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Pittsburghese: Welcome!

Also known as Western Pennsylvania English.

pitt pano

"Pittsburgh dawn" by Matthew Field is licensed under the CC 3.0 Attribution.


Welcome to the Gumberg research guide on Pittsburghese, a dialect of American English that is primarily native to Western Pennsylvania.

Pittsburghese, or Western Pennsylvania English, has roots within Scots-Irish, Pennsylvania German, and Slavic-speaking vocabularies1.

It is distinct for it's cot-caught merger, where for example 'ah' sounds merge into an 'aw' sound to create a number of vowel mergers. The dialect centers in the city of Pittsburgh with the strongest accents associated with the working class population2. They are historically known as yinzers.

This guide is intended to provide users with resources on the Pittsburghese dialect, including the phonology of the accent, it's distinct vocabulary, and the cultural relevance of the dialect. Research information is also included, along with resources that link to other topics of interest with sociolinguistics and language.

This two minute clip by NPR's "All Things Considered" program provides an introduction to the sound of a Pittsburgh accent and the distinctiveness of the dialect. 

Gumberg Guides

Learn more about the city of Pittsburgh and its culture with more Gumberg guides: