sherbrooke have the same kind of accent as the kinds of kids who would make sarcastic videos in Nanaimo. But that guy in Saint John would clearly not be from around here.

Yes. I hear nothing particularly distinctive from the Sherbrooke guys, but the wetsuit guy is clearly "Atlantic".

SignalHillHiker Apr 27, 2016 1:59 AM

Doesn't one of the Sherbrooke guys sound French at least? I feel like I'm going crazy. :haha:

Stingray2004 Apr 27, 2016 2:03 AM

Bit of a different take here.

Since my teens, I have watched some evening news by the Seattle ABC, NBC, CBS affiliates. And it takes a very good ear... but the accent is very minimal - if at all. Again, it's only ~ a 1 1/2 hour drive to Seattle for me.

Then in Grade 12 in high school... someone entered my high school from eastern WA State (east of the Cascade Mountains) from Spokane or environs. Man... did that guy ever have an accent. A bit of an urban/rural divide down there.

Then in my early 20's... while I resided in Tsawwassen (southern Metro suburb right on the U.S. border) I dated a gal who resided across in Point Roberts, WA State. Point Roberts is surrounded by water and only has land connections thru Canada. In any event, this gal had folks that resided in Van City and she was also fluent in Norwegian. And she worked in neighbouring Richmond, BC.

Yet I always did a double-take when she kept on stating the American "ruf" for roof... thinking.. huh? Seems like the rural enclave that she resided in also caused her to unintentionally adopt a tiny American accent.

In any event, I don't detect any "accent" between the provinces (Nfld. and Cape Breton, NS. being the obvious notable exceptions).

It's also interesting to note that many American TV networks recruit Canadians to anchor their news, etc. as Canadians are perceived to have a "neutral" accent. Some notables:

1. Peter Jennings - Long-time evening anchor of ABC News (born in Toronto);

2. Keith Morrison - Prominent with NBC (former CTV National News substitute anchor born in Lloydminster, SK);

3. Tony Parsons - Decades long prominent BC evening news anchor who was also recruited for a similar gig in L.A. (higher salary but turned 'em down);

Again, always believed the foregoing to be kinda interesting.

RueBulmer Apr 27, 2016 2:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SignalHillHiker (Post 7421922)
Doesn't one of the Sherbrooke guys sound French at least? I feel like I'm going crazy. :haha:

Yes, very much. But I have an in law who sounds like that but doesn't speak a word of French.

kwoldtimer Apr 27, 2016 2:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stingray2004 (Post 7421927)
Bit of a different take here.

Since my teens, I have watched some evening news by the Seattle ABC, NBC, CBS affiliates. And it takes a very good ear... but the accent is very minimal - if at all. Again, it's only ~ a 1 1/2 hour drive to Seattle for me.

Then in Grade 12 in high school... someone entered my high school from eastern WA State (east of the Cascade Mountains) from Spokane or environs. Man... did that guy ever have an accent. A bit of an urban/rural divide down there.

Then in my early 20's... while I resided in Tsawwassen (southern Metro suburb right on the U.S. border) I dated a gal who resided across in Point Roberts, WA State. Point Roberts is surrounded by water and only has land connections thru Canada. In any event, this gal had folks that resided in Van City and she was also fluent in Norwegian. And she worked in neighbouring Richmond, BC.

Yet I always did a double-take when she kept on stating the American "ruf" for roof... thinking.. huh? Seems like the rural enclave that she resided in also caused her to unintentionally adopt a tiny American accent.

In any event, I don't detect any "accent" between the provinces (Nfld. and Cape Breton, NS. being the obvious notable exceptions).

It's also interesting to note that many American TV networks recruit Canadians to anchor their news, etc. as Canadians are perceived to have a "neutral" accent. Some notables:

1. Peter Jennings - Long-time evening anchor of ABC News (born in Toronto);

2. Keith Morrison - Prominent with NBC (former CTV National News substitute anchor born in Lloydminster, SK);

3. Tony Parsons - Decades long prominent BC evening news anchor who was also recruited for a similar gig in L.A. (higher salary but turned 'em down);

Again, always believed the foregoing to be kinda interesting.

Neutral and posh to the American ear, as long as they get rid of any obvious Canadianisms.

Andy6 Apr 27, 2016 2:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kwoldtimer (Post 7421876)
You are spot on re "house/houses", but I've never heard of a Canadian/American difference involving "knife/knives".

It's the same phenomenon linguistically. It just doesn't come up as often because of the commonness of words like "about", "out" and "house" as opposed to "knife" and "wife". Americans would probably have the same vowel in "strife" and "strive" as well -- we definitely do not.

SignalHillHiker Apr 27, 2016 2:16 AM

I don't mind Peter Jennings at all. His voice and accent is lovely. But the CBC is brutal. It's like nails on chalkboard, that detached, condescending tone they use. Almost all of them have it - radio is especially bad. VOCM hired one local girl who obviously got her vocal training at CBC. It's like they've suddenly looped in a feed in another language when she comes on to read whatever.

Can't find any of her (she's just filler at various points throughout the day), but there's another guy too who sometimes hosts when Paddy Daly is off. I have to turn the radio off when he comes on. Zero personality. He's definitely from here originally (or, at least, one of his parents' is - based on stories he's shared over the years), but works at something up on the mainland now:

Video Link


David Cochrane (from here, but just got promoted permanently to Ottawa), like Peter Jennings, does it well. I don't find him annoying at all:

Video Link

kwoldtimer Apr 27, 2016 2:24 AM

[QUOTE=SignalHillHiker;7421942]I don't mind Peter Jennings at all. His voice and accent is lovely. But the CBC is brutal. It's like nails on chalkboard, that detached, condescending tone they use. Almost all of them have it - radio is especially bad. VOCM hired one local girl who obviously got her vocal training at CBC. It's like they've suddenly looped in a feed in another language when she comes on to read whatever.

Can't find any of her (she's just filler at various points throughout the day), but there's another guy too who sometimes hosts when Paddy Daly is off. I have to turn the radio off when he comes on. Zero personality. He's definitely from here originally (or, at least, one of his parents' is - based on stories he's shared over the years), but works at something up on the mainland now:
...

[B]David Cochrane (from here, but just got promoted permanently to Ottawa), like Peter Jennings, does it well. I don't find him annoying at all:

...QUOTE]

I can definitely hear the "Atlantic", but they seemed to have clubbed the "Newfoundland" out of him.

To me the current media queen of Standard Canadian English is CTV's Lisa LaFlamme, with Sandie Rinaldo not far behind. Good SOntarians both!

SignalHillHiker Apr 27, 2016 2:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kwoldtimer (Post 7421952)
I can definitely hear the "Atlantic", but they seemed to have clubbed the "Newfoundland" out of him.

Fascinating - whatever his accent is now, it's right on the cusp between us. To me, he just sounds generic Canadian. He has a flow that is relateable (I'm not sure how to describe it - maybe just casual? But I interpret it as being genuine, real... he doesn't have that detached, robotic, personality-less thing that I was trying to describe in other CBC hosts), but the pronunciation is purely mainland to my ears.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kwoldtimer (Post 7421952)
To me the current media queen of Standard Canadian English is CTV's Lisa LaFlamme, with Sandie Rinaldo not far behind. Good SOntarians both!

Not a huge fan of either of those, if we're speaking just about voice (they definitely have personality, though, and I don't dislike them overall).

Our local CBC weatherman is from Ontario. I think his wife is from here, though. He has a nice accent as far as CBC TV goes. The redhead, BTW, is Alan Hawco's missus - everyone here wants to be her for a weekend. :haha:

Debbie Cooper (the main anchor) had lots of vocal training but one hilarious quirk about her: They trained her to pronounce like a mainlander, but apparently not to replace Newfoundland words. IE: she says "hey" instead of "eh". In the past I've caught her saying "barred" instead of "closed", "mauzy" instead of "humid/foggy", and a few others I can't remember.

Video Link


He says "Right?" like a caricature of a mainlander, tho. :D But, he could talk like Justin Trudeau for all I care. He's a beautiful man. :haha:

Stingray2004 Apr 27, 2016 2:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kwoldtimer (Post 7421952)
To me the current media queen of Standard Canadian English is CTV's Lisa LaFlamme, with Sandie Rinaldo not far behind. Good SOntarians both!

Can't disagree with ya there. That said, an ONer in BC will stand out... not because of any "accent" but because of just one word - "cottage" as in cottage country. Out here in BC, cottage is only typically utilized in terms of cottage cheese. And that's about it.

Out here in BC... "cottage" is "cabin". When someone out here utilizes "cottage" in the cabin context... it's akin to an ONer leaving their fingerprints at a crime scene. ;)

Acajack Apr 27, 2016 2:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RueBulmer (Post 7421910)
For sure, but the differences are there. Some are influenced by a prevailing ethnicity. As the ethnic fabric changes, some accents, like mine, become anachronistic.

WASP anglos in an area like Westmount would be the closest you'd find to standard English Canadian in Montreal.

But I believe that even in the anglo community they are now outnumbered by other ethnicities like Jews and Italians.

BTW in the case of these latter two Montreal groups, their accent in English often reminds me of their peers in the big northeastern cities of the US. There is a nasal aspect to it that you rarely hear in Canada.

SignalHillHiker Apr 27, 2016 2:44 AM

:haha: "Cabin" rules here as well. Old people might say "Tilt". If it's literally a shack to warm up in while skidooing or hunting, then "Shed".

I've heard "cottage", but it's definitely pompous when locals use it. It's as bizarre and laughably awful from a local as someone pronouncing Target or Walmart in French.

Or, you know, pronouncing Bucket as Bouquet.

http://i63.tinypic.com/2hquv5z.jpg

*****

Just want to stress - I'm sure cottage is completely normal where it is the dominant word. Not implying Ontarians are pompous or whatever else. Tried to make it very clear in the above I'm speaking only of locals who use the word.

Acajack Apr 27, 2016 2:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hipster duck (Post 7421807)
When it comes to Canadian English, I could always tell someone's social class right away, or their ethnic group (Aboriginal vs. Canadian-born Cantonese Chinese from an ethnic enclave like Markham/Richmond) but geography was difficult.

Basically, all else being equal, I can really only distinguish between 3 geographical accents in English Canada:

1. Newfoundland
2. Rest of Atlantic Canada
3. Everybody else from Montreal to Tofino and in between

I agree with this as well.

BTW, group 2 (especially in the larger cities) is slowly merging with group 3 IMO.

Acajack Apr 27, 2016 2:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stingray2004 (Post 7421969)
Can't disagree with ya there. That said, an ONer in BC will stand out... not because of any "accent" but because of just one word - "cottage" as in cottage country. Out here in BC, cottage is only typically utilized in terms of cottage cheese. And that's about it.

Out here in BC... "cottage" is "cabin". When someone out here utilizes "cottage" in the cabin context... it's akin to an ONer leaving their fingerprints at a crime scene. ;)

FYI in Quebec French, a ''cottage'' (pronounced cot-taydge) is a term you sometimes hear for a two-storey detached house. It's not anything rustic at all.

A rustic cottage or cabin is a ''chalet'' as most people would know I guess.

RueBulmer Apr 27, 2016 2:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 7421975)
WASP anglos in an area like Westmount would be the closest you'd find to standard English Canadian in Montreal.

But I believe that even in the anglo community they are now outnumbered by other ethnicities like Jews and Italians.

BTW in the case of these latter two Montreal groups, their accent in English often reminds me of their peers in the big northeastern cities of the US. There is a nasal aspect to it that you rarely hear in Canada.


I think even in Westmount the WASPS might be outnumbered by the Jewish Anglos.

As for the nasal aspect, yeah, me probably.

Stingray2004 Apr 27, 2016 2:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lio45 (Post 7421851)
Do Australians and American Southerners sound somewhat similar to you guys?

Absolutely not. Australian is very distinct. Ya know "G'Day"... "Throw some shrimp on the barbie", etc., etc.

Very distinct accent and idioms. That said, I can't tell the difference between an Australian and New Zealander. It certainly does exist... but not to my ear.

The U.S. South has numerous "accents" ranging from the "Deep South" to Texas to... Hope ya get my drift.

SignalHillHiker Apr 27, 2016 3:00 AM

Remembering Debbie Cooper saying "barred" reminded me again of this one. lol For old times sake.

Stereotypical lower-class St. John's:

Video Link


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