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Old 11-30-2007, 01:34 AM
 
26 posts, read 116,630 times
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You'uns? Same as the New Jersey You'se. You plural. Same as southern you vs. y'all.

Ohio barbecue? Look up Ridgewood Barbecue behind Bluff City, TN just thirty minutes from where I live. Now that's BBQ! Jan & Michael Stern, the Roadfood people rate it as good as it gets, and Ridgewood does use a different coleslaw (picklely) on the sandwich than they serve as a side (mayonnaise based cabbage). Yum! Out in the middle of nowhere, folks drive from three surrounding states to partake of this incredible stuff. A line is guaranteed almost all the time that they are open.
Ridgewood Barbecue - Bluff City, TN
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Old 12-01-2007, 05:17 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
2,257 posts, read 8,172,843 times
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I am a student of linguistics and dialectology / historical linguistics just happens to be my specialty. I've done a lot of research on the evolution of English, particularly in the US, so if you have any questions I'll attempt to answer them.

To clarify a few things:

First of all - we did not lose the "English accent", because the way that people speak in England today is fairly different from how they spoke 400 years ago when they colonized America. Although the accents evolved on both sides of the pond, in many ways, we Americans speak more similarly to the English of 400 years ago than the English today do.

Basically, many of the characteristics of what we would now call "British" accents started developing in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The reason why Australians and New Zealanders speak more closely to the English? Because those countries were largely settled during or after these major changes in British speech, whereas the United States and Canada were settled before.

As for the US, why do people in different regions talk differently? It's a combination of a few different factors: 1) settlers who came from different parts of the British Isles and brought their respective dialects with them, 2) later immigrants from other countries, 3) the intermingling of different regional groups, especially as they migrated west, and 4) more recent changes.

For example, the first people to settle New England came predominantly from East Anglia, the area of England that was the first to stop pronouncing its "r"s in words like "far." This influence can still be heard in New England today. Over time, other areas of England followed this pattern, and once the upper class in London stopped pronouncing their "r"s after vowels, many port cities on the East Coast, like New York and Charleston, started imitating this way of speaking. (Some New Englanders even adopted the southern English habit of using a "broad a" in words like "half", "can't", "bath", etc.)

Most Americans, however (especially those who lived away from the coast and away from British influence) retained the old way of speaking, where "r"s are always pronounced. Their accents were further influenced by Scots-Irish immigrants (especially in the Midland and South) and German / Northern European immigrants (in the Midland and Upper Midwest).

As people travelled west, they started mixing with other groups and so their accents began blending together as well -- which is why accents on the West Coast are a lot more homogeneous than they are on the East Coast. "General American English" is a dialect based on the speech of the Midland and West -- this is the accent used by news reporters and media across the country, and the accent that is ridding us of many distinctive regional dialects.

The most recent survey of North American dialects identifies a number of different dialect regions, although it's hardly exhaustive:



(If you want to test your ear, you can take a quiz to identify various North American accents here: North American Accents

Also, if you're interested, here's a map of the numerous different accents of England... which doesn't scratch the surface of the linguistic diversity in the British Isles when you consider Scottish, Welsh, and Irish accents as well...

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Old 12-06-2007, 12:01 PM
 
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Thanks. That answers everything.
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Old 12-12-2007, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
506 posts, read 2,149,512 times
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This is a fascinating thread. Does anyone think climate influenced speech patterns, as well? I have a watered-down Southern accent (4th generation Texan via Alabama, Virginia and Tennessee) but find I talk more briskly and "to the point" when I'm cold, more like many Northerners talk. Generations ago, sans air conditioning, moving around or talking quickly would cause undue discomfort and doing things more slowly would prevent additional perspiration. I probably sound like a nut but I've always wondered this.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:56 PM
 
2,421 posts, read 6,956,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakewooder View Post
How about the difference between Aussie, Kiwi and South African accents? I always try to see if I can peg those.
Its easy


Australians - Over-Pronounce most vowels and use 'Rising intonation' (Alot!), Also 'I' becomes 'Y' and 'S' becomes 'Z'.

Cockney, Irish and English RP roots


* New Zealanders - Clip most vowels and add a 'schwa', Also 'I' and 'E' become interchangable

Cockney, Irish and English RP roots


* South Africans - Clip Most vowels and 'Th' becomes either 'D' or 'T'

English RP and Dutch (Afrikaan) roots
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:35 AM
 
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I read somewhere that the accent we popularly identify as "proper" English (as spoken by the royal family) only emerged in the late 18th century. It was a social phenomenon. Everyone wanted to be like their betters, so it was quickly poularized. Before that, the English accent(s) allegedly sounded more like regional populations in North America.
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Old 07-04-2009, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Earth
17,440 posts, read 28,602,920 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kangaroofarmer View Post
Its easy


Australians - Over-Pronounce most vowels and use 'Rising intonation' (Alot!), Also 'I' becomes 'Y' and 'S' becomes 'Z'.

Cockney, Irish and English RP roots


* New Zealanders - Clip most vowels and add a 'schwa', Also 'I' and 'E' become interchangable

Cockney, Irish and English RP roots


* South Africans - Clip Most vowels and 'Th' becomes either 'D' or 'T'

English RP and Dutch (Afrikaan) roots
I can easily tell the difference between an Australian and English accent but a South African accent to me sounds indistinguishable from a Southeastern English accent.
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:17 PM
 
Location: miami, fla. enjoying the relative cool, for now ;)
1,085 posts, read 2,531,403 times
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visit the barrier islands in the chesapeake bay area and the folks who live on those islands speak a very old english dialect
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Old 07-04-2009, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Bolton,UK
294 posts, read 699,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kangaroofarmer View Post
Its easy


Australians - Over-Pronounce most vowels and use 'Rising intonation' (Alot!), Also 'I' becomes 'Y' and 'S' becomes 'Z'.

Cockney, Irish and English RP roots


* New Zealanders - Clip most vowels and add a 'schwa', Also 'I' and 'E' become interchangable

Cockney, Irish and English RP roots


* South Africans - Clip Most vowels and 'Th' becomes either 'D' or 'T'

English RP and Dutch (Afrikaan) roots
In PARTS of lancashire we still over pronounce our vowels, also we over pronounce our (A) AND (R)

Day, becomes Daaaaaay, Made ,becomes Maaaaaade

Car, becomes Carrrrr, car park becomes Carrrrrrrrr parrrrk

Example.


YouTube - Fred Dibnah, you know it makes sense
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,554 posts, read 86,977,099 times
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This interesting analysis appeared in another forum. Im not sure of the rules, Im offering the whole thing, along with the link, and the moderator may wish to adjust it..
=============


First, may I offer a few definitions before commenting on the phenomenon you ask about. A regional or geographic dialect is a variety of a language specific to a given geographical region. They evolve constantly and are identifiable by 3 qualities:
1. The Grammar used
2. The lexicon (or vocabulary)
3. The pronunciation.

In the view of most American linguists, all humans speak with a regional dialect. This reflects the linguistic habits of the place they live or grew up. British scholars are skittish about the word dialect. They prefer to use the word accent instead. British linguists use the word dialect only to describe forms of English that are markedly “non-standard”. Thus a British linguist will speak of a “Yorkshire dialect” only if the person is using Yorkshire dialect grammar and pronunciation and lexicon. If on the other hand, the speaker is “educated” and is using Standard English grammar, British linguists consider him to be speaking “Standard English” with a “Yorkshire Accent”. Which brings us to your question.

When we Americans think of British English, we are referring to RP (“Received Pronunciation”) You may have also heard of it as BBC English or “The Queen’s English”. When a regional dialect spreads among people of a particular race or class, regardless of where they live, a SOCIAL DIALECT evolves. In the UK, it is quite common for person raised speaking a regional dialect to learn RP as a social dialect to use in formal situations.
The British did not always use RP. It began in 1700AD. Before that, for example in 1600s, when Shakespeare produced his works and the King James Bible was made, there was no RP!!!! Scholars generally agree now thanks to vowel analsis in poetry that Shakespeare spoke in what we might think of today as a Mid Western American accent.
It is not understood where or why RP developed. Some speculate that it developed as a social mechanism among the English elite for distancing themselves from the colonists and other “riff raff” at the time. Writers at that time commented about the sudden insurgence of changes in vowels, but there was no “formal declaration” or anything like that.

Most Americans today speak in General American English (GAE). This is the English that most of the early settlers spoke. As populations moved toward the center or our continent, they carried with them the language of the time. However,
after RP developed newer “immigrants” brought with them the changes and often settled in the large metropolitan cities. Which is why we have “Boston accents” which resemble RP, but people in Minnesota still speak with what we would consider “the ealiest colonial sounding english”. The “Coastal South” regional dialect is a blend of GAE and RP. Shakespeare probably sounded not like Kenneth Brannaugh, but William H. Macy. It is hard to believe, isn’t it?!

Accents are still changing. The biggest regional changes in the US now is called the Great American vowel shift. The “aw” and “o” sounds are beginning to show some change. Ask your friends around the country if they pronounce these two words the same way or differently: Dawn and Don.

It is very important to remember that dialectical uniformity, not diversity, is the most striking feature of English pronunciation in North America. Our sound system is remarkably consistent. GAE can be heard in the most dialectally distinctive areas.

Fluther: Why don't North Americans still speak with a British accent?
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