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Regional American accents
Posted: 29 April 2013 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Yep, thanks for confirming what I already know.  All my life spent in the South and I still don’t have a Southern accent!  I blame television!  smile

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Posted: 29 April 2013 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 28 April 2013 12:16 PM

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


Cap’t Jack

You shouldnt blame the media.  The media. Is a reflection of what is already going on on the population.  People’s accents will change whether the media is involved or not.  It works just like evolution does.  Nothing is going to stop it.  I agree, though, that it’s sad when our speech homogenizes the way it has, it’s inevitable.  It comes with universal education and better transportation.

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Posted: 29 April 2013 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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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

Your accent is pretty much determined by where you spent most of your first 12-15 years.  There might be some changes as you grow older but some pronunciations don’t disappear. 

This kind of test is best done with someone to hear your pronunciation.  We don’t always know how we sound. I was sure I was making a distinction between merry and Mary, but others can’t hear it. 

A scientific test would be oral with a trained linguist.  This was more of an entertainment than a real test, but I have found it to be surprisingly accurate in pinpointing most people’s origins.  The test pinpointed the place of origin for almost everyone I sent it to.

Lois

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Posted: 29 April 2013 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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advocatus - 29 April 2013 07:17 AM

Yep, thanks for confirming what I already know.  All my life spent in the South and I still don’t have a Southern accent!  I blame television!  smile

You should ask others whether they hear a Southern accent.  They may hear it while you do not. If you lived in a cosmopolitan area, you would be somewhat less likely to develop a noticible Southern accent, especially if your parents didnt have one.  Where did the test place you?

Lois

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Posted: 29 April 2013 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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mid atlantic - 28 April 2013 03:11 PM
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.


Cap’t Jack

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

Actually, I hear “yiz” in New York and Northern NJ. “Where yiz goin’?”

[ Edited: 29 April 2013 11:20 AM by Lois ]
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Posted: 29 April 2013 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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What’s up with Americans saying “uh-huh” instead of “you’re welcome”? I have never seen anyone on TV say that, but it’s seems very common otherwise. I don’t like it at all.  angry

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Posted: 29 April 2013 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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What’s up with Americans saying “uh-huh” instead of “you’re welcome”? I have never seen anyone on TV say that, but it’s seems very common otherwise. I don’t like it at all. 

Neither do I. It’s rude and thoughtless. That’s slang that we can do without.

 

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Posted: 29 April 2013 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I checked my Websters and it shows the first a in Mary as either e as in very or a as in bat.  When I was a kid I recall the rhyme “Mary, Mary, quite contrary.”  It would seem that the a in the last would have the same sound as the a in the first word.  But then, maybe some people pronounce it as contrery.  smile

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Posted: 29 April 2013 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Occam. - 29 April 2013 01:51 PM

I checked my Websters and it shows the first a in Mary as either e as in very or a as in bat.  When I was a kid I recall the rhyme “Mary, Mary, quite contrary.”  It would seem that the a in the last would have the same sound as the a in the first word.  But then, maybe some people pronounce it as contrery.  smile

Occam

People brought up in England are more likely to pronounce Mary as merry, at least in my experience.  But most Americans seem to pronounce the first syllable of Mary to rhyme with mare and they pronounce merry the sameway.

We might think we make a distinction between the two words but mosy of us actually do not. That’s why it’s best to have someone else listen to how we say the words.

[ Edited: 29 April 2013 02:27 PM by Lois ]
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Posted: 29 April 2013 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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George - 29 April 2013 12:11 PM

What’s up with Americans saying “uh-huh” instead of “you’re welcome”? I have never seen anyone on TV say that, but it’s seems very common otherwise. I don’t like it at all.  angry

Yes, it’s an American thing, I think. Writers often try to clean up real American speech.  But it makes it less authentic.  On the other hand, if everyone in books, on TV and in the movies said uh-huh as much as most Americans do, it might drive a lot of people crazy! Even people who say it all the time often don’t realize that they do and would deny it if you pointed it out.

[ Edited: 29 April 2013 02:28 PM by Lois ]
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Posted: 29 April 2013 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Hmmm.  My wife was born in Canada of parents from England, and she and they pronounced the a in her name as in at.  And I’ve always pronounced the e in merry the same as the e in evolution even though I’ve never even been to England. smile

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Posted: 29 April 2013 04:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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George - 29 April 2013 12:11 PM

What’s up with Americans saying “uh-huh” instead of “you’re welcome”? I have never seen anyone on TV say that, but it’s seems very common otherwise. I don’t like it at all.  angry

I’ve never heard that. Either it isn’t common where I live, or I’m ‘running’ with the wrong crowd…

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Posted: 29 April 2013 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Occam. - 29 April 2013 01:51 PM

I checked my Websters and it shows the first a in Mary as either e as in very or a as in bat.  When I was a kid I recall the rhyme “Mary, Mary, quite contrary.”  It would seem that the a in the last would have the same sound as the a in the first word.  But then, maybe some people pronounce it as contrery.  smile

Occam

My Mary sounds more like ‘marry’, and unlike ‘merry’....but that wasn’t a choice.

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Posted: 29 April 2013 04:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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My Mary sounds more like ‘marry’, and unlike ‘merry’....but that wasn’t a choice.


Here Both words sound identical as in “marry me” and “merry Xmas”. We don’t make a distinction. Same with the name Mary. So “marry me Mary and we’ll both be merry” would confuse a non native speaker.

 

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 29 April 2013 05:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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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

 

The test had nothing to so with Rockwell.  The person who sent it to me got it from the Rockwell site. Rockwell picked it uo from here

http://www.gotoquiz.com/what_american_accent_do_you_have

So you can go there and stop feeling queasy.

Lois

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