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Old 02-16-2012, 04:55 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,843 posts, read 41,958,663 times
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You're correct in most of the above. I've been here so long that many people tell stories about stuff we were involved in during high school, long before I came here.

What has to be remembered about the development and change in SoMD is that it was promulgated and promoted by the long time locals. After it really got rolling a lot of them looked around and asked "What's happening? This wasn't supposed to happen. Why are all the farms being subdivided?". They didn't, and don't, like people like me reminding them that they were the ones fighting against smart growth controls and slowing things down. So now many are sitting on piles of money and still complaining.
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
388 posts, read 679,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
You are right that their aren't clear divisions between dialects, transitional areas are a better way to describe it. In some areas, the transition area is pretty small, in other areas it is stretched out. There are some linguists that don't even believe there is a "Midlands" dialect region, and instead this area is just a transitional zone.

Allegany County is definitely a transitional zone, with some remanent local dialects, like the George's Creek dialect. But overall I would place it in the Midlands region, although the very southern part of the county around Keyser, WV and Westernport have speakers that would probably qualify as Southern.

The simple monophthongization of some "Long I" isn't enough in and of itself to qualify a dialect as "Southern."

Here is how Dr. Labov describes it:

(2) A small amount of monophthongization is found among speakers north of the line, in the South Midland and in Pennsylvania, but this is always before liquids (miles, Irish) or nasals (kind of). All the speakers south of the line, including those with very low percentages, show some monophthongization before oral obstruents.

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The best way to describe the difference is that in Allegany County you will hear, even from folks like me:

"Ahm going to the doctor." or "Mah car is ready at the shop"

What you are very unlikely hear from a native speaker of Allegany County is:

"Ahm going out to fly my kat (kite)"

We would still pronounce that "long I" as a dipthong. Further South they would monophtongize the "I" in kite, which leads to a whole cascade of other vowel shifts. For instance if "Kite" is pronounced "kat" then "Cat" is pronouned "Cay-at" essentially making the short "a" a dipthong.

Most Allegany speakers do have that drawl for "short a" before nasals, like "pay-un" for "pan," but this makes sense since according to Dr. Labov, our natives very well may prounce "pine" as "pan" since "n" is a nasal consonant.
That was a great explanation! Thanks for that.
I have a friend from the very bottom of West Virginia near SWVA and Kentucky that monophthongizes all her I's like you describe, so I completely understand the difference.

Monophthongizing only "before liquids and nasals," as is the case among some in Allegany County (while others don't at all), seems to be the way its done everywhere I've been in Maryland as well as in the vast majority of Virginia and West Virginia. Given that, wouldn't it still qualify as Southern-ish or "transitioning?"

Also, how exactly do you determine a liquid from a nasal from an oral obstruent??

Oh, and I forgot to mention earlier that I've also heard older members of my family pronounce words like dog as "dawg." Not sure what's up with that.
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
388 posts, read 679,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
You're correct in most of the above. I've been here so long that many people tell stories about stuff we were involved in during high school, long before I came here.

What has to be remembered about the development and change in SoMD is that it was promulgated and promoted by the long time locals. After it really got rolling a lot of them looked around and asked "What's happening? This wasn't supposed to happen. Why are all the farms being subdivided?". They didn't, and don't, like people like me reminding them that they were the ones fighting against smart growth controls and slowing things down. So now many are sitting on piles of money and still complaining.
That sounds a lot like how it happens most places, unfortunately. The local bigwigs lure in all this growth, then complain when the countryside's gone, the traffic is worse, and the people are rude--as if none of that could have been foreseen (or even accommodated for with a little foresight).
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:40 PM
 
Location: PG County, MD
582 posts, read 774,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Oh my God, that tobacco leaf complaint comes up every damned year, usually brought up by new residents from Montgomery or Howard. We've even had them in Town because we have the County flag in our chamber.

What people don't want to understand is that the sot weed built Southern MD from Prince George's and Anne Arundel to St. Mary's. Hospitals, schools, everything.

It should be noted that I am originally from Western PA.

On language/dialect: I've been here long enough that I've picked up a lot of the Southern Marylandisms. I'll mix it with my Western PA mountain talk and I'm damned near unintelligible.
Just a funny thing: You grew up in Western PA and now live in North Beach.
I live in Central PA, My dad's from North Beach and i grew up in the area.
I haven't picked up much Pennsylvanian apparently; I get "you're not from around here?" a lot. When I take the train out of the mountains I pass through Lancaster. Still can't pronounce that right. "ng" sounds are not in my language: Hunt'n-taywn, Fish'n, Bake'n, etc. Lang-kister becomes Lahn-kasta.

Honestly I don't mind most folks but most people i've met from Montgomery, Howard, or Northern Virginia annoy the hell out of me. My freshman roommate was from Silver Spring, talk about liberal speeches 24/7 (I'm maybe mildly conservative?) and how Calvert County was apparently nothing more than a sandbox and vacation home for DC. My Calvert County flag was offensive and he accused the county of "growing Death", I wouldn't have dared put up anything relating to the south like the 1st infantry banner I have up now. Plus he had no idea what Old Bay was, and hadn't had rockfish or crab cakes before! Wha?

Smoking is unhealthy. But seriously nobody's going to try smoking just because they see a leaf on a flag... don't they realize that Southern Maryland relied on Tobacco into the late 20th century?
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
4,930 posts, read 8,039,457 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drs72 View Post
That was a great explanation! Thanks for that.
I have a friend from the very bottom of West Virginia near SWVA and Kentucky that monophthongizes all her I's like you describe, so I completely understand the difference.

Monophthongizing only "before liquids and nasals," as is the case among some in Allegany County (while others don't at all), seems to be the way its done everywhere I've been in Maryland as well as in the vast majority of Virginia and West Virginia. Given that, wouldn't it still qualify as Southern-ish or "transitioning?"

Also, how exactly do you determine a liquid from a nasal from an oral obstruent??

Oh, and I forgot to mention earlier that I've also heard older members of my family pronounce words like dog as "dawg." Not sure what's up with that.
Yes, Allegany County is a transition area, but I think we have more Midland traits, not just pronounciation, but syntax and vocab. Go anywhere else in the state and say you stoved your finger and watch the reaction.

Also, the all present "needs washed" construction is as Midlands as you get. I have heard as far east as Frederick, but never heard it in Carroll, although maybe the old timers still perserve it.

The "dawg" thing is probably because of the cot=caught merger. I don't know how to say "dog" without a bit of a back glide in there. I spend most of time as a kid in Cumberland, but my parents are both from small mining villages outside of Frostburg, so that back mergered vowel is very thick in my speech. My 3 year old daughter has picked it up. Our friends make of her because she calls their kid "Bwobby." My mom's downstate friends tease her because she calls one of them named Scott "Scwott" (think squat.) The "W" I add isn't the best approximation of the actual vowel sound, but it is as close as I can come to it. The point is that the vowel is vocalized so far back in the mouth that there has to be a "back glide" to get from the consonants to the vowel sound.

Being from Coney, I am sure you know what I mean. You mention it being even thicker in Northern WV. I am not suprised at all.

Last edited by westsideboy; 02-16-2012 at 07:17 PM..
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
2,078 posts, read 5,028,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fortwashingtonkid View Post
Southern Anne Arundel County is more like a southern state and so is almost the entire eastern shore. Is it like the "deep south"? Not quite but you get my point. I think the "deep south" culture starts mainly in Southern Va. but still stretches as far north as towns like Falmouth, Manassas, Warrenton, Woodbridge etc.
Trust me, the deep south doesn't start until you get past North Carolina. There is no love lost between the two regions. People in Georgia, northern Florida, Mississippi, etc. don't think of North Carolinians as being true Southernors. In talking to some of the local born and bred North Carolinians they'd just as soon not be associated with the people of the deep south either.

North Carolina is beginning to suffer from the same identity crisis as Maryland. When you go into Greenville, NC you're just as likely to hear a mid-Atlantic accent as you are a southern accent.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Greenville, NC
2,078 posts, read 5,028,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westsideboy View Post
You are right that their aren't clear divisions between dialects, transitional areas are a better way to describe it. In some areas, the transition area is pretty small, in other areas it is stretched out.
As I stated above, the further south you get, the more the inflections change. Take this name: Beaufort

Here in Eastern Carolina it's pronouced BO-FORT. If you cross the border into South Carolina it's pronounced BU-FORT.

But strangely enough they usually pronounce "ville" as vul. It would be Greenvul or Farmvul... But only until they get to a city here called Jacksonville. They pronounce that as the proper "ville" instead of "vul". It's very bizarre.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:21 AM
 
Location: PG County, MD
582 posts, read 774,200 times
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This morning I was with some folks who were talking about whether Pennsylvania was a northern state. My friend from Virginia insisted it was, the Pennsylvanians insisted it was appalachian and had more incommon with WV than NY. So even Maryland's northern neighbor is called into doubt?
I think this confusion arises largely from states not being homogenous culturally; I really doubt someone from Philly would consider himself like a West Virginian, or someone from St. Mary's County would consider himself like a Pennsylvanian, even if Pennsyltuckians or Northern MD folks might.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:29 AM
 
Location: PG County, MD
582 posts, read 774,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Martin View Post
Trust me, the deep south doesn't start until you get past North Carolina. There is no love lost between the two regions. People in Georgia, northern Florida, Mississippi, etc. don't think of North Carolinians as being true Southernors. In talking to some of the local born and bred North Carolinians they'd just as soon not be associated with the people of the deep south either.

North Carolina is beginning to suffer from the same identity crisis as Maryland. When you go into Greenville, NC you're just as likely to hear a mid-Atlantic accent as you are a southern accent.
I agree with you that the deep south doesn't start until you get past North Carolina. North Carolina to South Carolina, big difference despite name similarities. I also agree with "fortwashingtonkid" that there is a definite southern cultural shift in Anne Arundel County and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
So perhaps we're looking at two separate regions: deep south and... light south?
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Greenville, Delaware
4,726 posts, read 10,301,702 times
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The broad distinction is usually between the Deep South (Lower South, more academically) and the Upper South. The latter is unequivocally represented by NC, VA, and TN. The positions occupied by MD, DE, KY are more open to debate. Arkansas is also a little difficult to classify. MO has a lower bit that is essentially Southern. West Virginia might be described as Mountain/Appalachian South. Some demographers and historians maintain that Kentucky has become more culturally Southern since the Civil War, while West Virginia has become less so. Certainly the patterns of trade unionism and politics in West Virginia are more Northern and PA-like than the political climate of Kentucky.

Here's a definition of PA that I like: Philadelphia and Pittsburg, with Alabama in between. Also known as Pennsatucky.
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