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Re: American Dutch dialects

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  • tgpedersen
    ... Can or could? The scenario I claim says New York talk at that time would have been as different from today s as its ethnic composition is. Labov says NYC
    Message 1 of 195 , Mar 3, 2009
      --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, Rick McCallister <gabaroo6958@...> wrote:

      > . . .
      > >
      > > But you forget one thing: the extreme mobility, albeit mostly one
      > > way and once only, of American society at the time. If she
      > > struck lucky, that school marm would find a husband so important
      > > that he had actually studied on the east coast, or at least at the
      > > local state university, where he would have been taught by
      > > professors from the east coast.
      > >
      > > > My maternal grandfather was one of the local gentry, and later
      > > > in life, was a schoolmaster. He spoke a softer more standard
      > > > version of the local WV dialect. He said "tomato" instead of
      > > > "mater", etc. but with the local intonation.
      > > > Keep in mind that in the 1800s, the r-less Boston dialect was
      > > > probably seen as the prestige dialect, but it certainly was not
      > > > taught by schoolmarms in Appalachia and the Midwest.
      > >
      > > Well, you keep in mind that America always had two standards: one
      > > New England / British one for blue-blooded Americans and one
      > > 'true' American one for red-blooded Americans. On that point it
      > > was similar to Norway in the 19th century: you can't use the
      > > language of those you just freed yourself from, so to assert your
      > > differentness you have to pick up habits from the bottom layer,
      > > in Norway the dialects, in the USA, since there was no national
      > > legitimacy to be gained from local dialects, from Low New York,
      > > in my opinion, which would have had retroflex r's and r-colored
      > > vowels at the time or Brooklynese wouldn't have /oI/ today. Place
      > > a school marm in the loyalty conflict between the nationally
      > > dubious and mostly breadless New England, and the blingbling of
      > > New York; those are the two sociolects her successful
      > > husband would have mastered, and you know what she will choose.
      > The NY dialect is so different from the Midwest dialect, that most
      > Americans pretty much lump it in with the Boston accent, and other
      > NE r-less dialects --unless they've traveled. I doubt that most
      > non-East Coast Americans could tell them apart.

      Can or could? The scenario I claim says New York talk at that time
      would have been as different from today's as its ethnic composition
      is. Labov says NYC was r-ful. Brooklynese /oi/ says NYC was r-ful. If
      you want to shot down my scenario, you should look 19th century NYC
      and its talk.

      > The Midwest was interesting in that most of the upper class was
      > home spun. There weren't too many easterners who went there. More
      > often, it was the other way around --the Rockefellers and the
      > Bushes came from the Midwest. East Coast money tended to go the
      > Pacific Coast, into mines, etc. or South, into cotton and
      > railroads. In the Midwest, fortunes came through hard work or
      > invention, e.g. Edison and Ford.

      They might have been home-spun, but they were refined elsewhere. A
      Midwest professional would never be more that a couple of steps (and
      down the ladder) away from his colleagues on the East Coast. They had
      conferences then too.

      > > > > And since the Sinter Klaas -> Santa Claus plays a large role
      > > > > in the American pantheon (just kidding), the channel which
      > > > > brought that deity from the Dutch would be conducive to
      > > > > language peculiarities too.
      > > > > Remember that similar religions imply cultural influence.
      > > > >
      > > > > BTW I read in the archive that according to Miguel the
      > > > > retroflex r occurs in both Leids and Rotterdams.
      > > >
      > > > Yes, but they also picked up Chivari, etc. from the French and
      > > > I don't think we picked up our /r/ from them either.

      I don't think I claimed that, in which case you would have had two
      (three?) r's. Substrate means you might, not must have picked up
      something from it.

      > > Erh, okay. Who they and what on earth is Chivari?
      > >
      > What, they don't have it in Denmark?

      Never heard of it.

      > It's a custom from the Midwest and the Mississippi Valley where the
      > bride and groom's family stay up all night banging pans and
      > singing. My family, being from WV, didn't have this and it's
      > strictly small town, in any case. It goes by various forms and
      > spellings: Chivari, Sharivaree, etc.

      Does it go back to the Louisiana Purchase?

      OK, so that's a local custom, but Santa is as Generally American as
      the language we were discussing.

      > You see traces of it when the groom's friends use spray frost to
      > write messages on the car, tie tin cans to the bumper, etc.

      They do that here too, for whatever reason. Other than that, causing a
      ruckus had to do with Christmas and New Year. Sw. 'julklapp'
      "Christmas gift" is called so because people would bang on people's
      door and then throw in the gift.

    • tgpedersen
      ... Yes, you probably imagine that. How would you back up that belief? And if so, then General American, coming from the country, should lately have exerted a
      Message 195 of 195 , Mar 8, 2009
        --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, Rick McCallister <gabaroo6958@...> wrote:
        > --- On Sun, 3/8/09, tgpedersen <tgpedersen@...> wrote:
        > > From: tgpedersen <tgpedersen@...>
        > > Subject: [tied] Re: American Dutch dialects
        > > To: cybalist@yahoogroups.com
        > > Date: Sunday, March 8, 2009, 4:49 AM
        > > > > > They would have studied in the capital BUT
        > > there were no real
        > > > > > doctors where my family lived. You had to go
        > > to the capital by
        > > > > > car or train.
        > > > >
        > > > > He either had direct or indirect contact with NYC and
        > > > > spoke some predecessor of General American, or he did
        > > > > neither. You can't have it both ways.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Torsten
        > > >
        > > > The problem is that General American English sounds nothing
        > > > like NYC English. I don't think you could persuade anyone
        > > > except a die-hard Yankees fan otherwise.
        > >
        > > No, the problem is you think today's NYC English after
        > > the massive immigration of the late 19th - early 20th
        > > century is identical to that of the early 19th century.
        > I imgagine that earlier NYC was even farther removed from General
        > American English.

        Yes, you probably imagine that. How would you back up that belief?
        And if so, then General American, coming from the country, should lately have exerted a major influence on the NYC dialect. How likely do you find that idea?

        > Keep in mind that NYC was NOT the major immigrant port until c.
        > 1830 or so.

        That's right. And the dialects that came first are naturally those you find furthest out on the country. And those are not General American.

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