Apparently, the ‘vowel is shifting’ for the Prairie accent. A Conference at the University of Calgary, highlighted how Prairie people pronounce the letter A is changing.
“This one we’re looking at, the sound ‘a’ before a G is raising. We say that it’s raising because what’s happening is your tongue is higher in the mouth than before”, says Nicole Rosen, a linguistics researcher and associate professor at the University of Manitoba
“But it’s just before a G, so in a way it’s actually splitting. So the ‘a’ before other sounds, like in ‘map,’ is different from the ‘a’ in bag, which is almost like an ‘e,’ like in beg.
“So bag and beg, depending on who you are, if you are a younger person in Calgary they probably sound the same. If you are an older person from a more rural area, or like Toronto for example, they don’t sound the same, so it’s happening with certain people and not others.”
I had to put it all in quotes because she explains it much better than I could’ve. So pretty much, accents, or the way people say words, will tend to shift or change in cities first, then move outward to rural areas.
All that aside, does it not drive you nuts when someone says”Melk” instead of “Milk”? Or “Pellow” not “Pillow”? Accents and pronunciation have the power to drive us crazy!