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Old 06-29-2008, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
7,916 posts, read 16,374,338 times
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Until I moved here in January I've always lived in cities where everyone speaks with a similar accent. What I find interesting about living in Nashville is that there is such a wide range of accents, even among Tennessee natives and I'm wondering why that is the case. My realtor who was born and raised in the South just has a barely noticeable accent and yet I talk to people all the time who are also native southerners who have very heavy accents. Here's my theory about it, I'm thinking that the bigger cities in the South like Nashville have many newcomers like myself who make up a significant population and that a young person growing up in a bigger city who's exposed to various accents might tend to have a less pronounced southern accent than someone who grows up in a small community. Anyway, I may be totally wrong about it but I'm just curious about why people who are raised in the same state can have such different accents.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Blackwater Park
1,715 posts, read 6,279,819 times
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I think you're right on.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Middle, TN
636 posts, read 1,216,992 times
Reputation: 410
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaGuy View Post
Until I moved here in January I've always lived in cities where everyone speaks with a similar accent. What I find interesting about living in Nashville is that there is such a wide range of accents, even among Tennessee natives and I'm wondering why that is the case. My realtor who was born and raised in the South just has a barely noticeable accent and yet I talk to people all the time who are also native southerners who have very heavy accents. Here's my theory about it, I'm thinking that the bigger cities in the South like Nashville have many newcomers like myself who make up a significant population and that a young person growing up in a bigger city who's exposed to various accents might tend to have a less pronounced southern accent than someone who grows up in a small community. Anyway, I may be totally wrong about it but I'm just curious about why people who are raised in the same state can have such different accents.

Thats about right.

Alot in the backwoods hollars like mine say words you just don't hear in the big towns often. I know I may type close to normal, lol, but only cause I can't type it out like we really speak.

Example. Most folks say '' I heard '' is the propper way to say they heard something. Well, alot out here will tell you they here'd something.

Same with saying '' I knew that ''. Again, alot out here will say '' I know'd that '', or sounds like you'd spellit '' I node that ''.

You'll hear us say things like, '' Yeah, you'll find that fellers place yonderways up such and such hollar soon as you cross the branch ''.

I know I stick out like a sore thumb when I head out of the sticks to the bigtown,,,witch aint very often as town aint me.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
3,528 posts, read 7,156,672 times
Reputation: 1118
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaGuy View Post
Until I moved here in January I've always lived in cities where everyone speaks with a similar accent. What I find interesting about living in Nashville is that there is such a wide range of accents, even among Tennessee natives and I'm wondering why that is the case. My realtor who was born and raised in the South just has a barely noticeable accent and yet I talk to people all the time who are also native southerners who have very heavy accents. Here's my theory about it, I'm thinking that the bigger cities in the South like Nashville have many newcomers like myself who make up a significant population and that a young person growing up in a bigger city who's exposed to various accents might tend to have a less pronounced southern accent than someone who grows up in a small community. Anyway, I may be totally wrong about it but I'm just curious about why people who are raised in the same state can have such different accents.
Then why does my wife have a much more pronounced Southern accent than my sister-in-law when they were raised in the same house from birth, have the same parents, went to the same schools and have had similar life experiences? Makes no sense to me. Anyone have an explanation for it?
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Middle, TN
636 posts, read 1,216,992 times
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Originally Posted by Steve_TN View Post
Then why does my wife have a much more pronounced Southern accent than my sister-in-law when they were raised in the same house from birth, have the same parents, went to the same schools and have had similar life experiences? Makes no sense to me. Anyone have an explanation for it?

There may be no explainin' it. There's a family not to far from here that even I have to pay close attention to in order to understand a word they say.Out of a family of 6 kids, only two speak normal. They also were raised in the same house and went to the same barn for school.No joke,Auburntown Elm played their basketball games in a barn and had a few travel trailers to hold class in.They have a very,very small brick school now, but still have the barn with a wood floor to play ball in..


OK, I'll be honest, I know this cause I went to school there. My last year completed was 6'th grade and I was turnin' 17 the day I said the hell with it and quit

Last edited by RS-1080; 06-29-2008 at 12:10 PM..
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Blackwater Park
1,715 posts, read 6,279,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_TN View Post
Then why does my wife have a much more pronounced Southern accent than my sister-in-law when they were raised in the same house from birth, have the same parents, went to the same schools and have had similar life experiences? Makes no sense to me. Anyone have an explanation for it?
Maybe your SIL consciously or subconsciously tries to hide her accent? I've been trying to hide or get rid of mine for about 10 years now.
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
3,528 posts, read 7,156,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike in TN View Post
Maybe your SIL consciously or subconsciously tries to hide her accent? I've been trying to hide or get rid of mine for about 10 years now.
No, she doesn't have any issues with her accent. Why hide it Mike? It's what makes you YOU!
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Old 06-29-2008, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
28 posts, read 75,963 times
Reputation: 13
Ever travel to Pittsburgh? the accents are humorous at the least and quite bizzare over all. Yinz? Combining 2 words to make one word, for example, the town of east liberty is pronounced 'eeesliberty', down there is pronounced 'duhn-air'. Not the most poetic or esy listening accents and I to try to hide mine. I thnk it depends on the person, some like to hide or diminish there accents while others embrace it.
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Old 06-29-2008, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Middle, TN
636 posts, read 1,216,992 times
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Kindalike how transplants ask me to define ''usetocould''. Transplants say we should say '' I used to be able '', rather than saying usetocould.
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Old 06-29-2008, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Southeast
625 posts, read 3,974,593 times
Reputation: 358
I think you are right...I grew up in white suburbia Memphis and most people say I don't have much of a Southern accent even though my parents do. I went to school with quite a few kids who moved to town because their parents were transfered for work to Memphis and my school was one of the best public schools-of course, now it's gang central because Memphis annexed the area-Hickory Hill/Hood but that's another story...anyway, I worked with some guys one summer who were from MS and AR and they REALLY had Southern accents...when I went to school in East TN (UT), I had a hard time understanding a lot of people from the small East TN towns and they couldn't believe I was from TN because I didn't "sound" like it. One side of TN is the POLAR OPPOSITE of the other.

Also, people go to UT from the small towns in East TN and then come to Nashville for a job because it's a job center-few/no high paying jobs in East TN for the most part compared to Nashville-so, that's why you are seeing the diverse accents.
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