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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:29 pm
 


Arctic_Menace Arctic_Menace:
PublicAnimalNo9 PublicAnimalNo9:
Go to Great Britian for a month and I can almost guarantee you'll have an accent by the time you get back.


This is true. I hosted a British kind for a while and some of my family and friends were shocked when a British accent sprang forth from me, and I barely noticed.


Whenever my mother heads back to the UK I can barely understand her for a couple of weeks after her return due to her accent!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:32 pm
 


2Cdo 2Cdo:
Arctic_Menace Arctic_Menace:
PublicAnimalNo9 PublicAnimalNo9:
Go to Great Britian for a month and I can almost guarantee you'll have an accent by the time you get back.


This is true. I hosted a British kind for a while and some of my family and friends were shocked when a British accent sprang forth from me, and I barely noticed.


Whenever my mother heads back to the UK I can barely understand her for a couple of weeks after her return due to her accent!


Must be something about me then. I lived there on and off for over 2 years and another year in Australia with no audible change. I even heavily used their slang (I still do a bit).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:36 pm
 


DerbyX DerbyX:

Must be something about me then. I lived there on and off for over 2 years and another year in Australia with no audible change. I even heavily used their slang (I still do a bit).


Was that no noticable change that YOU noticed, or others? The reason I ask is that mom didn't think she was speaking any different, but everyone else around her noticed. Also, when I spent a couple of months in Australia I found myself using their slang and had developed a slight accent.(Although it disappeared within days of returning to Canada)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:59 pm
 


PublicAnimalNo9 PublicAnimalNo9:
I'm sorry, I had no idea you knew more about it than someone who actually spent more than half his life living in border cities. THis isn't a case of me visiting those places once. I lived it, I heard it and I saw it every day for the better part of 25 years. That 'A' sound can be heard quite clearly in the speech of Windsorites and residents of Niagara Falls. Not as pronounced but it IS there.
Now, I won't argue the point that those similarities are getting farther apart. My guess is that has more to do with cable TV than anything else. Like I said, in the border cities I lived in, you had a choice of the CBC and several local US stations. IF you spend your life watching TV from Detroit, listening to radio stations from Detroit, yer gonna talk like yer from Detroit.
This phenomenon can be seen when you travel to foreign countries that speak English. Go to Great Britian for a month and I can almost guarantee you'll have an accent by the time you get back.
Like it or not, speech patterns are regional and have dick all to do with borders. I can tell you right now that someone from Northen Ontario is gonna sound different than someone from Southern Ontario, who is going to sound different than someone from Alberta etc etc. I mean hell, a lot people living in Ontario close to the Quebec border have some form of French accent. Why should that effect be any different for those that live close to an international border?
And sorry but, your little anecdote about a one time visit to Buffalo is hardly the same as LIVING in border cities for 25 years. 25 years of experience is not an anecdote.


The tone in this post is oddly aggressive. Are you really so incensed that someone on the Internet dare contradict you?

So the fact that you lived in a border town (wow, that's unique!) makes you some kind of linguistic authority? The fact that geographic displacement for extended periods of time might have an effect on travellers' speech patterns is irrelevant to the topic at hand. The fact that people in Northern and Southern Ontario speak differently from one another, and that they speak even more differently than Albertans is obvious and is more than beside the point when the topic of discussion is whether or not an international border can also act as a dialectic border between neighbouring regions. I think there is more than enough evidence to suggest that it can both within Canada and abroad.

FOR INSTANCE...

Ever heard of the actual phenomenon called the 'Northern Cities Vowel Shift'? I'll quote the Wikipedia article about it.

The Northern cities vowel shift is a chain shift in the sounds of some vowels in the dialect region of American English known as the Inland North.

...

The name of the shift comes from the affected location, a broad swath of the United States around the Great Lakes, beginning some 50 miles west of Albany and extending west through Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Madison, and north to Green Bay; the shift also affects a corridor of cities along Interstate 55 southwest of Chicago as far as St. Louis (Labov et al. 187–208).

and the kick...

It has also not been adopted by Canadian speakers, despite the geographic proximity of millions of Canadians living near the United States border in the Great Lakes region and along the Saint Lawrence River.

Here's another page about it from the University of Arizona which also confirms that no Canadian city has been affected by the vowel shift.

http://www.ic.arizona.edu/~lsp/Northeast/ncshift/ncshift3.html

I rest my case. An international border can and does act as a dialectic barrier.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:19 pm
 


I'm not so sure I can agree with your stance, because I can draw on experiences from further afield.

Because we are such a small group over here in Taiwan, English speakers tend to hang out together, regardless of nationality. Most British, Australians, South Africans and Kiwis have an almost impossible time picking out North American accents, whether someone is from Maine, BC, Ontario or northern California. Some are easier to pick out, such those from rural areas south of Indiana or from the Bronx in New York.

A friend of my wife is from Queens, NY and there is no detectable difference in her accent. TV is erasing plenty of regional dialects, especially in those who are city dwelling and educated. It's just as hard for North Americans to differentiate between a Kiwi and an Aussie, although the Kiwis tend to have softer accents and aren't as 'boisterous' as the Aussies.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:29 pm
 


ShepherdsDog ShepherdsDog:
I'm not so sure I can agree with your stance, because I can draw on experiences from further afield.

Because we are such a small group over here in Taiwan, English speakers tend to hang out together, regardless of nationality. Most British, Australians, South Africans and Kiwis have an almost impossible time picking out North American accents, whether someone is from Maine, BC, Ontario or northern California. Some are easier to pick out, such those from rural areas south of Indiana or from the Bronx in New York.

A friend of my wife is from Queens, NY and there is no detectable difference in her accent. TV is erasing plenty of regional dialects, especially in those who are city dwelling and educated. It's just as hard for North Americans to differentiate between a Kiwi and an Aussie, although the Kiwis tend to have softer accents and aren't as 'boisterous' as the Aussies.


Just because someone comes from a particular region doesn't mean that he or she will invariably adopt the local speech associated with that region. This is, as you describe, partially due to outside cultural influences, but it is also a question of social and economic standing, level of education as well as even gender. Women tend to want to adopt the speech of a higher social class, whereas men tend to adopt (at least where appropriate) the speech of the working class because it is often seen as manlier.

Also, television and radio can have an 'erasing' effect on a certain segment of the population, but not the population as a whole. 60 years of television has done almost nothing to erase accents and regional differences. Some people feel compelled to talk like the smart folks on TV, but most do not.

As for my 'stance', I'm not sure exactly what you're referring to. The vowel shift I cited was only proof that an international border can act as a dialectic border as well, which in this case it does.

As a side note, I can usually differentiate Kiwis from Aussies. You just have to pay attention to the vowels.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:43 pm
 


Like Lemmy stated regionalism plays or played a larger role in someone's accent. It wasn't that long ago you could tell which area of London someone was from based on their accent, and on a larger scale which part of England or the UK. The examples you listed, such as Boston are prime examples of regionalism. Outside of these smaller linguistic enclaves/states and even within, people lack these regional accents. The same can be said about Newfoundland and northern and southern accents across western Canada.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:58 pm
 


KorbenDeck KorbenDeck:
Saw that. But I'm not looking for the debate here, since I know I can stir it up anytime I want. I want a design to print on my shirt. Slowly I am going to test the limits of our freedom of expression and opinion


Since you're on an internet forum begging for help, I'd suspect you're not really intelligent enough to handle the reaction you want...

Stick with emo, sport...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:01 am
 


ShepherdsDog ShepherdsDog:
Like Lemmy stated regionalism plays or played a larger role in someone's accent. It wasn't that long ago you could tell which area of London someone was from based on their accent, and on a larger scale which part of England or the UK. The examples you listed, such as Boston are prime examples of regionalism. Outside of these smaller linguistic enclaves/states and even within, people lack these regional accents. The same can be said about Newfoundland and northern and southern accents across western Canada.


You are stating nothing but the obvious, and are not even contradicting anything I have argued. Obviously, people in different regions speak differently, even within the same country. That's been established; that's a given.

All I'm saying is that the Canada-US border has acted and still does act as a dialectic barrier between neighbouring regions.

Based on the documentation I have furnished on the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, which is an empirically observable and well documented speech phenomenon in the Northern US Great Lakes region affecting vowel pronunciation in those cities while not affecting any Canadian city's local speech despite geographic proximity to the affected US regions, I don't think that you or anyone else on this board are well placed to attempt to refute that. It's a linguistic reality.

Unless you are able to furnish documentation refuting the existence of the vowel shift, I don't think we have much more to discuss on the matter and I think I've proven my point.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:06 am
 


2Cdo 2Cdo:
DerbyX DerbyX:

Must be something about me then. I lived there on and off for over 2 years and another year in Australia with no audible change. I even heavily used their slang (I still do a bit).


Was that no noticable change that YOU noticed, or others? The reason I ask is that mom didn't think she was speaking any different, but everyone else around her noticed. Also, when I spent a couple of months in Australia I found myself using their slang and had developed a slight accent.(Although it disappeared within days of returning to Canada)


Me I think but nobody ever mentioned anything to me about sounding different when I got back. I still use some english slang (like mate and cheers). Dunno. None of the English exchange students I knew lost their accents living in Canada and to my knowledge they never said people said their accent changed by living here.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:22 am
 


Usually the accent you carry throughout life is from the language you speak while going through puberty. If you work at it you can get rid of it, but for the most part that will be it. Wouldn't include slang or phrases which you would pick up and pronounce as you newly learn it. If you go back to the "old country" they will also notice that you now have an accent and you will retain a little accent once you've returned depending on how long you've been back. Mostly it's phrases though.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:41 am
 


My aunt has been living in Canada for over 50 years. She moved to Vancouver as an adult. You'd think, that after such a long time, her English would have gotten better, and her Dutch would have been forgotten, since she married a Canadian man, and raised her kids using only one language, and that wasnt Dutch.
Lemme tell ya... Her English was SO bad, her daughter had to translate it for me in understandable English, and her Dutch was even worse.
I don't understand it. I am sure I have an accent, but I am also pretty sure it is not as thick as hers! :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:42 am
 


Don't ask me to find the article, but I read that your brain "hard-wires" itself at an early age to the sounds you need to speak the language (...and accent) you are exposed to.
If you accept this as true, it does make it difficult to learn to speak new languages correctly and lose that accent of yours as you get older.
The younger you are, the easier it is to learn a new one (I was exposed to both English and French when I was very young and so have a French Montreal and a NS English accent).

My theory: the more accents you can speak, the easier it is to pick up a new one.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:42 am
 


MacDonaill MacDonaill:
ShepherdsDog ShepherdsDog:
Like Lemmy stated regionalism plays or played a larger role in someone's accent. It wasn't that long ago you could tell which area of London someone was from based on their accent, and on a larger scale which part of England or the UK. The examples you listed, such as Boston are prime examples of regionalism. Outside of these smaller linguistic enclaves/states and even within, people lack these regional accents. The same can be said about Newfoundland and northern and southern accents across western Canada.


You are stating nothing but the obvious, and are not even contradicting anything I have argued. Obviously, people in different regions speak differently, even within the same country. That's been established; that's a given.

All I'm saying is that the Canada-US border has acted and still does act as a dialectic barrier between neighbouring regions.

Based on the documentation I have furnished on the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, which is an empirically observable and well documented speech phenomenon in the Northern US Great Lakes region affecting vowel pronunciation in those cities while not affecting any Canadian city's local speech despite geographic proximity to the affected US regions, I don't think that you or anyone else on this board are well placed to attempt to refute that. It's a linguistic reality.

Unless you are able to furnish documentation refuting the existence of the vowel shift, I don't think we have much more to discuss on the matter and I think I've proven my point.

Congratulations, you've convinced yourself.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:09 am
 


Regina Regina:
Usually the accent you carry throughout life is from the language you speak while going through puberty. If you work at it you can get rid of it, but for the most part that will be it. Wouldn't include slang or phrases which you would pick up and pronounce as you newly learn it. If you go back to the "old country" they will also notice that you now have an accent and you will retain a little accent once you've returned depending on how long you've been back. Mostly it's phrases though.


Here again, I think it varies, but from person to person. My cousin lived in Australia from the age of 4(1970) to 11 and then for two years in Sweden, after my aunt remarried. He had a heavy Australian accent. My aunt and her husband then moved to Canada from 79 until 83, living in Abbotsford. During this time my cousin lost most of his accent. In 83 they moved back to Australia, but when I visited them in 86 during a cruise on the Yukon, my cousin had regained a fair bit of his accent.
He moved to the states in 91 and after that we lost touch with each other. It was only after my aunt returned to Canada in 03, after my uncle's death, that we reconnected. Once more the accent was almost undetectable and has altogether disappeared. My aunt during all that time(she died in 04 in the very same bed and hospital room my grandmother had died in, in 99), had never lost her Canadian accent.
Another cousin who has lived in Perth, since 1976 has also maintained his Canadian accent. Other cousins in Mt. Isa, Cairns and Sydney speak like locals because they've been there since they were kids and have only returned 'home' for visits.

$1:
Don't ask me to find the article, but I read that your brain "hard-wires" itself at an early age to the sounds you need to speak the language (...and accent) you are exposed to.
If you accept this as true, it does make it difficult to learn to speak new languages correctly and lose that accent of yours as you get older.
The younger you are, the easier it is to learn a new one (I was exposed to both English and French when I was very young and so have a French Montreal and a NS English accent).

My theory: the more accents you can speak, the easier it is to pick up a new one.



I've read this study as well.


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