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Michigan Arts & Culture

There's more than one Yooper accent, eh

Rankinen interviews Yoopers, asking them what they hear after listening to a series of sounds.
Rankinen interviews Yoopers, asking them what they hear after listening to a series of sounds.

Stateside’s conversation with Wil Rankinen, an associate professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Grand Valley State University.

There is no better reminder of what a diverse state we live in than contemplating the differences between the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula.

Wil Rankinen​ is an associate professor of communication sciences and disorders at Grand Valley State. He's also a born and raised "Yooper." Rankinen is spending his summer exploring the way Yoopers talk by criss-crossing the UP to record long-time residents.

The study works to determine where in the UP areas like Canada and Wisconsin influence the way people speak.

“I’m not after what is the right or wrong ways of producing language,” Rankinen said. “I’m interested in the similarities and differences across the UP, not just the one specific area.”

Listen above for the full conversation.

If you're a “Yooper” yourself who's interested in participating in Rankinen’s study, reach out to this address: wil.rankinen@gvsu.edu.

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