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Is the Texas Twang Dyin', Y'all? Other Accents Blend In
ABC News ^ | Sept. 25, 2012 | GINA SUNSERI HOUSTON

Posted on 09/25/2012 4:03:14 PM PDT by nickcarraway

J.R. and Sue Ellen had it on "Dallas." The Texas twang. The "y'all" and the "howdy" -- that slow drawl that is part Southern charm, part Western swagger and pure Texas.

Yes, oil is still king in Texas, and it's easy to find a Longhorn (cow or football player), cowboys and a rodeo if you are in the mood. Neil Armstrong's first words from the Moon were "Houston, Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed."

Barbara Voyce is a transplant from Illinois, and she quickly learned how to say "y'all." "It replaces the Midwestern 'you guys,'" she says. Her two children grew up saying "y'all." At her favorite coffee shop, pretty much everyone she meets has learned to adapt.

But the accent is fading, as people move here from elsewhere, and as media homogenize all regional accents into one American English sound.

Stephen Murdoch, a Rice University professor who once ran the U.S. Census Bureau, understands the demographics of what has happened in Texas.

"The population in Texas has exploded because of migration from other states and other countries," he said. "It most certainly affects the Texas twang because so many of the newcomers are Hispanic and live in the urban cities of Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio."

(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...


TOPICS: Education; Local News; Society
KEYWORDS: accent; language; texas

1 posted on 09/25/2012 4:03:18 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
My accent is neutral.

Give me enough beer, and my 'twang' surfaces. ;)

/johnny

2 posted on 09/25/2012 4:04:51 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: nickcarraway

The Texas drawl, accent thing is greatly exaggerated.
I don’t talk like that and know few- if any, who do.


3 posted on 09/25/2012 4:10:12 PM PDT by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
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To: nickcarraway

Uh ... no. Obviously this author hasn’t spoken with any of my family.

Yes, I have “lost” some of my natural born Texan dialect ... mostly from working with folks from all parts of the world and other accents rubbing off on me ... but believe me, the “twang” is alive and well in the rest of my family.


4 posted on 09/25/2012 4:12:23 PM PDT by al_c (http://www.blowoutcongress.com)
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To: patriot08
The Texas drawl, accent thing is greatly exaggerated.

Yeah ... thanks for that, Hollywood.

5 posted on 09/25/2012 4:13:39 PM PDT by al_c (http://www.blowoutcongress.com)
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To: al_c

Hi fellow Texan.
Hollywood? Probably right.


6 posted on 09/25/2012 4:15:20 PM PDT by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
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To: al_c

I’m 66. When I was 13, I went to visit my Uncle in Odessa, for three weeks. Came back to Ohio with a Texas drawl! But I’ve always absorbed speech patterns, You should hear me do South Side Milwaukee talk! Ain’a?


7 posted on 09/25/2012 4:17:43 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: nickcarraway

Same is true of the New Yawk accent (also known as a Brooklyn Accent).

Someday fairly soon, you’ll have to watch Kojak if you want to hear it.


8 posted on 09/25/2012 4:20:46 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: nickcarraway

It’s alive and well here in North Louisiana. I’ll die with that accent, and I’m damn proud of it!


9 posted on 09/25/2012 4:23:04 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

Yep ... “absorbing” other accents is not uncommon, I guess. I’ve collected over the years a hodge-podge of east coast, west coast, different parts of England, some far eastern, and a touch of Wisconsin. All together, that’s made my talk rather neutral. But a few beers can bring it right back out.


10 posted on 09/25/2012 4:31:44 PM PDT by al_c (http://www.blowoutcongress.com)
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To: nickcarraway

Which Texas accent? Does the writer not know that there are several regional accents in the state?


11 posted on 09/25/2012 4:32:32 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: patriot08
The Texas drawl, accent thing is greatly exaggerated.

My great Uncle Hoot sounded like Rex Allen, only deeper and more drawled-out. I sure miss listening to that voice, it was pure old-timey Texan.

12 posted on 09/25/2012 4:34:37 PM PDT by Max in Utah (A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.)
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To: nickcarraway

In southern Texas, several decades ago, it was the drawl: very slow, low-toned speech—not nasal, and more the opposite of a twang. I had it for a long time.

Many from the Midwest moved into northern Texas, mostly—Dallas area, Houston and the like, for jobs during some years. That’s where the twang came from.


13 posted on 09/25/2012 4:41:02 PM PDT by familyop ("Wanna cigarette? You're never too young to start." --Deacon, "Waterworld")
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To: nickcarraway

Well, I am scarcely aware of mine until I travel to other regions. Then, I notice people delight in it. Or maybe they are mocking. Nah! Anyway, of course in the major Texas cities we do have a goodly amount of Yankees and such (not that there is anything wrong with that) who have relocated to our fair burghs. Seems like most everyone is from somewhere else anymore. We really only see the truly thick accents among urban lowers, though still widely dispersed accrost, as it were, the hinterlands. As for the Hollywood caricature— Shirley nobody buys into their exaggerated depiction.


14 posted on 09/25/2012 4:41:10 PM PDT by Dysart
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To: nickcarraway

Get out in the country. The accent is thick and it’s not going anywhere.


15 posted on 09/25/2012 4:44:30 PM PDT by manic4organic (We won. Get over it.)
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To: Max in Utah

I had to go to YouTube to find out what Rex Allen sounded like. LOL
Really, though, I’m a native Texan and I don’t have a drawl or pronounce words like that and know very few if any Texans who do,
The whole Texas thing is greatly exaggerated.


16 posted on 09/25/2012 4:47:01 PM PDT by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
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To: nickcarraway
Jim Malcolm, a Scotsman, was questioned so often about his singing with an American accent that he wrote a his explanation in a song:

American Accent

Why do I sing in an American accent
When I only want to be myself?
Why are my words tainted with a Hollywood burr
When I’m only just a boy
From a town ten miles away from Glasgow

When I was a kid, I had three parents
One of them lived behind a screen in the living room
Taught me more than the teachers at the school
Mostly it spoke to me in an American accent
At such an impressionable age I thought that it was cool.

And in the holidays on rainy days.
We’d get on a train and ride into town
To see a Disney film
And the queue seemed half a mile long
All the animals spoke in an American accent
From the king of the swingers to the wolf
As it blew the house down

That’s why I sing in an American accent
When I only want to be myself
That’s why my words are tainted with a Hollywood burr
When I’m only just a boy
From a town ten miles away from Glasgow.

17 posted on 09/25/2012 4:48:04 PM PDT by concentric circles
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To: nickcarraway

I live in a suburb of Dallas. Been here all my life. My Texan Twang is alive and well. My family is all in East Texas. Go there and the Texas Twang is very alive!


18 posted on 09/25/2012 5:00:43 PM PDT by Halls (Jesus is my Lord and Savior)
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To: nickcarraway

Southern has many sub accents and they can be interchangeable. DeForest (Bones) Kelley was from Georgia but sounded as Texan as any native—he got to play in a lot of Westerns because of it (in one Star Trek episode, where some alien spores removed every ones inhibitions, he let his Georgia drawl fly).


19 posted on 09/25/2012 5:01:11 PM PDT by Happy Rain
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To: Army Air Corps
"Which Texas accent?"

My thoughts too. There's quite a difference in some Texan accents.

I was born in El Paso in 1941, though I've lived in CA for the past 50 years, more than a few people still ask me about my 'southern' drawl.

Texan speech gets slower in ranching country and tends to sound more twangy depending on where in Texas you go. The folks in Lubbock talk slower than those in Abiliene, but Abiliene folks aren't near as hard to understand as some I ran into in Corpus Christi!

Funny thing - in Dallas there's a lot of ex-Californians, who always tag me as a local - though I've never been.

20 posted on 09/25/2012 5:01:19 PM PDT by Ron C.
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To: manic4organic
"Get out in the country. The accent is thick and it’s not going anywhere."

Yep, the further away from the big cities, the thicker it gets!

21 posted on 09/25/2012 5:03:42 PM PDT by Ron C.
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

I am the same way.
I tend to pick up the local color and accent.


22 posted on 09/25/2012 5:11:05 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: patriot08
The Texas drawl, accent thing is greatly exaggerated.

It depends on the area of the state. There is a distinct difference in accent between people in West Texas and people in East Texas. The West Texas accent is most like the stereotypical Texas drawl. The East Texas accent is more Southern.

I have been told that there is a distinct South Texas accent, but I am not fluent enough in Spanish to tell the difference between South Texas and Mexican.

23 posted on 09/25/2012 5:21:48 PM PDT by Bubba_Leroy (The Obamanation Continues)
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To: nickcarraway

Its much more than a twang, its a way of expressing yourself that is hard to imitate. The twang you can imitate, the rest of it is bred in the bones.


24 posted on 09/25/2012 5:22:06 PM PDT by marron
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To: familyop

The twang comes from Tennessee like Texas’ founding fathers. It’s a mountaineer accent.


25 posted on 09/25/2012 5:24:13 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Bubba_Leroy

I’m from East Tennessee...Worked with a guy from outside Dallas....He sounded just like us East Tennesseans....


26 posted on 09/25/2012 5:29:28 PM PDT by JW1949
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To: Mamzelle

You hit that nail square, Mamzelle...*L*


27 posted on 09/25/2012 5:31:11 PM PDT by JW1949
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To: nickcarraway
I'm from the Houston area and found that city to be more "cosmopolitan" than the other large Texas towns. So many people I grew up with had parents from another state, and as I grew older, more and more people were from some other country. Hardly anyone in Houston spoke with a true Texas accent. Houston attracted a lot of foreigners to the oil industry. It was a pretty free-wheeling town, almost a "Hong Kong of America".

Austin and Dallas have a higher percentage of those with accents.

28 posted on 09/25/2012 5:34:53 PM PDT by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
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To: nickcarraway
Any one here on this thread who thinks the accent will go away lives in a city like Austin or Dallas and no where near the country.

It will never go away.

Anything Fort Worth and west, and south excluding Austin has and will always have a country drawl, and believe me they only exaggerate it when making fun of themselves.

Anyone else who does is trying to act Texan.

29 posted on 09/25/2012 5:39:42 PM PDT by DainBramage
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To: JW1949

Thankee, much obliged.


30 posted on 09/25/2012 5:45:57 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Mamzelle

Shore....


31 posted on 09/25/2012 5:47:29 PM PDT by JW1949
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To: Bubba_Leroy
El Paso has little to no southern accent. Lubbock and Amarillo sound a little Midwest, but not much.

Used to really tick me off when GW insisted that Texas wasn't really part of the south, but was southwestern. I guess that confederate flag carved into a wall of the Capitol didn't catch his eye when he was gov.

He was just a Yankee snob when all was said and done.

32 posted on 09/25/2012 5:53:52 PM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Ron C.

Indeed.

I am originally from the Hill Country, but I lived in Houston for several years and still have many relatives in the Hill Country and East Texas. When I moved to this part of the state, I immediately noticed the difference in the local accent. “Texas Drawl” depends greatly on where you are.


33 posted on 09/25/2012 6:21:12 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: Bubba_Leroy

I live in South Texas, and among the whites, I notice no drawls or distinctive Texas way of pronouncing words.
I’ve lived near Dallas and same thing.


34 posted on 09/25/2012 6:40:15 PM PDT by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
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To: nickcarraway

One of the things we noticed when we moved to Texas is how they pronounce vowels. Farm sounds like form, and vice versa. Oil sounds like all.


35 posted on 09/25/2012 6:43:52 PM PDT by grumpa
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To: nickcarraway

I have the neutral accent that TV has forced on us all.
If I visit my relatives in Louisianna then I will have a thick drawl for about 5 or 6 weeks, before it goes away again.
TV and movies have destroyed our regional accents.
We are all the same now.


36 posted on 09/26/2012 6:58:34 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (Obama loved the poor so much, he created millions more.)
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To: nickcarraway

I grew up in Dallas, but have lived in California since the mid-80s. Some people notice my accent still.

My accent will come right back after going to Texas. It’s always strong when I’ve been drinking.

I still always say “I’m fixin to “ do things and drop my end g’s.


37 posted on 09/26/2012 9:18:19 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: Ron C.

I think East Texas is more southern than west Texas drawl.


38 posted on 09/26/2012 9:21:09 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: nickcarraway

This is the other thing that I noticed about a difference between Texas and California.

When my kids were little in California and doing homophones, they were told that the following were not homophones:

tin, ten
pin, pen
ben, bin
mint, meant

In Texas, they are homophones. You say pin and pen the same way.


39 posted on 09/26/2012 9:25:06 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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