Regional variation in the allophones of CANADIAN ENGLISH


  • Charles Boberg Department of Linguistics, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 1A7, Canada


Students, Canadian english, Formant trajectory, Nova Scotia, Nuclear measurement, Phonetic level, Regional variation, Undergraduate students, Word lists


A study that was conducted to examine regional variation in the allophones of Canadian English is presented. The data below are from word list productions elicited during recorded socio-linguistic interviews with 86 undergraduate students from every region of Canada. The word lists, which contained 145 words representing all of the vowels of English in a range of allophonic contexts, were analyzed acoustically using Kay Elemetrics' CSL 4400 system, with single-point nuclear measurements of F1 and F2 taken at the F1 maximum or at a point of inflection in F2 representing the central tendency of the formant trajectories. While there is no evidence of an analogous phonemic split in the Maritimes, raised vowels in bad and sad do resemble the American pattern at the phonetic level, and may be a relic of an older, colonial pattern brought to the region by the Loyalists, who were the most important element in the initial English-speaking settlement of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.



How to Cite

Boberg C. Regional variation in the allophones of CANADIAN ENGLISH. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2011Sep.1 [cited 2021Apr.17];39(3):170-1. Available from:



Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada