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Old 03-11-2017, 10:40 PM
 
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I hear this term thrown around a lot in this forum and also where I live. So what is it? Because honestly it seems like a made up concept. First we have to define Ohio Valley and then we have to explain what the features of the accent are.

Has anyone heard of such a term? I have heard it said that people on the Ohio Valley talk similarly but I can name at least 3 ways that's not true. Heck sometimes the difference can be 100 miles and people talk differently.
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Old 03-12-2017, 11:04 AM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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While I agree that there is no single Ohio Valley accent, my gut reaction and nutshell description of such a phenomenon would be to describe it as an expansion of the Philly/Baltimore accents westward to the Mississippi Valley. I would also describe it as an urban subset of the Midland accents that dominate the eastern portion of the Midwest.

In some places there are notable penetrations of upland South accents interrupting that westward stream such as in south-central Pennsylvania, southeastern Ohio, southern Indiana, and southern Illinois.

It is characterized by Mid-Atlantic accent features and is centered on the higher population areas along the valley and it recedes to, or mixes with, Upland South accents where the valley is less densely populated.
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Old 03-12-2017, 11:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
While I agree that there is no single Ohio Valley accent, my gut reaction and nutshell description of such a phenomenon would be to describe it as an expansion of the Philly/Baltimore accents westward to the Mississippi Valley. I would also describe it as an urban subset of the Midland accents that dominate the eastern portion of the Midwest.

In some places there are notable penetrations of upland South accents interrupting that westward stream such as in south-central Pennsylvania, southeastern Ohio, southern Indiana, and southern Illinois.

It is characterized by Mid-Atlantic accent features and is centered on the higher population areas along the valley and it recedes to, or mixes with, Upland South accents where the valley is less densely populated.
The only place Philly accent features make it is Cincinnati. Short A varied tensing being the definitive Philly trait. Other traits heard in the Delaware Valley are just common Midland ones. Any New York remnants in Philly (like cawwwfee) don't even make it into other parts of the Mid-Atlantic let alone the Midland.

Pittsburgh of course is Ohio Valley but has its own thing. Cincinnati is too but it has more Philly remnants. Louisville has a generic upland South accent as does Cairo. Southern Ohio is varied from generic Lower Midwest speech to Cincinnati city talk (gas and gap don't rhyme) and Southern Indiana has more of a diluted and varied Southern drawl just like Southern Illinois extremities.

So is "Ohio Valley accent" just a way to say "ranging from Mildly Southernish to Southern"? Because in my opinion once you speak in a Southern accent you can't just call it Ohio Valley because you don't like calling it Southern.
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Old 03-12-2017, 12:17 PM
 
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What? I haven't heard much similarity if any of a Philly accent in Cincinnati. Cincy has a slight southern drawl.

But there are similarities between Philly and Pittsburgh accents and speech traits, at least to my ear. I'd say that most of PA and most of Maryland share a lot of speech similarites.

Last edited by _Buster; 03-12-2017 at 12:32 PM..
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Old 03-12-2017, 01:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by _Buster View Post
What? I haven't heard much similarity if any of a Philly accent in Cincinnati. Cincy has a slight southern drawl.

But there are similarities between Philly and Pittsburgh accents and speech traits, at least to my ear. I'd say that most of PA and most of Maryland share a lot of speech similarites.
Cincinnati has a split short A pronunciation similar to Philly and New York. No there is no drawl of any existence in Cincy.

Pittsburgh and Philly share less linguistic commonalities than Cincinnati and Philly. For one, the unique way a Yinzer says "down" as DAHN isn't heard in Philly or Cincy whereas Philadelphians and Cincinnatians pronounce that word exactly the same. In Pittsburgh, mad and map have the same vowel. In Cincy and Philadelphia they don't. Just some examples. Saying Pittsburgh is similar to anything is hard because it is so unique. Within its own state it is a dialect island.

Cincinnati also had greater influence from the Mid-Atlantic than it did from the South. It was first settled by Pennsylvanians so acting like the accents should be vastly different is strange. The Southern came later and didn't much affect the city's culture much if at all. Cincy has as much Southern culture as anywhere in Pennsylvania.
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Yakima WA
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When I lived in Vegas I met tourists from all over. When I met people from Cincinnati I always mistakingly guessed they were from somewhere in the Northeast based on their accent.
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jay F View Post
When I lived in Vegas I met tourists from all over. When I met people from Cincinnati I always mistakingly guessed they were from somewhere in the Northeast based on their accent.
Yeah don't get me wrong. Southern accents do exist in Cincinnati but they're not native. The native accent in Cincinnati is very much not Southern. Call it Midwestern, call it South Midland, call it Ohio but it is not Southern. Heck call it "Baltimore West" if you want to give it a more redneck vibe. But Southern it is not. Just ask someone from Cincinnati to say the word "bag" and hear a very flat Northern sound like "beeag" which is more like a NYer would say it. Even Philly and Baltimore aren't that nasal.
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
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I'm from Ohio, the last place I lived was Columbus for college. I notice that at the end of the day, if I'm a bit tired, I have a noticeable southern drawl in my speech. Don't know where it came from, but it's there.
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:32 AM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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I was going to say that Cincinnati's accent is the epitome of the westward incidence of the Mid-Atlantic/Philly accent, but does St. Louis not also fall into that phenomenon? I really haven't spent enough time in St. Louis (or read up on it) to know, but it was my assumption.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post

Yeah don't get me wrong. Southern accents do exist in Cincinnati but they're not native. The native accent in Cincinnati is very much not Southern.
I just wanted to quote this for emphasis. So many people hear a southern drawl in Cincinnati and assume it is the local accent.

But that is like assuming that a Spanish Caribbean accent is the native accent of NYC because you will tend to hear them a lot.
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
I was going to say that Cincinnati's accent is the epitome of the westward incidence of the Mid-Atlantic/Philly accent, but does St. Louis not also fall into that phenomenon? I really haven't spent enough time in St. Louis (or read up on it) to know, but it was my assumption.
Saint Louis historically had a very "Midland" accent, but it shifted to "Northern" during the 20th century - presumably because of the media influence of Chicago.

The same thing happened in reverse with Erie, Pennsylvania. A century ago it talked similar to Cleveland/Buffalo, but the influence of Pittsburgh in the local media shifted the local dialect to be Midland.
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