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Old 04-26-2015, 08:37 PM
 
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I've often wondered, specifically looking at Iowa, do Iowans sound like folks from Minnesota or Wisconsin? Kind of the stereotypical Minnesota Nice "Yeah, you betcha" accents from the movie, Fargo. However, I've also heard many folks from Iowa and portions of other states like Missouri and Illinois have no accent whatsoever. People who grew up in these areas along the lines of Ronald Reagan, Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, John Wayne, etc. Basically folks with straightforward and bland "General American" accents. So in general, looking at this specific area of the Midwest, can someone explain the accents?
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:10 PM
 
Location: IN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJayCB View Post
I've often wondered, specifically looking at Iowa, do Iowans sound like folks from Minnesota or Wisconsin? Kind of the stereotypical Minnesota Nice "Yeah, you betcha" accents from the movie, Fargo. However, I've also heard many folks from Iowa and portions of other states like Missouri and Illinois have no accent whatsoever. People who grew up in these areas along the lines of Ronald Reagan, Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, John Wayne, etc. Basically folks with straightforward and bland "General American" accents. So in general, looking at this specific area of the Midwest, can someone explain the accents?
Iowa has fairly neutral accents. The northern 1/3 is more of a slight Minnesota like hybrid. The eastern 1/3 of Iowa has a bit more of the northern cities vowel shift accent. The southern 1/4 south of Des Moines starts to pick up more of the lower Midwest drawl.
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Iowa has fairly neutral accents. The northern 1/3 is more of a slight Minnesota like hybrid. The eastern 1/3 of Iowa has a bit more of the northern cities vowel shift accent. The southern 1/4 south of Des Moines starts to pick up more of the lower Midwest drawl.
Very Accurate.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:33 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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The west side of Lake Michigan has four local accents, going from Chcago up to Escanaba. The very noticeable ones are Chicago, Milwaukee, Upper Wisconsin and Yooper. Those four are very easy to distinguish.
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Iowa has fairly neutral accents. The northern 1/3 is more of a slight Minnesota like hybrid. The eastern 1/3 of Iowa has a bit more of the northern cities vowel shift accent. The southern 1/4 south of Des Moines starts to pick up more of the lower Midwest drawl.
So Central Iowa would be more neutral? Areas around Iowa Falls, Waterloo, Ames, etc.
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Calera, AL
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According to Wikipedia, this is the approximate range of the General American accent:

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Old 04-27-2015, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJayCB View Post
I've often wondered, specifically looking at Iowa, do Iowans sound like folks from Minnesota or Wisconsin? Kind of the stereotypical Minnesota Nice "Yeah, you betcha" accents from the movie, Fargo. However, I've also heard many folks from Iowa and portions of other states like Missouri and Illinois have no accent whatsoever. People who grew up in these areas along the lines of Ronald Reagan, Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, John Wayne, etc. Basically folks with straightforward and bland "General American" accents. So in general, looking at this specific area of the Midwest, can someone explain the accents?
Depends where you are! You definitely hear the North Central accent in the northern part of the state (towns like Decorah, Mason City, Algona, and Spirit Lake). Most people in Des Moines speak with a General American accent. In CR/IC and Davenport you are probably more likely to hear the Northern Cities Vowel Shift than you are in Des Moines.

Iowa is a Northern (ie. Upper Midwestern) state with a huge amount of Lower Midwestern influence in the southern third and and a huge amount of Great Lakes/Chicago influence in the eastern third. And the Great Plains begin near the western border. So you get flavors from all over the region, both culturally and in speech patterns.

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Old 04-27-2015, 02:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by steel03 View Post
Depends where you are! You definitely hear the North Central accent in the northern part of the state (towns like Decorah, Mason City, Algona, and Spirit Lake). Most people in Des Moines speak with a General American accent. In CR/IC and Davenport you are probably more likely to hear the Northern Cities Vowel Shift than you are in Des Moines.

Iowa is a Northern (ie. Upper Midwestern) state with a huge amount of Lower Midwestern influence in the southern third and and a huge amount of Great Lakes/Chicago influence in the eastern third. And the Great Plains begin near the western border. So you get flavors from all over the region, both culturally and in speech patterns.

Thanks! Any information on Hardin County? I know that's kinda specific, but I have some connections to that county although I'm from NC so I've never visited. I'm guessing it would be included in the North/Upper Midwest.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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I've never really spent time there. I think the only time I've even been there was driving from Waterloo to Fort Dodge a few years ago. They probably speak something very close to General American there. There might be hints of North Central (nothing like the exaggerated Fargo accent though, very few people in the North speak anything even close to that). I dated a guy in college who was from a couple counties over (near Waterloo) and that's about how he spoke.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steel03 View Post
I've never really spent time there. I think the only time I've even been there was driving from Waterloo to Fort Dodge a few years ago. They probably speak something very close to General American there. There might be hints of North Central (nothing like the exaggerated Fargo accent though, very few people in the North speak anything even close to that). I dated a guy in college who was from a couple counties over (near Waterloo) and that's about how he spoke.
Ah okay, yeah I thought Hardin would probably be more General American. I guess you have to get a little bit north of US-20 before you hear the North Central (more so Minnesota, Wisconsin) accents.
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