The Daily Circuit poll: Minnesotan accents

Today, we’re talking about the shifting accent of the Great Lakes region. How do you think we sound?

–Stephanie Curtis, social media host

  • Anthony

    What do we know about reservation accents? Personal experience has shown what seems to be a similiar accent among different reservations even though they are sometimes separated by tribe and geography.

  • Stephanie


    That is a great question. I’m going to see if I can’t get you an answer.


  • Richard

    At the end of the segment Tom suggested you might bring back Prof. Dinkin for a longer segment. I think that’s a great idea.

  • Stephanie


    Here is what Aaron Dinkin, AKA Dr. Whom, had to say:

    “Great question. I don’t know anything at all about reservation accents myself. However, keep in mind that social identity and solidarity is an important contributor to people’s linguistic behavior – linguistic features can be associated in people’s minds with a particular group of people, and if they are, you can use those linguistic features to express that you identify with or affiliate yourself with that group of people. So there may be some set of accent features that are perceived as indexing the general category of Native American identity, so those same accent features are likely to be used on multiple reservations (and at the same time there’s resistance to the adoption of features that can be seen as indexing white identity). By the same token, the accents of African-American speakers in different parts of the country are usually more similar to each other than the accents of white people in different parts of the country.”

  • Marjorie

    I noticed that the accents and intonations of Tim Pawlenty and Paul Ryan sounded very similar on Wednesday night, although Pawlenty was a lot whinier.