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Old 02-06-2017, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Brackenwood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indentured Servant View Post
I agree with the bold in the paragraph, but diverge with you from there. That southern influence of speech has been preserved primarily from one phenomenon....and that is segregation. The Midwest is one of, if not the most, segregated regions in the country. The top 20 most segregated cities in the nation are saturated with Midwest/Great lakes area cities.

Segregation creates isolation and so when the great migration of blacks brought millions to various northern cities, they, via segregated environments, became little southern enclaves. There was little cultural immersion that would dissipate southern dialect and vernacular, if not accent. Words like "fixin to" or "finna" are still common, as well as the use of the contraction for "you all" Y'all or Yaw, as well as, ending a sentence with a preposition (for example: "Where are the other post at"? or "What time it is"?).

In regards to accent, Chicago and Muskegon, Michigan blacks have the most country sounding accents. Detroiter's, black, don't sound as country.
You seriously don't think there hasn't also been cultural reinforcement of the "blaccent" within the black community?

Here's an illustration: A few years ago I worked an office with a lot of phone contact with customers and potential customers. I'd estimate that about 35% of my co-workers were black. With a number of them you could tell whether the customer on the other end of the phone was black or not just based on the accent and vernacular they (the co-workers) were using during that particular conversation. They could turn their "blaccent" on or off at will; they used it when it was beneficial for cultural reinforcement and didn't when it wasn't.

And from what I understand, this kind of situational selection is not uncommon. So segregation alone doesn't explain the difference in accents or else this ability to switch at will wouldn't be possible.
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Old 02-06-2017, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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Originally Posted by NJ Brazen_3133 View Post
Is there a Detroit accent?

Is Kat Timpf a good example of this?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmJfWP0_OHU
Yes and no. Eminem is the best example I can think of.
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Old 02-06-2017, 11:09 AM
 
12,506 posts, read 7,603,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitey View Post
You seriously don't think there hasn't also been cultural reinforcement of the "blaccent" within the black community?

Here's an illustration: A few years ago I worked an office with a lot of phone contact with customers and potential customers. I'd estimate that about 35% of my co-workers were black. With a number of them you could tell whether the customer on the other end of the phone was black or not just based on the accent and vernacular they (the co-workers) were using during that particular conversation. They could turn their "blaccent" on or off at will; they used it when it was beneficial for cultural reinforcement and didn't when it wasn't.

And from what I understand, this kind of situational selection is not uncommon. So segregation alone doesn't explain the difference in accents or else this ability to switch at will wouldn't be possible.
Well....yeah....being in an environment where the majority of people speak a certain way reinforces people speaking that way in turn. That is a no brainer. What I am saying is that people are not trying to consciously preserve that way of speaking. I am African American and I talk differently when I am around my white co-workers. I talked in a way, around whites, that was originally "unnatural" for me. However, after spending a lot of time in white environments, talking that way became "natural". However, when I go back to visit friends that I grew up with.....I unconsciously revert back to talking more like I was used to talking. I guess its like being bi-lingual. When you meet with someone who you assume is from the same environment as you, in up bringing, you use that language.

I have many Friends from East Africa who speak Swahili and, of course, English. When I am at gatherings or parties put on by East Africans, people that I do not know talk to me initially in Swahili....because they think I am from East Africa too. Then when I tell them I am African American and do not understand Swahili, they speak to me in English. Similarly, when I talk to other black people.....I just talk to them like they grew up like I did. Now, in the case of East Africans, I think they DO consciously try to preserve their language to pass on to their kids. They want their kids to know how to speak their mother language. In the case of African Americans, there is, I do not believe, little attempt to preserve Ebonics among average black folk. When we speak it we do so because it feels natural to do so.

Last edited by Indentured Servant; 02-06-2017 at 11:19 AM..
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Old 02-06-2017, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indentured Servant View Post
Well....yeah....being in an environment where the majority of people speak a certain way reinforces people speaking that way in turn. That is a no brainer. What I am saying is that people are not trying to consciously preserve that way of speaking. I am African American and I talk differently when I am around my white co-workers. I talked in a way, around whites, that was originally "unnatural" for me. However, after spending a lot of time in white environments, talking that way became "natural". However, when I go back to visit friends that I grew up with.....I unconsciously revert back to talking more like I was used to talking. I guess its like being bi-lingual. When you meet with someone who you assume is from the same environment as you, in up bringing, you use that language.

I have many Friends from East Africa who speak Swahili and, of course, English. When I am at gatherings or parties put on by East Africans, people that I do not know talk to me initially in Swahili....because they think I am from East Africa too. Then when I tell them I am African American and do not understand Swahili, they speak to me in English. Similarly, when I talk to other black people.....I just talk to them like they grew up like I did. Now, in the case of East Africans, I think they DO consciously try to preserve their language to pass on to their kids. They want their kids to know how to speak their mother language. In the case of African Americans, there is, I do not believe, little attempt to preserve Ebonics among average black folk. When we speak it we do so because it feels natural to do so.
Interesting that you put it that way I never found it to be unnatural. I wonder if it depends on what age you start doing that and how conscious you are of it when you do it.
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Old 02-06-2017, 11:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
Interesting that you put it that way I never found it to be unnatural. I wonder if it depends on what age you start doing that and how conscious you are of it when you do it.
Maybe that was not the best choice of terms. What I mean by natural is "unconscious" and unnatural being a "conscious" effort to talk a certain way.
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Old 02-06-2017, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indentured Servant View Post
Maybe that was not the best choice of terms. What I mean by natural is "unconscious" and unnatural being a "conscious" effort to talk a certain way.
No I'm saying that as an African-American myself I never found this to be unnatural because I'll talk this way regardless of whoever I'm conversing with. While I do find myself a bit more relaxed talking to other African-Americans but there are linguistic differences that are simply not part of my conversation, because I never learned it to begin with.

I am probably somewhere in between that perfect speech you'll get from someone that learned English through classes or in a textbook, and whatever passes on the street, which is something I couldn't do even if I tried. While attending an HBCU with my classmates, from various socioeconomic backgrounds, I noticed stark differences there, as far as speech is concerned, that did not go away even if the professors were Caucasian or some other nationality, usually Indian. Of course Indians had perfect speech that was superior to the way that I talked, in any setting.

There may be social bias among other African Americans that causes us to switch up that we do unconsciously out of a need to "assimilate" with our peers that are not in the same diverse situations we find ourselves in. Plus we're naturally wired to adjust, depending on the speech patterns of whomever it is that we are speaking to.
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Old 02-06-2017, 12:02 PM
 
12,506 posts, read 7,603,124 times
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fo
Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
No I'm saying that as an African-American myself I never found this to be unnatural because I'll talk this way regardless of whoever I'm conversing with. While I do find myself a bit more relaxed talking to other African-Americans but there are linguistic differences that are simply not part of my conversation, because I never learned it to begin with.

I am probably somewhere in between that perfect speech you'll get from someone that learned English through classes or in a textbook, and whatever passes on the street, which is something I couldn't do even if I tried. While attending an HBCU with my classmates, from various socioeconomic backgrounds, I noticed stark differences there, as far as speech is concerned, that did not go away even if the professors were Caucasian or some other nationality, usually Indian. Of course Indians had perfect speech that was superior to the way that I talked, in any setting.
Well....I grew up in an environment that was 99% black. The schools, the stores, the homes, the church, etc. Now I live in an environment that is over 90% white and in an IT work environment that is majority white an East Indian. There was an IT consultant from Alabama, originally, who was working as an IT consultant at our company for over 5 years. She was excellent at her job. However, on her review she was given negative marks by the project manager who was white, because of her "accent". There was NOTHING that this lady said that I did not fully understand. Everything she said was crystal clear to me, and again, her work and work ethic was exceptional. Yet, she had complaints from people not being able to understand her. I am sure had she been black and in Alabama, speaking like she spoke, there would have been no problem interpreting, even among the whites.

I live in the North. I could talk the same way with everybody.....but that does not mean that there are not consequences for doing so. Its like in my hood growing up......if you sounded really proper...people would take that for a weakness. They would see that as being indication you are not really from the hood....and therefore can be tried. So....you can go to the hood and talk like you don't belong there....and end up being a lick. Consequence. You can be in a corporate environment, good at your job, but don't talk like the people who run things and then give you bad reviews. Consequences. Thus, consciously, I am trying to WIN at what I do and I play to my environment to get the best results. I more concerned about "winning" than keeping it "real". Keep in mind that I am 50.....so my life experiences may be generational-ly different from a younger black person.
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Old 02-06-2017, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Brackenwood
4,584 posts, read 1,765,542 times
Reputation: 9557
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indentured Servant View Post
Well....yeah....being in an environment where the majority of people speak a certain way reinforces people speaking that way in turn. That is a no brainer. What I am saying is that people are not trying to consciously preserve that way of speaking. I am African American and I talk differently when I am around my white co-workers. I talked in a way, around whites, that was originally "unnatural" for me. However, after spending a lot of time in white environments, talking that way became "natural". However, when I go back to visit friends that I grew up with.....I unconsciously revert back to talking more like I was used to talking. I guess its like being bi-lingual. When you meet with someone who you assume is from the same environment as you, in up bringing, you use that language.

I have many Friends from East Africa who speak Swahili and, of course, English. When I am at gatherings or parties put on by East Africans, people that I do not know talk to me initially in Swahili....because they think I am from East Africa too. Then when I tell them I am African American and do not understand Swahili, they speak to me in English. Similarly, when I talk to other black people.....I just talk to them like they grew up like I did. Now, in the case of East Africans, I think they DO consciously try to preserve their language to pass on to their kids. They want their kids to know how to speak their mother language. In the case of African Americans, there is, I do not believe, little attempt to preserve Ebonics among average black folk. When we speak it we do so because it feels natural to do so.
You've just described exactly what I'm talking about, summed up quite nicely in the bolded portion. If that doesn't describe cultural reinforcement, nothing does.
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Old 02-06-2017, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,502 posts, read 6,456,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indentured Servant View Post
fo

Well....I grew up in an environment that was 99% black. The schools, the stores, the homes, the church, etc. Now I live in an environment that is over 90% white and in an IT work environment that is majority white an East Indian. There was an IT consultant from Alabama, originally, who was working as an IT consultant at our company for over 5 years. She was excellent at her job. However, on her review she was given negative marks by the project manager who was white, because of her "accent". There was NOTHING that this lady said that I did not fully understand. Everything she said was crystal clear to me, and again, her work and work ethic was exceptional. Yet, she had complaints from people not being able to understand her. I am sure had she been black and in Alabama, speaking like she spoke, there would have been no problem interpreting, even among the whites.

I live in the North. I could talk the same way with everybody.....but that does not mean that there are not consequences for doing so. Its like in my hood growing up......if you sounded really proper...people would take that for a weakness. They would see that as being indication you are not really from the hood....and therefore can be tried. So....you can go to the hood and talk like you don't belong there....and end up being a lick. Consequence. You can be in a corporate environment, good at your job, but don't talk like the people who run things and then give you bad reviews. Consequences. Thus, consciously, I am trying to WIN at what I do and I play to my environment to get the best results. I more concerned about "winning" than keeping it "real". Keep in mind that I am 50.....so my life experiences may be generational-ly different from a younger black person.
I'm 44. Alabama might not be the best example because Chicago, Cleveland etc has a deep Southern accent. I'm from Akron, and our accent is different from Cleveland, slightly, definitely different from Chicago, which has a deep Mississippi, Alabama accent. You are probably just used to hearing it. First time I heard it I couldn't make it out either. Same with rural Georgia, or West Virginia. Steve Harvey is a good example of what some of us sound like.

Same as when you say "North", I learned fast that Southerners and the Northeast do not consider Ohio to be the North. Only the Northeast, and New England, are "up North" here. They consider Ohio to be the Midwest.

Last edited by goofy328; 02-06-2017 at 12:22 PM..
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Old 02-06-2017, 12:31 PM
 
12,506 posts, read 7,603,124 times
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Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
I'm 44. Alabama might not be the best example because Chicago, Cleveland etc has a deep Southern accent. I'm from Akron, and our accent is different from Cleveland, slightly, definitely different from Chicago, which has a deep Mississippi, Alabama accent. You are probably just used to hearing it. First time I heard it I couldn't make it out either. Same with rural Georgia, or West Virginia.
The parable I told was not about the Alabama accent. The moral was about the consequences of sounding a certain way in a given environment. As a 50 year old, I know a lot about racism. I was raised under the doctrine (from my parents) that if you are black you have to work twice as hard just to earn the same thing and same respect. It is in that context that I become conscious of how I spoke....and it was in a manner different from my normal speech pattern and choice of words. That said, to a degree I think everyone does this. You have to comport to your environment.
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