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Old 03-19-2012, 02:21 PM
 
Location: IN
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I have heard plenty of south-midland accents in northern Missouri. The accent in northern Missouri is much more southern-like compared to areas just to the north in central and northern Iowa. Even today you will notice quite a bit of difference in the speech patterns between the two areas.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Georgia native in McKinney, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stlouisan View Post
Regardess of how dumbed down a southern accent has become, it's still fairly prominent in the south and easy to spot with little effort. It may have less southern characteristics, but the influences are strong enough to classify it as a southern accent. Even as far north as Louisville, the accents I here still are undeniably too strong to be dismissed as "southern-influenced." It hasn't "dumbed down" nearly to the point of anything I ever heard from my early-20th century ancestors. And as far as a U.S. suburban accent with southern influences, that's pretty absent here except in places like Sikeston, Missouri, although you still hear extremely thick accents as well. If necessary I will provide the most recent maps of southern linguistic speech patterns...all of which basically adhere to the late 1980s at the earliest.
There is a distinct difference I hear in the accents of kids that have grown up in suburban areas of both Atlanta and Dallas compared to kids growing up just 50 miles away from either city in rural areas. So many non southerners are in these suburban areas, they really have a different accent from other areas in their respective states. Made up the term "suburban" accent as I don't know what else to call it.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
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Well, some places in Virginia are like that, with the areas around Richmond growing more southern, but it's hard to find a spot in this country which is not homogenized. Southern WV may be getting a little more southern, because of people moving in from VA and NC, but that has almost always been a part of the South.

I used to mark the Southern/Northern line as around Fredericksburg, but it might be moving farther South because of all the Northern influence.

You can tell by how snow is treated. In the Washington area and somewhat in Fredericksburg, snow is a nuisance that not many people like, except for the weather geeks. In Richmond and anywhere south, most people get excited to see it.

Here is what I consider the line: Thru Northern VA, Fredericksburg south, MD south of Ocean City or anywhere S of Waldorf, including some of Southern DE, through southern WV, through KY, including Lexington, but Louisville I consider northern, southern IN including Evansville I consider Southern, through southern IL, including Carbondale and Cairo, and MO anywhere S of a Joplin-Springfield-Cape Girardeau line.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Saintmarks View Post
There is a distinct difference I hear in the accents of kids that have grown up in suburban areas of both Atlanta and Dallas compared to kids growing up just 50 miles away from either city in rural areas. So many non southerners are in these suburban areas, they really have a different accent from other areas in their respective states. Made up the term "suburban" accent as I don't know what else to call it.
I agree. Even here in Memphis, lots of people who grew up here dont have a Southern accent. It kinda boggles my mind, but I hear these "accentless" people every day. I even know a few people from rural areas who dont have Southern accents. I dont see why people have such a hard time believing that many Southerners dont have accents.
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:03 PM
 
Location: West Tennessee
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Southern accents in Missouri among natives are virtually nonexistant north of a line from Cape Girardeau to Joplin. I have no reason to believe that it was different historically either...

Maybe your referring to the Missouri twang? Real southern accents exist up to around 30 miles north of US 60 or so, and really once you reach US 60 heading north the southern influence drops off very quickly.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
I have heard plenty of south-midland accents in northern Missouri. The accent in northern Missouri is much more southern-like compared to areas just to the north in central and northern Iowa. Even today you will notice quite a bit of difference in the speech patterns between the two areas.
It's South-Midland though, NOT southern. South-Midland covers most of the state, and over half of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. South-Midland is confined to the Midwest only, and is not considered a derivative of Southern dialect. North-Midland is what one associates with General American. Inland North is what is spoken around the Great Lakes, and features some Canadian overtones. The Upper Midwest dialect and Minnesota and Wisconsin features more Canadian overtones.

Last edited by stlouisan; 03-19-2012 at 10:55 PM..
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
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Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
There is zero SURVIVING evidence. I was there in the 40s and I heard them.

By the way, I'm speaking broadly of the whole range of accents that northerners perceived as indiscriminately southern, from Maryland to West Texas, significantly more pronounced in rural areas. Undeniably, there are variations within that range, but throughout the range, it's being lost or watered down in favor of a much more homogeneous American speech pattern.
There's plenty of surviving evidence in documentaries, youtube recordings of people from that era, etc. All you have to do is dig to find it. And back in the '90s, I met plenty WWI and WWII veterans from all over Missouri...none sounded like they were from Texas. Claiming all their accents is changed is ridiculous and untrue. And Maryland dialect by today's standards isn't perceived as indiscriminately southern. Many of the young adults from the '40s were still alive in the late '80s when the University of Pennsylvania did its study. And again, I have a good chunk of my ancestors from the rural parts of Missouri...none of them spoke indiscriminately southern...and they came from areas which would have had the strongest accents outside of far southeast missouri and the bootheel.

I will reiterate...what you heard was the South Midland dialect...if these areas spoke full-blown Southern back then, then central Iowa would have had strong southern influences in its dialect. Southern influences I'll buy...full-blown Southern, no way. Unless you can give me something other than your word, I'm just not going to buy it.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
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Originally Posted by jetsfan16 View Post
Well, some places in Virginia are like that, with the areas around Richmond growing more southern, but it's hard to find a spot in this country which is not homogenized. Southern WV may be getting a little more southern, because of people moving in from VA and NC, but that has almost always been a part of the South.

I used to mark the Southern/Northern line as around Fredericksburg, but it might be moving farther South because of all the Northern influence.

You can tell by how snow is treated. In the Washington area and somewhat in Fredericksburg, snow is a nuisance that not many people like, except for the weather geeks. In Richmond and anywhere south, most people get excited to see it.

Here is what I consider the line: Thru Northern VA, Fredericksburg south, MD south of Ocean City or anywhere S of Waldorf, including some of Southern DE, through southern WV, through KY, including Lexington, but Louisville I consider northern, southern IN including Evansville I consider Southern, through southern IL, including Carbondale and Cairo, and MO anywhere S of a Joplin-Springfield-Cape Girardeau line.
The Ohio River is a hard boundary of southern culture. Evansville is right on the border, not in the south as Louisville. Louisville is culturally, linguistically, and historically Southern. It has twice as much in common with Nashville. I don't consider Carbondale southern either...one of my best friends is from there...it's southern influenced though. Missouri, however I agree with. Other than that, I generally agree with your ideas.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GunnerTHB View Post
Southern accents in Missouri among natives are virtually nonexistant north of a line from Cape Girardeau to Joplin. I have no reason to believe that it was different historically either...

Maybe your referring to the Missouri twang? Real southern accents exist up to around 30 miles north of US 60 or so, and really once you reach US 60 heading north the southern influence drops off very quickly.
The Missouri twang is what he's referring to...and you can hear this "South Midland" twang as far north as Pendleton, Indiana. And yes, I agree, no reason to believe it was historically that different, at least after the Civil War.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
2,709 posts, read 4,233,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintmarks View Post
There is a distinct difference I hear in the accents of kids that have grown up in suburban areas of both Atlanta and Dallas compared to kids growing up just 50 miles away from either city in rural areas. So many non southerners are in these suburban areas, they really have a different accent from other areas in their respective states. Made up the term "suburban" accent as I don't know what else to call it.
Since when does having a non-southern accent in Atlanta and Dallas not make you a southerner? Should I assume that because somebody from New England doesn't speak with an accent, that they can't be considered a New Englander? Accent is a strong feature of what makes a southerner, but it's not the only one. I agree that the city kids in the south are not as likely to adopt a southern dialect. In most of the major cities across the U.S., kids generally are not really adopting the historic dialects. Rural areas, however, have changed little pretty much everywhere because in general, few settlers have come in to change that area significantly since before the early 20th century. Accents are less prominent in major cities today than they were earlier, but are still a good way to classify a place based on history as long as enough of them are around...and there are still plenty of people speaking the historic native dialects of these areas.
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