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Colorado Dialect?

Posted: 2006-01-10, 20:27
by Gormur
What are some of the features peculiar to this dialect? I know someone from Colorado and their accent really stands out to my ears and I don't know why.

Posted: 2006-01-12, 3:34
by Tom K.
What about it stands out? I never knew any Colorado dialect even existed.

Posted: 2006-01-12, 6:35
by Resilience
Tom, I think Gormur uses the words dialect and accent interchangeably. Nothing wrong with that, some people do and some don't.

Posted: 2006-01-12, 14:02
by ZombiekE
I had a classmate from Colorado but we barely spoke English and when I heard her speak with another classmate from California, I didn't notice anything although they said they knew they spoke different.

It seems I have enough with understanding xD.

Posted: 2006-01-12, 20:06
by Gormur
Her accent reminds me of John Denver. Quite similar. I'll try to get a decent recording when I see her again.

Posted: 2006-01-16, 16:50
by Rom
Interesting. I've always heard Colorado described as having "no accent", although I've never heard a recording of someone from Colorado.

Posted: 2006-01-16, 23:20
by Gormur
Rom wrote:Interesting. I've always heard Colorado described as having "no accent", although I've never heard a recording of someone from Colorado.


Well there's something there that at least I would call a "twang", so it sounds a bit like a "Western accent", but definitely completely separate from the Southern accents. Hope that makes sense....

Posted: 2006-01-18, 3:04
by Rom
Gormur wrote:
Rom wrote:Interesting. I've always heard Colorado described as having "no accent", although I've never heard a recording of someone from Colorado.


Well there's something there that at least I would call a "twang", so it sounds a bit like a "Western accent", but definitely completely separate from the Southern accents. Hope that makes sense....


Interesting. Is it anything like the twang in the rural parts of Washington? I've noticed that in some of the more rural areas of Washington there's almost a Southern or country sounding accent (just in the overall sound), as opposed to in and around the major cities (except Olympia where people sound like they have the California vowel shift because their e's tend to sound like a's), where there is no accent.

Posted: 2006-01-18, 17:35
by Gormur
Rom wrote:
Gormur wrote:
Rom wrote:Interesting. I've always heard Colorado described as having "no accent", although I've never heard a recording of someone from Colorado.


Well there's something there that at least I would call a "twang", so it sounds a bit like a "Western accent", but definitely completely separate from the Southern accents. Hope that makes sense....


Interesting. Is it anything like the twang in the rural parts of Washington? I've noticed that in some of the more rural areas of Washington there's almost a Southern or country sounding accent (just in the overall sound), as opposed to in and around the major cities (except Olympia where people sound like they have the California vowel shift because their e's tend to sound like a's), where there is no accent.


Similar, yeah. Or the accent of Montanans too.

Posted: 2006-01-21, 14:53
by rancher
Rom wrote:Well there's something there that at least I would call a "twang", so it sounds a bit like a "Western accent", but definitely completely separate from the Southern accents. Hope that makes sense....


I'm from Colorado and I wouldn't say our accent has a twang at all. We associate that with folks from the Deep South. The Colorado accent, and I would say Western accents in general, are rather flat sounding. (I assume we are talking about Colorado English and not Colorado Spanish.)

There are varieties of course. If you are a native of the state, it is pretty easy to pick out someone from eastern Colorado from one from the Front Range (the area running along the Plains and the Rockies), or one from the western part of the state.

I think things have changed a lot though. Because the state has basically been invaded from folks from California and Texas, you don't hear a really strong mountain accent very often anymore except with older people. I love listening to my granddad tell stories of when his father was working the mines and ranching. All kinds of local dialectical words come up!

I did find some articles via google on the dialect of Colorado:

PLAINS ENGLISH IN COLORADO PDF

Dialect Survey Results: COLORADO

Why bother to learn the Colorado dialect?

Posted: 2006-01-21, 15:35
by Rom
Hmm. Interesting. For some reason I don't associate a 'twang' as exactly a strong Southern accent like this man from Texas, I think of a twang as being more of like this man from Idaho, and a flat sounding accent as something like this woman from California.

Posted: 2006-01-21, 18:05
by Gormur
rancher wrote:
Rom wrote:Well there's something there that at least I would call a "twang", so it sounds a bit like a "Western accent", but definitely completely separate from the Southern accents. Hope that makes sense....


I'm from Colorado and I wouldn't say our accent has a twang at all. We associate that with folks from the Deep South. The Colorado accent, and I would say Western accents in general, are rather flat sounding. (I assume we are talking about Colorado English and not Colorado Spanish.)

There are varieties of course. If you are a native of the state, it is pretty easy to pick out someone from eastern Colorado from one from the Front Range (the area running along the Plains and the Rockies), or one from the western part of the state.

I think things have changed a lot though. Because the state has basically been invaded from folks from California and Texas, you don't hear a really strong mountain accent very often anymore except with older people. I love listening to my granddad tell stories of when his father was working the mines and ranching. All kinds of local dialectical words come up!

I did find some articles via google on the dialect of Colorado:

PLAINS ENGLISH IN COLORADO PDF

Dialect Survey Results: COLORADO

Why bother to learn the Colorado dialect?


My aquantance is late 40s and from the Denver area.

On the twang (I think this applies to Western twangs in general)...

The term "California drawl" is sometimes used to described the practice of lengthening the accented syllable's vowel in time, taking up to twice as long as the time given to other vowels in a word, and sometimes accompanied by a shift of the accent to another syllable. Unlike the "Southern drawl" or the Texas-style "Western drawl", no twang or changes to the vowel's value (e.g. a diphthong) are introduced: the Californian simply pronounces the accented vowel for a longer time than the other vowels in the word. This is most noticeable in the native pronunciations of "San Francisco" and "Sacramento". Non-Californian pronunciation would sound like "San Fran CIS co" and "Sac ra MEN to" with each syllable equally timed and the accent placed on the penult. A California drawl pronunciation would be "SAAAN Fran cis co" and "SAAACK ra men to" with the so-called short-A æ sound unchanged in value but held for a longer time.

Posted: 2006-01-21, 21:21
by Kirk
Gormur wrote:On the twang (I think this applies to Western twangs in general)...

The term "California drawl" is sometimes used to described the practice of lengthening the accented syllable's vowel in time, taking up to twice as long as the time given to other vowels in a word, and sometimes accompanied by a shift of the accent to another syllable. Unlike the "Southern drawl" or the Texas-style "Western drawl", no twang or changes to the vowel's value (e.g. a diphthong) are introduced: the Californian simply pronounces the accented vowel for a longer time than the other vowels in the word. This is most noticeable in the native pronunciations of "San Francisco" and "Sacramento". Non-Californian pronunciation would sound like "San Fran CIS co" and "Sac ra MEN to" with each syllable equally timed and the accent placed on the penult. A California drawl pronunciation would be "SAAAN Fran cis co" and "SAAACK ra men to" with the so-called short-A æ sound unchanged in value but held for a longer time.


That section of the California English article on Wikipedia was nonsense so after discussing it on the talk page I deleted it because it's not up to the scholarly linguistic tone of the article. Things like "drawl" and "twang" are very vaguely defined and do not fit in with a serious linguistic description of language.

Posted: 2006-01-22, 0:53
by Gormur
Kirk wrote:
Gormur wrote:On the twang (I think this applies to Western twangs in general)...

The term "California drawl" is sometimes used to described the practice of lengthening the accented syllable's vowel in time, taking up to twice as long as the time given to other vowels in a word, and sometimes accompanied by a shift of the accent to another syllable. Unlike the "Southern drawl" or the Texas-style "Western drawl", no twang or changes to the vowel's value (e.g. a diphthong) are introduced: the Californian simply pronounces the accented vowel for a longer time than the other vowels in the word. This is most noticeable in the native pronunciations of "San Francisco" and "Sacramento". Non-Californian pronunciation would sound like "San Fran CIS co" and "Sac ra MEN to" with each syllable equally timed and the accent placed on the penult. A California drawl pronunciation would be "SAAAN Fran cis co" and "SAAACK ra men to" with the so-called short-A æ sound unchanged in value but held for a longer time.


That section of the California English article on Wikipedia was nonsense so after discussing it on the talk page I deleted it because it's not up to the scholarly linguistic tone of the article. Things like "drawl" and "twang" are very vaguely defined and do not fit in with a serious linguistic description of language.


How would it best be defined then?

Posted: 2006-01-22, 1:02
by Kirk
Gormur wrote:
Kirk wrote:
Gormur wrote:On the twang (I think this applies to Western twangs in general)...

The term "California drawl" is sometimes used to described the practice of lengthening the accented syllable's vowel in time, taking up to twice as long as the time given to other vowels in a word, and sometimes accompanied by a shift of the accent to another syllable. Unlike the "Southern drawl" or the Texas-style "Western drawl", no twang or changes to the vowel's value (e.g. a diphthong) are introduced: the Californian simply pronounces the accented vowel for a longer time than the other vowels in the word. This is most noticeable in the native pronunciations of "San Francisco" and "Sacramento". Non-Californian pronunciation would sound like "San Fran CIS co" and "Sac ra MEN to" with each syllable equally timed and the accent placed on the penult. A California drawl pronunciation would be "SAAAN Fran cis co" and "SAAACK ra men to" with the so-called short-A æ sound unchanged in value but held for a longer time.


That section of the California English article on Wikipedia was nonsense so after discussing it on the talk page I deleted it because it's not up to the scholarly linguistic tone of the article. Things like "drawl" and "twang" are very vaguely defined and do not fit in with a serious linguistic description of language.


How would it best be defined then?


How would what be best defined?

The words "drawl" and "twang" are inherently vague and on a folk-linguistic level can refer to a number of linguistic processes according to who's using the word. For instance, in Harry Potter Severus Snape is referred to as speaking with a "drawl," which clearly means something different from how many Americans perceieve what a "drawl" is (usually associated with the South). But, as I said before, "twang" and "drawl" don't really describe anything in particular.