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View Poll Results: What is Kansas City?
Midwestern 94 61.44%
Transitional from Midwest to West 53 34.64%
Western 6 3.92%
Voters: 153. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-13-2017, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
A drawl? Kansas City people have probably one of the least distinctive accents out of the entire country. St. Louis people have a slight Chicago/Rust Belt nasal tone but KC people pretty much speak "neutral".

Maybe the Black population might have a drawl?
KC has a drawl. It's not very noticeable, but it does have one, especially in the outlying MO side (not sure about KS side) suburbs. It's pretty neutral overall though.
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
KC has a drawl. It's not very noticeable, but it does have one, especially in the outlying MO side (not sure about KS side) suburbs. It's pretty neutral overall though.
What do you mean by drawl? In American accents, drawl means you drag out a short vowel so it takes on an almost long vowel quality. Like cat pronounced "ca-yuht" as they do in many Southern localities.

Kansas City accents do not drag out short vowels. Their long vowels have a quality of the Southeast however and this quality puts them in the Southeast super region which extends from the Mid-Atlantic around the Philadelphia metro to the Lower Midwest. I believe this is what you refer to.

Basically the Southeast super region is a large expanse where "Southern-lite" qualities dominate. The dragged out Long O sound, glide deletion where I is pronounced "ah", and stressed "ow" sounds like down pronounced "dayown" are all present in this region. So in this way Kansas City has a Southernish sound but in a Midwest/Mid-Atlantic fashion without being a drawled out Southern accent if that makes sense. It's Southernish like a lower Pennsylvania/Philadelphia or lower Ohio/Cincinnati accent but short vowels aren't drawn out.

A lot of Missouri accents especially south of the Missouri river have this quality. St. Louis does not have any of these qualities so in comparison the KC accent sounds more Southern just because the eastern area of MO around STL has such a strong Northern accent.
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Old 01-21-2017, 03:01 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
KC has a drawl. It's not very noticeable, but it does have one, especially in the outlying MO side (not sure about KS side) suburbs. It's pretty neutral overall though.
Actually, in the early days of broadcasting, the networks sought out Central Plains residents for newscasters and news reporters because their accent was the least objectionable to listeners in other regions of the country whose accents were more distinctive.

The CBS network referred to the accent it wanted from its newscasters as "Kansas City American."

And let's not forget where Walter Cronkite was born, and where he attended grade school.
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Old 01-21-2017, 09:41 AM
 
Location: IN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
Actually, in the early days of broadcasting, the networks sought out Central Plains residents for newscasters and news reporters because their accent was the least objectionable to listeners in other regions of the country whose accents were more distinctive.

The CBS network referred to the accent it wanted from its newscasters as "Kansas City American."

And let's not forget where Walter Cronkite was born, and where he attended grade school.
In the present day, the more generic neutral accent runs from a belt stretching from Omaha to Des Moines- that is why so many call centers are located there. KC certainly has more southern influences regarding accent than either of those places, note the pin/pen merger occurs there. That isn't to say that southern accents are predominant, but it often varies depending on socioeconomic status or in different areas within the metro area itself.
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Old 01-21-2017, 12:34 PM
 
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Also some areas of the KC metro especially east and south also have a bit of southern influence too as the transition zone starts south of the city and places like Lexington and Higginsville has noticeable southern influences left as this was once Little Dixie. Granted it's more Midwestern today of course but some influences are still there. Btw MO Confederate veterans home is in Higginsville.
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Old 01-21-2017, 12:43 PM
 
Location: IN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOforthewin View Post
Also some areas of the KC metro especially east and south also have a bit of southern influence too as the transition zone starts south of the city and places like Lexington and Higginsville has noticeable southern influences left as this was once Little Dixie. Granted it's more Midwestern today of course but some influences are still there. Btw MO Confederate veterans home is in Higginsville.
I would say Harrisonville is where you really start picking up more southern influences overall, and that is still within the KC metro area.

Last edited by GraniteStater; 01-21-2017 at 07:01 PM..
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Old 01-21-2017, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Middle America
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
A drawl? Kansas City people have probably one of the least distinctive accents out of the entire country. St. Louis people have a slight Chicago/Rust Belt nasal tone but KC people pretty much speak "neutral".

Maybe the Black population might have a drawl?
Nope, not a "black people thing."
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Old 01-21-2017, 07:48 PM
 
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My family arrived in Kansas City in about 1855 and when I have traveled to the east coast, people have asked me if I am from the south, which blows me away. I have never been to the south. I don't think I sound southern. I do have great difficulty understanding east coast accents. I can't understand some of the dialect in Tulsa either though.

I do believe there is a western rural feeling on the edges of Kansas City, but not in the core. The Missouri side rural twang is different from the Kansas side rural twang. The urban areas are pretty much mid western though.
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Old 01-21-2017, 08:51 PM
 
Location: IN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivertowntalk View Post
My family arrived in Kansas City in about 1855 and when I have traveled to the east coast, people have asked me if I am from the south, which blows me away. I have never been to the south. I don't think I sound southern. I do have great difficulty understanding east coast accents. I can't understand some of the dialect in Tulsa either though.

I do believe there is a western rural feeling on the edges of Kansas City, but not in the core. The Missouri side rural twang is different from the Kansas side rural twang. The urban areas are pretty much mid western though.
I've come to the conclusion that most KC region locals assume that they don't have accents either, until they start traveling to many different areas of the country. Most of the Midwest has the northern cities vowel shift accent, (Great Lakes region). This extends westward into portions of Minnesota and eastern Iowa as well. Many would argue the I-80 corridor is a key delineation line between mostly neutral accents with some northern influences, whereas the I-70 corridor is more mixed overall. The Ohio Valley is somewhat similar to KC in this regard as well. The Northwoods has a mixture of the northern cities vowel shift combined with the Canadian raising of vowel sounds as well. This is more common in rural areas, the Twin Cities metro area has some of that mixed in, but is fading with younger generations.
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Old 01-22-2017, 08:25 AM
 
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Everyone has an accent.
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