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View Poll Results: Which region sounds most English?
New England 24 42.11%
Northeast as a whole 6 10.53%
The South 21 36.84%
Midwest 2 3.51%
Mountain/Frontier 0 0%
The West 4 7.02%
Voters: 57. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-31-2014, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
Great info about the Dutch influence on the NY accent. When I first met an actual Dutchman from the Netherlands (not the Western Michigan variety), I could have sworn the guy was from the East Coast! Yet he lived most of his life in the Netherlands and then moved to California. I also notice in some of my Dutch friends some NY-like pronunciation of words like "God" as "Gawd". But I don't know if that is from Dutch ancestry or just a coincidence. But these are people who have never been to NY in their life.
The now-fading New Yorker "dem" and "dose" for "them" and "those" probably came from the Dutch, since they have no "th" sound in their language. It becomes a "d" at the start of words and an "s" in other places. I am of Dutch descent, though five generations in the US, but we had a Dutch minister in our church when we were kids. We used to giggle when he declared, "You must have face!"
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:44 PM
 
4,802 posts, read 3,843,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
The now-fading New Yorker "dem" and "dose" for "them" and "those" probably came from the Dutch, since they have no "th" sound in their language. It becomes a "d" at the start of words and an "s" in other places. I am of Dutch descent, though five generations in the US, but we had a Dutch minister in our church when we were kids. We used to giggle when he declared, "You must have face!"
Are you from Western Michigan or NW Iowa?
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:12 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I'd like to know more about how he reached that conclusion. It doesn't seem to jive with what I've read on the subject in the past, or with the article (that's sort of a synopsis on the topic) that I posted on this thread. It's a subject which interests me.

All accents evolve and change somewhat over time, especially in a migratory society. So in a sense, we may be able to say that the southern accent we hear today is not the same as the speech patterns in place prior to the Civil War, but I think that's too broad a statement, especially considering that there are pockets of speech patterns in various places in the South that are documented as being very old, and very close to their original dialect. And I'm sure that's the same in other regions as well.

The Southern Tidewater accent (VA, NC, SC), the Gullah accent (SC), the Highlands accent (Appalachians, Ozarks, and into Texas) are examples of southern accents that are very, very old and predate the Civil War.

I have to agree with that. And add this - there is no monolithic "Southern Accent". There are many.
People from NOLA do not sound like suburban Virginians do. People from South Florida sound very different from folks who live in the panhandle.

Accents everywhere evolve and change. Millennials seem to have a So Cal accents. At least those from middle class and above families.

Heavy regional accents seem to be disappearing, especially among the college educated.

Out of all of the accents I'd have to say New England and parts of the South. I am interested in History and cultural linguistics, but I am neither historian nor linguist. My background includes sociology and ethnography. It would only make sense that these two regions have an accent closest to British English.

If only there were tape recorders back then.

At the risk of dating myself, does anyone remember the old TV program "All in the Family"?
That old NY accent is all but dead in NY. In fact, about twenty years ago a good fried of mine taped people in nursing homes and retirement communities outside of NYC, in search of the preservation of that accent.

He did the same with the Gullah accent.

Fascinating, isn't it?
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
Are you from Western Michigan or NW Iowa?
Nope, the other hotbed of Dutch settlement--New Jersey! We were here first, long before all those Italians came over. But people from north Jersey always know people in western Michigan or NW Iowa! There was even once a dialect called "Jersey Dutch" that was Dutch mixed with English and Lenni-Lenape words. It died out by around the the start of the 20th century.

Jersey Dutch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dutch farmers also settled much of New York State. The ex-slave and abolitionist Sojourner Truth was from upstate New York and spoke only Dutch until she was sold at 12 to an English-speaking owner. (Sorry, always have to toss some history in.)
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:58 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Nope, the other hotbed of Dutch settlement--New Jersey! We were here first, long before all those Italians came over. But people from north Jersey always know people in western Michigan or NW Iowa! There was even once a dialect called "Jersey Dutch" that was Dutch mixed with English and Lenni-Lenape words. It died out by around the the start of the 20th century.

Jersey Dutch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dutch farmers also settled much of New York State. The ex-slave and abolitionist Sojourner Truth was from upstate New York and spoke only Dutch until she was sold at 12 to an English-speaking owner. (Sorry, always have to toss some history in.)
The Dutch have certainly left their mark on the Garden State! I love the abolitionist history of NY and NJ. Never knew that Sojourner Truth Spoke Dutch.

From Old Tappan to the plethora of Dutch Reformed Churches is Jersey is certainly one of the most Dutch influenced states. Equal to my home state of NY.

I can't forget the Boss - "Springsteen" is a Dutch name that means one who jumps high.

MQ - never apologize for tossing i some history!
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:13 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,076 posts, read 5,448,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Nope, the other hotbed of Dutch settlement--New Jersey! We were here first, long before all those Italians came over. But people from north Jersey always know people in western Michigan or NW Iowa! There was even once a dialect called "Jersey Dutch" that was Dutch mixed with English and Lenni-Lenape words. It died out by around the the start of the 20th century.

Jersey Dutch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dutch farmers also settled much of New York State. The ex-slave and abolitionist Sojourner Truth was from upstate New York and spoke only Dutch until she was sold at 12 to an English-speaking owner. (Sorry, always have to toss some history in.)
Ahh, yes. I am from the Dutch clan in western Michigan. And the two states that have the most family ties on the Dutch side of my family are... NW Iowa and New Jersey, of course!
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
Ahh, yes. I am from the Dutch clan in western Michigan. And the two states that have the most family ties on the Dutch side of my family are... NW Iowa and New Jersey, of course!
Do the NJ Dutch sound like the characters of the Sopranos or Chris Christie? I know the Michigan Dutch sure don't.
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:47 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
Do the NJ Dutch sound like the characters of the Sopranos or Chris Christie? I know the Michigan Dutch sure don't.
No, not really, at least from what I have heard. I think there are different levels of Jersey accent. The Dutch folks I've heard from Jersey have a different accent from MI, but it is not the stereotypical Jersey accent. One thing that always seems to come up, though, is the pronunciation of merry/marry/Mary. All sound the same in the Michigan accent, but the Jersey relatives say all three differently. Vowels in general are not as flat sounding in the Jersey accent.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,035 posts, read 54,537,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
Do the NJ Dutch sound like the characters of the Sopranos or Chris Christie? I know the Michigan Dutch sure don't.
Hahaha, NO, we don't.

The Dutch came directly to Jersey because it had good farmland. The Italians mostly lived in NYC first, then moved to Jersey.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,035 posts, read 54,537,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
No, not really, at least from what I have heard. I think there are different levels of Jersey accent. The Dutch folks I've heard from Jersey have a different accent from MI, but it is not the stereotypical Jersey accent. One thing that always seems to come up, though, is the pronunciation of merry/marry/Mary. All sound the same in the Michigan accent, but the Jersey relatives say all three differently. Vowels in general are not as flat sounding in the Jersey accent.
Yes, we say those three words differently. I know there have been entire threads on this forum about those words!

Very few people actually speak with the Jersey accent that people think of from watching mob movies and that stupid TV show. For example, most Jersey people pronounce their "R".

And NOBODY who lives in NJ says "Joisey". That's the weirdest thing. When we say where we are from when we are someone else, some bozo immediately responds with "Joisey"?

But I don't think we sound anything like the English!
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