This article asks whether collaboration with a popular newspaper can be an effective means of collecting data on dialect variation and whether the resulting data are comparable with those gathered by more traditional dialectological methods. These questions are examined with a pair of dialect surveys carried out in 2014 by Metro News, in collaboration with the author, in cities across English-speaking Canada. The resulting data, comprising thousands of responses, reveal remarkable convergence with previous research, particularly with the North American Regional Vocabulary Survey reported previously in this journal. They display both an alternation between British and American lexical choices and regional variation in North American lexical choices across Canada. The new data both confirm and add to earlier accounts of variation in Canadian English, among other things making possible a new analysis of diachronic patterns in real time. Popular media can therefore be valuable research partners for academic dialectologists.
Skip Nav Destination
Charles Boberg; Newspaper Dialectology: Harnessing the Power of the Mass Media to Study Canadian English. American Speech 1 May 2016; 91 (2): 109–138. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-3633085
Download citation file: