H/Posts and Highlights/#MySci411: Fuhgeddaboudit? Scientists Say Philadelphia Accent is Changing

#MySci411: Fuhgeddaboudit? Scientists Say Philadelphia Accent is Changing

The distinct Philadelphia accent – the one with which … or wit which … the city’s favorite football team is known as the “Iggles,” one of its favorite sandwiches is known as a “hoe-gee,” and the Earth’s most abundant liquid is known as “wooder” – has changed in the past century, according to a highly technical study at the University of Pennsylvania, which is, of course, in Philadelphia, Pa.

The study, led by University of Pennsylvania Professor of Linguistics William Labov, Ph.D., used sophisticated computerized measurements of recordings of Philadelphians ranging in year of birth from 1888 to 1991.

Dr. Labov and his colleagues believe that the traditional “southern” inflections of the Philadelphia accent, or dialect, are being replaced by influences for the northern United States.

The study was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Dennis Zehner, 484.664.1002, Ext. 112


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