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Old 08-02-2010, 08:26 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verseau View Post
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.
So I gather you are saying they only bothered testing the accents in the cities and other built up areas. So that map is pretty incomplete at the very least.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:15 PM
 
Location: where my heart is
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New York dialect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is better description within this area. It also addresses the influence of Italians and Jews on the NYC accent. BTW, I grew up in NYC (Manhattan). I lived on LI for over 20 years. My daughters grew up on LI. We ALL say our "r's".

I now live in Florida. Interestingly, the only people, who can spot right away that I am a New Yorker, are other New Yorkers. Everyone else just say I speak too fast, but I have heard that is a specific speech trait of Manhattan. Probably true. I had to learn, way back when, to take dictation at a minimum of 120 wpm to work in corporate offices.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:30 PM
 
Location: CT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post
So I gather you are saying they only bothered testing the accents in the cities and other built up areas. So that map is pretty incomplete at the very least.
There's a pretty good map on the first page that shows dialect areas.

Differences within the Northeast

And I pointed out there, "but most of us in Connecticut (especially the most populous parts) do not drop our r's and talk like that, same thing with a large part of Massachusetts and Vermont. And seeing as how Connecticut alone has a slightly larger population than New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine combined, the Boston accent isn't that dominant."

Don't be fooled by the size of the NE section, while it's huge and it does contain the larger Boston area which is heavily populated and does have the "r-dropping" accent, the northern areas/NH and ME are much more sparsely populated. Kinda the same thing with CT, the pink SE area is on the least populated area of the state, the "r-dropping accent" doesn't have a strong foothold in the state.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:32 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post
So I gather you are saying they only bothered testing the accents in the cities and other built up areas. So that map is pretty incomplete at the very least.
To be fair, this was part of a vast research project that took over a decade to complete. They collected speech data, analyzed it extensively, and compiled it for about 800 people across the country. Although the areas between cities are not represented, they usually fall within the dialect region of a city that is covered in the atlas. For more detail than the Wikipedia map gives, I recommend you look at the Atlas of North American English firsthand.

For the record, just because an area is shaded red for r-dropping does not mean by any means that *everyone* in that area is r-less. In most cases, however, these areas were close to 100% r-less about 70 years ago. Since R-ful speech has since been established as the standard in the United States and R-dropping has consequently become stigmatized, subsequent generations since the 1940s have become progressively more and more R-ful in these historically non-rhotic areas.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verseau View Post
To be fair, this was part of a vast research project that took over a decade to complete. They collected speech data, analyzed it extensively, and compiled it for about 800 people across the country. Although the areas between cities are not represented, they usually fall within the dialect region of a city that is covered in the atlas. For more detail than the Wikipedia map gives, I recommend you look at the Atlas of North American English firsthand.

For the record, just because an area is shaded red for r-dropping does not mean by any means that *everyone* in that area is r-less. In most cases, however, these areas were close to 100% r-less about 70 years ago. Since R-ful speech has since been established as the standard in the United States and R-dropping has consequently become stigmatized, subsequent generations since the 1940s have become progressively more and more R-ful in these historically non-rhotic areas.

I don't know how many use the r and how many don't. All I know is when I go back to visit Southeastern Mass where Im from originally, many don't use the r at all. My family included. I catch myself now and then not using it after living away from Mass for some time now. I like the fact we have our Mass accents at least in Eastern Mass. I hope that part of the idenity of the area never fades.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:48 AM
 
Location: SW Pennsylvania
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Funny how there is a small shade of red on the "r" dropping map centered on Washington, DC.

Apparently it most be isolated to the district and doesn't spread to the Maryland/Virginia suburbs.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:58 AM
 
Location: SW Pennsylvania
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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.
I've noticed that too. New Castle, Meadville, and other towns throughout NW Penna. are in the same boat.

It almost seems like the Northern Cities Vowel Shift starts to appear outside of the Youngstown area. To me, Youngstown still has a western PA/Pittsburgh influenced dialect. But once you hit Akron, the NCVS is noticeable.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:45 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallydude02 View Post
Funny how there is a small shade of red on the "r" dropping map centered on Washington, DC.

Apparently it most be isolated to the district and doesn't spread to the Maryland/Virginia suburbs.
I found that shading choice on the map a little odd, actually, because I don't remember much evidence in the Atlas showing r-dropping in DC. Maybe among certain individuals, but based on my own experience in the city, there's no way that r-dropping is nearly as extensive as in NYC or Boston.

I should also point out that the Wikipedia map is primarily intended to show the speech patterns of *white* Americans; some African-Americans, even in the North, use a conservative dialect called AAVE which is based on older dialects from the South. Since the South used to be largely r-dropping 70 years ago, many African-Americans have preserved this feature in their speech.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:31 AM
 
Location: THE THRONE aka-New York City
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Na black people in the northeast sound as different to blacks from the south in the same way with white people. Maybe more so even.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallydude02 View Post
I've noticed that too. New Castle, Meadville, and other towns throughout NW Penna. are in the same boat.

It almost seems like the Northern Cities Vowel Shift starts to appear outside of the Youngstown area. To me, Youngstown still has a western PA/Pittsburgh influenced dialect. But once you hit Akron, the NCVS is noticeable.
Ashtabula, Trumbull, and Mahoning counties do not have it. People in those counties do indeed talk like folks from PA, even though they are largely influenced by the Cleveland media. Heck, I know people from Youngstown who straight up sound like they are from Pittsburgh.

I actually used to live in Akron and I really didn't hear it all that strongly there either, although some people did have it. Then again I also came across people in Akron who sounded Appalachian since it had a large influx of people from West Virginia (that accent was more common in the east and south working class parts of Akron).

Going west from PA I think the NCVS really kicks in around Lake, Geauga, and the northern part of Summit County. These areas are where suburban Cleveland clearly takes hold. I assume it must be similar going northeast from PA into NY once you start getting into suburban Buffalo. I would guess that people in Jamestown and Dunkirk do not have it.
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