by Stefan Dollinger, Director of the Canadian English Lab, University of British Columbia at Vancouver.
Until fairly recently, Canadian English was a severely understudied national variety of English. Reliable sociolinguistic data of a national scope has been especially hard to come by and, until the mid-1990s, was virtually inexistent. The geographical proximity to the American superpower is quite unique to Canadian English and contrasts it with other varieties of English, such as Australian, New Zealand, or UK varieties of English. Combined with a relatively low awareness of Canadian English features (a result of the school system), some commentators, especially outsiders, tend to confuse Canadian English with American dialects. Comparisons of degrees of difference are always relative: while a localEast Anglian English speaker may confuse a Torontonian for an American, Canadians usually have little difficulty telling the one from the other. The last ten years in particular have produced significant data on a national scale that allows the characterization of the variety more adequately than before.
Click the links below to read more about:
The pronunciation of Canadian English
We can find the linguistic expression of the Canadian east-west connection at all linguistic levels - including pronunciation. Take a look (or a listen) at how this works.
The vocabulary and grammar of Canadian English
Canada has its own unique vocabulary and even grammar, distinct from both US and British English. Learn more about the English spoken in the Great White North.
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