Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

One never speaks with an accent, only others do.

A forum for discussing US dialects (accents).

One never speaks with an accent, only others do.

Postby sneakerwearinPAnative » Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:05 pm

I'll never forget watching an episode of "Family Fued" with a team of sisters from Louisiana. The question was, "Name a state where people speak with an accent?" The sisters had control of the question. With two unrevealed answers and two strikes against them they came up with Pennsylvania as their last guess.

I hooted and howled at the TV. First because they chose my home state and second because they didn't choose theirs. Was I ever surprised and annoyed when Pennsylvania came up as the number one response.

Only after I moved to Ohio did I start to learn how many accents there really are back in good ole' PA.
sneakerwearinPAnative
Junior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:48 pm

Postby skinem » Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:17 pm

Your post subject hits it on the head...
Welcome to the forum!
User avatar
skinem
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1197
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:33 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee

Re: One never speaks with an accent, only others do.

Postby frank » Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:15 pm

sneakerwearinPAnative wrote:I'll never forget watching an episode of "Family Fued" with a team of sisters from Louisiana. The question was, "Name a state where people speak with an accent?" The sisters had control of the question. With two unrevealed answers and two strikes against them they came up with Pennsylvania as their last guess.
I hooted and howled at the TV. First because they chose my home state and second because they didn't choose theirs. Was I ever surprised and annoyed when Pennsylvania came up as the number one response.
Only after I moved to Ohio did I start to learn how many accents there really are back in good ole' PA.

Heard it yesterday at a Chinese karaoke bar from a Beijing woman as she commented upon our fellow-singers who come from southern China, Hongkong, and Taiwan: "They all have accents, i don't."

But i find the question from the show very weird... Doesn't everybody speak with an accent? And why being bothered about it?

Frank
frank
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 129
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:25 pm
Location: Antwerpen, Belgium

Postby Bailey » Fri Jun 23, 2006 4:08 pm

funny thread, I remember what the good Doctor said about there being no accents west of Ohio, this is funny too, California has a distinct accent, so does Chicago. Of course I do not, 8)

mark

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, Make the most of it...
kb








Bailey
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2114
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:51 pm

Postby Huny » Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:01 pm

Bailey wrote:funny thread, I remember what the good Doctor said about there being no accents west of Ohio, this is funny too, California has a distinct accent, so does Chicago. Of course I do not, 8)

mark


O.K. I take the bait. I have always been told that I talk like "all the people on the news channels" and that we Californians don't have much of an accent. At least most people can understand people from CA. and area states, so I'm told. Sometimes, the distinct accents in some areas make it hard to understand what people are saying. I myself cannot distinguish between someone that lives in California from one who lives in say Arizona or New Mexico. It's like everyone has a "plain accent" so to speak in these states. :wink:
"What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compaired to what lies inside us." R.W.E.
Huny
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 293
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:38 pm
Location: Georgia

Postby skinem » Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:38 pm

Huny, you need to meet my cowboy relatives from New Mexico! That may modify your observation on "plain" accents!
I find I think everyone around here has a plain accent--it's y'all (or yall as the good Doc suggests) that talk funny!
User avatar
skinem
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1197
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:33 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee

Postby frank » Fri Jun 23, 2006 8:39 pm

Huny wrote:O.K. I take the bait. I have always been told that I talk like "all the people on the news channels" and that we Californians don't have much of an accent. At least most people can understand people from CA. and area states, so I'm told. Sometimes, the distinct accents in some areas make it hard to understand what people are saying. I myself cannot distinguish between someone that lives in California from one who lives in say Arizona or New Mexico. It's like everyone has a "plain accent" so to speak in these states. :wink:

I'm amazed... Over here, some people manage to sort out which dialect from which village one speaks... And you guys are talking about US states, which probably all have the seize (double, tripple?) of this country (Belgium).
Is a state in the USA really a point of referrence what dialects/accents are concerned.

Frank
frank
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 129
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 6:25 pm
Location: Antwerpen, Belgium

Postby skinem » Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:26 pm

Is a state in the USA really a point of referrence what dialects/accents are concerned?

Frank, yes and no. As a generalization, you can frequently nail down an entire state by an accent. Perhaps that is due to the mobility (I mean the frequent changing of homes, not just travel) or prevalence of televison that more and more accents are becoming more alike...
But,there are quite a few parts of individual states where, as Belgium, you can find different accents that seem to dominate areas.
For example, I live in the southern U.S. and there are some commonalities in accents throughout a large muti-state region. (Hollywood seems to think we, I mean southerners all sound the same. I've always been amazed when Hollywood got a "Yankee" to play a southerner, and generally butcher the accent when there are many authentic southern actors out there--but I digress.) But, within that region there are many, many variations of accent.
User avatar
skinem
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1197
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:33 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee

Postby Huny » Sat Jun 24, 2006 12:22 am

skinem, I agree with the Hollywood bit about butchering a southern accent. That greatly annoys me. I for one can tell the difference from one southern accent to another. I was not able to until I moved to Georgia after living in Arkansas for three years, although I can not always tell you where the southern accent comes from. I know people who have lived here (by here I mean the town I live in here in Georgia) all their lives and they have a different accent from another person who has also lived here all their lives. Now that is something. But, it all comes down to by whom they are raised by, etc. But I still stand on the fact people in the southwest and California have a generaly "plain" accent. Of course there is always an exception to every rule. By this I mean some come from more rural areas of the southwest and therefore have a "southern" accent. In almost every state there is always the people that "live to cowboy!" I find most of those cowboys do have southern accents no matter where they live. If the accents of people in California are not "plain" then why is it that movie stars, TV news reporters and personalities, and public speakers go to school specifically to learn how to speak like those in California even if they don't live there? Oh, and one more thing, just because one is not a Southerner does not make one a Yankee. :wink:
"What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compaired to what lies inside us." R.W.E.
Huny
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 293
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:38 pm
Location: Georgia

Postby tcward » Sat Jun 24, 2006 10:54 am

Frank, it's not so much that each state would have its own accent, per se, but that the types of accents within each state are fairly identifiable. You're right about the geographic size in comparison to most European political borders. But one thing to keep in mind with your comparison is that most of the US is rural (despite the image that Hollywood portrays), so the accents tend to spread in a more relaxed kind of way. Your remark about identifying which village someone is from sounds like the kind of thing someone could do in New York City, or any of the large metropolitan areas.

I have heard distinct accents from the natives in each area of this state (North Carolina), whenever I travel -- Appalachian, northwest Piedmont (Wilkesboro area), southwest Piedmont (Concord, Charlotte), northern Piedmont (Raleigh), Sandhills (Southern Pines), eastern/Coastal Plain (Lumberton), etc.

It surprises the native Charlotteans whenever I can recognize their accent! But because Charlotte is right on the South Carolina border, I'm sure there are people who live in South Carolina who also speak with the same accent.

-Tim
User avatar
tcward
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 789
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:18 pm
Location: The Old North State

Postby Bailey » Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:18 am

Huny wrote:
O.K. I take the bait. I have always been told that I talk like "all the people on the news channels" and that we Californians don't have much of an accent.

I hope this isn't offensive but I've noticed a lot of people from California do that up-talking, and I'm sorry to say vestiges of the valley girl remain in a kind of affected supercilious crisp kind of thing hard to describe, but even my daughter, who is a transplant to California has adopted. say the word So, does it come out sough? This is one example of what I mean. Again, no offence but I rarely hear this outside of California. I travel for business so it's not movies I'm talking about.

mark

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, Make the most of it...
kb








Bailey
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 2114
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:51 pm

Postby sluggo » Sat Jun 24, 2006 12:11 pm

Huny wrote:In almost every state there is always the people that "live to cowboy!" I find most of those cowboys do have southern accents no matter where they live. If the accents of people in California are not "plain" then why is it that movie stars, TV news reporters and personalities, and public speakers go to school specifically to learn how to speak like those in California even if they don't live there? Oh, and one more thing, just because one is not a Southerner does not make one a Yankee. :wink:


Huny, your last point is astute and bears repeatiation!
(oh sorry, the bear puns were another thread, but still...)

Another point well taken is 'playing cowboy' -and other professions. Certain activites seem to invite, if not demand, a certain accent (baseball players, truckers on their CB radios, local populist politician), while others demand transparency (radio announcer, national politician). In broadcasting school we were trained to 'lose' our accents (read: regionality) and adopt what passes for a 'standard' English, which was allegedly a sort of nondescript Midwestern speech.

I really can't hear an accent that would pin a Californian as such. Mark, do you refer to that rising-at-the-end intonation where a statement sounds like a question? That's one I hear but more as generational than geographical.
Stop! Murder us not, tonsured rumpots! Knife no one, fink!
sluggo
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1476
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:58 pm
Location: Carolinia Agrestícia: The Forest Primeval

Postby skinem » Sat Jun 24, 2006 1:04 pm

We just returned from a few days in Seattle and heard the rising-at-the-end tonation from quite a few folks there as well.
Sluggo may be right about it being a generational thing--I can't say I've heard that from anyone over, say, 40.

As to the cowboy talk of my relatives in New Mexico, it's not really a southern accent. I'll have to think about how to describe it. I have for real cowboy relatives in Oregon as well and theirs is kind of different as well...have to think about that...
User avatar
skinem
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1197
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:33 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee

Postby Huny » Sat Jun 24, 2006 1:41 pm

skinem wrote:We just returned from a few days in Seattle and heard the rising-at-the-end tonation from quite a few folks there as well.
Sluggo may be right about it being a generational thing--I can't say I've heard that from anyone over, say, 40.

As to the cowboy talk of my relatives in New Mexico, it's not really a southern accent. I'll have to think about how to describe it. I have for real cowboy relatives in Oregon as well and theirs is kind of different as well...have to think about that...


I so totally agree with the generational thing with the "valley talk" type accent. Upon deep thought over the issue I just realized that I have heard it from some of the younger kids even here in Georgia! It's like they are verbaly making a statement and they end it like a question. This, too, is what I have heard from some of the younger people in California. Is this the rising-at-the end you are talking about? The cowboy thing has me intrigued. I know what accent you are talking about. I have always assumed (and we know what that does) it was a southern accent, but now that I think about it, it's like a country accent. That is what comes to mind.What do you think?
"What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compaired to what lies inside us." R.W.E.
Huny
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 293
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:38 pm
Location: Georgia

Postby gailr » Sat Jun 24, 2006 2:18 pm

Huny wrote: I so totally agree with the generational thing with the "valley talk" type accent.

I was enchanted to read this, Huny. In social conversations with the 20-somethings in my work group, I soooo hear frequent usage of TOE'-tahl-eeeeeee in their speech.

I think we're stuck with the valley girl speech; like the affected southern, cowboy, preacher, rapper, or BBC-America-derived British affectations, they do seem to fill a need for those who identify intensely with niche groups. And y'all, much like, say, the commemorative t-shirt from the best concert you ever went to, they are so totally fun to put on now and then, when with your peeps...

-gailr
User avatar
gailr
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 11:40 am

Next

Return to The Rebel-Yankee Test

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron