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Old 01-19-2013, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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All native Delawareans basically sound the same to me in terms of accent pattern. Indeed to me, the native Delaware accent sounds very pleasantly neutral. Not like the native accent of the Philly area, nor like the North Jersey accent (native small town South Jersey people I know here in DE seem to share the same neutral accent).

There are two exceptions to this. I have run into a very few people who have a Maryland waterman type accent who have claimed, when I asked, to have lived in DE their entire lives. Is this speech pattern found in any particular part of DE? Second, around Dover I've heard some long-time Delawareans speak with a slightly more Southern gentility or expressions, but I think this didn't involve the actual accent pattern, but rather just the manner of speech (genteel, polite) and colloquial expressions.

You natives or long-timers: any thoughts?
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Long Neck,De
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Here in slower/lower the are so few actual Delawareans it would be hard to tell anymore.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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Surely you mean the beach communities, right? Out in west/southwestern DE there must be many more natives. Funny you should say that though: most people I know in NNCCo are natives.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Long Neck,De
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorjef View Post
Surely you mean the beach communities, right? Out in west/southwestern DE there must be many more natives. Funny you should say that though: most people I know in NNCCo are natives.
Yes I am referring to the beach/retirement communities. When my son was in school some of his friends parents were surprised to learn he was actually born in Sussex County.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:40 PM
 
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I think the question should be asked of transplants moving here, as to what we natives sound like.

I'm never insulted to hear (and I believe) that most Delaware natives have a "hick" or part southern drawl. I immediately can recognize a NY, MA, ME, RI, NJ or PA accent. Southern accents could come from the deep south, or even Texas, in my opinion. I envy those having a beautiful southern drawl.

And yes, DJ, most transferees are in Kent County and Sussex beach areas, we've found. A look at those tax records is quite an awakening.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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So rdlr I'm a transplant but I'm just not sure about some of the outlying accents. Most natives here sound to me like standard American tv network news type speech. I can always tell the North Jersey, traditional Philly, Downstate NY, and most New England accents here. Southern notes in DE speech to me seem subtle and not even like any of the traditional Virginia accents. I just don't know if there is some smaller accent culture here that overlaps with the MD Eastern Shore and Chesapeake Bay water culture (broader, more drawn out, a little like some aspects of NC and other Upper South speech).
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:39 PM
 
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Without meaning to sound crass or cranky, does it matter? Would we deal with anyone differently based on their accent? I would hope not.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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Not at all, Charley. I happen to be interested in local and regional accents. Possibly due to my background -- Texas clearly has several accent variants within its borders, for example. One thing that is clear to me is that a pleasant vocal timbre tends to make almost any accent sound nice, and some vocal qualities tend to make a regional accent sound either abrasive or ridiculous; though I quite understand that involves a value judgement and people can't control either the set of vocal equipment they were born with, or the type of speech they were brought up with. Still, it is an interesting thing to me. For a country only about the size of PA, England has numerous local accents. One of the most poignant encounters I ever had was in the unlikely setting of some safety training at the NHS trust in London where I worked. A guy who was giving us training on proper technique for lifting heavy objects started his presentation by saying, "I'm from Lincolnshire and people tell me I have a funny accent...". It was clear this man had been humiliated over his speech ( which I didn't find particularly accent heavy) and was still apologizing for it at 60 years of age, give or take.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:15 PM
 
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Jef, you seem to enjoy ignoring the fact that Wilmington and the North Wilmington suburbs have a Wilmington accent. They are insular people. You probably would not be in their crowds. They say wooder and oon and da, dis, dat , up'err, Burry (berry) Beggle (bagel) and Vurry (very.)

Birds of a feather flock together, and unfortunately if you're not a native you're not going to see it. Northern NCCO (Wilmington and above.) Is not neutral. New Castle, Stanton and below start the drawn out speech which concludes in Southern DE.
Newark, is the neutral area if anything. They are as plain as you get
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
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Road Warrior, I just don't hear any strong accent notes in NATIVE NNCCo speech. I've an accent thread going on the NJ forum and you can look over there for further detail on the subject, but there I mention that my spouse does detect the wooder pronunciation among some natives around here. I never notice, but on the NJ forum I speculate as to why that might be the case. Maybe I'm just insensitive to the particular accent native to the immediate area. Dunno.
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