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Thread: American English Dialects

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    Supporting Member tabby's Avatar
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    American English Dialects

    Regional dialects interest me immensely and this was an interesting article to me. According to the two maps, I border between Virginia Piedmont and Southern Coastal in dialect and that's probably true. I think their categories though are far too broad to capture every nuance of speech in this region and I'm speculating that it's true of the country as a whole. Socio-Economics plays a large role in dialect here as much as actual physical location. Yes, I do realize that that is a sort of linguistic profiling (gasp!!) but it's true.

    Also, parental influence isn't mentioned in the article and I think that plays a large part in our speech as well. Parents are often not from the regional area in which a child is raised and that's bound to blur some edges in dialect.

    If you are not currently living in the area in which you were raised, have you carried your native dialect with you? Or have you adopted the nuances of your current location?


    FAST-US-1 Intro to American English Reference File

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    Mad Arse Face Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: American English Dialects

    I was born and raised in San Diego till I was 20, then lived the next 20 years in Northern California and have spent what feels like 50 years in Northern Utah, and I can't tell any difference in dialect. However some of the people I work with have 'inherited' their parents' southern accents, one born and bred Utahn sounds like he's from Arkansas.

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    Re: American English Dialects

    Quote Originally Posted by tabby View Post
    If you are not currently living in the area in which you were raised, have you carried your native dialect with you? Or have you adopted the nuances of your current location?
    I live five miles from where I was born. The only time I sound like a local is when I choose to, which is not often at all. My habitual voice is unaccented, as those who have met me can attest.

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    Premium Member Snowfire's Avatar
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    Re: American English Dialects

    Quote Originally Posted by Týr View Post
    I live five miles from where I was born. The only time I sound like a local is when I choose to, which is not often at all. My habitual voice is unaccented, as those who have met me can attest.
    I can attest that Tyr attracts the attention of the local peasants with his correct pronunciation and articulation of the English accent. They doff their caps at his eloquent diction
    "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
    Winston Churchill

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    Mad Arse Face Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: American English Dialects

    Do they tug their forelocks too?

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    Premium Member Snowfire's Avatar
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    Re: American English Dialects

    Quote Originally Posted by SnoozeAgain View Post
    Do they tug their forelocks too?
    Yes. Both of them
    "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
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    Re: American English Dialects

    Quote Originally Posted by SnoozeAgain View Post
    Do they tug their forelocks too?
    There is perhaps a misunderstanding of correct behavior underlying your question. The tugging of the forelock has never happened in England in any age between any social classes - I suspect the phrase originates in 19th century comic operas referencing orientals.

    The male rural English lower class always had a choice when noticed by his superior or acknowledging the dead. If he had a hat on his head he would take it off. He could, if he chose, lower his eyes while bending his head forward, hat held to his chest if he had a hat. Alternatively he could twist his knuckle against his temple. It is that latter gesture which may have been mistaken for "tugging the forelock".

    I have never knuckled my temple to anyone and nor shall I. I have often removed my hat and inflected my head and shall continue to do so. It's polite. I stand when women enter or leave a room too, for the same reason.

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    Mad Arse Face Snooz's Avatar
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    Re: American English Dialects

    William Collins trained at the Royal Academy and went on to become a popular painter of landscapes and rustic genre scenes. He travelled extensively in Britain and abroad, particularly in Italy, and these journeys are reflected in the subjects of his pictures. He was particularly fond of representing children. Here the combination of his fine technique and the agreeable nature of the subject in this painting appealed to a wide public, connoisseurs and amateurs alike.

    This version is a replica of a painting exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1832, and bought by the 6th Duke of Devonshire. John Sheepshanks subsequently commissioned this smaller replica.



    So what's the little boy doing in this painting by an artist that specialized in British landscapes and children and bought by a British duke?

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    Senior Member Wandrin's Avatar
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    Re: American English Dialects

    If you are not currently living in the area in which you were raised, have you carried your native dialect with you? Or have you adopted the nuances of your current location?
    I moved around a lot as a kid. The differences in the local accents were pretty obvious. I remember a school teacher in North Carolina criticizing the way that I talked because I didn't sound like a local. Then we moved again and a teacher in Maine was doing the same thing. I used the national television news as a model of how I wanted to talk and that quickly became my norm. Then I would chuckle at the local news, where the reporter was warning of stom from the noth.

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    Re: American English Dialects

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    Quote Originally Posted by SnoozeAgain View Post
    So what's the little boy doing in this painting by an artist that specialized in British landscapes and children and bought by a British duke?
    Look at the shadow in the foreground. It shows that the lad's looking upward, effectively into the sun. He's shading his eyes, or at least trying to, so as to see the rider more clearly. The civility is in having opened the gate for the horseman, as the description suggests.




    eta: looking again, consider the hat denoted by the shadow. That's a yeoman's hat, not an upper class hat. No gentleman would be seen dead wearing a hat that shape.

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