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Old 12-29-2012, 07:47 AM
 
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KC region doesn't have a twang, it's called a Midland drawl by linguists. Twang rounds words into more syllables, which doesn't happen here like in South. More people in KC speak distinctly than not.. it tends to be outer KC and bluecollar that have the drawl. KC North also treats r's differently than rest of outer KC. KC North almost turns an R into an L somehow.

Edit: This map is too generalized as S of Omaha doesn't sound the same as OK City at all, but this somewhat shows there's a difference between midland drawl and southern twang...

Last edited by xenokc; 12-29-2012 at 09:01 AM..
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenokc View Post
KC North also treats r's differently than rest of outer KC. KC North almost turns an R into an L somehow.
Huh? I'm from KC North and I've never heard people substitute L for R (or vice versa) when pronouncing words.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,572 posts, read 6,195,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenokc View Post
KC region doesn't have a twang, it's called a Midland drawl by linguists. Twang rounds words into more syllables, which doesn't happen here like in South. More people in KC speak distinctly than not.. it tends to be outer KC and bluecollar that have the drawl. KC North also treats r's differently than rest of outer KC. KC North almost turns an R into an L somehow.

Edit: This map is too generalized as S of Omaha doesn't sound the same as OK City at all, but this somewhat shows there's a difference between midland drawl and southern twang...
Everything you've said is interesting. Linguists having the country mapped out isn't something I've run across, nor thought of. I've always thought KC lay within a region that is intermediate between the Southern and Northern accents. Now I know what this region is officially called by linguists.

Can you provide an example of how "twang rounds words into more syllables"?

Can you provide an example of how KC North "almost turns an R into an L"?
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
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Originally Posted by MidWestCityNative View Post
Some people here have twangs, but most don't. Whether or not they possess an accent of any kind is subjective. The majority of teachers I've had between elementary school and college (most of whom where KC or Missouri natives) didn't have twangy or diphthong-y accents.

As far as the outlaying areas of KC go, it kind of varies actually. I had a friend who lived in Excelsior Springs, his father had a "twang" in his dialect, but he and his mother did not have it. I have some family members who live near Sedalia, MO and they speak in an almost upper-midwest dialect (it's very mild, but I have noticed it).

I have seen some episodes of COPS filmed in KC, and I have heard that "twangy" accent you're describing on many occasions. But I've also heard it on some St. Louis episodes as well.
I think social class has to be considered in this type of discussion.

For example, Excelsior Springs is a hardcore blue-collar community that is quite distinct, self contained, and with limited outside influence. The families there are largely the product of folks who settled there a long time ago, and who likely came from or have origins in specific places - probably the South and other rural areas. Hence your friend's father's twang, something that may not be widely prevalent in the broader region.

The upper midwest has less Southern, Scots-Irish, and black influence. It's possible that somebody who has been more "middle class" for generations and whose church served as the focal point of their community (for example, the Lutheran Church) could maintain what sounds like a more northerly accent even in a place like Sedalia. I'm not saying this is the case, just laying out examples of possibilities.

As far as COPS, that show seems to illustrate the same demographic range in every city they film in. Not to mention, many of the episodes are from 20 years ago. The ghetto demographic seems to be the same in every city...largely Scots-Irish or mutt-type white people and black people who came from the South but never made it out of the ghetto...hence the twangy accent in different cities. These folks settled in industrial cities during the heyday of that era and are essentially 'leftovers' from a forgotten era who haven't kept up with the modern economy and whose problems got compressed by white/middle-class flight and all that jazz.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:11 PM
 
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Southern speak extends the vowels into almost two syllables. Midland/KC drawl doesn't do that, it's more about shorter vowels and changing them slightly, not elongating them.

How To Talk With A Southern Accent - YouTube

I'll see if I can find an example of KC North but when I point it out to locals, they don't see it. If pointing out to non-KC people, they see what I mean.

Car = Curl
Star = Sturl

The rl is very slight almost to an L, like the tongue touches root of mouth at end of R but not quite an L. Will see if I can find an example. Is not a replacement of R, it's lack of vowel and R has a tight tongue that seems like L but doesn't quite get there. I've pointed it out to many and they see it, but those from KC don't get it. It's only N of River, the rest of metro doesn't have this.

Last edited by xenokc; 12-29-2012 at 04:25 PM..
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:04 PM
 
Location: South St Louis
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Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
One thing about the MO vs KS side that throws people off are intersections of the same names.

I-35 and Antioch. I have had people go to the wrong one before.

435 and 95th
435 and 87th
435 and 70
435 and 35

You have to say which state! If you say 435 and 35 to somebody that lives on the MO side, they will think you mean up by Liberty/Shoal Creek not Lenexa.

Also 435 and State Line is not the same as 435 and State Avenue.

This all might sound trivial to many locals, but trust me, this screws up a lot of visitors or people relatively new to the area.

This. When I visited KC for the first time, I was looking for a specific western wear store that wasn't where it was supposed to be. I definately had the correct address and I was in the right location. But instead of finding the store, I found undeveloped land. Turns out, I was in Kansas and the store was in Missouri. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there were two intersections of the same name in two states!
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Kansas City North
3,625 posts, read 6,756,846 times
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Originally Posted by 1greatcity View Post
This. When I visited KC for the first time, I was looking for a specific western wear store that wasn't where it was supposed to be. I definately had the correct address and I was in the right location. But instead of finding the store, I found undeveloped land. Turns out, I was in Kansas and the store was in Missouri. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there were two intersections of the same name in two states!
Goes without saying that you definitely need to give the E/W/NE/NW designation on number streets; and the "North" on a name street if it's in Clay or Platte County, but not "South" on that same street in Jackson County **....."64th and Indiana" would be somewhere near Swope Park, "64th and North Indiana" is by the Gladstone Fire Station. Number streets can be a "Street" and/or a "Terrace" but if it's not stated, they're talking about "Street." Terraces are south of the Street of the same number south of the River, and north of the Street, north of the river.

** exception is the street called "South Benton" which is entirely different than "Benton Boulevard." Fortunately, there is no "North South Benton" in Clay County, AFAIK.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:37 PM
 
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Burnt Ends - only in KC...

Burnt ends - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Kansas City North
3,625 posts, read 6,756,846 times
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Originally Posted by xenokc View Post
Speaking of bbq, I ate at Bryant's last night for the first time since they quit serving Wonder Bread. I believe it's Roma Bread they're using now. It's just not the same......
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 22,492,358 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Okey Dokie View Post
Goes without saying that you definitely need to give the E/W/NE/NW designation on number streets; and the "North" on a name street if it's in Clay or Platte County, but not "South" on that same street in Jackson County **....."64th and Indiana" would be somewhere near Swope Park, "64th and North Indiana" is by the Gladstone Fire Station. Number streets can be a "Street" and/or a "Terrace" but if it's not stated, they're talking about "Street." Terraces are south of the Street of the same number south of the River, and north of the Street, north of the river.

** exception is the street called "South Benton" which is entirely different than "Benton Boulevard." Fortunately, there is no "North South Benton" in Clay County, AFAIK.
Funny, but I don't think I've seen another city or metro area that uses "terrace" the way KC does. I guess it helps keep the street numbers down. If every street were a new number, you'd be up over 300th St. in south OP. Or maybe over 400th St.
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