Young researcher digs into the science of Wisconsin speech - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Young researcher digs into the science of Wisconsin speech


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Wisconsin accents are very familiar to some, but foreign to others, and an area researcher said there is a science to the 'Sconnie' speech. 

Michael Fox started his Wisconsin accent study as an undergrad at UW-Eau Claire nearly eight years ago when a college classmate introduced him to the idea of studying Wisconsin speech. Now, a doctorate candidate at North Carolina University, Fox spends his summers back in Eau Claire researching Chippewa Valley dialect for his dissertation. Fox has interviewed hundreds of people in the process and hopes to finish his findings within two years. 

"The oo's and the o's that are pretty prominent, that we all kind of pick up on, are related to our Scandinavian heritage here," Fox said. "What kind of social status do you have, and how might that influence the way you talk, because that is a big determinant in how we present ourselves."

Fox has collected almost 150 interviews in Eau Claire, and hopes to get 100 more before he publishes his research. Anyone who would like to be a part of his study can contact Fox at

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