If, like me, you are obsessed with dialects, then William Labov’s project, Atlas of North American English is a really handy tool. You can click on interactive maps to determine just what portions of the United States and Canada speak with glides or specific open vowels and hear excerpts of precisely how they speak. This is a godsend if you’re an actor, an impressionist, or you’re just plain crazy about language. And Labov’s work has justifiably earned him a writeup by John Seabrook in next week’s New Y0rker.
© 2005, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.