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Old 01-11-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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I live in the East now, but everyone comments on my "accent" and speech. I grew up in Southern Utah, and lived there for most of my life. I never thought I had an "accent"...what do you think? Do people from Southern Utah have an accent?
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
I live in the East now, but everyone comments on my "accent" and speech. I grew up in Southern Utah, and lived there for most of my life. I never thought I had an "accent"...what do you think? Do people from Southern Utah have an accent?
Yes, you do. We are from back East and now live in Mesquite. When we go to St George we can definitely hear an accent. One holiday example is back east we say, MERRY Christmas. Out here it sounds like MARY Christmas.

Another quick example, back east we have AUNTS. Out here you have ANTS.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Saint George, Utah
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I'm from CA and I concur about the absence of a short "e" sound (Merry vs. Mary). The radio ads and announcers do it too. It drives me crazy. Worse, any short e at the beginning is pronounced as "uh" (schwa sound of the letter a).

Middle syllables often dropped and words often don't end before the next one begins, making it sound like a run-on word with missing syllables instead of a run-on sentence like this one! One lady said listening made her ears bleed. How true!

I find that listening in person is easier than listening to media because in person I must focus on the content of the conversation.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:49 AM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
I live in the East now, but everyone comments on my "accent" and speech. I grew up in Southern Utah, and lived there for most of my life. I never thought I had an "accent"...what do you think? Do people from Southern Utah have an accent?
Yes they (you) do. I've always been able to hear it right away. There is a very distinct difference from the southern Utah accent and the typically "flat" accent of the general region.
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:26 PM
 
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Hmm, shucks...I guess I am just stuck...interesting. I thought I did not have an accent, and just spoke normal American English...it could also be that I live here in the East, and maybe no one here is used to people who grew up in the West...there are alot of differences in speech, and everything else, in terms of cultural norms from living in the west, and moving to the East coast.
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
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I am 62 years old and have lived all my life in Salt Lake City. I was frequently told when I used to go out of state on business that I had an accent.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:58 AM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
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I didn't spend my childhood here; I moved from California with my family as a young teen. At that time, the "Southern Utah Accent" was actually the "Utah Accent" for the most part. I remember it well. It was quite distinct and tended to be strongest among rural dwellers. Even now, there are some older folks in my area who clearly have it. My grandparents (on my dad's side) were farmers in south Utah Valley and they not only had that accent, but there were some pretty interesting words they used as well that were either extremely uncommon or a sort of spinoff of the standard American English word--the ones I remember most are "your'n and "tho'ne"). I have studied linguistics and languages over the years a bit and have found some of those Utah variations have a lot in common to a language (or in some linguist's opinions, a "quasi-language"/dialect) called Lowland Scots. Others were obviously derived from Nordic languages (Norwegian and Danish), since there was a big Scandinavian influence at one time. As so many people have moved into the area (northern Utah) lately from other parts of the US, the "Utah accent" has been pushed southward for the most part.

My father grew up in Utah County on a farm. He tells me that when he joined the navy, most everyone noticed his accent right away. He said that many people actually thought he was from somewhere in the south. Interesting. I suppose it can sound a little southern, but I've never really made that connection. It sounds quite distinct to me. And I've actually heard natives of Idaho that have a very similar accent and speech inflections.

For anyone actually interested in the "Utah accent" or "southern Utah accent," there is a really good study by a BYU professor on the topic (I don't remember the guy's name, but you may be able to google it). It talked about the "linguistic island" of Utah and how that particular accent/dialect developed, due to the large influx of foreign language speakers coming into the area (especially in the nineteenth century and especially from the Nordic countries, Scotland, and parts of England) as Mormon converts. On my father's side, all of my heritage is Norwegian and Icelandic. My great grandmother was Norwegian and sometimes spoke Norwegian. I remember that as a child. That sort of thing heavily influenced the area both linguistically and socially at the time. Thus... the "Utah accent" was born.
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Old 01-15-2011, 05:45 PM
 
Location: The Circle City. Sometimes NE of Bagdad.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzpur View Post
I am 62 years old
No way, we say the video.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post

For anyone actually interested in the "Utah accent" or "southern Utah accent," there is a really good study by a BYU professor on the topic (I don't remember the guy's name, but you may be able to google it). It talked about the "linguistic island" of Utah and how that particular accent/dialect developed, due to the large influx of foreign language speakers coming into the area (especially in the nineteenth century and especially from the Nordic countries, Scotland, and parts of England) as Mormon converts. On my father's side, all of my heritage is Norwegian and Icelandic. My great grandmother was Norwegian and sometimes spoke Norwegian. I remember that as a child. That sort of thing heavily influenced the area both linguistically and socially at the time. Thus... the "Utah accent" was born.
FASCINATING! I'm going to go look for that study.

Another thing I notice about Utah accents is that we drop or swallow the "nt" combination - as in mountain - which ends up sounding like "mou in".

I also think we have serious grammar issues. We say thing like "I'm goin' o'er tuh Day-ul-tah" (I'm going over to Delta) instead of "I'm goin' tuh Day-ul-tah" (I'm going to Delta). My mother (who was from Delta) used to say that in Utah, we make two syllable words into three syllable words, hence Day-ul-tuh.

But now, I must ask a question. I've been sitting here trying to say "Merry" differently from "Mary" and for the life of me I can't say them differently and have no idea what the difference sounds like. It's driving me nuts! REALLY??? There's a difference in how those two words are pronounced??
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:34 PM
 
226 posts, read 493,078 times
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I have been searching for information on the "linguistic island" study. I've found a few interesting articles and links. I found that the University of Auckland is doing a survey called the North American English Dialect Survey and they are recruiting people who are native English speakers to make an online audio recording by reading a word list. Google the North American English Dialect Survey if you might be interested. Evidently, Utah does have some unique dialect forms. What I can find is that there seem to be three distinct boundaries dividing Utah into northern, central, and southern dialects. Determining the dialect is described by using specific word pairs. If there is a difference in the pronunciation between the word pairs, then the boundary is drawn. For example, how you pronounce "cord" and "card" or "born" and "barn" word pairs may determine the dialect boundary. I remember that my mother used to say that the the pronunciation of roof, creek, horse, corner, and drawer would tell you if someone was from rural Utah. She said "ruf, crick, harse, carner, and draw-er" I say ruf, creek, hoarse (kind of drawn out but not two syllables), corner, and drow-er. Let's get Katzpur (my sister) to tell us how she pronounces those. Anybody else? I'm loving this thread.

We could chat for days on "fer ignernt" or "oh my heck"...
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