Monday, January 16, 2006

What Accent?

I thought this was funny, especially since Cari suddenly wants to make repeat things. Like when I say "Warsh Clothes" or "Body Pellow" she makes fun of me. She lives here too so I don't know where the hell she learned to talk.

"acrost" as in "acrost the Street"
"off of" as in "get off of my chair"
and the extra "at" - "where's my coat at?"
it's POP not soda (WTF? Soda?)
and I call IN sick to work. Easterners call out sick. Now THAT is bizarre.
And they "order out" for delivery when we midwesterners "order in"
and "ruff" insead of roof (none of those high falootin long o's)
and my dad's sister is definately my "ant"

But anyway. Here's my results.

Your Linguistic Profile:

70% General American English

20% Upper Midwestern

5% Midwestern

5% Yankee

0% Dixie

American Dialect Article
The Dialect Survey

Information on the "Flat" or "generalized" Midwestern accent (usually known as a non-accent):

The accents of the region are generally distinct from those of the American Northeast and South. They are considered by many to be "standard" American English, and are preferred by many national radio and television broadcasters. Prominent broadcast personalities of the mid 20th century - such as Walter Cronkite, Johnny Carson, John Madden and Casey Kasem - came from this region and so influenced this perception. However, in some regions, particularly the farther North one goes, a definite accent is detectable, usually reflecting the heritage of the area. For example, Minnesota and Wisconsin both have a strong Scandinavian accent, which intensifies the farther north one goes. Parts of Michigan have noticeable Dutch-flavored accents. Also, residents of Chicago are recognized to have their own distinctive nasally accent which adds to the uniqueness of the city. A similar accent is sensed throughout some parts of Michigan, Cleveland, and Western New York State. The sounds may have arguably dervived from heavy Eastern European influences in the Great Lakes Region.

General American-- After the Civil War the rapid and extensive move West of settlers from all dialect areas of the eastern US led to a leveling of eastern dialectal features and the creation of a more General American, or Middle American dialect. People who are said to speak "without an accent" are actually speaking with this leveled-out form of speech that developed from the mid-Atlantic stretching westward through the Ohio valley. Most features of Standard American developed from a levelled mixture of dialects mostly from the poorer classes along the middle Atlantic seaboard who immigrated west after the American Revolution to find a better life.
Main features:
1) retention of [r] in all places
2) pronunciation of [ae] in many words. Cf. British 'class' 'aunt'. Gives American English a flat sound to British ears.
3) vocab--stringbean (snapbean in the South), earthworm (angleworm), creek (not brook)
Origins--Derived from the speech of settlers moving west of the original 13 colonies into the Ohio valley and beyond. These people were of Scotch-Irish origin rather than upper class English, which explains the differences between Middle American and New England. The post-vocalic [r], which dropped out in the speech of the upper British classes, was retained in the English of the Scotch Irish and other originally Celtic speaking peoples of Britain. Competition between immigrants from Germany and the lower classes of the British isles in the push westward tended to level many of the differences peculiar to one or another smaller group of people. (The Pennsylvania Dutch are actually "Deutsch", in other words Germans.) The Middle American dialect area contributed the most to speech in western states and forms the basis of the speech usually considered as standard American today. There were, however, certain features that remained isolated and unique to one or another of the Middle American dialect group. This was especially true on the mid-Atlantic seaboard. Maryland adds [r] after [a] before another cons: [Warshington].
Now, this western, "leveled" English is itself showing signs of dialect genesis. The history of American English and of English is far from over
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