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Old 08-23-2009, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
2,989 posts, read 4,121,355 times
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Default Examples of Charleston Dialect

I have been reading a lot about the unique Charleston dialect, but can't find any examples of it to listen to. Does anybody know of a place on the web I can go to find a sound file or video clip of the dialect? Any guidance you can give me would be great. Thanks!
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
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Listen to Mayor Riley talk sometime...he has it. Anyone who has lived South of Broad all of their life, especially if their family goes back several generations, has the true Charleston dialect. Then there is Gullah, language of the Sea Islands, which is another dialect altogether.

There is a poster on here named Geechie, who can probably enlighten you on the pronunciation of words/phrases using the true Charleston dialect.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
I have been reading a lot about the unique Charleston dialect, but can't find any examples of it to listen to. Does anybody know of a place on the web I can go to find a sound file or video clip of the dialect? Any guidance you can give me would be great. Thanks!
Unfortunately, that dialect is extinct; it died with the generation born in the first 2 decades of the 20th century.

It was called a "Charleston Brogue", and is far different from Joe Riley's generic Lowcountry drawl, in my humble view.

He's (Ravenel) the consumate jerk, but the closest (and it ain't there) public figure who has vestiges of the old brogue is Arthur Ravenel, Jr.

If you can get past what the fool says, and concentrate on his diction and the cadence of his speech, then that's about as authentic as you'll get.

Among the living.

For recordings of the dead, I suggest Dick Reeves', "Gullah: A breath of the Lowcountry".

Very racist and archaic thoughts, but a real Charleston brogue.
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Cumberland
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Thanks for the suggestions. I will try google searching Dick Reeves for recordings when I get home. Based on the research I can find online, the Charleston Brogue does appear gone, but what has replaced it is not a "Southern Dialect" as defined by most linguists.

Here is a link to a scholarly example

ScholarlyCommons
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Cumberland
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Here is slightly more descriptive summary of the same research

http://www.nyu.edu/gsas/dept/lingu/e...Baranowski.pdf
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. I will try google searching Dick Reeves for recordings when I get home. Based on the research I can find online, the Charleston Brogue does appear gone, but what has replaced it is not a "Southern Dialect" as defined by most linguists.

Here is a link to a scholarly example

ScholarlyCommons
Thanks for the source.

My supposition is that with Charleston being a boomtown, comprised of mainly Upcountry and NE accents (with a smattering of Ohio), we'll end up with something more-or less like a modified Upland accent, as dominates in NC.

But that's just a guess.................
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Summerville
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Also you can checkout the basket ladies up 17 on the north end of MtP.

That is still pretty close to the original Geechie....
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by OleTomCat View Post
Also you can checkout the basket ladies up 17 on the north end of MtP.

That is still pretty close to the original Geechie....
That's Gullah, Tom.


Modified Gullah in many cases.

It's a major element of Charleston Brogue, the way Yoruba is a major element of Bahian Portuguese, but it's not a true Charleston Brogue.
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Old 08-24-2009, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Plano, Texas
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I think former Senator Fritz Hollings has a pretty good example of one of those Charleston accents that the old-guard used to have--you may want to Google for any video of him.

I've always thought certain words said in that Charlestonian accent resemble the accent sometimes found in parts of Virginia, I think mainly the Shenandoah Valley or Richmond areas--words like "about" sound very similar in both of these accents. It is somewhat similar to a Canadian accent in the pronunciation of the "ou" or "ow" sound.
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Old 08-24-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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There is more than one unique Charleston dialect.
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