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  #2981  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2018, 12:54 PM
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I've always found the Montreal Jewish accent a bit New Yawkish.
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  #2982  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2018, 1:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
There's a Montreal Jewish accent. Irwin Cotler is a good example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1W6lywxnwU
I always found Cotler's accent very distinctive. To my ears that could only be the accent of a Jewish man from Montreal.
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  #2983  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2018, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
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There's a Montreal Jewish accent. Irwin Cotler is a good example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1W6lywxnwU
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I've always found the Montreal Jewish accent a bit New Yawkish.
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Originally Posted by esquire View Post
I always found Cotler's accent very distinctive. To my ears that could only be the accent of a Jewish man from Montreal.
Kind of goes back to the idea that Montreal's older "Anglo"-oriented or assimilated ethnic groups share a similar "Ellis Island" influence, more so than historic immigrant European communities farther west.

Yet it's still distinctively Jewish-Canadian, not Jewish-American, in the way for example you still have the Canadian raising vowel sounds.
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  #2984  
Old Posted Apr 4, 2018, 10:52 PM
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What's the trend now for the English influence of "Anglo" oriented immigrants in Montreal now in terms of which accent they assimilate to?

Still a local homegrown English Canadian accent? General Canadian? General North American English?
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  #2985  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 3:00 PM
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Kind of goes back to the idea that Montreal's older "Anglo"-oriented or assimilated ethnic groups share a similar "Ellis Island" influence, more so than historic immigrant European communities farther west.
.
Anglo-oriented Italian Montrealers also have a New Yawkish sound to their accent IMO. Or at least they used to - this seems to be changing though.
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  #2986  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 3:12 PM
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^ The Jewish NY and Mtl accents sound very distinctive to my ears. I would never confuse Cotler's accent for Bernie Sanders', for example.
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  #2987  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 3:18 PM
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What's the trend now for the English influence of "Anglo" oriented immigrants in Montreal now in terms of which accent they assimilate to?

Still a local homegrown English Canadian accent? General Canadian? General North American English?
That's an interesting question.

My sense is that Anglo-Montrealers are less and less "just among themselves" these days, which is not really conducive to maintaining a single accent across the community or even giving rise to a new one.

For the average Anglo-Montrealer, a lot of their daily conversations in English are probably with second or third language English speakers (both francophones and allophones) as opposed to native anglos. And that's not even mentioning daily conversations that take place in French. Or a mix of French and English.
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  #2988  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2018, 5:54 PM
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^ The Jewish NY and Mtl accents sound very distinctive to my ears. I would never confuse Cotler's accent for Bernie Sanders', for example.
Yeah, I wouldn't mix up a Montreal Jewish accent with a NYC one.
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  #2989  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2018, 9:17 PM
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That's an interesting question.

My sense is that Anglo-Montrealers are less and less "just among themselves" these days, which is not really conducive to maintaining a single accent across the community or even giving rise to a new one.

For the average Anglo-Montrealer, a lot of their daily conversations in English are probably with second or third language English speakers (both francophones and allophones) as opposed to native anglos. And that's not even mentioning daily conversations that take place in French. Or a mix of French and English.
It's interesting that Montreal Anglos historically (and even more so now) despite living in one city were fractured and not really one "speech community", yet western Canadians are so homogeneous in accent despite being separated from one another by hundreds or thousands of km of sparsely populated terrain and sharing such disparate original roots or linguistic heritage (eg. British Columbians descended from Brits, versus Albertans who were originally Americans versus western Canadians descended from easterners etc., plus all the immigrants directly moving to the west straight from overseas, be they Norweigians, Ukrainians, Germans, Chinese etc).

Something managed to unite western Canadians to assimilate to a relatively homogeneous accent despite the vast distances involved and time spent travelling between them.

Then again, social distance and geographical distances don't line up. The example of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) stood out to me living in the US. I definitely noticed that various black communities all over the country, from California to the northeast shared elements of AAVE that had noticeable similarities with southern US English, despite being thousands of miles away -- a shared history (including segregation and a strong Black American identity that ensued) made a Californian speaker of AAVE and New Yorker AAVE speaker sound more like one another than their other Californian and New York neighbours.

Often the things that divide us in terms of who we talk and don't talk to, and end up sounding like during our formative years aren't a matter of physical or geographic barriers but social ones.
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  #2990  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2018, 4:13 PM
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National Post is on us for some reason.

The Newfoundland dialect is full of charming turns of phrase, but its real distinction is found in how it echoes the past

Across this great nation of ours, there are approximately 30-million speakers of Canadian English. Typically, when we think of Canadian English, we identify it by what it is not: American English (and sometimes British English). However, right here at home, within our 9,984,670 km2 of space, there is a massive assortment of words we use to describe the same thing, and even when we agree on a single term, the pronunciations we employ are sometimes completely different.

Quote:
Whaddayat?”

I just sat in the back seat of the cab and stared blankly at the driver.

“Whaddayat, buddy?” the driver said again, cheerfully.

To this day, whenever a friend asks me for advice about visiting Newfoundland and Labrador, one of my best suggestions is to always take cabs. If you want to get a taste of real, thick, honest Newfoundland accents, there’s nothing better than hopping into a car, sitting in the front seat and making conversation along the ride.

But back in 2008, I was a cub journalist fresh out of school, starting out my first gig writing for a real newspaper. I just wanted to get back to the office and scramble to make deadline. The last thing I wanted to worry about was deciphering a foreign language. But the cab I was in wasn’t going anywhere.

“Whatta ye at, buddy?” the cabbie said again, more slowly and deliberately.

Oh.

My little Torontonian brain clicked when I heard “at” and I relaxed. “At” is a preposition associated with location, and I was in a taxi. He was just asking me where I was going.

“I’m going to The Telegram office, on Columbus Drive?”

“No, no, no b’y, whaddayat?”

The Wayne and Shuster routine went on for another minute or two, before the driver explained that in Newfoundland and Labrador, “What are you at?” is like saying “How’s it going?” or “What’s happening?” This frequently gets further truncated to just, “You at?” or even “Yat?”

The most common response is a shrugging, “This is it.”

In the nearly 10 years I lived in Newfoundland and Labrador since that first experience, I fell in love with the local language – but it’s a slippery thing. Early on, after moving to St. John’s, I bought myself a copy of the Dictionary of Newfoundland English, an 847-page tome that turned out to be fairly useless. Most Newfoundlanders and Labradorians don’t know the obscure words and phrases meticulously catalogued in the Dictionary of Newfoundland English.

For instance, the dictionary is silent on “moreish,” a word that a co-worker used to describe a plate of brownies — the sort of food where you can’t help yourself from having more. A bit of Googling suggests that moreish has its origins in Britain, so it makes sense to hear it in Newfoundland and Labrador — a colony of the British Empire until 1949.

...

Almost certainly, your screech-in ceremony will include some silly phrase of Newfoundland English. “Is ye a screecher?” the officiant will bellow, as though this is a real shibboleth of real Newfoundlanders. “Deed I is, me old cock, and long may your big jib draw,” the tourists are instructed to reply, though I never actually heard an actual Newfoundlander utter those words in any other context. Maybe somewhere, in some little pocket of Newfoundland, it’s an actual thing people once said.

...

And speaking of inflammatory terms with a lot of political baggage, unless you’ve lived there long enough to understand the sensitivities, don’t ever, ever say “newfie.” People from the island are Newfoundlanders, and “newfie” is a slur. It carries connotations tied up with nasty stereotypes of Newfoundlanders.

Many Newfoundlanders will tell you about the 1990s when they were told to suppress the accent and talk like Upper Canadians if they wanted to get anywhere in life. For the same reason, if you meet a Newfoundlander today it might be best to avoid asking, “How come you don’t have an accent?” Sadly, it’s likely a question they’ve been asked far too many times already.

Of course, there really isn’t one Newfoundland accent, but rather, hundreds of them. In St. John’s, the Townie cornerboy accent is entirely different from the accent that lawyers and politicians use. A keen ear can hear distinctive differences between the accents of the Bonavista and Burin Peninsulas.

A friend once wistfully said to me, “The Newfoundland accent hasn’t been the same since the baymen got cable TV.” (Baymen, for the uninitiated, are Newfoundlanders who live in the outports, as compared to Townies who live in and around St. John’s.) It might be apocryphal. Aside from the fact that my friend grew up on the Bonavista Peninsula before they had cable TV, I’ve never seen any proof that TV watered down the accent.

But as I wrote before: the Newfoundland dialect is a slippery thing.

In the days before roads and electricity — well into the 20th century for many parts of the province — communities a few kilometres apart would only be connected by boat in the summer or dogsled in the winter. Beyond accents or terminology, what makes the langue distinctive and charming is the fact that when Newfoundlanders and Labradorians speak, you can hear echoes of the past.
https://nationalpost.com/entertainme..._autoplay=true
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  #2991  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2018, 5:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Capsicum View Post
It's interesting that Montreal Anglos historically (and even more so now) despite living in one city were fractured and not really one "speech community", yet western Canadians are so homogeneous in accent despite being separated from one another by hundreds or thousands of km of sparsely populated terrain and sharing such disparate original roots or linguistic heritage (eg. British Columbians descended from Brits, versus Albertans who were originally Americans versus western Canadians descended from easterners etc., plus all the immigrants directly moving to the west straight from overseas, be they Norweigians, Ukrainians, Germans, Chinese etc).

Something managed to unite western Canadians to assimilate to a relatively homogeneous accent despite the vast distances involved and time spent travelling between them.

Then again, social distance and geographical distances don't line up. The example of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) stood out to me living in the US. I definitely noticed that various black communities all over the country, from California to the northeast shared elements of AAVE that had noticeable similarities with southern US English, despite being thousands of miles away -- a shared history (including segregation and a strong Black American identity that ensued) made a Californian speaker of AAVE and New Yorker AAVE speaker sound more like one another than their other Californian and New York neighbours.

Often the things that divide us in terms of who we talk and don't talk to, and end up sounding like during our formative years aren't a matter of physical or geographic barriers but social ones.
Western Canada has always had a more transient population, and most of its growth occurred after development of communication and transportation networks. The western US followed largely the same pattern and also lacks a distinct accent. When I moved to Ontario from Alberta I was repeatedly told I sounded like I was from California. In Australia, everyone assumes I am American, even the Americans. When I lived in Seattle, people guessed I was from the upper Midwest. My parents definitely had a Midwestern accent similar to the Fargo parady even though they grew up in rural AB and rural SK. My mom only spoke German until her early teens but still managed a Minnesota like accent. I guess that is likely due to most of the original English speakers in the prairies coming from the upper Midwest.

My kids are odd in that they flawlessly transition between Australian and American accents. My three year old has never lived in the States does it as well.

I have a friend in Calgary who has spent her entire life in AB and BC but goes full Newfoundlandese when around her family.
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  #2992  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2018, 5:54 PM
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Something managed to unite western Canadians to assimilate to a relatively homogeneous accent despite the vast distances involved and time spent travelling between them.
Media. More specifically, radio and television.

Prior to those, communities were relatively self-contained. You'd get newspapers and things like that, but they didn't contain cues how to pronounce words.

Many western communities came of age in the early 1900s. Commercial radio was developed after World War I, coinciding with Western Canada's development.
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  #2993  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2018, 6:54 PM
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For the Toronto and area folks, do you modify how you say "Toronto" when speaking to people outside of southern Ontario?

Around here I use the standard "Trawno" pronunciation, but when speaking to people from other areas I tend to enunciate the consonants more properly: "Ter-rawn-to."

Interestingly, I don't think people here would ever adjust their vowels into "Tore-rawn-to" the way you often hear non-natives do it.

Today I unwittingly pronounced it "Trawno" during a conference call with people in California when I was asked where I was based ("In Canada, just outside Toronto" is the formulation I use), and I found myself cringing at the potential perception of excessive jocularity on my part. Like a guy saying "Shi-ka-ga" or "Noo Yawk" and raising his hand for a high five.

I hate it when other people do that, and here I've gone and seemingly done it myself.
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  #2994  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2018, 7:28 PM
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("In Canada, just outside Toronto" is the formulation I use)
Had I been your interlocutor, you could've simply said "Ontario" and I'd have translated that in my head to "almost certainly based just outside Toronto".

I don't think in 15 years of business I've ever interacted with an Anglo-Canadian supplier that wasn't based in Mississauga, Brampton, Etobicoke, or one of those GTA locations.
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  #2995  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2018, 7:34 PM
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Had I been your interlocutor, you could've simply said "Ontario" and I'd have translated that in my head to "almost certainly based just outside Toronto".

I don't think in 15 years of business I've ever interacted with an Anglo-Canadian supplier that wasn't based in Mississauga, Brampton, Etobicoke, or one of those GTA locations.
True enough, but people outside of Canada don't know the provinces, so you can't say "Ontario" to them.

I mean, let's be real, they don't know where Toronto is either, but at least they've heard of it. You can say "southeastern Michigan" to an American, but you can't say "southwestern Ontario."
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  #2996  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2018, 7:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
For the Toronto and area folks, do you modify how you say "Toronto" when speaking to people outside of southern Ontario?

Around here I use the standard "Trawno" pronunciation, but when speaking to people from other areas I tend to enunciate the consonants more properly: "Ter-rawn-to."

Interestingly, I don't think people here would ever adjust their vowels into "Tore-rawn-to" the way you often hear non-natives do it.

Today I unwittingly pronounced it "Trawno" during a conference call with people in California when I was asked where I was based ("In Canada, just outside Toronto" is the formulation I use), and I found myself cringing at the potential perception of excessive jocularity on my part. Like a guy saying "Shi-ka-ga" or "Noo Yawk" and raising his hand for a high five.

I hate it when other people do that, and here I've gone and seemingly done it myself.
My "informal" pronounciation of Toronto is midway between the two extremes; I enunciate the first vowel but I do drop the second t, so I generally say "ter-ron-o". I don't think I've ever said "trawno".
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  #2997  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2018, 9:25 PM
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I have apparently fallen back into a foreign-sounding, fully enunciated To-Ron-To kind of thing after seven years out of the country and my sister, who lives there, has called me on it.

I wonder if this came up to distinguish the place from Tirana, Albania, where a reasonable number of my friends regularly pass through and speak about.
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  #2998  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:25 PM
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Still trying to wrap my head around Stratford being just outside (150 km) Toronto...
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Old Posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:29 PM
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Still trying to wrap my head around Stratford being just outside (150 km) Toronto...
I've always described K-W as being about an hour (I'm an optimist!) west of Toronto.
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  #3000  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:34 PM
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I often tell clueless foreigners I live two hours west of Montreal.
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