High Plains Public Radio

THANKSgiving in the Panhandle and ThanksGIVing in Kansas – speaking of food on the High Plains

Nov 21, 2013

If you live in the Texas Panhandle you’re more likely to be discussing plans for THANKSgiving rather than ThanksGIVing, as you might it Kansas.  There’s commonality in how we speak across the High Plains but also differences.  Click through the slide show above to view some food-related differences in pronunciation and usage across the region. 

The data for these maps is from the Harvard Dialect Survey conducted by Bert Vaux while a professor of linguistics at Harvard.  The survey covered 122 questions, mainly investigating phonological differences (e.g. the vowel used in the word "aunt") and lexical variation (e.g. the word for the wheeled contraption used to carry groceries at the supermarket). It concluded in 2003.  The maps shown here were generated from the data by Joshua Katz, a PhD student in the Department of Statistics at NC State University.  Maps for all 122 questions in the survey can be seen here

Bert Vaux is continuing his dialect studies with an on-line survey with new questions.  You can take the survey and contribute to his database by clicking here.  Professor Vaux is now a Reader in Phonology & Morphology and Fellow & Director of Studies in Linguistics at King's College, University of Cambridge.