American dialects

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Posted by Mike Zeares on June 27, 1997 at 00:03:41:

In Reply to: Re: Hawkeye's posted by Susan Houck on June 26, 1997 at 18:50:46:

: In some (but not all) scenes, Daniel Day-Lewis' accent sounded suspiciously like that of the western NC area in which the movie was filmed. Not New York, but it is one area of America where TV hasn't totally eliminated the "twang" which is a carryover from the Scots-Irish. English, German, and Cherokee descendants still live in the general area. The area in which the fort was located was inhabited by mostly English. Prior to that, the Catawbas used it as a summer hunting ground. Pot shards and arrowheads ( and now pewter soldiers' buttons!) can be found in the area. Likewise, the Southern Eastern British speech patterns remain .
Very interesting. Perhaps Hawkeye moved around some, that could explain his shifting speech pattern. My own speech is a weird combination of Pennsylvania and Texas. The ethnic groups you mentioned were also settled in upstate New York (except for the Hudson River valley, which remained heavily Dutch.). I am starting to think DDL chose his speech pattern very carefully.

Another interesting remnant dialect is found in a small fishing village on the coast of Virginia. They have been mostly isolated from the rest of the country. According to what I have read, they still speak almost Elizabethan English. There are still some mountain dialects surviving in Appalachia, such as the one in NC. That part of the country isn't completely into the 20th century yet. I'm glad; I'm getting tired of everyone sounding like news anchors. We might as well be Canadians. ;-)

Mike Zeares

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