I was born in Virginia Piedmont to parents from Upper Midwestern and North Midland, grew up in Upper Midwestern, went to college in Boston Urban, graduate school in Gulf Southern, and worked in Southern Appalachian, North Midland, and South Midland.
Details and discussion of the map and the dialects
It's interesting that they don't include the "Yooper" dialect even though it is used through a much larger area than several of the others.ReplyDelete
I'm sorry, but I don't know what the "Yooper" dialect is or where it is. Could you tell me?Delete
Here - let me Google that for you:Delete
I used to flip cheesesteaks on the boardwalk "down the shore" in New Jersey. I can tell you with complete sincerity that there are at least a half-dozen dialects just in the areas marked for Hudson Valley and New York City. Used to be able to tell whether someone was from Staten Island, Long Island, North Jersey, etc, just by how they ordered a cheesesteak.ReplyDelete
I think the whole "coastal southern" area could and should be broken out dramatically. Even within Florida the range is as distant from pocket to pocket as British English is from Bostonian. I grew up in the island swamp by "Yankee" parents. Living in the city now I speak what the locals do, which is sounds almost Midwestern in both vocabulary and pronunciation. But at times I find myself using words or dropping in to moments of accent that are described as "redneck," "southern," or "cracker (in the historical Florida sense; though occasionally derogatory)." To pretend that either of those things sound like, or share the jargon of South Carolina is ridiculous.ReplyDelete
Example of cracker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EALPEYBt3E
Now ya don' mine I'mma go stretch me a rooter so ah kin mik me a hot perloo come een'n.
This is great! Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
I was very glad that the link explained that the map here is rather general, and that there's a more detailed breakdown there. I'll have to go back and read it when it's daytime in my time zone again! But I will take the time to put my two cents in (strange how inflation hasn't hit that yet).
Before following the link, I was very surprised to see West Texas grouped with Arizona and New Mexico. I don't know about New Mexico, but I can vouch that Arizonans and West Texans speak quite differently (and other-parts-of-Texas-Texans also differently . . .)
Rather perplexingly, to me at least, I have two friends from Georgia - neither of whom sound at all Southern. They could easily pass for generic-American. And one of them has plenty of extended family in Georgia, all of whom don't sound Southern, despite being there for generations. Go figure.
Also, I've yet to hear Arizonan sarcasm from anyone who hasn't lived there. To properly effect it, one must deliver the sarcastic comment in a completely sincere manner, so that it is, to the uninitiated, nearly impossible to tell if sarcasm is actually being employed. Yet there is some tiny thing expressed, somehow, that can be picked up and recognized for what it is - a nasty comment or insult, disguised as a nicer one, even as a compliment. Particularly effective when delivered by teenagers to their peers.
I've been coming here for at least a couple of years now, and I really appreciate the variety of things you put on here. Some interesting, some fascinating, some uplifting, some angering or annoying, some that gross me out (though I'm not always as keen on the gross-out ones, or at least the pictures!), and some that just plain blow my mind. You strike a pretty good balance of interesting, entertaining, and thought-provoking. And I don't think I've ever seen you be discourteous to a commenter.
P.S. I think that was a little more than two cents - perhaps a dime?
Hi KRuth. I try not to be discourteous to commenters. But I do have a delete button to vaporize the occasional really inappropriate comments.Delete
You're welcome to offer your dime's worth anytime.
Neat map. I from the Northeastern part of Alabama. I'd say that the Southern Appalachian dialect actually extends into Alabama a little further than the map seems to indicate, but it is hard to tell.ReplyDelete
There is certainly more then one dialect spoken in Eastern New England, people from Cape Cod do not sound like they are from northen newhampshire or backwoods maine, there is an old timey NH dialect that sounds like southern Maine that is most certainly distinct from Gloucester and just north of Boston is unlike south west of Boston.ReplyDelete
The dialects have smoothed out and blurred over the years, as a youth living just outside Boston I could tell neighborhoods and cities people came from.
More posting.com reading the link and I must say I find it suspect indeed as I have not once in my life heard a doughnut called anything but a doughnut in New England.Delete
It's interesting to compare this map to the one proposed by Colin Woodard in his book "American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America" isbn 9780143122029 (for the paperback) - handily, the map is on the cover of the book, so you can pull it up on the website of your vendor-of-choice to see what I'm talking about.ReplyDelete
Try this one, it's is a great deal more complex, with a lot of supporting data and references via youtube. Being from Canada, I was most impressed (and bewildered) by this video of some elderly Newfoundland residents:
It's interesting to see the physical area covered by these dialects widen as you go further west.ReplyDelete
It's also interesting to observe the differences between European settlement in the US and in Australia in relation to language and dialect diversity. In Australia there is very little discernible variation in spoken language across the entire country.