Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: American Dutch dialects

Expand Messages
  • 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.


      Torsten
    • 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.


        Torsten
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.