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Placing Sarah Palin's accent
Slate ^ | 10/1/08 | Jesse Sheidlower

Posted on 10/01/2008 11:38:12 AM PDT by T-Bird45

Since Sarah Palin was selected as the Republican candidate for vice president, many people have made comments about her unusual speech, comparing it to accents heard in the movie Fargo, in the states of Wisconsin and Idaho, and in Canada. Some have even attributed her manner of speaking to her supposed stupidity. But Palin actually has an Alaskan accent, one from the Matnuska and Susitna Valley region, where Palin's hometown, Wasilla, is located.

(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Politics/Elections; US: Alaska; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: canadian; dialect; fargo; matsu; regionalisms; wasilla
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To: T-Bird45

Sarah Palin was born in Idaho. So, her parents’ being from there, and that being the talk she most heard in her fomrative years, it would be logical there would be some of that particular accent in her speech. I’m going to assume, also, that many of the settlers in the Wasilla area are from that part of the “Lower 48.”


51 posted on 10/01/2008 12:21:47 PM PDT by EDINVA
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To: machogirl

Walk into a casino in Las Vegas & look for the oldest dealer in the place. Talk to them for about 5 minutes & then ask them to guess where you’re from. They’ll probably say you’re a local.


52 posted on 10/01/2008 12:22:00 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: unspun

My DIL speaks exactly like Sarah. She is from Wisconsin.


53 posted on 10/01/2008 12:23:13 PM PDT by afnamvet (COUNTRY FIRST! McCain/Palin 08)
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To: KarlInOhio
Yooper? Great. Now I have visions of her singing "Second Week of Deer Camp". :-)

Considering the fact the Da Yoopers made themselves famous by singing and acting stupid, it's really sad that most of the country can only associate references to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with such nonsense. Similar to the rest of the country associating everyone in Ohio with a football team that can't win the big game :) M GO BLUE!

54 posted on 10/01/2008 12:23:50 PM PDT by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: cynwoody; Perdogg
Actually, Bawney Fwank has a North Jersey accent that, like so many folks from Hudson County (Bawney is from Bayonne), has a bit of the old New York influence. Lisp aside, Barney probably says "Nork" for Newark (like my father) and said "youse" before he went to college.

South Jersey and metro Philly in general speak in the generic mid-Atlantic accent that you hear from New Brunswick, NJ to Baltimore, MD. My Philly-area cousins have a drink of "werter" after having ice cream with "jimmies" on top. They also "ewpen" the "drew-wer" for their socks, just as their cousin Clemenza opens the "draw" to get his socks.

55 posted on 10/01/2008 12:26:15 PM PDT by Clemenza (PRIVATIZE FANNIE AND FREDDIE! NO MORE BAILOUTS!)
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To: T-Bird45
my wife hated it so much, that is, besides the Coen brothers' overdone blood and gore

Not too fond of their use of the woodchipper, I take it?

56 posted on 10/01/2008 12:27:30 PM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (White Trash for Sarah!)
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To: Married with Children

New Orleans saw a huge wave of Italian, Irish, and German immigration in the 19th/early 20th century, so the accent does have a similar influence to the old outer-borough New York accent. The biggest difference is that I’ve never heard anyone from Bensonhurst or Morris Park say “where y’at” like they do in NOLA.


57 posted on 10/01/2008 12:28:09 PM PDT by Clemenza (PRIVATIZE FANNIE AND FREDDIE! NO MORE BAILOUTS!)
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To: Dixie Yooper
Similar to the rest of the country associating everyone in Ohio with a football team that can't win the big game :) M GO BLUE!

There is only one big game. Anything after that is some type of postseason exhibition game.

58 posted on 10/01/2008 12:29:21 PM PDT by KarlInOhio (The $700B bail out is giving parachutes to bankers while we must keep our seat belts on and shut up.)
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To: Madame Dufarge
"Who the hell talks like that?"

Patricians.

59 posted on 10/01/2008 12:30:36 PM PDT by onedoug ( Barracuda!)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Can you tell me the difference between Lace Curtain and Shanty ?

Lace curtain Irish move the dishes out of the way when they pee in the sink...

60 posted on 10/01/2008 12:30:48 PM PDT by Clemenza (PRIVATIZE FANNIE AND FREDDIE! NO MORE BAILOUTS!)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
"Shanty Irish" were looked down upon by earlier Irish immigrants who had achieved a measure of economic success, and thus could afford such things as lace curtains in their windows.

It was kind of internecine warfare among Irish immigrants.

They were all looked down upon by the Brahmins and pretty much everone else, so displays of economic success were important to the "Lace Curtain" Irish.

I grew up in a mill city were there actually where "Irish Need Not Apply" signs were posted.

61 posted on 10/01/2008 12:30:51 PM PDT by Madame Dufarge
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Think of the movies “The Departed”, “Good Will Hunting”, and “Mystic River” for Boston Shanty, and “State of Grace” for New York Shanty.
John Kerry would be the perfect example of Lace Curtain, if he was really Irish


62 posted on 10/01/2008 12:32:41 PM PDT by gusty
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To: Madame Dufarge
The Irish treated the Jews, Poles, and Italians like the Brahmin treated them, some would argue worse (the Brahmins never threw bricks and bottles at Italian kids, nor would they take the pants off of Jewish kids who walked into their neighborhoods). ;-)
63 posted on 10/01/2008 12:33:07 PM PDT by Clemenza (PRIVATIZE FANNIE AND FREDDIE! NO MORE BAILOUTS!)
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To: Madame Dufarge

An accent one rarely hears these days is the “Locust Valley Lockjaw” of the old Anglo and Dutch families in the New York area. Think FDR, William F. Buckley, and Thurston Howell.


64 posted on 10/01/2008 12:34:32 PM PDT by Clemenza (PRIVATIZE FANNIE AND FREDDIE! NO MORE BAILOUTS!)
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To: GoLightly

You mean they all don’t talk like harry reid?


65 posted on 10/01/2008 12:35:11 PM PDT by machogirl (i)
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To: Clemenza

Guess to go with the flat desert. (joke)


66 posted on 10/01/2008 12:36:13 PM PDT by machogirl (i)
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To: onedoug
They tried to sound like patricians but couldn't quite carry it off.

Any more than a Yankee could fake a Southern accent.

67 posted on 10/01/2008 12:36:50 PM PDT by Madame Dufarge
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To: KarlInOhio
There is only one big game. Anything after that is some type of postseason exhibition game

Ouch! The truth hurts!

68 posted on 10/01/2008 12:36:54 PM PDT by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
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To: downtownconservative

Hey, I have a typical southeastern Pennsylvania/south New Jersey/northern Delaware accent, and despite the large amounts of liberals in my home region, our accent is PLENTY American, thank you very much. Let’s not start generalizing political view by accent. The best counter-examples of this are Bill Clinton, John Edwards, and Jimmy Carter.


69 posted on 10/01/2008 12:37:13 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("If the angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." -M. Kolbe)
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To: Clemenza

Of course the famous Brooklyn accent is thought to come from the original dutch settlers of that borough.


70 posted on 10/01/2008 12:39:33 PM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (White Trash for Sarah!)
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To: T-Bird45
I'm originally from Northern Virginia (the DC area) with parents both from California. Here's what accent I supposedly have, from the quiz below... (link below)

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland
 

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

Philadelphia
 
The Inland North
 
The South
 
The Northeast
 
The West
 
Boston
 
North Central
 

To take the quiz yourself, try here--->What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz


71 posted on 10/01/2008 12:40:08 PM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: Harley
Great. Now I have a vision of Sarah wearing one of those police hats with the badge on it (like Margie Gunderson’s) and showing up at the debate and pointing her finger at Biden and then to her badge. “Put up your hands Joe, you are under arrest!”

"Jah, so tell me, hon. When did you say Joey Biden was scheduled to show up there?

Photobucket

72 posted on 10/01/2008 12:43:05 PM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: AnalogReigns
"Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak."

Correct. Now I got to stand on line before I catch the train to Far-est Hills.

73 posted on 10/01/2008 12:45:31 PM PDT by Clemenza (PRIVATIZE FANNIE AND FREDDIE! NO MORE BAILOUTS!)
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla
Not too fond of their use of the woodchipper, I take it?

The wife couldn't see the literary and allegorical point to why Macy's character would have a break from his upper Midwest roots to commit such an act. As for me?? -- Hey, I'm a guy, nothing bothers me...:-)

She found it hard to believe she liked O, Brother after I told her the Coen brothers did that one, too. Haven't decided if her liking it was about the great music or Clooney...

74 posted on 10/01/2008 12:46:28 PM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: T-Bird45
A Dialect Map of American English
©Robert Delaney, C.W. Post Campus, Long Island University
(reproduced for the FAST website with Robert Delaney's permission)


Introduction: Dialect Terminology

Not all people who speak a language speak it the same way. A language can be subdivided into many dialects which each vary in some way from the parent language. The term accent is often confused with dialect, but an accent refers only to the way words are pronounced, while a dialect has its own grammar, vocabulary, syntax, and common expressions, as well as pronunciation rules that make it unique from other dialects of the same language.

Another term, idiolect, refers to the manner of speaking of an individual person. No two people's idiolects are exactly the same, but people who are part of the same group will have enough verbal elements in common to be said to be speaking the same dialect.

Three things are needed for a new dialect to develop: a group of people living in close proximity to each other; this group living in isolation (either geographically or socially) from other groups; and the passage of time. Given enough time, a dialect may evolve to the point that it becomes a different language from the one it started as.

English began existence as a Germanic dialect called Anglo Saxon that was brought to England by invaders from Germany. The Anglo Saxon peoples in England were now geographically isolated from their cousins in Germany which allowed the dialects to evolve in different directions. Other invaders would also influence the development of English with their languages until the modern English we speak today has become so different from the modern German spoken in Germany that a speaker of one cannot understand a speaker of the other. Thus English and German are considered to be two different, though related, languages. The other modern languages in this family are Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Icelandic.

Mutual understandability in theory determines what is a "dialect" and what is a "language," but in reality there are also social and political issues. The government of a country might declare that all the languages spoken in that country are actually dialects of one language in order to create the illusion of polital unity, while the government of another country might declare that the dialect spoken by its people is actually a unique language from other countries that speak dialects of the same language in order to create a sense of national pride.

History is full of governments that have tried to impose a single language on all of their people with varying results: sometimes the minority languages become extinct; sometimes they are reduced to surviving only as dialects of the majority language. Sometimes new languages are unintentionally created by a blending of the majority and minority language(s) and dialects.

Three other language terms are also worth mentioning. When two or more groups of people who speak different languages need to communicate with each other on a regular basis and do not want to actually learn each others' language (such as when the European merchants started trading with other peoples around the world), they may develop what is called a pidgin language. This is a simplified language that usually has as few words as possible in its vocabulary (taking some from both languages) and has been stripped of any fancier grammatical rules like the use of multiple verb conjugations and tenses - a kind of "Me Tarzan, you Jane" way of talking.

A pidgin is nobody's native language and is used only in business settings. In fact, the word "pidgin" may be derived from the way Chinese merchants mispronounced the English word "business." However, in some cases, the children in one of these areas might grow up learning the pidgin as their first language. When this happens, the pidgin can grow in complexity into a creole language with a larger set of grammatical rules and a much larger vocabulary that share elements of all the languages that went into creating it.

Finally, jargon is a specialized vocabulary used within a particular discipline, such as medical jargon for doctors, legal jargon for lawyers, or academic jargon for college professors. While jargon words occasionally filter into a mainstream dialect, they are usually used only by experts when discussing their particular field.

Critics argue, with some justification, that jargon needlessly complicates a statement that could be expressed in a more clear manner. Users of it argue, also with justification, that it is a more precise manner of speaking, although many examples can be found (especially in politics and business) where it has been used intentionally to obscure the fact that the speaker is trying to avoid being precise.

The modern development of communications technology may possibly retard the evolution of dialects and languages. For the first time in history, a single dialect (sometimes called Network Standard) can be broadcast over an entire country, so few people actually still live in geographic isolation. However, the existence of racism, poverty, and class distinctions may cause some groups to remain socially isolated from the cultural mainstream, giving rise to social dialects like Black English (Ebonics), which is spoken by some urban African-Americans.

There was recently a great deal of political controversy (ignoring the linguistic facts) over whether Ebonics should be considered a unique language, a "legitimate" dialect of English, or "illegimate" gutterspeak. Also, teenagers enjoy creating their own dialects that they can use to quickly determine who is or is not part of the "in crowd" and as a "secret language" in front of their parents.

These dialects tend to go in and out of fashion very quickly; by the time an expression has filtered up to the mainstream dialect adults understand, the teenagers have moved on to something else. Even the Internet has given birth to what might be called a new social dialect, containing words like IMHO ("in my humble opinion"), IIRC ("if I recall correctly"), and ROTFLMAO ("rolling on the floor laughing my a** off").

Contrary to what your teachers may have tried to tell you, there is no such thing as "correct English." Any manner of speaking that follows the rules of a dialect is equally "correct." Words like ain't are "real" words in some dialects and perfectly acceptable to use. However, people are judged by the way they speak, and dialects carry different levels of social prestige based on the prejudices within a society.

Generally, the southern dialects of American English carry a lower prestige, at least among northerners who will assume that a person speaking a southern dialect is less intelligent and less educated than they are. Some educated southerners even feel this way and will "correct" their speech to meet northern standards. The New York City dialect carries the lowest prestige of all (Received Standard, a dialect of British English used by the BBC and the royal family, carries the highest prestige - even among Americans). For this reason, schools try to rid children of the local dialects they learned from their family and friends in favor of a more prestigious one. (Of course, some sentences like, "Me are a educated person," would be incorrect in every dialect.)

The dialect map below lists the major (and a few minor) geographic dialects and subdialects of English spoken in the United States. Many of these may be further subdivided into local subdialects that are not shown here. Obviously, the borders between dialect regions are not well defined lines as a map like this would imply, but a gradual transition extending on both sides of the line.

Dialects and Subdialects of American English in the 48 conterminous states; see text below for descriptions
Image © Robert Delaney; reproduced with permission.
(image is displayed in slightly-reduced size; right-click and zoom in to read details)

Another view of U.S. dialects from Jeremy Smith's American-British British-American Dictionary
(© Jeremy Smith 2006)

General Northern

This is sometimes also refered to as General American and is used in almost two-thirds of the country. It breaks down into the dialect regions below.

Northern New England

Many of the Northern dialects can trace their roots to this dialect, which was spread westward by the New England settlers as they migrated west. It carries a high prestige due to Boston's early economic and cultural importance and the presence of Harvard University. A famous speaker is Katherine Hepburn. They sometimes call doughnuts cymbals, simballs, and boil cakes.

Eastern New England (1)
This is one of the most distinctive of all the American dialects. R's are often dropped, but an extra R is added to words that end with a vowel. A is pronounced AH so that we get "Pahk the cah in Hahvahd yahd" and "Pepperidge Fahm remembuhs."

Boston Urban (2)
Like many big cities, Boston has its own dialects that are governed more by social factors like class and ethnicity than by geographic location. Greater Boston Area is the most widely spoken and is very similar to Eastern New England. Brahmin is spoken by the upper aristocratic class like Mr. Howell on Gilligan's Island.

Central City Area This is what most of us think of as being the "Boston Accent." In the last few years, Saturday Night Live has featured this dialect among a group of rowdy teenagers who like to videotape themselves. Also think of Cliff on Cheers, the only character on this Boston-based show to actually speak a Boston dialect.

Western New England (3)
Less distinctive than Eastern, but more influential on the other Northern dialects.

Hudson Valley (4)
New York was originally a Dutch colony, and that language influenced this dialect's development. Some original Hudson Valley words are stoop (small porch) and teeter-totter. They call doughnuts (which were invented by the Dutch) crullers and olycooks.

New York City (5)
Unlike Boston and other urban dialects, New York City stands by itself and bears little resemblence to the other dialects in this region. It is also the most disliked and parodied of any American dialect (even among New Yorkers), possibly because many Americans tend dislike large cities. When an R comes after a vowel, it is often dropped. IR becomes OI, but OI becomes IR, and TH becomes D as in "Dey sell tirlets on doity-doid street" and fugedaboudit (forget about it).

This pronounciation is particularly associated with Brooklyn but exists to some extent throughout the city. The thickness of a speaker's dialect is directly related to their social class, but these features have been fading within all classes over recent decades. Famous speakers are Rosie Perez, Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinnie, Archie Bunker, Bugs Bunny, and (if you're old enough to remember) the Bowery Boys.

Bonac (6)
Named for Accabonac Creek in eastern Long Island, this dialect is rapidly dying out due to the influx of people from other areas. Back when New York City belonged to the Dutch, this area was part of New England, and Bonac shows elements of both dialects.

Inland Northern (7)
Combines elements of Western New England and Upper Midwestern. Marry, merry, and Mary are pronounced the same. They call doughnuts friedcakes.

San Francisco Urban (8)
Unlike the rest of California, which in the early twentieth century saw an influx of people from the South and other parts of the West, San Francisco continued to be settled by people from the Northeast and Northern Midwest, and elements of their dialects (North Midland, Upper Midwestern, Inland Northern) can be found. The Mission dialect, spoken by Irish Catholics in a specific part of the city, is very much like the New York City dialect.

Upper Midwestern (9)
Originally settled by people from New England and New York State who brought those dialects, this area was also influenced by Southerners coming up the Mississippi River as well as the speech patterns of the German and Scandinavian immigrants and the Canadian English dialects from over the border. It's sometimes referred to as a "Midwestern twang." They call jelly doughnuts bismarks.

Minnewegian (Minnesota / Norwegian), a subdialect spoken in the northernmost part of this region was spoofed in the movies Fargo and Drop Dead Gorgeous.

Chicago Urban (10)
Influenced by the Midland and Southern dialects. Often spoken by the late John Belushi (Chicago's Second City comedy theater supplied many Saturday Night Live actors). SNL used to spoof it in the "Da Bears, Da Bulls" sketches. They call any sweet roll doughnuts.

North Midland (11)
Created as the people in Pennsylvania migrated westward and influenced by Scotch-Irish, German, and English Quaker settlers. This and the South Midland dialect can actually be considered a separate Midland Dialect region that serves as a transition zone between the north and south. They call doughnuts belly sinkers, doorknobs, dunkers, and fatcakes.

Pennsylvania German-English (12)
This was strongly influenced by Pennsylvania Dutch, a dialect of German spoken by people in this area (in this context, "Dutch" is actually a mispronunciation of the German word, "Deutsch," which means "German"). Its grammar allows sentences like "Smear your sister with jam on a slice of bread" and "Throw your father out the window his hat." They call doughnuts fasnacht, and they also invented dunking - from the German "dunken" (to dip).

Western

Compared with the Eastern United States, the Western regions were settled too recently for very distinctive dialects to have time to develop or to be studied in detail. Many words originally came from Spanish, cowboy jargon, and even some from the languages of the Native Americans: adobe, beer bust, belly up, boneyard, bronco, buckaroo, bunkhouse, cahoots, corral, greenhorn, hightail, hoosegow, lasso, mustang, maverick, roundup, wingding.

Rocky Mountain (13)
Originally developed from the North Midland and Northern dialects, but was then influenced by the Mormon settlers in Utah and English coal miners who settled in Wyoming. Some words that came from this dialect are kick off (to die), cache (hiding place), and bushed (tired). They also call jelly doughnuts bismarks.

Pacific Northwest (14)
Influenced by settlers from the Midwest and New England as well as immigrants from England, Germany, Scandinavia, and Canada. Much earlier, a pidgin called

Chinook Jargon was developed between the languages of the Native American tribes of this area. It would later also be used and influenced by the European settlers who wished to communicate with them. A few words from Chinook Jargon like high muckamuck (important person) are still used in this dialect today. (Note that, in this case, the word "jargon" has a different meaning from the one discussed above)

Alaska (not shown)
Developed out of the Northern, Midland, and Western dialects. Also influenced by the native languages of the Alutes, Innuit, and Chinook Jargon. Some words that originated here are: bush (remote area), cabin fever, mush (to travel by dog sled), parka, stateside.

Pacific Southwest (15)
The first English speakers arrived here from New York, Ohio, Missouri, New England, and other parts of the Northeast and Midwest in the 1840s, bringing the Northern and North Midland dialects with them. Words originally used by the gold miners of this period are still used today: pay dirt (valuable discovery), pan out (to succeed), and goner (doomed person).

The early twentieth century saw an influx of people from the South and other parts of the West. The people here are particularly fond of creating new slang and expressions, and, since Hollywood is located here, these quickly get spread to the rest of the country and the world.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, an extreme exaggeration of this dialect that came to be known as "Valley Girl" or "Surfer Dude" was popular among teenagers and much parodied in the media with phrases like "gag me with a spoon" and "barf me back to the stone age." Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Whoopie Goldberg in her one-woman show are two famous examples.

Southwestern (16)
By the time this area became part of the United States, there had already been as many as ten generations of Spanish speaking people living here, so the Mexican dialect of Spanish had an important influence on this area that became a melting pot for dialects from all over the USA. Some local words are: caballero, cantina, frijoles, madre, mesa, nana, padre, patio, plaza, ramada, tortilla.

Hawaii (not shown)
The original language of the Native Hawaiians is part of the Polynesian family. English speakers arrived in 1778, but many other settlers also came from China, Portugal, Japan, Korea, Spain, and the Philippines to influence the modern dialect. Hawaiian Creole developed from a pidgin English spoken on the sugar plantations with workers from Hawaii and many other countries. Some words are: look-see, no can, number one (the best), plenty (very). It isn't widely spoken anymore.

Nonstandard Hawaiian English developed from Hawaiian Creole and is spoken mostly by teenagers. Standard Hawaiian English is part of the Western dialect family but shows less influence from the early New England dialect than any other American dialect. It has many words borowed from the original Hawaiian as well as some from the other Asian languages mentioned above: aloha, hula, kahuna, lei, luau, muumuu, poi, ukulele.

General Southern

This dialect region matches the borders of the Confederate states that seceded during the "Confederate War" and is still a culturally distinct region of the United States. Since it was largely an agricultural area, people tended to move around less than they did in the north, and as a result, the subdialects are much less uniform than those of the General Northern regions and have much more clearly defined boundaries. Other languages that had an important influence on it are French (since the western region was originally French territory) and the African languages spoken by the people brought over as slaves.

People tend to speak slower here than in the north creating the famous southern "drawl." I is pronounced AH, and OO is pronounced YOO, as in "Ah'm dyoo home at fahv o'clock." An OW in words like loud is pronounced with a slided double sound AOO (combining the vowel sounds in "hat" and "boot"). Some local words are: boogerman, funky (bad smelling), jump the broomstick (get married), kinfolks, mammy, muleheaded, overseer, tote, y'all.

South Midland (17)
This area, dominated by the Appalachian Mountains and the Ozark Mountains, was originally settled by the Pennsylvania Dutch moving south from the North Midland areas and the Scotch-Irish moving west from Virginia. A TH at the end of words or syllables is sometimes pronounced F, and the word ARE is often left out of sentences as they are in Black English. An A is usually placed at the beginning of verb that ends with ING, and the G is dropped; an O at the end of a word becomes ER. ("They a-celebratin' his birfday by a-goin' to see 'Old Yeller' in the theatah").

A T is frequently added to words that end with an S sound. Some words are: bodacious, heap, right smart (large amount), set a spell, and smidgin. American English has retained more elements of the Elizabethan English spoken in the time of Shakespeare than modern British English has, and this region has retained the most. Some Elizabethan words that are extinct in England are: bub, cross-purposes, fall (autumn), flapjack, greenhorn, guess (suppose), homely, homespun, jeans, loophole, molasses, peek, ragamuffin, reckon, sorry (inferior), trash, well (healthy).

Ozark (18)
Made famous by the Beverly Hillbillies, this isolated area was settled by people from the southern Appalachian region and developed a particularly colorful manner of speaking.

Southern Appalachian (19)
It is a popular myth that there are a few remote regions here that still speak an unchanged form of Elizabethan English, but they aren't true. Linguists are still studying the specific differences with South Midland.

Southern

As the northern dialects were originally dominated by Boston, the southern dialects were heavily influenced by Charleston, Richmond, and Savannah. They tend to drop Rs the way New Englanders do, but they don't add extra Rs. Some words are: big daddy (grandfather), big mamma (grandmother), Confederate War (Civil War), cooter (turtle), fixing to (going to), goober (peanut), hey (hello), mouth harp (harmonica), on account of (because).

Virginia Piedmont (20)
When an R comes after a vowel, it becomes UH, and AW becomes the slided sound, AH-AW. Thus, four dogs becomes fo-uh dahawgs. Some local words are: hoppergrass (grasshopper), old-field colt (illegitimate child), school breaks up (school lets out), weskit (vest).

Coastal Southern (21)
Very closely resembles Virginia Piedmont but has preserved more elements from the colonial era dialect than any other region of the United States outside Eastern New England. Some local words are: catty-corner (diagonal), dope (soda, Coca-Cola), fussbox (fussy person), kernal (pit), savannah (grassland), Sunday child (illegitimate child). They call doughnuts cookies.

Gullah (22)
Sometimes called Geechee, this creole language is spoken by some African Americans on the coastal areas and coastal islands of Georgia and South Carolina and was featured in the novel on which the musical, Porgy and Bess, was based. It combines English with several West African languages: Mende, Yoruba, Wolof, Kongo, Twi, Vai, Temne, Ibo, Ewe, Fula, Umbundu, Hausa, Bambara, Fante, and more. The name comes either from the Gola tribe in Liberia or the Ngola tribe in Angola. The grammar and pronunciation are too complicated to go into here, but some words are: bad mouth (curse), guba (peanut - from which we get the English word goober), gumbo (okra), juju (magic), juke (disorderly, wicked), peruse (to walk leisurely), samba (to dance), yam (sweet potato).

Gulf Southern (23)
This area was settled by English speakers moving west from Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas, as well as French speaking settlers spreading out from Louisiana, especially the Acadians (see "Cajuns" below). Some words are: armoire (wardrobe), bayou (small stream), bisque (rich soup), civit cat (skunk), flitters (pancakes), gallery (porch), hydrant (faucet), neutral ground (median strip), pecan patty (praline).

Louisiana (24)
There's a lot going on down here. Many people in southern Louisiana will speak two or three of the dialects below.

Cajun French (the Cajuns were originally French settlers in Acadia, Canada - now called Nova Scotia - who were kicked out when the British took over; in 1765, they arrived in New Orleans which was still French territory) carries the highest prestige of the French dialects here and has preserved a number of elements from the older French of the 1600s. It has also borrowed some words from the Spanish who once controlled this area. There are many local variations of it, but they would all be mutually understandable with each other as well as - with some effort - the standard French in France.

Cajun English borrows vocabulary and grammar from French and gives us the famous pronunciations "un-YON" (onion) and "I ga-RON-tee" as well as the phrase "Let de good times role!", but movies about cajuns usually get the rest wrong. A famous authentic speaker is humorist Justin Wilson, who had a cooking show on PBS, with his catch phrase, "How y'all are? I'm glad for you to see me." New Orleans is pronounced with one syllable: "Nawlns."

There is another dialect of English spoken in New Orleans that is informally, and some would say pejoratively, called Yat (from the greeting, "Where y'at"), that resembles the New York City (particularly Brooklyn) dialect (more info). Provincial French was the upper class dialect of the pre-Cajun French settlers and closely resembles Standard French but isn't widely spoken anymore since this group no longer exists as a separate social class.

Louisiana French Creole blends French with the languages of the West Africans who were brought here as slaves. It is quite different from both the Louisiana and standard dialects of French but is very similar to the other creoles that developed between African and French on various Caribbean Islands. Married couples may speak Creole to each other, Cajun French with other people, and English to their children.


References:

Comments on the text may be sent to Robert Delaney, Reference Associate and Library Webmaster of the C.W. Post Campus, Long Island University. The original may be viewed at www.geocities.com/Broadway/1906/dialects.html)

For further information, see American Regional Dialects Web Links and American Dialect Links, courtesy of Evolution Publishing's American Dialects Page.


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Last Updated 27 October 2007

75 posted on 10/01/2008 12:50:17 PM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: Clemenza
I was merely pointing out the difference between the Shanty and Lace Curtain Irish.

All new waves of immigrants were treated like crap by the older waves.

Though I'm sure the Italians were virtuous to a man when the next wave of ethnically different immigrants arrived in their wake fighting for the same jobs... :-)

BTW, the city I come from had a huge Italian population, and I've always had a great affection for Italians (some of my best relatives are half of each).

76 posted on 10/01/2008 12:50:33 PM PDT by Madame Dufarge
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To: Pyro7480

Hey man. Mega apologies! Being a westerner all my life and away from the taint of ultra liberalism, I over generalised...but it was somewhat tongue-in-cheek.


77 posted on 10/01/2008 12:50:47 PM PDT by downtownconservative (Intelligence sans reason is vainglorious pulp)
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To: Madame Dufarge

Irish were nasty to Italians who were nasty to the Puerto Ricans and southern blacks, who are nasty to the Mexicans and Arabs, etc...(singing) oh the circle won’t be broken. ;-)


78 posted on 10/01/2008 12:53:16 PM PDT by Clemenza (PRIVATIZE FANNIE AND FREDDIE! NO MORE BAILOUTS!)
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To: Married with Children; Madame Dufarge
If I recall correctly, N’awlins and NYC accents have the same roots. They come from Irish immigrants just getting off the boat.
79 posted on 10/01/2008 12:53:51 PM PDT by Brucifer ("The dog ate my copy of the Constitution." G W Bush)
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To: Clemenza

There ya go.


80 posted on 10/01/2008 12:53:54 PM PDT by Madame Dufarge
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To: Madame Dufarge

My Grandfather’s people were from Northern Ireland, County Armagh, I think.


81 posted on 10/01/2008 12:54:07 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: machogirl

I’m born and raised in WV and I’ll never say I don’t have an accent. Heck, around here we can even tell what county strangers are from.


82 posted on 10/01/2008 12:55:02 PM PDT by GOP_Proud
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

My family was always vague on the subject of the exact origins, which leads me to believe that “warrants for arrest” were lurking in the background.


83 posted on 10/01/2008 12:59:08 PM PDT by Madame Dufarge
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To: AnalogReigns

WOW! Very kewel post.


84 posted on 10/01/2008 1:00:11 PM PDT by Brucifer ("The dog ate my copy of the Constitution." G W Bush)
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To: downtownconservative; Eric in the Ozarks; Uncle Miltie
So, you've lived in Minnesooota, then, eh ?

While Palin's accent does have a Minnesota sound overall, I have noticed that she does not have the characteristic long o's.

85 posted on 10/01/2008 1:02:05 PM PDT by wideminded
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To: Brucifer

I’ve always thought that the New York accent had its origins in the Dutch language, but I could be wrong.


86 posted on 10/01/2008 1:02:29 PM PDT by Madame Dufarge
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To: Clemenza
What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Northeast
 

Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.

Philadelphia
 
The Inland North
 
The Midland
 
The South
 
Boston
 
The West
 
North Central
 
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

87 posted on 10/01/2008 1:02:35 PM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla (White Trash for Sarah!)
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To: Pyro7480

So, like my cousins, you have a “werter” ice after your “hoagie.”


88 posted on 10/01/2008 1:02:52 PM PDT by Clemenza (PRIVATIZE FANNIE AND FREDDIE! NO MORE BAILOUTS!)
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To: Clemenza

As for a “true” New Yauk accent though, I was kind of astounded but found it very comprehensible to hear a Dutch immigrant speaking very similarly.


89 posted on 10/01/2008 1:06:32 PM PDT by unspun (Tell the truth about Obama to all you know.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
"So, you've lived in Minnesooota, then, eh?"

OOoohhhh NooOOOOoo!!! I lived in Norrth Dahkoahta, dotcha knooww. Faargoh is across the Red River.

Soh thair yoou goh thair then noww eh?

90 posted on 10/01/2008 1:08:54 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Bushonomics: Privatize Gains, Socialize Losses)
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To: T-Bird45
It's kind of Yooper on steroids.
91 posted on 10/01/2008 1:10:02 PM PDT by stayathomemom ( nowanemptynester)
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To: unspun

Many inhabitants of Manhattan (and certain yuppie nabes in Brooklyn) are transplants from McSuburbia, so go out of their way to shed whatever accent they have. Nevertheless, a certain Texan friend of mine who has lived in Manhattan for a decade occasionally has her drawl betray her (and there is nothing wrong with that).


92 posted on 10/01/2008 1:10:25 PM PDT by Clemenza (PRIVATIZE FANNIE AND FREDDIE! NO MORE BAILOUTS!)
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To: T-Bird45
But Palin actually has an Alaskan accent, one from the Matnuska and Susitna Valley region

That's "Matanuska".

93 posted on 10/01/2008 1:11:04 PM PDT by wideminded
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To: Non-Sequitur

Outstanding. My fantasy is complete. Make her say, “He’s fleeing the debate, he’s fleeing the debate.” BANG, BANG, BANG “Stop or I’ll shoot doncha no?”


94 posted on 10/01/2008 1:11:34 PM PDT by Harley (Life is Tough, But It's a Lot Tougher When You're a Liberal.)
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla
What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West
 

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
 
Boston
 
North Central
 
The Inland North
 
Philadelphia
 
The South
 
The Northeast
 
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

True. I talk like the folks on TV. Born in CA and raised in CO and CA. I've lived in the south quite a bit and been told that I have an accent. Don't these folks watch TV?

95 posted on 10/01/2008 1:13:45 PM PDT by TankerKC (Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others.)
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To: AnalogReigns

New York City (5)
Unlike Boston and other urban dialects, New York City stands by itself and bears little resemblence to the other dialects in this region. It is also the most disliked and parodied of any American dialect (even among New Yorkers), possibly because many Americans tend dislike large cities. When an R comes after a vowel, it is often dropped. IR becomes OI, but OI becomes IR, and TH becomes D as in “Dey sell tirlets on doity-doid street” and fugedaboudit (forget about it).

LOL

fork - fawk
sandwich - sangwich
toilet - terlit
onions - ongions
pudding - puddin


96 posted on 10/01/2008 1:17:38 PM PDT by angcat
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To: Madame Dufarge; Liberty Valance

All I’m certain of is that I come from the NY border of Ontario and Quebec, just over the mountains from Vermont.

I have lived in Texas for many years and I’m never leaving. But remarkably, of all the folks I know around here, I’m the only one without an accent.


97 posted on 10/01/2008 1:19:09 PM PDT by Brucifer ("The dog ate my copy of the Constitution." G W Bush)
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To: wideminded
Well here in Western Pa, we have our own distinct dialect. We call house a haus or ruf for roof. So strange when you go other parts of the country people can't place it.
98 posted on 10/01/2008 1:19:18 PM PDT by pburgh01
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To: Tarpon
I'd say Barack Obama's accent is called Trytosoundlikeanafricanamerican.
99 posted on 10/01/2008 1:21:56 PM PDT by unspun (Tell the truth about Obama to all you know.)
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To: Madame Dufarge
The family was late getting over here, dirt poor and uneducated. They worked as share croppers/hired farmhands, then moved to mid-Illinois where they mined coal and were able to put a little money aside. This allowed the acquisition of a small farm and some livestock in Iowa. I guess they would qualify as ‘shanty’...
100 posted on 10/01/2008 1:23:05 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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