The pronunciation of the capital of South Dakota,
serves as a Shibboleth.
Listening to how it is pronounced, a person can tell whether the speaker is, or is not, from the South Dakota area. In South Dakota, it is clearly one syllable long, rhyming with 'near'.
Here is a collection of speakers, labeled by their city of origin.
Click to hear each person's pronunciation. Can you determine how far the pronunciation which is characteristic of South Dakota residents extends?
- Southern Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois
- Temperance, Michigan
Buffalo, New York
- Wishek, North Dakota
Sistersville, West Virginia
- Plainfield, Wisconsin
Updated July 6, 2011