An post on MSNBC helped anser the question, “is there a Seattle accent?” For the majority of people in Seattle they would say “no” however University of Washington linguist Betsy Evans has a different answer, “maybe.”
Evans work with colleague Alicia Beckford Wassink studied thousands of Seattle voices, and found a few distinct pronunciations that you may not even notice including “beg” for the word “bag” and using a long “A” sound for the word “egg”
These pronunciations – using the long “A” sound in “bag” and “egg” – are typically found in the Upper Midwest, “We really don’t know yet why this pronunciation exists here in Seattle,” Evans said. More research is needed to figure out why those dialects are so prevalent in the Pacific Northwest.
The research team has also noticed another trend in Seattle, the low-back vowel merger, something commonly seen in the western half of the United States. People in Washington tend to pronounce the word “cot” the same way they pronounce the word “caught,” and the name “Don” the same way they would say the name “Dawn,” which caries significantly from our friends over on the East coast.
Meanwhile, Evans is studying how people perceive accents in Washington, and is looking into the dialectical differences between the state.