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Regional American accents
Posted: 28 April 2013 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Here’s an interesting test. It has worked for others though the results were completely wrong for me.  They said my accent was Inland North, which is “most of the cities along the Erie Canal and on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes region,  from Herkimer, New York to Green Bay, Wisconsin, as well as a corridor extending down across central Illinois from Chicago to St. Louis.


But I was born in Central Eastern Pennsylvania, where both of my parents were born and raised, i grew up in Northern New Jersey from the age of three and lived there until 25 years ago when I moved to Southern California. I have spent absolutely no time in the area described as Inland North and none of my relatives came from that area, so maybe I’m a space alien! 

But maybe yours will be more accurate.  I’d like to know how you do.  

Before anyone gets on his high horse saying test is unscientific—of course it is, its an entertainment, but surprisingly accurate for many people.  There are scientific linguistic tests that are available if you want to pay for them. 

I have no idea how this would work for people who grew up outside the US but it would be interesting to know what kind of results they get.

What American accent do you have?
 
What part of and where in our country is your accent from?
 
http://www.lewrockwell.com/spl3/american-accent-quiz.html
 
 
 
 
 

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Posted: 28 April 2013 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It’s always fun to guess where a stranger is from by carefully listening to their accent/dialect. Sometime I can guess their origin but some stump me, like Australian/parent English, hard to tell until you hear g’day. We have three distinct regional dialects here and I can usually spot them without too much effort. There is even a demarcation line dividing them. The easiest is Virginia tidewater, it sounds similar to parent English with a slower drawl. Next is Appalachian Plateau, a mixture of tidewater and mountain, and of course, mountain, which is the accent of this area. Also known to outlanders as “hillbilly”, but it’s not just the accent but word meaning and usage, e.g. Boughtin’ for bought, and you’uns for you all. The same thing occurred in Ohio. The southern half, that area below the glacial plain was settled by Virginians while the northen half was settled by Pennsylvanians and New Englanders. Both accents are distinct. We also clip words. My son-in-law still maintains his Pittsburg accent even though he’s lived here for 13 years. He still says yuns for you all. Midwest as you say is pretty hard to pin down as it’s been labeled the “non accent” and is used by newscasters. I still like the richness of accents but they seem to be disapearing. We traveled through New England a coupe of years back and rarely heard their old accent, used mainly by older New Englanders. I only heard the word “lobstah” once! What a let down. I blame the media. It’s like seeing a Macdonalds everywhere I travel, yuccccch. I miss diversity.  downer


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Posted: 28 April 2013 02:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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BTW, I took the test just for kicks and giggles and it says that I have a midland accent too! What?


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Posted: 28 April 2013 02:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Lois - 28 April 2013 11:27 AM

Here’s an interesting test. It has worked for others though the results were completely wrong for me.  They said my accent was Inland North, which is “most of the cities along the Erie Canal and on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes region,  from Herkimer, New York to Green Bay, Wisconsin, as well as a corridor extending down across central Illinois from Chicago to St. Louis.


But I was born in Central Eastern Pennsylvania, where both of my parents were born and raised, i grew up in Northern New Jersey from the age of three and lived there until 25 years ago when I moved to Southern California. I have spent absolutely no time in the area described as Inland North and none of my relatives came from that area, so maybe I’m a space alien! 

But maybe yours will be more accurate.  I’d like to know how you do.  

Before anyone gets on his high horse saying test is unscientific—of course it is, its an entertainment, but surprisingly accurate for many people.  There are scientific linguistic tests that are available if you want to pay for them. 

I have no idea how this would work for people who grew up outside the US but it would be interesting to know what kind of results they get.

What American accent do you have?
 
What part of and where in our country is your accent from?
 
http://www.lewrockwell.com/spl3/american-accent-quiz.html
 
 
 
 
 

It said mine was “Inland” also. I’m from Baltimore Maryland question

Lois, If you’re from central east PA, we likely have similar - but not the same, accents. You know Midwest speech is far from mid Atlantic speech.

BTW, are you from the Wilkes Barre area?

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Posted: 28 April 2013 02:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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It says I have a Rhode Island, New Jersey accent.  I spent my first nine years on the north-east coast and the last seventy-three in Southern California.  I think the makers of that test didn’t bother with anyone west of, say, Texas.

And, the dumb question about Mary, merry, and marry offering a) all the same, b) Mary and merry the same, c) all different - they forgot d) Mary and marry the same, which is my choice.

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Posted: 28 April 2013 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 28 April 2013 12:16 PM

My son-in-law still maintains his Pittsburg accent even though he’s lived here for 13 years. He still says yuns for you all.


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Haha, those Yinzers. I’m supposed to hate them, because of football rivalry, but they have a special place in my heart. They say “yunz”, and we in Bmore and Philly say “youze”.

I think NYC says “youze” as well. It’s all the Irish immigrant’s fault. tongue rolleye

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Posted: 28 April 2013 04:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Didn’t seem very accurate for me. I got “Inland North.” I grew up dividing my time about evenly between Illinois and Northern California until settling permanently in CA (Southern until my twenties then Northern) at about age 8 (almost 40 years ago). I was teased about my mid-western accent for about 6 months, and since then everyone who has ever offered an opinion guesses I’m from California, so I suspect I have a CA accent.

On an unrelated note, only my deep fascination with language and linguistics could overcome my loathing of libertarianism enough to make me visit lewrockwell.com. I’m still queasy from clicking the link! grin

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Posted: 28 April 2013 04:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Haha, those Yinzers. I’m supposed to hate them, because of football rivalry, but they have a special place in my heart. They say “yunz”, and we in Bmore and Philly say “youze”.

Yeah Mike, “yunz” is a better phonetic representation. They also nazalize words while we drawl them. But you guys say “Baltumur”, accent on the first syllable. I hear that a lot when we visit there. BTW, we say y’all here.

 

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Posted: 28 April 2013 04:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Yes, it says I have a ‘Midline’ accent too…no accent at all, which is about right. I’m often told my ‘accent’ is difficult to place. People ask me where I’m from all the time.

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Posted: 28 April 2013 09:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I retook the test and found that I had misinterpreted one question.  It now places me correctly in NJ/NY/ RI area.  My husband, who is from England also is shown to have a NJ/NY/RI accent.  He lived in NJ for more than 20 years, though he still sounds English to me. 

Most of my friends and relatives who took the test reported surprisingly accurate results.  I think it’s amazing how a few questions can reveal where a person likely grew up.

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Posted: 28 April 2013 09:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 28 April 2013 02:41 PM

BTW, I took the test just for kicks and giggles and it says that I have a midland accent too! What?
F

Cap’t Jack

Well, its designed for people who grew up in the US.  My husband, who is English, got the NY/NJ/RI result. He learned his American English in NJ for 20 years,  though he still sounds English to most people. 

It probably identified you as midland because it could not detect any American regional speech patterns. That area is considered the American standard with no regional “accent”.

Lois

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Posted: 28 April 2013 09:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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mid atlantic - 28 April 2013 02:50 PM
Lois - 28 April 2013 11:27 AM

Here’s an interesting test. It has worked for others though the results were completely wrong for me.  They said my accent was Inland North, which is “most of the cities along the Erie Canal and on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes region,  from Herkimer, New York to Green Bay, Wisconsin, as well as a corridor extending down across central Illinois from Chicago to St. Louis.


But I was born in Central Eastern Pennsylvania, where both of my parents were born and raised, i grew up in Northern New Jersey from the age of three and lived there until 25 years ago when I moved to Southern California. I have spent absolutely no time in the area described as Inland North and none of my relatives came from that area, so maybe I’m a space alien! 

But maybe yours will be more accurate.  I’d like to know how you do.  

Before anyone gets on his high horse saying test is unscientific—of course it is, its an entertainment, but surprisingly accurate for many people.  There are scientific linguistic tests that are available if you want to pay for them. 

I have no idea how this would work for people who grew up outside the US but it would be interesting to know what kind of results they get.

What American accent do you have?
 
What part of and where in our country is your accent from?
 
http://www.lewrockwell.com/spl3/american-accent-quiz.html
 
 
 
 
 

It said mine was “Inland” also. I’m from Baltimore Maryland question

Lois, If you’re from central east PA, we likely have similar - but not the same, accents. You know Midwest speech is far from mid Atlantic speech.

BTW, are you from the Wilkes Barre area?

Ha, you hit the nail on the head.  I was born in Wilkes Barre.  My father grew up there and my mother lived there for several years, though she was originally from Jim Thorpe in Carbon County.

See my later posts.  I had misinterpreted one of the key questions.  Now it identifies me as from NJ, which is where I grew up.

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Posted: 28 April 2013 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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mckenzievmd - 28 April 2013 04:32 PM

Didn’t seem very accurate for me. I got “Inland North.” I grew up dividing my time about evenly between Illinois and Northern California until settling permanently in CA (Southern until my twenties then Northern) at about age 8 (almost 40 years ago). I was teased about my mid-western accent for about 6 months, and since then everyone who has ever offered an opinion guesses I’m from California, so I suspect I have a CA accent.

On an unrelated note, only my deep fascination with language and linguistics could overcome my loathing of libertarianism enough to make me visit lewrockwell.com. I’m still queasy from clicking the link! grin

Others have said that.  I didnt know who he was.  Well, i don’t like his politics either but the quiz is very good.  Most likely he got it from someone or somewhere else and he didnt write it.

Lois

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Posted: 28 April 2013 09:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Occam. - 28 April 2013 02:51 PM

It says I have a Rhode Island, New Jersey accent.  I spent my first nine years on the north-east coast and the last seventy-three in Southern California.  I think the makers of that test didn’t bother with anyone west of, say, Texas.

And, the dumb question about Mary, merry, and marry offering a) all the same, b) Mary and merry the same, c) all different - they forgot d) Mary and marry the same, which is my choice.

Occam

I think it’s highly unusual to say that Mary and marry sound the same. A lot of people I know say Mary and merry the same way, though.

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Posted: 29 April 2013 03:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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asanta - 28 April 2013 04:53 PM

Yes, it says I have a ‘Midline’ accent too…no accent at all, which is about right. I’m often told my ‘accent’ is difficult to place. People ask me where I’m from all the time.

Bay area natives do have an accent that I’ve noticed - at least to my mind. You sound a little bit midwest, mixed with Canadian, and Mexican-American.

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Posted: 29 April 2013 03:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 28 April 2013 04:36 PM

Haha, those Yinzers. I’m supposed to hate them, because of football rivalry, but they have a special place in my heart. They say “yunz”, and we in Bmore and Philly say “youze”.

Yeah Mike, “yunz” is a better phonetic representation. They also nazalize words while we drawl them. But you guys say “Baltumur”, accent on the first syllable. I hear that a lot when we visit there. BTW, we say y’all here.

 

Cap’t Jack

Yeah, “Bawtimer” is part of the local lexicon. It must be said that the “Baltimore accent” is mostly confined to lower, to middle class whites, today. The upper - middle class whites in this area have hardly any trace of any stereotypical East coast accent - except maybe “tidewater”. The Philadelphia accent is very similar to Baltimore’s, but there seems to be far more people in the Philadelphia area with that accent; maybe because it’s simply a much bigger city then Baltimore?

Pittsburgese, OTOH has some similarities with the Baltimore accent, but not as much as the Philadelphia accent does.

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