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Old March 12 2013, 02:52 PM   #31
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Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post

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The accent, like most other American accents, are fading thanks to 60 years of television.
You would think that, but it turns out that this isn't true. Certainly some are dying out. New England accents, for example, isn't being used by people being born today. But the New York accent is going strong. Recently, they discovered a Seattle accent, which wasn't thought to exist 30 years ago.
As a born and raised Seattleite, I am curious... do you have any references? I always thought my accent in general was a fairly mild but standard American accent. Our vowels aren't as flat as the midwest, and I know I pronounce a bag, bagel, roof, and a few other words differently...but I wonder what the overal defining parameters of the accent would be. I recall an English poster here saying I sounded Irish, which I thought was odd.

Living in NYC one is exposed to a shit ton of different American accents. There are not only the city accents which are different for the different boroughs, and sometimes for different neighborhoods within the boroughs (there are at least two distinguishable Brooklyn accents), but the Jersey accent is pretty prevalent. One also hears accents from pretty much everywhere else in the country.
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Old March 12 2013, 03:10 PM   #32
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Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
Squiggy wrote: View Post
The accent, like most other American accents, are fading thanks to 60 years of television.
You would think that, but it turns out that this isn't true. Certainly some are dying out. New England accents, for example, isn't being used by people being born today. But the New York accent is going strong. Recently, they discovered a Seattle accent, which wasn't thought to exist 30 years ago.
Which is why I said "most" other accidents. There are some places where the local culture is so strong it drowns out the national media, which relies on a neutered midwestern or Southern California pronunciation of things (like BBC English in the UK).

It's becoming fairly evident in the south, especially compared to 30 years ago. These days, native Texans and Georigians are more likely to hail from large cities and their accents reflect growing up around many people. Several decades ago more southerners lived in more isolation and the only accents they hard (and therefore picked up) were the accents of their family members, who picked it up from their family members, and so forth. Hence the comparatively minor deviations from generation to generation.

Granted, there are still differences. People from Chicago sound like people from Chicago, Boston from Boston, and New York from New York. In cities like that, you have a high population of people who are actually from there. So like the children who learned their accent from their parents, you have neighbors picking up the accent of their neighbors and that just multiplies accents. However, "new Atlanta" is made up of people from all over and the accents tend to wash each other out. It's like DC. No one is really from DC, so there isn't a dominate DC accent like people from Baltimore (emphasis on the O vowel sound).
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Old March 12 2013, 03:26 PM   #33
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Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

gturner wrote: View Post


Yep, that's pretty thick.
Interesting.

That sounds like it's somewhere between the 'Southern' USA accent and the 'Westcountry/Cornish' UK accents...
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Old March 12 2013, 06:35 PM   #34
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Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

You guys should hear the thick, syrupy and twangy accent that comes out of Southside Virginia in the general Martinsville-Danville area. It's often worlds apart from the common accents you hear emanating from just 40 or 50 miles away and there've been more than a few times I thought I'd need a translator just to understand what some diner or gas station owner in Franklin, Pittsylvania or Henry County was saying.

You ask where the closest restaurant or landmark is and there are times when it sounds like they're speaking Pig Latin with a drawl. It gets worse with some of the more elderly folks from that part of the state....you keep half-expecting language subtitles to appear right below their heads. There've been a few very funny moments over the years when local news broadcasts have actually had to insert subtitles when covering stories and people from that part of the state.
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Old March 12 2013, 08:59 PM   #35
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Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
Most (if not all) accents in England don't pronounce their R's.
Actually, in England's southwest (the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, the various Somerset ones, and the city of Bristol) not only do the dialects pronounce their R's, they often also add R's where none are needed. When I was working in primary schools in North Somerset and Devon I used to love seeing the wee ones teaching themselves to spell. Two of the most common spelling variations I witnessed were "sor" for "saw" and "warter" for "water", because that's what the children heard coming out of their own mouths when they sounded those words out.

Archaeologist Phil Harding, from Time Team fame, has a very thick Wiltshire accent:

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Old March 12 2013, 09:15 PM   #36
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Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

As much travelling as I've been doing lately, I haven't been exposed to many accents. I spent two days in Atlanta last year, for example, and I swear the only Southern accent I heard the whole time was at the airport.
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Old March 12 2013, 10:01 PM   #37
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Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

macloudt wrote: View Post
When I was working in primary schools in North Somerset and Devon I used to love seeing the wee ones teaching themselves to spell. Two of the most common spelling variations I witnessed were "sor" for "saw" and "warter" for "water", because that's what the children heard coming out of their own mouths when they sounded those words out.
Reminds me of that early Beatles recording of Meredith Willson's "Till There Was You," with Paul McCartney singing:

There were birds in the sky
But I never sore them winging
No, I never sore them a-tall
Till there was you.


Funny thing is, we don't usually associate that pronunciation with a scouse accent.
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Old March 12 2013, 10:08 PM   #38
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Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

Macca's speaking and singing voices were quite different, though.
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Old March 12 2013, 10:14 PM   #39
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Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

Squiggy wrote: View Post
Which is why I said "most" other accidents.
I see what you did there.
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Old March 12 2013, 11:13 PM   #40
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Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

I remember a number of years ago a dialect expert saying that Virginia was one of the parts of the United States where certain words were pronounced along the lines of the way they were spoken in Canada. They raised the example that "about" in some corners of Virginia rolls off the tongue sounding like "a-boat" and when I thought about it they were correct. It might not be a large number of words that sounded like their English-language Canadian counterparts but there's a resemblance depending on where in this state you are at any given moment.
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Old March 12 2013, 11:22 PM   #41
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Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

The only part of the Canadian accent that I always recognize is when they say the word "sorry" and it comes out "sore-ey." Apart from that, I usually can't tell the difference. I have never heard a Canadian actually talk like the old cliché about "I'm going oot of the hoose, eh?"
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Old March 12 2013, 11:49 PM   #42
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Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

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Yes, I know Classical Latin didn't sound Italian, but it sounded far more Italian than English.
For what I understand, Classical Latin should have sounded like a mix between Italian and German: lots of hard consonant, intermixed with long, open vowels.
I thought the voice actor for Augustus Caesar in Civilization 5 did a good job. Probably not a flawless one, but it still gives a good idea.
That's pretty cool. I'd say it's not bad, even if I hear a hint of Romanesco (the current dialect from the city of Rome, which is actually heavily influenced from Tuscan for modern historical reasons) instead of the speech of the Roman countryside, which is thought to be closer to the ancient pronunciation. Also, I think the use of just "non" as a negative reply is a modernism: Classical Latin should be "minime", "minime vero", or at least "ita non".
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Old March 13 2013, 03:02 AM   #43
Alidar Jarok
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Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

^ Yeah, the problem was that he wasn't allowed to write his own script. I guess they wanted to be sure that the speaker wasn't swearing in his own language (probably more of a concern for the modern languages, though). So there are translation errors in the game even though every speaker is either someone who is a native speaker or studies the language thoroughly (when, obviously, there is no native speaker).

thestrangequark wrote: View Post
As a born and raised Seattleite, I am curious... do you have any references? I always thought my accent in general was a fairly mild but standard American accent. Our vowels aren't as flat as the midwest, and I know I pronounce a bag, bagel, roof, and a few other words differently...but I wonder what the overal defining parameters of the accent would be. I recall an English poster here saying I sounded Irish, which I thought was odd.
I had a link about three years ago. I'm trying to find the sources I had (I did a quick search of the board to see if I posted it previously. I see that you apparently asked me back then and I missed it, so my apologies. I think I never posted it). Some appear to have been dead. It's essentially developing the characteristics of a different accent when compared to the California or West Coast accent. It strikes me as something a linguist would notice more than the average person. Most people think they don't have an accent if it's subtle.

Here are the best links I can find. I don't remember if any of them are the original story I read.

Is There a Seattle Accent?

A blog that has a dead link to the Seattle PI that might have been very helpful if it still existed

A Northwest Dialect? That's Goofy Some Say

Sorry, that's the best I can do. I get the impression that, while it's being studied at the University of Washington, the study is still in its infancy.
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Old March 13 2013, 04:16 AM   #44
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Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

Perhaps I will listen extra closely when I visit Seattle this summer, to check for any accents that may arise.
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Old March 13 2013, 04:45 AM   #45
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Re: old english accent was closer to American southern accent

Eh, unless you know what to look for, it's difficult to spot all but the most obvious accents.
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