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Akito commented on "Affidavid", 12/12/2020:

"Congrajulate" rather than "congrachulate" now seems to be the more common AmE pronunciation for "congratulate". As an EFL learner, I accept it as fact, but wonder if this is an isolated case or part of a tendency.

I responded:

There's a general tendency in American English (and some other varieties) for lenition of intervocalic consonants when the second vowel is unstressed. When the consonant is /t/, this regularly produces (flapping and) voicing, perhaps for the reasons discussed in "Hysteresis" (12/4/2020). So it's not a surprise to see a similar effect with a palatal consonant — but this version of "congratulate" indeed seems to have been lexicalized.

That last statement is obviously in need of support, wherefore this post.

Merriam-Webster gives both pronunciations, but offers just one audio file, which is sort of in between — the closure portion of the affricate is clearly voiced, and the fricative portion is at least partly voiced:


Wiktionary also offers two symbolic pronunciations, assigning them to opposite sides of the Atlantic ocean, along with two different audio files. And the difference in (degree of?) voicing is very clear in those examples:

The U.S. version, where again there's clear voicing continued into the stop gap, but little or no evidence of voicing through the fricative part of the affricate:

And the U.K. version, where the end of the /græt/ syllable is glottalized, and the silent portion of the stop gap correspondingly longer:

That's solid evidence for the idea that the (semi-)voiced version has become (quasi-)standard, at least in the U.S. — though it leaves open Akito's question about whether this is a particular lexical fact, or a general allophonic rule, or both.

More on that later…

Meanwhile, what about pronunciation in the real world? One swallow doesn't make a summer — or one congratulation either — but here's an especially topical example, from Morning Edition,"President-Elect Trump Upsets Clinton's White House Bid", 11/9/2016:


The first "congratulated", which is pretty clearly voiced throughout both the stop gap and the fricative portion of the affricate:


And the second one, likewise:



  1. Keith Ivey said,

    December 14, 2020 @ 4:30 pm

    Similarly, why is equation almost universally pronounced with /ʒ/ rather than /ʃ/ like other -ation words?

  2. martin schwartz said,

    December 14, 2020 @ 4:45 pm

    Maybe, just maybe, the voicing got a bit of a push from
    a collocation or association– congratulation and graduation?
    Martin Schwartz

  3. martin schwartz said,

    December 14, 2020 @ 4:51 pm

    equation–???maybe??? via influence of evasion, persuasion,
    Martin Schwartz

  4. martin schwartz said,

    December 14, 2020 @ 4:53 pm

    equation–did the voicing got a bit of a push from
    evasiuon, persuasion, conclusion…????????
    Martin Schwartz

  5. martin schwartz said,

    December 14, 2020 @ 4:55 pm

    sorry for the duplication; my first suggestion was automatically rejected.
    martin schwartz

  6. Batchman said,

    December 14, 2020 @ 5:27 pm

    The "lenition of intervocalic consonants when the second vowel is unstressed" may certainly apply to "congratulate" and its variants. But that doesn't explain why nobody seems to be able to pronounce "accreditation" correctly (where the first "t" is followed by a stressed syllable). It's almost always rendered as "accredidation" (at least on this side of the pond), which is profoundly irritating. Probably due to some sort of assimilation from the real "d", or just lingual laziness.

  7. Scott P. said,

    December 14, 2020 @ 5:40 pm

    It's almost always rendered as "accredidation" (at least on this side of the pond), which is profoundly irritating. Probably due to some sort of assimilation from the real "d", or just lingual laziness.

    That's common in midwestern accents, at least. I mean, I pronounce H20 as "wader". So it's hardly a faux pas in that context.

    [(myl) That pronunciation of "water" is the normal consequence of flapping and voicing, which is pretty much obligatory in pretty much all varieties of American English.]

  8. Akito said,

    December 14, 2020 @ 7:23 pm

    Wow, I didn't expect such a full treatment of my simple question. Thank you.

  9. Doug said,

    December 14, 2020 @ 8:09 pm

    In a similar way, it seems to me that the "c" in "electricity" is often pronounced /z/ rather than /s/.

  10. Daniel said,

    December 14, 2020 @ 10:46 pm

    Batchman, I think that people more often hear the word "accredited", where the 't' is flapped, and thus indistinguishable from 'd', so it's just back formation to incorrectly derive "*accredidation".

    Speaking of t/d contrasts, this makes me think of how I often confuse "marinate" and "marinade", wanting to use "marinade" as the verb. With "-ing" or "ed" verb endings, the distinction is lost, so it's only in the imperative or infinitive forms that the 't' becomes salient. The correct pronunciation "marinate" then sounds a bit unexpected, like it might be a hypercorrection.

  11. Jon said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 1:33 am

    In the past couple of years I have noticed a change (or it seems so to me) in British pronunciation of str, going to shtr. So we get shtring, shtretch, etc. On the BBC, newsreaders don't do it, but many members of the public and some correspondents.

  12. rosie said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 3:14 am

    Getting back to words with "tu", is this phenomenon confined to "congratulate" and its derivations, in American accents, or does it also apply to e.g. "natural", "mutual", "situate", "Saturday" etc.?

    And what does it mean for a pronunciation to get lexicalized? Lexicalization is about vocabulary, not how individual words are pronounced.

  13. Akito said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 4:55 am

    The "tu" in "capitulate" is in a similar phonetic environment to the "tu" in "congratulate", but doesn't seems to undergo lenition.

  14. Tom Dawkes said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 6:50 am

    It’s interesting that all of the transcriptions show the first syllable as /kəŋ/ rather than /kəŋ/. In fact I think I normally say it with syllabic /ŋ/.

  15. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 7:14 am


    I can confirm, at least as far as Western Pennsylvania English goes, that a _stressed_ “tyu” sound is always pronounced as such, (i.e,, not “dyu”), but now that I’m thinking about it, I’m wondering why unstressed “constítuant” _is_ pronounced as “tyu” and not as “dyu”, as in “kongrædyulāt”. Anyone have any guesses?

    Also, the Ren & Stimpy cartoon, where someone is loudly and comically “congrabyulated” comes to mind. To what linguistic end, I know not.

  16. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 8:24 am

    Correction to earlier comment. Not "stressed", but "trisyllabic", as opposed to quadrisyllabic words, which voice differntly. Wait, no, that doesn't work either because, as Akito noted, "capitulate" is "tyu", not "dyu".

    Maybe it's interference from the word "graduate"?

  17. Philip Taylor said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 10:38 am

    Tom — I say neither /kən/ nor /kəŋ/. I say /kɒn/ or /kɔn/. I am rather surprised to see that this is not offered by the OED as an alternative pronunciation, although it is offered by the LPD.

  18. Rodger C said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 11:45 am

    It's almost always rendered as "accredidation" (at least on this side of the pond), which is profoundly irritating.

    Where I teach, school administrators say "creddation."

  19. Coby Lubliner said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 12:52 pm

    I thought that the voicing may be due to anticipating the voiced /l/. That, of course, would apply to "capitulate" as well, but this word isn't commonly used.
    By the way, has anyone else noticed a trend of devoicing intervocalic S, especially in names? The /z/ is still alive in "Jesus" and "Caesar", perhaps because these words are used very frequently, but IIRC "Joseph" and "Jerusalem" were pronounced with /z/ when I was young, and now I generally hear /s/. And while "basil" the plant generally gets /z/ (regardless of how the A is pronounced), I'm not so sure about "Basil" the name.
    Then, of course, there is the incorrect voicing in "José" or "César".

  20. Philip Taylor said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 1:03 pm

    Never heard Jeru/z/alem on the British side of the pond, Coby, but always Jo/z/eph. Always Ba/z/il, too, both in the herb and in Fawlty.

  21. Andrew L said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 1:06 pm

    Getting back to words with "tu", is this phenomenon confined to "congratulate" and its derivations, in American accents, or does it also apply to e.g. "natural", "mutual", "situate", "Saturday" etc.?

    (Western) American speaker here. In "congratulate" I definitely have /dʒ/; in "natural / mutual / situate" I have /tʃ/; and Saturday is /t/ (almost inevitably flapped so realized as [ɾ]).

  22. Terry K. said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 1:35 pm

    Rosie, I think "lexicalization" here means simply that a sound change in a word becomes a basic part of the word, not something done to change the word. When Captain Picard (who has a non-rhotic British accent) in Star Trek said "Riker" without the final R sound (the first example that comes to mind), that's Picard applying his accent to a word with a final R. The lack of R isn't lexicalized. (Nor is the R he adds back in when saying "Riker is…".) In contrast, pronouncing "print" with a t, but dropping it in "printing", that's not a lexical thing.

    The word "winter" may come out of my mouth (and others) sounding just like "winner", but I don't think of the words as homophones. The lack of t in "winner" is lexical. The lack of t in "winter" is a pronunciation thing that's not lexical. For me. Someone else may lexicalize the lack of t and think of them as differing only in spelling.

  23. Batchman said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 3:07 pm

    The "winter" / "winner" thing reminds me of this: When I was an undergraduate linguistics student, there was an immigrant from Kenya in one of our classes who was working with another student on language transcription. He was late for meeting the first day because, as he told us, he was given directions to take the train and change at Huntington station (this was on Long Island, New York). When the conductor announced the upcoming station stop, he pronounced it "Hunnington" and the Kenyan student didn't recognize it as "Huntington." Of course,none of the other Long Guyland passengers had trouble understanding it, nor would it even occur to them/us that there could be a comprehension issue.

  24. Michael said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 3:27 pm

    Words with vowel+tulate are exceedingly few and I can only think of one common word with vowel+dulate (modulate) that could be used as an analogy, which makes me think it is just natural lenition and capitulate is just not common enough to have made it there yet.

  25. Martha said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 3:45 pm

    "Congrachulate" sounds to my ear like something you'd hear a little kid say.

    Daniel: Marinate/marinade weirds me out, too. They don't follow the typical pattern of voicing in noun/verb pairs, like belief/believe, advice/advise, proof/prove, etc. It annoys me, although there are probably other pairs out there that don't follow the pattern that I don't even notice.

  26. Terry K. said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 4:39 pm

    Martha, I'm curious where you're from and what you would consider the normal pronunciation.

  27. Philip Taylor said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 4:43 pm

    Michael — "exceedingly few" indeed. Just five, I think : CAPITULATE, CONGRATULATE, GRATULATE, RECAPITULATE, SPATULATE. For vowel + "dulate", also perhaps five : ACIDULATE, ADULATE, DEMODULATE, MODULATE, STRIDULATE.

  28. Allan from Iowa said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 6:02 pm

    I guess nobody says absquatulate any more.

  29. mollymooly said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 6:29 pm

    To lead "congratulate" astray, as well as the already mentioned "graduate", there is also "gradual", especially if disyllabic.

  30. Coby Lubliner said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 6:44 pm

    Philip Taylor: I still hear mainly Jeru/z/alem when I hear the Blake-Parry hymn sung by older fold.

  31. Coby Lubliner said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 6:45 pm

    Folk, not fold.

  32. Twill said,

    December 15, 2020 @ 8:35 pm

    @Jon That's a product of the regular affrication of /t/ and /d/ before /r/ (and the coalescence of /tj/, /dj/), hence "jream" or "chree" for dream and tree. /str/ would theoretically be realized as [stʃɹ], but generally results in an articulation with a retracted /s/.

  33. Tom Dawkes said,

    December 16, 2020 @ 12:08 pm

    @Coby I notice that many people pronounce 'Lisa' as /li:sə/ rather than /li:zə/.

  34. Martha said,

    December 16, 2020 @ 12:31 pm

    Terry K – The "congrajulate" pronunciation. I was born and raised and currently live in the U.S. Pacific NW.

  35. Rodger C said,

    December 16, 2020 @ 12:53 pm

    That Kenyan student was lucky. The Huntington in West Virginia is normally "Hunnickton." I've seen a semiliterate person spell it "Huicton," presumably with nasal vowel.

    Also, why do NPR announcers say "chromozomes"? It seems very odd to me across a morpheme boundary.

  36. Scott P. said,

    December 16, 2020 @ 1:19 pm

    Also, why do NPR announcers say "chromozomes"? It seems very odd to me across a morpheme boundary.

    It follows the pattern of 'ribosome' or "ozone". The same effect occurs in the pronunciation of 'boson'.

  37. Stephen Hart said,

    December 16, 2020 @ 2:09 pm

    Where I live we always see signs in the spring like this:

    ConGRADulations class of 2020!

    A similar construction to the car dealers'


    (Exclamation points compulsory!)

  38. David Morris said,

    December 16, 2020 @ 2:25 pm

    There is an alcohol shop chain in Australia called Cellarbrations.

    As far as I know, 'sellabration' is deliberate, but 'congradualations' is a mistake. I would call 'congraduations' deliberate, but I have never seen it.

  39. Alyssa said,

    December 16, 2020 @ 2:50 pm

    "Congratulations" is pretty strongly associated with graduations for me, so I wouldn't be surprised if that was the source of the pronunciation. How many other events do we get congratulated with the full formal word (and not just a spoken "congrats" or "good job")? I've misspelled it "congradulations" on more than one occasion, including a moment ago while typing this post…

  40. Philip Taylor said,

    December 16, 2020 @ 4:07 pm

    Alyssa asks "[h]ow many other events do we get congratulated with the full formal word ?". I would suggest (a) on getting engaged; (b) on the conception of a baby; (c) on getting married; (d) on giving birth; (e) on reaching the age of 21; (f) on being promoted. And so on. Graduation is, to my mind, just another event of no greater (and no lesser) significance than those I list above.

  41. Philip Taylor said,

    December 16, 2020 @ 5:10 pm

    Just as a point of interest, and noting the many different pronunciations of "congratulations" reported by speakers of <Am.E>, I would be interested to know whether elocution is taught in America today, and if not, was it ever taught there ?

  42. Thomas Rees said,

    December 16, 2020 @ 5:50 pm

    @Philip Taylor They taught elocution a century ago in Los Ángeles. According to my father, you were supposed to pronounce the noun “wind” like the verb /waɪnd/ (the old pronunciation), and declaim with one hand on the breast and the other raised like a Roman imperator. He could recite from Scott’s The Lady of the Lake: The stag at eve had drunk his fill, /Where danced the moon on Monan’s rill… but I don’t know how far he could go; I would always make him stop.

  43. Michael Watts said,

    December 16, 2020 @ 8:11 pm

    That's a product of the regular affrication of /t/ and /d/ before /r/ (and the coalescence of /tj/, /dj/), hence "jream" or "chree" for dream and tree. /str/ would theoretically be realized as [stʃɹ], but generally results in an articulation with a retracted /s/

    I don't think this can be correct. Commenters here have been making fun of me for pointing out that /tɹ/ and /dɹ/ obligatorily become [tʃɹ] and [dʒɹ] (which I still believe – in order to avoid producing the fricative, you would have to insert a hiatus as your tongue moved into position for the [ɹ]; if you don't, then you automatically produce the fricative, because your tongue must move through the space that produces [ʃ] while traveling between [t] and [ɹ]).

    But it would not occur to me to attribute a pronunciation of "shtring" to the /tr/ cluster, because, you know, the ordinary pronunciation is "string". You have to make a special effort to say "shtring"; I would expect an original [ʃt] to place-assimilate to [st], because [s] is the fricative that matches the place of articulation of [t].

  44. Anthony said,

    December 16, 2020 @ 9:25 pm

    I, too, overwhelmingly associate congratulations with graduation. Etiquette says one congratulates a newly-married or -affianced man, but offers a bride best wishes.

  45. Daniel said,

    December 16, 2020 @ 10:15 pm

    I agree with Martha that "congrajulate" is lexicalized for me. It sounds like the correct pronunciation, and "congratchulate" sounds like a spelling pronunciation. I grew up in the Chicago suburbs. WHY it's lexicalized this way, I cannot say.

    Michael Watts, I agree that /tɹ/ and /dɹ/ become [tʃɹ] and [dʒɹ] in American English. It's simply the easiest way to pronounce that sequence of phonemes to have the tongue remain in contact with the alveolus as it retracts. It IS possible to avoid the fricative, however, by breaking contact with the alveolus before retracting it to the /ɹ/ position. This sounds British to me, but I can't say for sure that it is. As a singer, I've been instructed to use this pronunciation.

  46. Twill said,

    December 16, 2020 @ 11:04 pm

    @Michael Watts The point of articulation in the affricate conventionally notated /t͡ʃ/ is post-alveolar, with a retracted [t̠], else we would end up with /t͡s/. This is why /stV/ does not condition the retraction, and why accents without a heavily retracted [ɹ̠] do not have a conditioned affrication of /tr/. "Shtring" is not an exact representation of the actual articulation of /stɹɪŋ/; it is simply how /ʃtʃɹ/ is perceived to be pronounced. There is perhaps surprisingly a decent amount of literature on this topic (that is, if you aren't aware the gross overrepresentation of the English language in linguistics).

  47. Michael Watts said,

    December 17, 2020 @ 12:21 am

    It IS possible to avoid the fricative, however, by breaking contact with the alveolus before retracting it to the /ɹ/ position.

    I'm confused; a fricative by definition does not involve the tongue making contact with anything. Contact makes a stop; close proximity makes a fricative; loose proximity makes an approximant. I don't see how you go from contact to loose proximity without passing through close proximity.

    For the question of "tr" / "dr" I am assuming that the point of contact for /t/ is indeed farther back than usual; it's true this is in some tension with what I said about "str". I perceive "str" has having a somewhat retracted [t], but still a normal [s].

  48. Michael Watts said,

    December 17, 2020 @ 1:07 am

    (On the main topic, I agree with everybody else that "congratulate" is pronounced with /dʒ/ simply because that is the pronunciation of "congratulate". /tʃ/ would be an error. It's the same reason "comfortable" is pronounced /kʌmftɚbl̩/; the word is not rare enough for the spelling to influence its pronunciation.

    Then again, youglish has plenty of evidence of people pronouncing "machinations" with a /tʃ/, which I find very strange.)

  49. Twill said,

    December 17, 2020 @ 2:25 am

    @Michael Watts Every stop has a period of frication, which explains why affrication of stops is a regular sound change. That doesn't mean we can't distinguish between, say, a /t/ with a minimal period of frication without sibilation and a clearly sibilated /tʃ/ whose period of frication is typically longer than the stop gap, and even in such an environment it's still possible to contrast them.

    I still managed to be surprised to be occasionally reminded that the overwhelmingly common pronunciation of thank is not /ðæŋk/ as I convince myself that is how I pronounce that word.

  50. Philip Taylor said,

    December 17, 2020 @ 3:10 am

    Michael — I (a Briton) am one of those who 'pronounc[e] "machinations" with a /tʃ/', and until your post, followed by an immediate consultation of the LPD, I was unaware of any other pronunciation. Interestingly, while the LPD gives /ˌmæk ɪ ˈneɪʃ ənz/, it does not offer the /ˌmætʃ-/ variant but instead offers /ˌmæʃ-/.

  51. Philip Taylor said,

    December 17, 2020 @ 4:45 am

    [O.T., but perhaps relevant] — I often find John Wells' syllabifications counter-intuitive. In the case of /ˌmæk ɪ ˈneɪʃ ənz/, for example, had I entered that by hand I would have shewn it as /ˌmæ kɪ ˈneɪ ʃənz/ — could anyone explain to me why JCW seems to prefer CVC and VC clusters to CV ?

  52. Akito said,

    December 17, 2020 @ 5:14 am

    Come to think of it, "sandwich" has long been pronounced with a final /dʒ/. (Perhaps a feature of BrE?) The affricate isn't even intervocalic (though it is in the plural). A force other than pure phonetic environment may be at work. The flapping/voicing of (the second) /t/ in "trade it in", "put it on", etc., suggests that the following syllable needn't be unstressed. Could "word-final" be a factor?

  53. Philip Taylor said,

    December 17, 2020 @ 5:48 am

    I have a feeling that Akito's question and my own may not be unrelated. If I were to syllabify "trade it in", "put it on", etc., as /treɪd ɪ tɪn/, /pʊt ɪ tɒn/, etc., then the final syllable would without doubt commence with a clear /t/; but I I were to syllabify them as /treɪd ɪt ɪn/, /pʊt ɪt ɒn/, then the penultimate syllable might well end with something closer to a /d/.

  54. Chris Button said,

    December 17, 2020 @ 7:13 am

    @ Philip Taylor

    Re. Your question about syllabification in the LPD:

  55. Philip Taylor said,

    December 17, 2020 @ 8:24 am

    Thank you, Chris. Reading it now, with considerable interest, but stumbled at the following passage :

    Many analysts would claim that the syllable boundary in dolphin lies between the /l/ and the /f/. I believe this to be wrong. Rather, the correct syllabification is /ˈdɒlf.ɪn/, as an adequate account of English syllabification ought to predict. And this syllabic division is not ‘evident from the orthography and from the [morphology]’. (Here and henceforth I symbolise all word-internal syllable boundaries explicitly, using a dot /./ for the purpose.)

    Because the majority of the web page is rendered in sans-serif, the glyphs in "/l/" ("the /l/ and the /f/") and in "I" ("henceforth I symbolise all word-internal syllable boundaries") are visually indistinguishable, and my mind mentally appended an "s" to "symbolise", as a result of which I interpreted the prose as referring to "I" symbolising something rather than the dot (".") symbolising that thing as John had intended.

  56. Philip Taylor said,

    December 17, 2020 @ 8:37 am

    The first para. of "The main syllabification principle" is extremely interesting and enlightening, but I have a question concerning John's later assertion that "[t]he only cases in English where immediately adjacent syllables have equal grade are those involving weak vowels (grade 5)" — is not "foreword" a counter-example to this claim ?

  57. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    December 17, 2020 @ 9:58 am


    Not to further complicate things, but, west of Blue Mountain, you'll hear "sandwich" as either "sangwich" or "sammich".

  58. Rodger C said,

    December 17, 2020 @ 11:43 am

    Mm, samjez.

  59. Scott P. said,

    December 17, 2020 @ 12:58 pm

    Then again, youglish has plenty of evidence of people pronouncing "machinations" with a /tʃ/, which I find very strange.)

    No doubt attracted by the pronunciation of the much more common word "machicolations" ;-)

  60. Daniel Deutsch said,

    December 17, 2020 @ 2:17 pm

    The most popular person who often pronounces str as shtr is Michelle Obama. At about 2:20 of this interview with her mother, she says “shtraight up.”

  61. Akito said,

    December 17, 2020 @ 7:58 pm

    Thank you, Benjamin E. Orsatti. Which Blue Mountain is it?

  62. Jerry Friedman said,

    December 18, 2020 @ 12:50 am

    Here's the first of many Google Image hits on "congraduations". Here's one for "congradulations".

    Keith Ivey: As a physics and math teacher, I've often wondered why "equation" has /ʒ/. The suggestion that it's been influenced by "persuasion" etc. only raises the question of why that hasn't happened to "nation", "operation", etc., etc.

    Michael Watts: I think I can pronounce /tr/ with very little [ʃ], and /dr/ with no /ʒ/ that I can detect. If there's any in my "headrow" (if I were ever to say it), it wouldn't cause any confusion with my "hedgerow" (which I've probably said at least once).

    And if a word has to be rare for the spelling to affect the pronunciation, why is the /l/ coming back in American "palm" and "calm"? And "often", which often gets a spelling pronunciation, is much more common than "soften", which doesn't.

    Philip Taylor: I think /ˌmæʃ-/ is the only pronunciation of "machination" in American English, except for people who have read the word but haven't heard it.

    Also, my mother was taught elocution in a decade that I'm not sure she wants me to name, but let's just say a world war was going on during the first half of it.

  63. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    December 18, 2020 @ 6:47 am


    I can't vouch for this particular topographic feature being a definitive "marker", per se (,-77.8844768,10.63z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x89c971efc7a76891:0x3cde6e96e1b29ebf!8m2!3d40.1245315!4d-77.6663793), but it seems that somewhere between State College and Johnstown (Altoona, maybe?), Eastern/Central Pennsylvania "becomes" Western Pennsylvania.

    I dunno, what do you Philly folks think? At what point along Route 30 or Route 22 does "wooder" become "water" and "doun" become "dahn"?

  64. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    December 18, 2020 @ 6:54 am


    Looking at this topographical map, maybe the linguistic divide is where the foothills of the Appalachians settle into the Allegheny Basin? So, then, it _would_ be just West of Altoona, maybe.

  65. Jerry Friedman said,

    December 18, 2020 @ 10:42 am

    And where are the Eagles-Steelers (or Iggles-Stillers) and Phillies-Pirates isothorybs?

    Akito: As you may realize, the people talking about the the pronunciation of "sandwich" are having fun and not trying to give you a complete picture of the complicated variations.

  66. Rodger C said,

    December 18, 2020 @ 11:50 am

    Jerry Friedman re Michael Watts: Then there are two of us. Don't tell, they'd banish us, you know.

  67. Benjamin E. Orsatti said,

    December 18, 2020 @ 12:12 pm


    Regarding isothorybs (, that one's easy — Harrisburg(h)! It was so bad at one point that my cousin, who was born and raised in Harrisburg, ended up becoming a Dallas Cowboys fan.

  68. Isaac said,

    December 18, 2020 @ 2:57 pm

    As a resident of Læŋk.ɨ.stɹ, PA I can confirm that all of the isotorybs discussed above are discontiguous and things can get very complicated in the southern counties where we have a four-way intersection of dialects (and fanbases) between Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Baltimore and Pennsilfaanisch-Deitsch.

    As exhibit A I shall present the following:

  69. Jerry Friedman said,

    December 18, 2020 @ 5:59 pm

    Rodger C: Good to know nobody agrees with us.

    Benjamin E. Orsatti: Actually, being a Cowboy fan in that kind of environment sounds a little risky.

    Isaac: Thank you, that was quite convincing. I'm sure there's much more evidence, but I'm good.

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