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Old 03-19-2012, 10:54 PM
 
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The Hannibal thing interested me so I searched for videos to hear what their accent sounds like.


Tom Sawyer Days. Hannibal, MO - YouTube

I ended up watching the whole thing. All of the people have a very Midwestern accent (aka, not very distinctive) except one guy had a Southern accent at 7:49. He sounded like many people I know, except when he said "Becky" That didn't sound Southern. The video makes it seem like he's from the town.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stlouisan View Post
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.
It's not that they're not Southern, but your accent plays a big role in whether you're percieved as Southern or not. Without thinking, I say "yes ma'am" to women with a Southern accent, but I don't do so to women without a Southern accent because I assume that it's not part of their culture. I know I shouldn't assume that because a lot of those women did grow up in the South, they just dont have the accent
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,379,050 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
The Hannibal thing interested me so I searched for videos to hear what their accent sounds like.



I ended up watching the whole thing. All of the people have a very Midwestern accent (aka, not very distinctive) except one guy had a Southern accent at 7:49. He sounded like many people I know, except when he said "Becky" That didn't sound Southern. The video makes it seem like he's from the town.

I think that was my point. They used to have a southern accent, but now (as the video proves) they don't anymore. Mark Twain described the Hannibal accent as "southwestern", and in the 1850s, Missouri was the southwest. When Mark Twain was born, Missouri was the only state west of the Mississippi.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
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Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I think that was my point. They used to have a southern accent, but now (as the video proves) they don't anymore. Mark Twain described the Hannibal accent as "southwestern", and in the 1850s, Missouri was the southwest. When Mark Twain was born, Missouri was the only state west of the Mississippi.
Prior to the Civil War I might be more inclined to agree with you...after that, however, I would not. Missouri has been considered Midwestern for well over a century. Saying the southern accent was dominant or a strong presence at anything further north of Sikeston or Lebanon at any point in the 20th century is being less than truthful. My grandmother's accent was as stereotypical of central and northern Missouri as any I've ever heard. GunnerTHB is dead-on accurate with the southern accent.

IN ANY EVENT, the question to this thread was whether there are places in the north that are becoming more southern. I'd have to say no...that's it the opposite. while southern beverages and cuisine may be growing more widely accepted, the north is undoubtedly spreading further south.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
2,709 posts, read 4,236,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
The Hannibal thing interested me so I searched for videos to hear what their accent sounds like.


Tom Sawyer Days. Hannibal, MO - YouTube

I ended up watching the whole thing. All of the people have a very Midwestern accent (aka, not very distinctive) except one guy had a Southern accent at 7:49. He sounded like many people I know, except when he said "Becky" That didn't sound Southern. The video makes it seem like he's from the town.
The guy at 7:49 does not have a southern accent...if that's what somebody from Memphis sounds like, or anybody from the south in general, then one of my friends from Memphis, a woman in her '50s, with a clear southern accent should sound a lot like him. She doesn't. This guy has no features I'd associate with southern dialect. maybe a bit hickish, but southern is a stretch. I guess you're clear to have your opinion, but it sounds nothing like any southern accent i've ever heard.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:00 AM
 
Location: Georgia native in McKinney, TX
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These Hannibal accents don't sound too far off from the southern suburbanites.

Would be interested in what people hear that is a strong identifier of what makes an accent southern. The first thing for me is how a long I is pronounced. Southerners spread their mouths and don't get enough nasal into it, more oh an ahh. These Hannibal kids all seemed to get that quick ah/ee blend that happens when a little more nasal tone gets into it.

Maybe not the proper phonetic explanation, but hope you get my drift. What other specifics tip you off that an accent is southern?
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by stlouisan View Post
The guy at 7:49 does not have a southern accent...if that's what somebody from Memphis sounds like, or anybody from the south in general, then one of my friends from Memphis, a woman in her '50s, with a clear southern accent should sound a lot like him. She doesn't. This guy has no features I'd associate with southern dialect. maybe a bit hickish, but southern is a stretch. I guess you're clear to have your opinion, but it sounds nothing like any southern accent i've ever heard.
I've only lived in the South and he sounds Southern to me (besides the way he pronounces "Becky" as I mentioned). He sounds almost exactly like a guy I know from Brownsville, TN. Of course the guy in the video doesn’t sound like the 50 year old woman you know, but he sounds like a lot of young white guys in semi-rural areas around Memphis. No, not every guy in that category sounds like him, but I have heard plenty. There are different variations of accents even within a small area. For instance, in my hometown, half of the people pronounce “mail” as “mel” and “Beale” as “Bill” the other half pronounce “mail” as “may-yul” and Beale as “Be-yul” Both groups have Southern accents, but for some reason, their accents differ. Maybe it has to do with social-class; I’m not sure.

In Memphis, people would think that the guy sounds a bit country.

Last edited by Smtchll; 03-20-2012 at 03:34 AM..
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:22 AM
 
Location: IN
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Originally Posted by stlouisan View Post
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.
There is still a pretty sharp geographic divide between south-midland and northern cities shift. A small geographical distance lies between northern Missouri and most of central and northern Iowa yet speech patterns are much different.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
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Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
There is still a pretty sharp geographic divide between south-midland and northern cities shift. A small geographical distance lies between northern Missouri and most of central and northern Iowa yet speech patterns are much different.
I've said it before and I'll say it again...the south midland dialect covers roughly everything north of the Ohio River and the westward on the latitude where it flows into the Mississippi, and relatively everything extending up to 50 or so miles give or take north of the 40 degree line in the Midwest. It has some southern influences, but is not night-and-day different...a general american accent blended with southern overtones is the best way I know how to describe the accent. And this accent mainly is confined to the rural areas....the southern overtones are generally absent, at least among whites, in the major cities (STL, KC, Indy, Columbus, and Cincy).
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
2,709 posts, read 4,236,438 times
Reputation: 998
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
I've only lived in the South and he sounds Southern to me (besides the way he pronounces "Becky" as I mentioned). He sounds almost exactly like a guy I know from Brownsville, TN. Of course the guy in the video doesn’t sound like the 50 year old woman you know, but he sounds like a lot of young white guys in semi-rural areas around Memphis. No, not every guy in that category sounds like him, but I have heard plenty. There are different variations of accents even within a small area. For instance, in my hometown, half of the people pronounce “mail” as “mel” and “Beale” as “Bill” the other half pronounce “mail” as “may-yul” and Beale as “Be-yul” Both groups have Southern accents, but for some reason, their accents differ. Maybe it has to do with social-class; I’m not sure.

In Memphis, people would think that the guy sounds a bit country.
I just don't see enough there to classify him as southern. He may have a few southern overtones, but to call that a southern accent is a drastic step to take. I've been to every state in the South multiple times, have relatives and friends from college living in almost every one of them, heard people who've lived in these places their whole lives speak on TV for over 10 years now, and this guy's accent is far flatter and missing crucial elements. It's clear we're not going to agree, so let's just agree to disagree and leave it at that.
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