Mid-Atlantic American English

This article is about the dialect of American English. For the accent blending American and British English, see Mid-Atlantic accent.

Mid-Atlantic American English, Middle Atlantic American English, or Delaware Valley English is a class of American English, considered by the Atlas of North American English to be a single dialect,[1] spoken in the Mid-Atlantic states of the United States. This variety of English centers most strongly around Philadelphia and Reading, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; Baltimore, Maryland; and Atlantic City and Trenton, New Jersey.[2] The Mid-Atlantic dialect is primarily united by some features in common with both the New York City dialect (a marked absence of the cot-caught merger,[3] a raising and diphthongizing of /ɔː/,[4] and a short-a split system)[5] as well as the Midland/Southern dialects (r-fulness and strong fronting of //, //, and //).[6]

The variety's most widely studied subsets are Philadelphia English and Baltimore English.

Phonological characteristics

The Mid-Atlantic dialectal region is characterized by several unique phonological features:

Lexical characteristics


    1. Labov, et al 2006, p. 236.
    2. Labov, et al 2006, p. 233.
    3. 1 2 Labov, et al 2006, p. 125.
    4. 1 2 Labov, et al 2006, p. 130.
    5. 1 2 Labov, et al 2006, p. 173.
    6. 1 2 Labov, et al 2006, p. 237.
    7. Labov, et al 2006, p. 239.
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