Vermont, What Do You Sound Like?

Jun 24, 2016

Hey, Vermont, we need your help!

We're exploring the Vermont accent for the first episode of Brave Little State, VPR's new audience-powered journalism podcast where you ask the questions, and we work together to investigate the answers.

Erin Creley, of Winooski, wondered, "Where did the Vermont accent come from, and where is it going?"

As part of our reporting, we developed this prompt with University of Vermont linguist Julie Roberts. It's designed to accentuate certain features of the Vermont accent.

We'd like to gather as many recordings as possible of people reading this to analyze in the episode – people of all ages, all backgrounds, from all over Vermont. So record a smartphone voice memo of yourself (or your favorite Vermonter) and email it to akeefe@vpr.net, or leave a message at 1-802-552-4880. Don't forget to leave your name and tell us where you're from!

Don and Dawn lived on a little farm near a mountain in Vermont. One bitterly cold winter night, Dawn heard a racket down by the cow barn. She was frightened that something happened to her favorite cow, Violet. Dawn quickly buttoned her coat and went right out the back door toward the barn. She found the gate wide open. The cow was gone!

Dawn shouted for Don to get up out of bed. “Get a flashlight and a pair of mittens!” she said.

Don yawned, walked down the stairs and flicked on the front light. He saw Violet through the window! All the while, the cow had been hiding out on the front porch.

Thanks for being a part of Brave Little State, and be sure to listen for the first episode in early August!