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Old 07-31-2010, 04:25 PM
 
Location: New England & The Maritimes
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I don't want to take away from the obvious french influence in Northern New England, but let's not overdo it either. Even in northern Aroostock in towns like Fort Kent, where most people have french last names and are of Quebecois decent, the average person doesn't speak french as their first language, if at all.
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
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Re: Pennsylvania and its accents/Northeast Boundaries

As a native Pennsylvanian myself (from SEPA), I've never noticed how interesting the accents in this state are until leaving the area and coming back -- and also meeting people from different parts of the state. One important reason why all of the various accents in PA (particularly in South Central and Western PA) could not even be considered remotely Southern is because there is a strong German/Eastern European influence on the speech patterns throughout the state -- definitely not something found outside of the Northeast/Midwest. There is also some very distinct lingo and speech patterns in all of PA that singles it out from any sort of Southern dialect; this is true to the extent that there are at least four different PA dialects:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburgh_English
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_accent
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central...ylvania_accent
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northea...lvania_English

I've heard some comment on the "Appalachian" accents in the state, but they, too, are all historically influenced by Germans in addition to early Scots-Irish settlers that eventually made their way to the South (I've never, by the way, heard of this "upper South" business outside of CD, and the only relation that any part of PA has to the South is being the point of origin in America for many of its settlers -- that's it.)

While there are certain subtle vowel shifts that may be slightly reminiscent to Southern speech in a Northern state like PA, that by no means makes the dialects similar. These similar vowel shifts in different regions is analogous to non-rhotic speech patterns that can be found in New England/New York area but also in some areas of the deep South:



Rhotic and non-rhotic accents - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

However, I don't think any person would mistake a Boston accent for one in Savannah for the simple fact that there are so many more differences than similarities. The same goes for Pittsburghese/Western PA/Northern Midland dialects and Southern/Southern Midland dialects.

On a more general note, I think the map posted by the OP is generally accurate, although I think you're undercutting the Northeast's boundaries to the South (which is likely due to your overestimation of Southern boundaries). Despite the "border" status of Maryland historically, it is unquestionably Northeastern along the 1-95 corridor up to and including Washington, DC. All of Western PA and NY are also their own brand of Northeastern, regardless of maintaining a culture that can be fairly different from the coastal Northeast. Still, there are far more similarities (development patterns, urbanity, immigration patterns, religious composition, history, etc.) than differences that some on this thread aren't giving credit for.

Last edited by Duderino; 07-31-2010 at 06:18 PM..
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Old 07-31-2010, 06:38 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassVt View Post
Good post by Verseau...

The French influence is quite strong in northern New England, esp in northern VT, and almost all of NH and ME; it's not felt much at all in southern VT;..

The accent map is fairly good; I should point out, though, that NW VT ( Burlington, etc) is really accent-free...
Everyone has an accent.

If you mean a lot of people have accents that are close to General American English, that may be true. But then the accent of western Vermont isn't terribly different from General American anyway, with the exception of the cot-caught/don-dawn/etc. merger.
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:53 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
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What I don't understand about your map Duderino, is that it shows the Long Island and associated accents extending 100 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean! Is that just lazy editing or should the accents shown in red slide over to the left and therefore cover a larger land area of the Northeast?

Its also odd that Connecticut was bypassed, since it lies between the New York, Providence and Boston areas.
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:01 PM
 
Location: CT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post
What I don't understand about your map Duderino, is that it shows the Long Island and associated accents extending 100 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean! Is that just lazy editing or should the accents shown in red slide over to the left and therefore cover a larger land area of the Northeast?

Its also odd that Connecticut was bypassed, since it lies between the New York, Providence and Boston areas.
I don't how accurate the map is, but it's right in that most of Connecticut's population is "non-r dropping". It is slightly in the western area closer to Boston and RI, but that area is much less populated in relation to the rest of the state.
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:10 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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LINative, the red areas in that map only show dialect areas that are defined to some extent by non-rhoticity - commonly referred to as "r-dropping" - as in start or letter or north or near or square, etc.

However, this map should be read with some caution. It was produced for Wikipedia based on the research from the Atlas of North American English, released in 2006. This atlas uses speech data from a limited number of individuals in major cities across the U.S. -- in other words, boundaries between dialect areas are not well-defined and the areas between major cities have no data to represent them.

For example, the map shows that non-rhotic speech in New England only occurs immediately in coastal areas, but that's only because all of the data from the Atlas comes from coastal cities in this region. Extensive historical research shows that r-dropping occurs as far west as the Connecticut River and the Green Mountains.

Most of Connecticut, particularly west of the Connecticut River, is actually "r-ful" (they pronounce their "r"s), but non-rhoticity has emerged in the southwestern corner of the state as the NYC metro area has expanded over time.

The map also shows a huge swath of r-dropping in Mississippi and Alabama, but this is not nearly as widespread as the map makes it seem.
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielj72 View Post
I was just in that area last summer and I noticed no southern sounding accents. I noticed eastern sounding accents, but so many of the accents out there blend together to me. The northeast is the toughest region to figure out. The people who live there can tell not just what northeast state you live in by the way you talk, but in some cases what part of that state, or even what city or neighborhood you live in by your speech. When I hear them I cant tell thier accents apart, but they have lived there all thier lives and pick it up right away, very complex for sure.

This is very true. I live in Portland, Or, but am originally from a town between Boston and Providence. I can tell what part of the Northeast one is from by their speech. I recently was speaking to a stranger and within moments knew he was from the Pittsburgh area. I definitely can pinpoint someone from Mass immediately. Someone native to RI within moments, as soon as I rule out it isn't the Mass accent. Conn residents for some reason do not always have the standard New England accents. I don't know why some do and some don't.
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:26 PM
 
Location: CT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missRoxyhart View Post
I don't how accurate the map is, but it's right in that most of Connecticut's population is "non-r dropping". It is slightly in the western area closer to Boston and RI, but that area is much less populated in relation to the rest of the state.
I just saw this, I meant eastern there. That was such a stupid mistake, I had to correct it.
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
First, I agree that Rochester and Buffalo are Northeastern cities and should be included in this region. (Is Buffalo really that much less "Northeastern" than Quebec City and Montreal as your map would imply?) Second, if you are equating culture with linguistics, Erie should not be lumped together with Buffalo, Cleveland, and the rest of the Great Lakes cities because Erie is the notable exception to the "Northern vowel shift" speech pattern among the Great Lakes cities. The map someone else posted above shows this aberration.
True, despite the fact that it's right between Cleveland and Buffalo. I grew up in Ohio one county west of Erie and you don't hear the Northern Cities Vowel Shift there either. Not really sure why that is though. One difference I can think of is less Eastern European migration. Where I grew up the dominate ethnicities seem to be English, Italian, and German. Not as much Polish backgrounds, which are typical of the Great Lakes region. Then again it might just be that migration patterns from central PA reached that area enough to influence the dialect more.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5Lakes View Post
True, despite the fact that it's right between Cleveland and Buffalo. I grew up in Ohio one county west of Erie and you don't hear the Northern Cities Vowel Shift there either. Not really sure why that is though. One difference I can think of is less Eastern European migration. Where I grew up the dominate ethnicities seem to be English, Italian, and German. Not as much Polish backgrounds, which are typical of the Great Lakes region. Then again it might just be that migration patterns from central PA reached that area enough to influence the dialect more.

Interesting. I think your migration pattern theory is the better explanation. RE: Eastern European, I'm originally from Rochester which definitely displays the vowel shift, but Poles and Eastern European ethnicity in Roch is way overshadowed by Roch's big 3 ethnic groups: Irish/German/Italian.
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