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seven_fifty7
Topic Author
Posts: 900
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 2:54 am

Southern Accents...

Wed Oct 11, 2000 11:00 pm

...Or New England accents, or the "New York Accent", or Valley accents. --How did they all emerge? Working part-time at the area airports in New York, I get quite a charge at hearing the various dialects of fellow Americans. One country, many regional accents. It's intriguing.

After the Native Americans, the U.S. was settled by large numbers of Europeans. Africans were brought to the South, but the whites were still of European descent. How did people living below the Mason Dixon line develop quite a different way of speaking than Northerners, even though they originally were from the same continent of Europe?

Why do people of, say, Irish descent in Boston, speak so much different than the Irish descendents living in Georgia? How did their Irish accents eventually turn into New England proper accents versus the Southern 'drawl'? What about people living in the San Fernando Valley of California?

America is so gosh-darned diverse, it's incredible. I know other countries also have different dialects too. It's all so interesting to me!
 
Guest

RE: Southern Accents...

Wed Oct 11, 2000 11:44 pm

Last year during my trip to Oklahoma I had a stop in N.Y.C, and beleive it is the place where I had the most problem catching what people where saying   English not being my first langage is also one of the factor.

I can tell you that in France we do have many different and various accents also, it's kinda funny to hear. Being from the North of France I'm used to plain accents, with not much variations into the tone, but every time I go in the South (French Riviera) I ENJOY the accent there, it is very colourful !!! I now live in Montreal, and the French-Canadian accent is also quite funny.

Viva diversity !  

Nicolas Bourbillon
Montreal, Canada
 
Ilyushin96M
Posts: 2506
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RE: Southern Accents...

Wed Oct 11, 2000 11:58 pm

I think accents vary everywhere, in every country and language, according to region.

Very true about French language, Nicolas. I studied, of course, PARISIAN French, which has its own distinct accent, even dialect, from French spoken in other parts of the country. A Belgian friend of mine speaks differently than French Canadians, to the extent she has difficulty understanding their French! There are varying accents in Russian as well. It is possible to tell someone from St. Petersburg apart from someone from Moscow because of a certain quirk in pronunciation of certain words! Amazing, eh? This is also true of England - Londoners speak with a certain accent, whereas people from Wales have an entirely different one.

Regarding accents here in the States, I think they depend to a great extent on where the original settlers of each area were from. It would be interesting to trace the lineage of the Southern accent, for sure, and find out exactly where and how it originated!
 
TWFirst
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RE: SEVEN_FIFTY7

Thu Oct 12, 2000 12:06 am

The study of linguistics has always fascinated me too. Language and the use of language is shaped by environmental and cultural factors. You pose some fantastic questions.

My theory: think about the lifestyles that developed in different regions of our countries. Then think about the ethnic background of the people who settled these regions. Then think about how people today speak in these regions. Take the South for example: More laid back, more genteel, wouldn't you say? And if you think of the way English is spoken there, it's more elongated and spoken more slowly. In NY/NJ, I think ethnicity played a bigger role in terms of pronunciation, but lifestyle plays a big role in terms of speed and harshness.

Anyways, just my thoughts.

I use the U.S. as a model for Europeans who fret about how an eventual U.S.E. would work and who also worry about losing their national identity. In our country, we have very distinct cultures, each state has its own identity and pride, and the language is spoken very differently from one place to another. Take someone from Harlem and someone from Alabama and put them side by side. They may be speaking the same language, but I bet they'd have a hard time understanding each other. I think if the EU were to become a federation, the French, German and Portuguese wouldn't be any less French, German or Portuguese. Each state would keep its identity, but their combined power and resources would be formidable, just like in the U.S.

BTW dude, I've read a lot of your posts recently, especially the ones in Matt D's (hot pickle) thread, and they've been awesome (and hilarious!). I enjoy your contibutions.
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
TWFirst
Posts: 5752
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 5:30 am

RE: My Previous Post

Thu Oct 12, 2000 12:08 am

That was supposed to be "our country," not "our countries" in the first sentence of the second paragraph. I was referring specifically to the U.S.
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
mls515
Posts: 2958
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2000 5:56 am

RE: Southern Accents...

Thu Oct 12, 2000 3:22 am

Well, most of the network news anchors sound like me with my Midwestern accent. So mine must be the corect one!

Just kidding 


We all speak a bastardized version of the king's English. (if we speak english)
 
Skyteam
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RE: SEVEN_FIFTY7

Thu Oct 12, 2000 5:02 am

Thats puzzled me for a long time. I am from Georgia and speak with a medium Georgia accent, But I know people from Indiana that sound more southern than me. So its pretty weird.

I'm probably gonna get slammed for this one, But I cant stand that Northeastern Accent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SKYTEAM
 
LH423
Posts: 5924
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 6:27 am

RE: Southern Accents...

Thu Oct 12, 2000 5:07 am

Ilyushin96M: Forget different parts of the UK, you can hear different accents just by travelling though the various neighbourhoods of Greater London. It's really quite facinating. Take a ride on the "Tube" and you'll know what I mean.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
Ilyushin96M
Posts: 2506
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 1999 3:15 am

London Accents

Thu Oct 12, 2000 5:43 am

Hehehe. LH423, I do know what you mean, as a matter of fact, Ted. Been there, done that, more than once! London, like any major international city, is a hodgepodge of people from all over. And even amongst Londoners I met while I was there, accents varied greatly!
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 1:18 am

RE: Southern Accents...

Thu Oct 12, 2000 7:11 am

There are specific accents and dialects for different areas of every country. It has to do with the decent of the people before there and the history of the area. Hence, i am from atlanta...i have a slight southern accent-but i am from the city so it isnt strong (somehow people can still tell though, ive heard myself speak on recordings and stuff and i cant even hear it)...and minnesota and the dakotas have a slavic kind of thing going from their descent. All around the world it is like this.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
Guest

RE: Southern Accents...

Thu Oct 12, 2000 7:43 am

correction, minnesota and the dakotas would have a *scandanavian* thing going on, not slavic.
 
n4khgirl
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 11:46 am

RE: Southern Accents...

Thu Oct 12, 2000 9:52 am

I have no idea how these accents got started, but if y'all wanna hear a good ol'e southern drawl, with a slight hint of cajun, that'd be me  

*Camille*
~i'm seriously not a redneck~
 
N863DA
Posts: 1140
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 6:36 am

RE: Southern Accents...

Thu Oct 12, 2000 10:11 am

As N4KHGirl said, however these accents got started, if y'all wanna hear a true (Alas Redneck I think) deep south accent, come right on down here! I have a somewhat 'twanged' accent myself.  

People moaned while I was in the UK that they couldn't understand me... but I had a very large problem trying to understand some people from certain parts of England, and even certain parts of London!!! The Scottish accent is such an understandable accent, but for example, the Manchester 'dialect' (if you can call it that) is as foreign to me as I am to them...!

FLY DELTA JETS and sail UNITED STATES LINES



N 8 6 3 D A
 
CPDC10-30
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RE: Nicolaki

Thu Oct 12, 2000 10:24 am

I also notice the difference between Quebecois and Parisian accent in French. The Parisian one always seems so much easier to understand. It is interesting though that they teach us that one in shcool even though we are in Canada...
 
N312RC
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RE: Southern Accents...

Thu Oct 12, 2000 10:34 am

I have the typical boring midwestern accent, with a hint of "New York Nasal"
 
Trvlr
Posts: 4251
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2000 9:58 am

RE: Southern Accents...

Thu Oct 12, 2000 12:47 pm

Well, like, the people here, in like California, they, like, all talk really fast and it like, sometimes sounds like we're speaking like Japanese because we're, like talking so fast! And we also, like, SOOOO like to use word "like" in our, like sentences!!!!!   

You should hear some of the people over here.

Even though I am a native of Southern California and use a lot of the colloquialisms and words like "like", my accent is still heavily influenced by the midwestern origins of my parents. My dad spent most of his life in Chicago while my mom is a Wisconsinite, donchya know. 

Aaron G.
 
Guest

Welsh

Thu Oct 12, 2000 1:57 pm

Lushy...

The Welsh have such an unusual accent because their native language isn't English, it is Welsh Gaelic.

If you have ever heard it spoken it would have to be the most unusual language one could ever hear. I have here a tape of Welsh Rugby songs, which was taped at various rugby games at Cardiff Arms Park, and it sounds absolutely shocking (the language that is).

Just look at what Wales is famous for....the longest place name in Britain:

llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

Try getting your tongue around that one when you have knocked back a few pints, or have a listen to it in the background

Cheers

Scotty

 
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BNE
Posts: 2925
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2000 9:37 pm

RE: Welsh

Thu Oct 12, 2000 7:31 pm

You had better tell us how you did that. Heard it the first time and wondered what had happened.
Some of those European place names get fairly long also.
Why fly non stop when you can connect
 
Trvlr
Posts: 4251
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2000 9:58 am

RE: Southern Accents...

Thu Oct 12, 2000 10:57 pm

I went to that place in Wales. I had to stand back at least 20 feet away from the station sign to get all of it in the picture...

Aaron G.
 
Guest

RE: Southern Accents...

Fri Oct 13, 2000 9:41 am

Anyone ever tried to understand a Scotsman?

BNE~

Hi!
You have to be named after where I grew up, and if so, your just up the road.
 
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johnboy
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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 9:09 pm

RE: Southern Accents...

Sat Oct 14, 2000 1:33 am

I found it interesting when in London, that an Australian fellow couldn't tell the nuances between myself (with a bit of a Southern Accent) and a friend who has that Northern Plains accent (think Chicago/Minnesota).

I don't think I would be able to tell the difference between an Australian and a New Zealander....any of you Antipodeans shed any light here?
 
Guest

RE: Southern Accents...

Sat Oct 14, 2000 10:19 am

There is a difference between an Aussie and a NZ accent! If you heard it you would know.

I don't hear many American accents, but just enough to know they vary, only a little though, it seems to me. I couldn't tell you which part of America each accent was from.

NZers say fush and chups, instead of fish and chips. They say darnce instead of dance.

I have been told the Aussie accent can vary, but I can't notice it if it does.

 
Trvlr
Posts: 4251
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2000 9:58 am

RE: Southern Accents...

Sat Oct 14, 2000 10:23 am

I haven't yet been able to tell between the various accents of Australia and New Zealand. British Isles accents, however, are easy. I (along with most everybody) can recognize Cockney, Scottish, and Irish, and I myself can find the subtle difference in accent in people from NE England/Newcastle.

Aaron G.
 
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johnboy
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Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 9:09 pm

RE: Southern Accents...

Sun Oct 15, 2000 5:14 am

Thanks Windsong. Maybe if I heard both together I could tell......who knows?

That's interesting about Aussie accents not varying...it seems like such a large country that accents would vary a great deal. Perhaps because of the relative homogeneity of the population (not so much now though).
 
747-451
Posts: 2327
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2000 5:50 am

RE: Southern Accents...

Sun Oct 15, 2000 9:07 am

I was born in ATL but live up north. I get my share of looks for having just a bit of "south in the mouth".

I am grateful that there are so many different types of people here and in this "forum"  
 
Louis
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RE: Southern Accents...

Sun Oct 15, 2000 2:21 pm

Good topic. I was born in South Carolina and lived there for a number of years. I then moved to D.C. and then Massachusetts and I now live in Canada. In my life, I have spoken in a Southern, D.C. and then New England accent. I somehow lost (or mixed, I don’t know) all three and now I don’t know what I speak in (it’s not a Canadian accent though). Hell, some people think I have a foreign accent -- one of my former professors thought I was from France!

As for as accents in Canada are concerned, they’re pretty much all the same. Well, aside from the Maritimers -- they have a different accent.

 
redngold
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Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2000 12:26 pm

RE: Southern Accents...

Mon Oct 16, 2000 6:05 am

Sometimes being a musician and having an ear for speech patterns isn't what it's cracked up to be...

My sister complains a lot, especially when we're on trips to "exotic" places, about me "talking like that." This is because I pick up accents really quickly. And I swear I'm not consciously trying to "mimic" the people around me, either.

I've been identified by different people as Canadian, British, and American. Within the U.S. I've been identified as Californian, New Jerseyite, Southern, New Yorker, Ohioan, Pennsylvania Dutch, and Arizonan. When I'm speaking Spanish, people think I learned it in Colombia.

Well, the truth of the matter is, I've only spent time in SOME of those places. The rest of the inflection, speed, and distinction in my speech comes from exposure to people around me who express those attributes.

So here it goes:
I've lived in Delaware, Ohio, New York, back through Delaware, back to Ohio. I spent a semester in New Mexico. I have visited Canada almost every summer of my life. I had a Colombian classmate during my five years of Spanish. My family is Pennsylvania Dutch.

So all in all, my speech pattern is the sum total of my experience.

  redngold
Up, up and away!
 
AerLingus
Posts: 2280
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RE: Southern Accents...

Mon Oct 16, 2000 11:15 am

My grandparents sound like they are from Texas, but the say "a boat" instead of "a bowt" I actually think that the "a boat" comes from my father's grandparents Swedish decent.
My mother is Irish and my father has inhereted part of my grandparent's accent (all but the southern.) This causes me to have a primarily American accent, but with the tendancy to say "a-boat" and to emphasise my r's.I could spend the entire evening picking apart my speech patterns, but I won't.
Good flights,
AerLingus
Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
 
LH423
Posts: 5924
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RE: Southern Accents...

Tue Oct 17, 2000 5:19 am

RednGold: I know what you mean about gettting accents quickly. Maybe it's because I'm British, but whenever I go to London, I tend to pick up my accent a little bit by the time I'm ready to go back to Boston. It never sticks for very long.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
Scotty
Posts: 1846
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 1999 10:51 pm

RE: Southern Accents...

Tue Oct 17, 2000 9:37 pm

Well, I CAN understand Scotsmen, coz I am one. But which Scottish accent do you mean? Even though this is only a small country, its diverse. I'm from Glasgow but have a totally different accent from someone from eg Aberdeen (true Gary?) or from the Highlands, where the Gaelic influence is still strong.

And as for East coasters from places like Angus and the Mearns, forget it. Dae ye ken wha's bairnie yon is??

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