Question about dialect/accents

A forum for discussing US dialects (accents).
renee_0101
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Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:56 pm

Question about dialect/accents

Postby renee_0101 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:19 pm

I have a question about word pronunciations. This is from my friends constantly telling me I say things funny. Anyway, I am from Western PA; I grew up here and live here to this day. I don't know if that has anything to do with it. None of my family says certain words like me.

I'll say "wooder" never "water", "worsh" not "wash", "see-rup" not "sur-up", I call what many people refer to as "pop", I say "soda". "Caught" is "cawt" (I think that's how you type it), "cawfee" and (sometimes "tawk".

Which apparently, nobody in the region says it like that. I have never met, that I remember, someone that pronounces words like I do (well, those specifically). My question is, 1. Why do I talk different from everyone else? 2. Does anyone else say words like that/do you know anyone who does?

Sorry for the long thread.

bnjtokyo
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Re: Question about dialect/accents

Postby bnjtokyo » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:07 am

People usually mimic the speech community in which they grew up. Are you sure there is no one in your family who pronounces these words as you do? Who were your care-givers until age 5? Was there a grandmother or another family member who came from a different part of the country?

You can try to figure out which dialect of English is most similar to your own using one of the interactive dialect websites out there. Here's one I liked:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013 ... z-map.html
It pegged me within 100 miles of where I graduated from high school

renee_0101
Junior Lexiterian
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Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:56 pm

Re: Question about dialect/accents

Postby renee_0101 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:22 pm

bnjtokyo wrote:People usually mimic the speech community in which they grew up. Are you sure there is no one in your family who pronounces these words as you do? Who were your care-givers until age 5? Was there a grandmother or another family member who came from a different part of the country?

You can try to figure out which dialect of English is most similar to your own using one of the interactive dialect websites out there. Here's one I liked:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013 ... z-map.html
It pegged me within 100 miles of where I graduated from high school

Haha, it says my dialect is most similar to Philadelphia, Jersey City and Newark/Patterson. It's weird because I have lived my whole life in Western PA around 2 hours north of Pittsburgh.
I have always lived with my parents, my mom grew up all over the West Coast; my dad grew up in Illinois. Nobody in my family, that I know of, has my accent. Which I don't hear my accent, until somebody points it out.
I am a mystery, lol.

Perry Lassiter
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Re: Question about dialect/accents

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:23 pm

Nailed me pretty well too. Of the three cities I'm closest to, I'm parallel to Jackson, 200 mi north of Baton Rouge, and 250 N of New Orleans. All of LA, E TX, and W MS are dark red. Who knew?

There is another dialect in NOLA gradualy diminishing, but you can still run into Yat speakers, discussed elsewhere on these pages.
pl


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