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Old 10-26-2012, 12:01 AM
 
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I've always loved the strong southern accent of kentucky, Just the other day I ran into a lady who was in her 60s from louisville and had a very strong northern accent. I was wondering if Louisville had more of a northern accent then the rest of kentucky which has a very strong southern accent. Also if you keep going north or north east out of the city is the accent northern or southern? To me kentucky accent is very strange from one extream to the other.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:15 AM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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I find accents in Louisville to generally be Southern, the only exception being people who are totally of german immigrant heritage and grew up in tha handleful for German ethnic neighborhoods. I have lived in Louisville on and off the past 10 years and have spent a lot of time in Cincinnati and N KY and find the 2 to be very different.

Now to the NE in rural Northern KY I tend to think of as not being Southern culturally. Of course I grew up in the part of KY near the TN line so I'm biased. Owenton, Carrolloton, etc could be anywhere in Southern Indiana or Ohio.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Hawaii
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I agree with censusdata, I was born and raised in okolona, ky, which is a suburb of Louisville, and I have lived in Virginia, Guam and Hawaii so far due to my husband being in the military and lots of folks tell me I have a southern accent. I have a friend here who is from south carolina and our accents are just a bit different, mine is more of a twang, however or so they all say. My inlaws, who have visited my family in kentucky, say that all of us kentucky folks have a very southern accent as well.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:57 AM
 
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Yes, most people speak with a Southern drawl or accent (more or less depending on what part of Kentucky you are from). I have noticed in Lexington, that some people don't, but when you start talking with them, you learn they are transplants and not originally from the region.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:39 PM
 
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We all don't have an accent here in Louisville, it is everyone else in other parts of the USA that think we do
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:58 AM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
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Quote:
the only exception being people who are totally of german immigrant heritage and grew up in tha handleful for German ethnic neighborhoods
...interesting comment.

There used to be a Louisville accent, which could be heard in the older generation of native, multi-generational Louisville families, that wasnt quite Southern. It wasnt really notheren either.

Also, Louisvillians, some of them, have the uncanny ability to switch accents depending on who they are talking to..from southern to a sort of neutral midwestern accent. They do this unconciously, too.

A linguist who taught of UofL said this was a mark of a true border city.

Kentuckians in general have an upland south accent. Which is different than what youd hear in Georgia and the Carolinas.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:23 PM
 
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There are several Kentucky accents. As previously noted, northern Kentuckians frequently speak similarly to Cincinnatians, with traces of German pronunciations and terms seldom encountered outside the area, something which can be attributed to the many Germans who settled in the area in the 1840s. Older natives of Lexington sound quite a bit like natives of southside Virginia - but do not have the "hoose/ ahnt/tomahto" pronunciation of "house, aunt, and tomato". Older natives of Nicholasville, just a few miles from Lexington, sound very different - much more twangy, and a slightly different syllabic emphasis. Eastern Kentuckians' speech is both twangier, more drawling, and can include words seldom encountered outside of the mountains: "poke" for paper bag, etc. Louisvillians sound a lot like Lexingtonians, but their speech can be slightly - very slightly - more clipped.

Western Kentuckians can sound more like Nashvilleans.

The folkways of these various Kentuckians are also varied and quite fascinating. The differences show up strikingly in regional foods, especially those associated with traditional holidays. You won't find goetta outside of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, unless you request your local grocery chain to special-order it. And those same Northern Kentuckians are unlikely to be familiar with central Kentucky's burgoo, while stack cake is native to the mountains and rarely found elsewhere, unless it's made by someone with associations to eastern Ky. Spoonbread is unlikely to show up in northern Ky, for similar reasons.

However, hot browns show up all over Kentucky and are greatly enjoyed by almost all Kentuckians and visitors to Kentucky. Thank goodness!
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayton Sux View Post
...interesting comment.

There used to be a Louisville accent, which could be heard in the older generation of native, multi-generational Louisville families, that wasnt quite Southern. It wasnt really notheren either.

Also, Louisvillians, some of them, have the uncanny ability to switch accents depending on who they are talking to..from southern to a sort of neutral midwestern accent. They do this unconciously, too.

A linguist who taught of UofL said this was a mark of a true border city.

Kentuckians in general have an upland south accent. Which is different than what youd hear in Georgia and the Carolinas.
I was going to chime in here--Lingustics degreee (which I've never "used") and am very interested in regional accents.

Granted, I've never been to KY, but almost everyone I've met from there has this soothing accent that is "not quite Southern" and "not quite Northern". It's kind of like "Standard American" with a few of the crucial vowels just a little "softer" (Southern). I love hearing it very much. I've also noticed the same thing with some natives of West Virginia.

Switching between accents is common for anyone who grew up around people with both Southern/nonSouthern accents. I have lived my whole life in urban NC, am native "Southern", but my city has been one of tremendous numbers of Northern transplants coming, since the 1970s, and as a child, we were actually the only native Southern family on our block! For awhile, I started talking like the "Yankee" children around me until my accent settled on a nondescript mutt one, that tends to match that of whomever I'm talking to. I used to work a lot of jobs dealing with the public, and observers would hear me switch accents between costumers, depending on how they talked. I was oblivious to it. I would imagine being somewhere like urban KY to be very similar.
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:31 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
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I'll tell you a little trivia about the "Kentucky accent". In 1989, the book "In Country" by Mayfield native Bobbie Ann Mason was made into a movie starring Bruce Willis. His costar, Emily Lloyd, was from England. My parents had a great opportunity to talk to her one afternoon. She laughed when she said she had to take several weeks of "language lessons" at UK so she could talk like she's from western Kentucky.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:57 PM
 
567 posts, read 972,686 times
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Used to houseshare with a gal who was from the east. She most definitely had an accent--"haaaaa, aaahmmm frum Keeeee-inn-tuhky." More of a lilt than a drawl, and very easy on the ears.
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