North Central American English

North Central American English

North Central American English

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North Central American English is used to refer to a dialect of American English. The region is also known as Upper Midwest among some linguists. It is also sometimes called the Minnesota Accent or Great Lakes Accent. It is widely spoken in the Upper Midwest and the northern portion of the central United States bordering Canada. This dialect region includes parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, parts of Wisconsin and Iowa, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is considered a residual region, distinct from the neighboring regions of the West, the North, and Canada.


Not all of these characteristics are unique to the North Central region.


  • and are "conservative" in this region. In other words, these vowels don't undergo the fronting that is common in some other regions of the United States.
  • In addition to being conservative, may be monophthongal, sometimes with lengthening: ~ . The same is true for , which leads to variants like or , though data suggests that monophthongal variants are more common for than for , and also that they are more common in coat than in ago or road, which may indicate phonological conditioning. Regionally, monophthongal mid vowels are more common in the northern tier of states, occurring more frequently in Minnesota and the Dakotas but much rarer in Iowa and Nebraska. The appearance of......
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