U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Kentucky > Louisville area
 [Register]
Louisville area Jefferson County
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
View Poll Results: Louisville's accent is
Southern, sugar! 17 54.84%
It's pretty Midland anymore 14 45.16%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-08-2015, 09:37 AM
 
4,801 posts, read 3,436,631 times
Reputation: 2568

Advertisements

I don't want to rehash the old thread about the city's status. Louisville seems as disputed Baltimore in terms of Southern status. So, that can of worms won't be opened by me.

However, I HAVE noticed that Louisville's accent is something I thought I could place. But after spending significant time here I can't say I can do it as well as before.

One thing I've noticed about Louisville is that while it's accent does have Southern characteristics, it also has some Midland (which many call Midwest because Midland dialects are so common in the Midwest). For example, in Louisville unlike the rest of the South they say "nois", "roit", and "Moik" for "nice", "right", and "Mike" instead of the Southern "nahs", "raht", and "Mahk". Glide deletion, in which an "I" sound is not "raised" up to the "aheee" sound but instead left at "ah" is a noticeable Southern trait that Louisvillians are inconsistent. Like the Midwest, so-called "Canadian Raising" alternates with glide deletion. Canadian Raising is heard as far East as Atlantic City, NJ, and as far West as Cali. It's not only the opposite of glide deletion, it even adds "extra" vowel sounds to where words like "fight" and "bike" sound "foit" and "boik". It is a feature very common in the Midland/Midwest. On words like "fire" and "retire", the Southern pronunciation is used like "farr"/"retarr", but that also exists in the Midwest.

I've also noticed another textbook Midland trait in some Louisvillians. Some will use "anymore" in a positive form, as in "4th St is too busy anymore". This is heard a lot in the Midwest especially Ohio and Indiana. I wonder if this is a Cincy thing that Louisville picked up as I have noticed it's used more by those with ties to Cincinnati than actual Kentuckians. But then again, I have heard KY natives use it anymore. Like the Mid-Atlantic/Midwest/Western regions, some in Louisville also say "core" for car instead of the Southern "cah" or just simply car as is heard in most of White Southerners.

Now, one personal anecdote I've seen is that Louisvillians at times will claim Cincinnati people sound non-Southern, and when I DO meet Cincy people they do seem more accentless than Louisville people.

Anyway, I feel like the above traits are the only ones I notice that are non-Southern and link Louisville to the Midwest more than other Southern cities. I used to be sure Louisville sounded super Southern but now, not so much. What's your opinion?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-08-2015, 01:55 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
9,583 posts, read 20,456,271 times
Reputation: 9077
In my experience there are several Louisville accents, not one. I work with natives who sound standard American, have a bit a twang but mostly standard American, and ones who sound like they just moved from Tennessee.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-08-2015, 06:29 PM
 
4,801 posts, read 3,436,631 times
Reputation: 2568
Quote:
Originally Posted by censusdata View Post
In my experience there are several Louisville accents, not one. I work with natives who sound standard American, have a bit a twang but mostly standard American, and ones who sound like they just moved from Tennessee.
Hmmm ok. Maybe it's a transitional zone without ONE defining dialect.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-09-2015, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Retired
643 posts, read 445,725 times
Reputation: 1046
Once I worked a job from Indianapolis, going to Fort Knox to look at Apache helicopters. We had an engineer from Canada. We stopped for lunch in Louisville, and he was very nervous. I asked what was wrong and he said, did we notice everyone had southern accents? We explained to him he had crossed the Mason Dixon line. One of the engineers was originally from Arkansas, he about fell out of his chair laughing.
My wife was born and raised in Louisville, I would say she and her brother and sister have mild southern accents. Her father had a much stronger southern accent.
All regional accents are vanishing, probably due to television.
Once I was taking a traffic class in Arizona, and an older gent told me I was from Toledo Ohio. He said he was very good with accents. I said no, but my parents had been raised there.
We all have an accent but we are converging on one common one.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-09-2015, 09:46 AM
 
4,801 posts, read 3,436,631 times
Reputation: 2568
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graywhiskers View Post
Once I worked a job from Indianapolis, going to Fort Knox to look at Apache helicopters. We had an engineer from Canada. We stopped for lunch in Louisville, and he was very nervous. I asked what was wrong and he said, did we notice everyone had southern accents? We explained to him he had crossed the Mason Dixon line. One of the engineers was originally from Arkansas, he about fell out of his chair laughing.
My wife was born and raised in Louisville, I would say she and her brother and sister have mild southern accents. Her father had a much stronger southern accent.
All regional accents are vanishing, probably due to television.
Once I was taking a traffic class in Arizona, and an older gent told me I was from Toledo Ohio. He said he was very good with accents. I said no, but my parents had been raised there.
We all have an accent but we are converging on one common one.
Now, I don't know about that. Linguistic research shows otherwise. That which is considered "Standard" American isn't getting stronger, but actually regional differences are becoming more pronounced. This might be due to immigration. This is especially true in cities like Chicago or other Northern cities. Now, it is true certain features like non-rhoticity are falling out of favor, but other features like caught-cot distinctions or Mary-Merry-Marry distinctions are becoming more pronounced in certain areas.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-09-2015, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
4,271 posts, read 3,333,628 times
Reputation: 3001
I heard some southern twang in there but very little, most of the people I heard sounded just like those in Cincinnati. The southern accent is vanishing fast. I think most of it has to do with people not wanting to sound "country" or "southern" which can have very negative effects when looking for a professional job. In addition, many people consider very southern accents to mean that a person is "dumb as rocks." Even having been raised in the Nashville area, my accent is much less southern than my parents.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-10-2015, 12:01 PM
 
4,801 posts, read 3,436,631 times
Reputation: 2568
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakeesha View Post
I heard some southern twang in there but very little, most of the people I heard sounded just like those in Cincinnati. The southern accent is vanishing fast. I think most of it has to do with people not wanting to sound "country" or "southern" which can have very negative effects when looking for a professional job. In addition, many people consider very southern accents to mean that a person is "dumb as rocks." Even having been raised in the Nashville area, my accent is much less southern than my parents.
Sad that Southern accents are so stigmatized. It's the same in New York. That accent gets so much hate.

Northern accents outside of New York on the other hand are not stigmatized and many speakers will deny they even have accents.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-10-2015, 04:07 PM
 
Location: IN
20,168 posts, read 34,473,831 times
Reputation: 12507
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
Sad that Southern accents are so stigmatized. It's the same in New York. That accent gets so much hate.

Northern accents outside of New York on the other hand are not stigmatized and many speakers will deny they even have accents.
I am in Louisville region for the second time and people ask me where I'm from quite a bit as they can't place my accent, they assume Canada. I did live in Wisconsin for a shorter time. Guess I better start trying to neutralize my accent if possible.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-10-2015, 05:48 PM
 
5,641 posts, read 8,748,046 times
Reputation: 2352
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
Sad that Southern accents are so stigmatized. It's the same in New York. That accent gets so much hate.

Northern accents outside of New York on the other hand are not stigmatized and many speakers will deny they even have accents.
You can definitely hear a strong New England accent in much of Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and areas of New Hampshire. And to a lesser degree, Connecticut and Vermont. Pronunciations like Lobster (Lobstuh), Mark (Mahk), Scallops (Scollops) etc.

Personally I am more concerned with a person's character and ethics than their accent of which state they originate.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-10-2015, 06:45 PM
 
4,801 posts, read 3,436,631 times
Reputation: 2568
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
I am in Louisville region for the second time and people ask me where I'm from quite a bit as they can't place my accent, they assume Canada. I did live in Wisconsin for a shorter time. Guess I better start trying to neutralize my accent if possible.
So, are you from New Hampshire?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Kentucky > Louisville area
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top