Sarah Palin’s accent is apparently causing some debate (well, any detail about the candidates in the US election seems to cause debate in the uber-fishbowl media coverage). Anyways, I found this interesting. Geographically, the some Canadian influence seems natural enough. But with Alaska having being settled by people from various parts of the States, it wouldn’t be surprising if it compared similarly to Hokkaido Japanese, a northern island that was settled fairly recently in Japanese history. The hockey mom thing about Palin’s kinda fun too, but with the realistic chance of McCain croaking while in the Oval Office, the creation of ultra-inexperienced President Palin is a very real threat that, I’m sure, no one outside of GOP wants to see.
Many Alaska residents came from the Pacific Northwest or Western Canada, and features of the dialects of these regions are the most prominent in Alaskan English. Alaskan English even has a certain amount of “Canadian raising,” the sound change that makes a Canadian about sound something like a boot. There are also a significant number of immigrants from the Midwest in Alaska, and they have contributed different elements to Alaskan speech. And in parts of Alaska, there is influence from Eskimo and Indian languages, though this is typically found only in people raised in native villages, and this speech is popularly associated with remote regions.