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Thread: Dialects & Accents

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    Dialects & Accents

    Hoping that I am starting this thread in the right place, I was wondering if anyone has come across an English 'dialect' and/or 'accent' page, or soundboard.

    I live right outside of NYC, and although the verbal distinctions between boroughs has lessened considerably, by listening to a borough native, one can easilly tell what part of the City they're from.

    For example, lifelong Brooklynites don't pronounce the vowel, before the letter "L". For example, most people will pronounce the word 'bottle' - 'bott-tell'. Brooklynites, on the other hand, will pronounce 'bottle' - 'bott-l'. Likewise, Brooklynites will pronounce Italy - "It-Lee", instead of "It-A-Lee".

    If you hear someone say "folly", instead of "follow", there's a good chance that you're talking to someone that's lived in Queens for most of their life.

    Wrapping this up, I am sure that I not the only person that's interested in other accents/dialects . Anyone come across a good page or two?

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    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

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    Cyburbian ChevyChaseDC's avatar
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    http://www.pbs.org/speak/

    The above link is to "Do You Speak American," a fascinating PBS documentary hosted by former News Hour Co-Anchor Robert McNeill. The series tracked McNeill's travels around the country, and talked about how we speak reflects who we are.

    http://www.ling.upenn.edu/phono_atla....html#regional

    This website is one a whole bunch of academic linguistic deparment sites that discuss the finer points of language.

    Here is a linguistic map of America that I generally agree with:

    http://www.ling.upenn.edu/phono_atla...ap/NatMap1.GIF

    Moderator note:
    Leeched image removed, replaced with a link to the image. User suspended 24 hours for image leeching. In effect 5/27/05.


    IMO, the slight differences in accents in New York City are probably more related to ethnicity than anything else...e.g. Jews speak slightly differently than Italians, who speak slightly differently than Irish, Puerto Ricans, etc...of course those differences have evaporated over time and intermarriage, so it's usually older folks who speak the most distinctively.

    Separately, I always find it fascinating to hear the generational changes in dialect. The pronunciation, phraseology, and slang changes so much as to be unrecognizable. That's why our grandparents would ask us what we were talking about when referring to seemingly mundane things, but with terms unfamiliar to them...We often laugh when hearing WWII era radio announcements...Even more strange to our ears are the wax-tube audio from the 19th Century...many Americans, or at least upper class easterners, sounded like snooty English butlers, complete with rolled 'R's...
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 27 May 2005 at 2:38 PM.

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    Dobopoq & ChevyChase, thanks for the helpful links!

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    Here is a linguistic map of America that I generally agree with:

    http://www.ling.upenn.edu/phono_atla...ap/NatMap1.GIF

    Yes..me too!....I see they show that Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit all have a similar accent, I certainly noticed that from my visits to those cities...but it seems like this accent is also shared by Buffalo, Rochester, and inland upstate NY.

    Which does sort of make sense as I work w. this guy from the west side of Utica NY and he sounds more like a Chicago guy than a New York City person.....

    on edit, I notice that St Louis has its own accent...hmm...

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    Trinity, thanks for the link, plus your interesting observations. I find it somewhat ironic that, as a New Yorker, I have come across many different peoples and customs, yet, I still haven't come across someone from northwestern New York.

    Buffalo is a must see for me, in the near future...

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    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NDL
    Trinity, thanks for the link, plus your interesting observations. I find it somewhat ironic that, as a New Yorker, I have come across many different peoples and customs, yet, I still haven't come across someone from northwestern New York.

    Buffalo is a must see for me, in the near future...
    Wow, northwestern NY, I must see that too
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

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