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View Poll Results: What major city in America would you say embody what people would view or describe as "American
New York City 35 16.20%
Miami 1 0.46%
Chicago 108 50.00%
Los Angeles 6 2.78%
Dallas 16 7.41%
Washington D.C. 12 5.56%
Atlanta 8 3.70%
Phoenix 6 2.78%
Seattle 1 0.46%
Philadelphia 23 10.65%
Voters: 216. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-25-2016, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
3,927 posts, read 2,337,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DinsdalePirahna View Post
Probably one Ohio's big cities: Columbus, Cleveland or Cincinatti
I've always thought about Ohio cities when I thought middle America.
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I think we should also recognize that what's been considered "Standard American English" has changed over time. Until the mid-20th Century, "General American" was equated with the dialect of the Upper Midwest, and Labov said that this dialect served as the model for broadcast English.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_American
That and the dialect of Western New England. That was and is a rhotic Northern dialect that has no Northern Cities Vowel Shift due to it not being affected much by immigration. Chicago and the Northern states west of Boston USED to have a Standard sound but thanks to heavy immigration from non-Anglo Europe the speech has shifted to a very unique dialect.

So again, Chicago is not "General American" English. It used to be. When this guy says "old Chicago accent" it actually is pretty funny because an old Chicago accent would sound more generic.
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Isn't the Inland North Accent rhotic?
The inland north didn't spread West and influence the rest of the country like Philly did. It is too "new" for that.

Quote:
According to Labov's Atlas of North American English, Chicago falls into the same dialectical family as Allentown, Cleveland, St. Louis, Cedar Rapids, Saginaw and Springfield. If these places are not quintessentially American, then I don't know what places are.
So they're more American than good old Kansas City or Indianapolis or Philly? I would say that some heavy Polish influenced Great Lakes city is not as representative of the country based on demographics alone. What is Springfield? Definitely not Springfield Mo or Illinois. You mean Springfield, MA? Chicago is in the same dialect family as some places in Connecticut as well but earlier you said the Northeast was not quintessentially in your opinion. Scranton, PA is in our accent category as well as is most of New York state and even some of Rhode Island.

Quote:
At any rate, I don't think Midwestern accents are distinctive in the way that the Southern, NYC or Boston accents are distinctive. I've never met anyone from Northeastern Ohio and said "Oh my God! You are clearly speaking an Inland Northern dialect that is common in Cuyahoga County!" A Boston accent, on the other hand, hits you like a ton of bricks, and most non-New Englanders can easily pick it out from other varieties of English.
Sure. But the same can be said of the Philly accent. And if Northern Midwest accents aren't distinctive then why do people mock them? Everyone thinks I am from Minnesota in the South and they never pick other General American locales like Iowa or Kansas or Indiana. Northern accents are distinctive as well unless they are from somewhere like Western New England or Central Ohio.

And again, you wanna talk about not distinct, then let's talk Philly. Philly people can talk about how their accent is so different but nobody can ever tell where they are from and you and I both know this. If the Philly accent was distinct you would see it in movies but you never really do other than Sleepers and nobody could pick that out as an accent, anyway.

I think these accents are the most distinct:
Boston
NYC
Southern
Minnesota

Any other ones just sort of are hard to pick out other than different. In Chicago's case it is because ours covers a large territory. Unlike the South though ours being an accent that is relatively "new" on the national scale had not gotten much recognition unlike the South. To many non Northern ears Chicago just sounds like a rhotic Northern accent. You are right that it is not distinct because people can pick out things we say that sound like they are from Wisconsin and others that sound like they are from Boston. It is more of a "general" NORTHERN accent I give you that considering the range of NCVS. However unlike other Northern cities, Chicago is at the core of NCVS and all stages of NCVS are complete there. In places like Connecticut or Minneapolis they are not and only partial. So Chicago and the surrounding 300 mile or so radius has the strongest accent out of the Inland North when it comes to big cities.
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
The inland north didn't spread West and influence the rest of the country like Philly did. It is too "new" for that.
Delaware Valley English spread west and influenced the rest of the country?

You're sort of making an unwarranted exception for Chicago here. On the one hand, you acknowledge that the Upper Midwestern/Western New England accent was Standard/General American English until it changed. On the other hand, you say that "Philly gave the rest of the rest of the country its accent" without acknowledging that the accents of Delaware Valley residents have also changed quite dramatically over the last 150 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
So they're more American than good old Kansas City or Indianapolis or Philly?
How are Kansas City and Indianapolis in the same dialectical family?

As much as everyone talks about a "Chicago accent," William Labov recognizes no accent that is specific to the Chicago area. That's not the case for Philadelphia, whose speech features phonological characteristics that make it distinct from every other city in America (save Baltimore). If that weren't the case, then Labov could simply group Philadelphia together with dozens of other cities the way he has grouped Chicago together with a dozen or so other cities.

In other words, you can't go on and on about how unique the Chicago accent is when Labov draws no meaningful dialectical distinctions among the cities in the Upper Midwest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
I would say that some heavy Polish influenced Great Lakes city is not as representative of the country based on demographics alone.
No. But a heavy German-influenced city would be more typical of America, no? Why would a metro with German as its largest ancestry be less American with a city with Irish or Italian as its largest ancestry considering German is the most common ancestry in the United States?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
And again, you wanna talk about not distinct, then let's talk Philly. Philly people can talk about how their accent is so different but nobody can ever tell where they are from and you and I both know this. If the Philly accent was distinct you would see it in movies but you never really do other than Sleepers and nobody could pick that out as an accent, anyway.
Whoa. Let's stop right here. Weren't you the one who said that you'd rather trust the work of linguists like Labov over some non-factually backed claim on C-D? You want to run and behind behind Labov in some cases and then resort to anecdote in others.

I never said that Philly's accent was all that distinctive, particularly compared to New York's or Boston's. At the same time, I don't think Chicago's "accent" is particularly distinctive compared to those cities either, and I think you believe most people recognize a "Chicago accent" because Chicago (and linguistics in particular) is a keen focus of yours as evidenced by your posting history. In the real-world, however, I don't think most people in an airport are going to pick out either accent.

Last edited by BajanYankee; 07-25-2016 at 09:08 AM..
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Philadelphia English is the variety or dialect of American English spoken in Philadelphia and extending into Philadelphia's suburbs in the Delaware Valley, including northern Delaware as well as South Jersey and many parts of Central Jersey. It is one of the best-studied accents of American English, as Philadelphia's University of Pennsylvania is the home institution of William Labov, one of the most productive American sociolinguists. Philadelphia English is very similar to Baltimore English; however, Philadelphia English differs in that it shares some distinct features with New York City English and to a lesser extent other regions of the United States, although it is its own unique dialect region.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_English

This is Labov's (aka God) analysis. Not mine. I didn't see an Wiki entry for Chicago English.
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_English

This is Labov's (aka God) analysis. Not mine. I didn't see an Wiki entry for Chicago English.
Nobody said that there was a unique Chicago accent and not even me. But the focus on this thread is Chicago. I said that Chicago's accent features are common to a small area and that is true. NCVS is less spread out across the nation than a lot of Philly features. Here is what I mean. Philly has features like goat and goose fronting, as well as glide deletion. Those features cover a MUCH larger US area than NCVS does. In fact the features that PHILLY has are features that are found in the North AND South unlike Chicago's which are found only in the North.

So, by this basis, Philly accent features are more common and less isolated. The features themselves. In combination with the other ones that are shared with New York it becomes a distinct accent.
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Delaware Valley English spread west and influenced the rest of the country?

You're sort of making an unwarranted exception for Chicago here. On the one hand, you acknowledge that the Upper Midwestern/Western New England accent was Standard/General American English until it changed. On the other hand, you say that "Philly gave the rest of the rest of the country its accent" without acknowledging that the accents of Delaware Valley residents have also changed quite dramatically over the last 150 years.
What do you mean by Upper Midwest? Certainly not North Central as in Minnesota which is a deviation from General American let alone most Midwest varieties of English. Of course DV English has changed but still features aspects of accents heard throughout the majority of the country.

Quote:
How are Kansas City and Indianapolis in the same dialectical family?
They are both Midland.

Quote:
As much as everyone talks about a "Chicago accent," William Labov recognizes no accent that is specific to the Chicago area. That's not the case for Philadelphia, whose speech features phonological characteristics that make it distinct from every other city in America (save Baltimore). If that weren't the case, then Labov could simply group Philadelphia together with dozens of other cities the way he has grouped Chicago together with a dozen or so other cities.

In other words, you can't go on and on about how unique the Chicago accent is when Labov draws no meaningful dialectical distinctions among the cities in the Upper Midwest.
See my post before this one.

Quote:
No. But a heavy German-influenced city would be more typical of America, no? Why would a metro with German as its largest ancestry be less American with a city with Irish or Italian as its largest ancestry considering German is the most common ancestry in the United States?
True enough however I think that I need to mention that I was comparing the Great Lakes to the country as a whole and not just to Philly. Tbh neither the Great Lakes or Philly have very American typical demographics.

Quote:
Whoa. Let's stop right here. Weren't you the one who said that you'd rather trust the work of linguists like Labov over some non-factually backed claim on C-D? You want to run and behind behind Labov in some cases and then resort to anecdote in others.

I never said that Philly's accent was all that distinctive, particularly compared to New York's or Boston's. At the same time, I don't think Chicago's "accent" is particularly distinctive compared to those cities either, and I think you believe most people recognize a "Chicago accent" because Chicago (and linguistics in particular) is a keen focus of yours as evidenced by your posting history. In the real-world, however, I don't think most people in an airport are going to pick out either accent.
Right but this is why I said that my main choices would be neither. I just think that by how spread out Philly features are vs. How not spread out NCVS is that Chicago's accent can fit only in Northern cities whereas Philly's can fit most anywhere.
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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I decided to see what percentage of the White population for the Chicago and Philly metros were comprised of White ethnics (Albanian, Armenian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Cypriot, Czech, Eastern European, Estonian, Greek, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, etc.). Philadelphia has a higher % but Italian and Irish represent an outsized share of the region's ethnic Whites whereas Chicago has a larger smattering of Eastern European nationalities.

Chicago - 2,427,162 (47.65% of Non-Hispanic Whites)
Philadelphia - 1,965,504 (50.88% of Non-Hispanic Whites)
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
27,611 posts, read 24,793,924 times
Reputation: 11185
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
Nobody said that there was a unique Chicago accent and not even me. But the focus on this thread is Chicago. I said that Chicago's accent features are common to a small area and that is true. NCVS is less spread out across the nation than a lot of Philly features. Here is what I mean. Philly has features like goat and goose fronting, as well as glide deletion. Those features cover a MUCH larger US area than NCVS does. In fact the features that PHILLY has are features that are found in the North AND South unlike Chicago's which are found only in the North.

So, by this basis, Philly accent features are more common and less isolated. The features themselves. In combination with the other ones that are shared with New York it becomes a distinct accent.
But the flipside of that, obviously, is that Delaware Valley English doesn't extend far outside of the Delaware Valley. The Inland North extends all the way from Upstate New York to Iowa. So which is more unique by that standard?

You're isolating certain features of Philadelphia speech that are found in other parts of the U.S. (such as rhoticity, for example), but then giving extremely short shrift to the fact that Philadelphia is sufficiently different from the rest of the entire United States of America to have its own, independent dialect classification. The fact is that Labov, who I presume is the basis for every assertion you've ever made with regard to this subject, places Philadelphia in its own special category along with Boston, NYC and Charleston. And that makes sense to me because these cities are older and English has been spoken there longer than it has in the Midwest.
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:59 AM
 
1,225 posts, read 1,505,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_English

This is Labov's (aka God) analysis. Not mine. I didn't see an Wiki entry for Chicago English.
That's because the Chicago accent is identical to the Cleveland, Buffalo etc accent. It is not as unique compared to the Philly accent which is different from the nearby New York, Baltimore and Boston accents (though there are certainly some similarities the accent shares with those three). That is the reason why that there is the "Philadelphia accent" and then there is inland north American or Northern city vowel shift and not a self dedicated "Chicago accent". There is no documented difference between the accents of Chicago, Milwaukee Cleveland etc. Overall this is the reason why the Philadelphia accent is more unique than the Chicago accent.
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