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Old 08-24-2007, 06:59 PM
dkc dkc started this thread
 
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Default Illinois Accents

I've lived in southern Illinois my entire life, I just started college and a good portion of the students are from the Chicago area, everyone always comments that I have an accent. I find this kind of interesting, thing is, I can't tell I have an accent. So what I'm wondering is what exactly is the southern Illinois accent? Because I can't notice it.
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Old 08-24-2007, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Once you get south of about Effingham, a Southern Illinois accent sounds mostly Southern to us Chicago-area folk. While we won't mistake it for an Alabama/Mississippi accent, to us it has more in common with that "family" of accents than the Great Lakes/Northwoods accents we're familiar with up here. It sounds to us like a lighter version of a Kentucky accent -- not like a Kentucky "hills" accent, but more of a Louisville accent. That said, the accent sounds less southern and more "standard Midwest" the closer you get to St. Louis.
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Old 08-24-2007, 07:31 PM
dkc dkc started this thread
 
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I know it's strange that I'm asking you this, since I'm the one who has the accent, but I honestly can't notice it. I can walk to Indiana from my house in about 10 minutes. And about an hour or so drive to get to Kentucky. Would that put me in the slightly Kentucky accent category?
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Yeh, I'd say so. My BIL is from Columbus IN and has pretty much the same accent as someone from around Effingham, though his is a bit stronger. But to reiterate, a western Kentucky accent is a different thing from an eastern Kentucky accent. On the east end of the state the sound like flat-out hillbillies because, well, they kind of are.

And don't forget.... everyone has an accent.
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
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Chicago is included within the northern cities shift accent category. Cities that share a similar accent would include Milwaukee, Cleveland, Detroit, Buffalo, Rochester, South Bend etc. Their is also a northwoods component as well because of the Wisconsin influence in the Chicagoland area. Words like house turn into "howse" The lifted "A" sound at the start of most words is also a notable characteristic of the northern cities shift accent. Words like average, at, action, etc: will have more ephasis placed on the A. The r and c sounds also have more emphasis such as start, concentrate, cop, large etc.
I lived in NW Indiana in the past so I know a few things about Midwest accents and the northern cities shift component.
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:24 PM
j33
 
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Hehe. I was just talking about this tonight with a friend from the northern suburbs. She and I were joking a bit that we could both tell the difference between where we both grew up (her in the northwestern burbs, me just south of the city) after a few drinks ...

And yes... it seems to my ears that immediately south of the metro area (the southern burbs) ... accents take on a midland twang and a more southern feel to them. I've actually never been to southern Illinois, but I have been to southern Indiana, and that is where manners of speech take on a much more decidedly southern feel. One of the things I find interesting about Illinois is that because of its length, several cultural regions are represented within one state.
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:02 PM
 
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I definitely agree with the accent thing... I grew up around the Champaign area and when I moved to the west suburbs of Chicago everyone I worked with said that I had a notable accent. The one thing they constantly commented on was the way I pronounced 'pen' -- the writing tool, they said I said it like I was saying 'pin' -- the sewing tool. Never really thought I had an accent until I moved to the burbs.
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Old 08-25-2007, 12:02 AM
 
Location: Midwest
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I'm from the Detroit/Ann Arbor area and think there are too many southern accents here in Champaign-Urbana. It could be worse, I could be suffering in Indianatucky.

Like the previous poster said, midstate isn't bad. Go south of Effin'ham and find some good ole boys.
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Old 08-25-2007, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
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Go south of Kansas City and you will find some southern accents as well. Many of those people will not admit they have accents even though they obviously do.
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Old 08-25-2007, 01:29 PM
j33
 
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Everyone has an accent. Perhaps those who aren't admitting it are afraid that people will look down on them because of it, like the poster complaining of 'too many southern accents'.
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