I was in New Hampshire over the last few days visiting my parents. That is not, however, the subject of this post. The subject of this post is the evolution of language, I suppose. When I was in NH I naturally heard a lot of New Hampshire-ites talking. Many of them were NH natives — many, for that matter, natives of the small town where my parents now live. Anyway, the stereotypical Canadian supposedly says “eh” all the time at the end of sentences, right? Well, I heard a lot of NH-ites doing something very similar: saying “okay” at the end of sentences, but eliding the “oak” part, so that all that comes out is the “ay”. Sometimes I heard more of the K sound, but at most it was kind of an aspirated H, sort of halfway between an H and the Hebrew Kh. (How is this sound represented in IPA?) So this made me wonder: is the Canadian “eh” a similar construct, an elision of “okay”? Is this piece of Canadian dialect migrating into northern New England? Or is a similar construct evolving independently in New Hampshire dialect, in a display of linguistic convergent evolution?