Where Do U.P. Language Quirks Come From?

Most of us know that the U.P. dialect holds a very unique characteristic, eh?

U.P. speech is so unique that a U.P. native has been studying where it originates.

Will Rankinen is in grad school at Indiana University.

He wanted to study if a Canadian influence is evident on how U.P. residents with Finnish or Italian backgrounds pronounce vowels.

He studied 130 people in Marquette County, focusing on Finnish-Americans and young Italian-Americans.

He found Canadian tendencies in the young Italian-Americans.

Rankinen started the case study in 2007.

He says as a Humboldt native, it’s helped him and other people he knows learn about the importance of a cultural influence on a community.

He presented his findings this afternoon at the Michigan Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee.

Rankinen says if you want to learn more about what he found, you can email him at: wrankinen@indiana.edu .