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Our grammar 'might could needs explained anymore'

Our grammar 'might could needs explained anymore'
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

Have you ever visited a different part of the country and felt like the locals were speaking a different language? There's good reason for that. Researchers at Yale have discovered that sentence structure can vary in different states and regions across the U.S. and the U.K.

'Unlike variation in phonology (often referred to as accent) and in the lexicon (different words), variation in grammatical systems within English has for the most part not been systematically investigated,' says Larry Horn, professor of linguistics and philosophy at Yale University.

So the differences in very order of the words and sentence structure between various regions of the country can lead to confusion and misunderstandings by listeners not familiar with the "local speak." For example, "We might could come," heard in Texas, or "Do you want to come with," in Wisconsin.

To show off their findings, the researchers have created an interactive Google Map so you can see language variations across the country. The map is populated by red tags that show off grammatical features specific to different regions.

Next page: See the map
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