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How to Do a Pittsburgh Accent

Learn how to do a Pittsburgh accent from voice and speech coach Andrea Caban in this Howcast video.

Transcript

So let's work on some traits for a general Pittsburgh accent or 'Pittsburgh-ese.' A lot of people think that this is a fictional accent but my mother's family is all from Pittsburgh and I'm telling you I was raised listening to these sounds. The oral posture for a general Pittsburgh accent, the tongue is pulled back and the tongue tip barely ever touches the roof of the mouth. Sounds like 'L' sounds are very difficult, if not, impossible to make. Words like, 'Steelers' and 'Aliganey [SP]' become 'Steewers' and 'Awiganey,' because the tongue tip never comes up. 'Steewers Awiganey.' Try that out. The 'L' kind of happens in the back of the mouth. You can throw out the word, 'garbage' all-together because old-school Pittsburgers use the world rubbish. Your classic 'ow' sound goes to an 'ah,' so 'downtown' becomes 'downtahn.' It's a classic Pittburgh-ese, 'downtahn, going downtahn.' There's another one, 'going,' 'oh,' sound turns more into a, 'gawn.' 'Gawn downtahn.' What's the musicality of this accent? There's very little articulation, so, 'What am I supposed to do?' becomes, 'Whatamis'posetodo?' Give that a shot with that tongue pulled back and the tongue tip never coming up. Look into some actual Pittsburgh speakers and see if you hear the same things I do.

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