Where's Your Accent on the North American English Dialect Map?

by Michelle Schusterman Sep 14, 2011

Rick Aschmann claims to collect dialects like other people collect stamps. I’m thinking a stamp collection on par with what he’s got going on here would be enough for everyone on Earth to send everyone else on Earth at least one piece of mail.

The more you get into this map, the more mind-boggling it is; he’s got major dialect areas, divisions, subdivisions, and transitional or anomalous areas. Explanations of how the indigenous accent mingled with migrant accents. And when you finally zone in on a spot and click, you’re taken to that area on his list, which includes audio samples with names, locations, and YouTube or audio clips to hear the dialect for yourself.

If you can bring yourself to scroll down and away from the map, he’s also got a series of fascinating articles on which states and provinces are the most linguistically complex, thoughts on where people speak “general American English,” and a debate on whether or not the cot-caught merger came from Scotland.

That’s one hell of a stamp collection.

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