Followup on the American Tongues Videotape
Our main objectives in watching the
American Tongues videotape were to:
Key Terminology (Chronological order as terms appear in the tape)
- Hear different dialects and accents of spoken American English
- Hear what value judgments are associated with these by people from
other dialect regions
- Identify certain regional, stereotypical or other terms of reference
- "Pennsylvania Dutch" = 'Deutsch' = German influence; 'dutchified' (cf.
also 'Dutchmen' from the Ethnic
- "just like Walter Cronkite" = CBS TV national news anchor of the
1960s-1990s = 'network standard' English.
- "Buckeye" = resident of Ohio, the 'Buckeye State'
- Appalachian dialect (cf. Appalachian mountains and stereotypes)
- Regional foods: 'Pastrami' (NYC/Jewish/Italian); 'kishka, knish,
bialys' (NYC/Jewish/Russian); 'hush puppies' (Southern, deep-fried
cornmeal and onion balls, often served with fried catfish); 'peanuts and
'taters' (South); 'Jambalaya' (New Orleans/Louisiana okra/fish-based
stew); 'cabinet' (= milkshake in Rhode Island); 'ice tea' (esp. South,
Midwest, but general American cf. British)
- Register status in "Yale, Southern boyfriend & Faulkner/Capote image"
vs reality of prejudices against 'Southern dialect' (see also Cajun Man Explains the
Scene of a Crime [YouTube] and Why Do People in
New Orleans Talk That Way? (Sheidlower) vs. A Louisiana Christmas). Compare this to the
New England 'French' influence in Mike the Vermont Corn
Maze Guy [YouTube].
- Hudson and Mississippi Rivers used as linguistic dividing lines
- Cartoon-character reference: Palookaville ('Joe Palooka', Al Capp,
- Well-known local place names: Fenway (Park=Baseball), Borscht Belt
- Other character/category references: Will Rogers, Huck Finn, 'White
- Varying dialects/sociolects within many metropolitan areas, such as
with the Boston 'Brahmins' (cf. John Kerry) who discuss Dickens, vs 'Chris
fucked up big time' in Boston's 'South Side'
- Or, lexical differences in other cities, such as 'gumband' in
Pittsburgh see also the 'Pittsburghese' website (and VOA Radio Program [MP3] on 'Pittsburghese').
- Other regional dialects and how they are perceived: compare A Texas Accent Could Help You Land a Job
with Teaching With a Kentucky Accent
- For more on spoken dialect, see the
American English Speech Samples Index
US-1 References Index
US-1 Class Schedule
Last Updated 24 October 2011