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May 20, 2005

Do You Speak Cascadian?

Take the test:

"Say 'caught' and 'cot' out loud. If you're a true Northwest speaker, the words will sound identical."

Do you say "pail" or "bucket"? If you're a true Northwest speaker, you say "bucket."

Is your voice "creaky" or "breathy"? Northwesterners sound creaky (whatever that means).

That's all according to a University of Washington linguist, who goes on to say, "Everyone thinks the Pacific Northwest is too young a region to have our own dialect. It's discrimination."

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has the story.

Posted by Alan Durning | Permalink


Of course it's easy to tell someone is from the Northwest. Just ask them to pronounce:


And ask them what the following words mean:

green chain
skid road

Posted by: Kent | May 20, 2005 10:34:21 AM

Over the last few decades I have been working on a easy phonetic script we could use for "Cascadian" English and in turn Chinook Wawa. The only problem is that some of the characters do not appear easily available on English keyboards and that in living with the current technology (especially with the internet) there is a disadvantage to using characters outside the English version of Latin script. Case in point is all the accent marks in other Latin based scripts in other languages not to mention several characters that are totally absent. Now if we could get Bill Gates (I know "boo hiss") to identify himself as Cascadian and to support my "Cascadian" version of the Latin script then we would win out.. even globally.

There are several reasons one could use a new script system specifically a phonetic system.

A phonetic system would update modern English. This has been a reform that most Latin scripted based writing systems went through a hundred years ago. George Bernard Shaw and Benjamin Franklin both created and pushed for phonetic reform to increase literacy rates in the population.

Making a phonetic script for "Cascadian" English shared with Chinook Wawa would give a greater perception to those writing in Cascadian English the perception that Chinook Wawa is a linguistic reservoir of equal status as other traditional linguistic reservoirs like Latin, Classical Greek as well as modern languages like French, German, Hindi, Arabic and so forth. Often we dip into other languages to capture concepts or "loanwords" that English does not have in it for example "déjà vu" from French or "pajama" from Hindi. A shared deconstruction of the Anglo-American Latin script would create a new identity that is uniquely Cascadian. Switching script systems can also have a huge impact on creating a distinct identity in Cascadia from the rest of the North American continent. For one it could unite the Cascadian people on both sides of the US-Canadian border under a new socio-political push for new standards in education. It would separate Cascadia symbolically from Fascist Amerika. An example of another people who shifted script systems was the Turks. Under Ataturk the new nation of Turkey adopted the Latin script in replacement of the Arabic script. This created major perceptional changes in the Turkic peoples and other people of Anatolia. Having the Young Turks officially embrace the Turkified Latin script was a proclamation that the Ottoman Empire was dead; that the Turks were not Eastern, but Western; there was a generation gap between the old bureucrats and the modern Young Turks; women who were granted eqaulity now had an advantage in social moblity because they were being educated in Western style schools and so on and so on.

The current DOWNSIDE of a Phonetic Script in the age of limited scripts in cyberspace.

HERE IS THE PROBLEM! This is all pointless to even talk about because the way the internet is today all non-English Latin based alphabets have a huge disadvantage. Hungarian and Turkish e-mailers (just to name two) have to write in a limited version of their own language. For example instead of typing the "o" with a long umlaut (I use to call them "bunny ears") are replaced by a dipthong when typing for a English based Latin script. So the idea for now is out the door if we wish to add characters to the limited Englishized Latin script.

Posted by: a cascadian | May 24, 2005 11:03:13 PM

Dear sir,

I want lookking back grow Warshington University.
Please call back email to me.

Thank you. and Best Regards.

Posted by: kotchamon Thiraratthanasophon | Aug 19, 2005 2:47:01 AM