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Appalachian appellation
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New River, AZ, USA
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Good to see the forum up and running again, after close to a week. I pinged Grant about that the other day, and he explained he’d been tinkering with the forum theme, so it was kind of in a state of flux. Anyway, on to my question …

It seems lately I’ve been hearing Appalachian pronounced with the third “a” as a short sound. This is mainly done by weather forecasters on TV. Not all of them, but many of them. I guessed this was because of the similarity to Apalachicola (a city in Florida), where the third “a” is pronounced as a short sound.

I’ve been pronouncing Appalachian with a long third “a” all my life, and that’s the way I always heard others say it. But of late, I’ve been hearing this alternative pronunciation so often I was driven to double-check on that. I wondered if perhaps this was one of those deals like with “vase” and “vahz.” But (almost) every source I could find agreed with my pronunciation.

Wiki says there are some alternative pronunciations, but they’re mostly based in regional dialects.

So my question is this: shouldn’t a person on national TV be using the “proper” non-dialect pronunciation? My understanding was that all TV newscasters try to sound like each other, accent neutral, regardless of whether the broadcast comes from Texas, Maine, or California. I thought that was SOP in the media business.



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I am not quite sure what you mean by the short a, but this man’s is clearly a veise/va:se issue, and both his a’s are pretty long:


(If the link fails you can find him and many others in youtube with ‘Appalachian pronunciation.’ )
New River, AZ, USA
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Robert said: I am not quite sure what you mean by the short a

By “short a” I mean the way it’s pronounced in words like that, cat, bat.

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I grew up pronouncing it Ap-pa-lay-chuh, but I didn’t live here then. Now I’m in the Smoky Mountains and it is definitely Ap-pa-latch-uh. That’s how the locals say it.

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