The Full Wiki

Western American English: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The west was the last area in the United States to be reached during the gradual westward expansion of English-speaking settlement and its history shows considerable mixing of the linguistic patterns of other regions. As the settlement populations are relatively young when compared with other regions, Western American English is a dialect area in formation.



  • buckaroo: cowboy; Anglicization of vaquero.
  • be all: used as a quotative.
  • be like: quotative; now used throughout the country.
  • hella: adverb; very
  • like: filler word; now used throughout the country.

Phonology and phonetics

Western American English IPA chart.
    • Unlike the North, cot-caught merger and no Northern Cities Shift.
    • Unlike the South, no glide deletion of /ai/.
    • The Western dialect is not clearly distinct from either Canadian or Midland American English:
      • Unlike Canada, little Canadian raising of the /au/ diphthong, but, like Canada, widespread raising of the /ai/ diphthong.
      • some speakers have the Canadian shift, with /ɑ/ allophones being either rounded or unrounded due to a lack of phonemic distinction between /ɑ/ and /ɒ/, and further back than in the Great Lakes.
      • Unlike the Midland, /ou/ is conservative (little fronting) and the cot-caught merger is complete (except in San Francisco).
    • But /u/ is being fronted like in most of North America.
    • Some speakers, especially in Texas, have the pin-pen merger.

Local dialects

See also


Labov, William, Sharon Ash, and Charles Boberg (2006). The Atlas of North American English. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-016746-8

External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address