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Where does "Appalachian" change?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 6:24 am Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


We've mentioned several times on the podcast that Howard S. and I grew up near the Appalachian mountains, the mountain range that runs through western North Carolina. We've also said that in NC we pronounce the name of those mountains so that the third vowel in the word sounds like the vowel in "hat" and not in "gate," which is how most US speakers say it.

So where is the isogloss? Where does the line of demarcation of this pronunciation lie?

I have long assumed it was somewhere near Roanoke or Lynchburg, Virginia (running into West Virginia and/or Kentucky?) but I'm not sure.

Now that I think about it, I wonder how that name is pronounced in West Virginia ("mountain mama").

Dave

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 8:26 pm Reply with quote
julie
 
Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 47
Location: Washington DC


I grew up in the Northeast - Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut, and everyone used the Appa -lay -shian everywhere.

But you already knew that.

Rolling Eyes

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:24 pm Reply with quote
wbulrey
 
Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Posts: 1


I moved to Pittsburgh as a kid, and attributed, perhaps wrongly, some of the local pronunciations to appalachian influence:

crick for creek
Warshington for Washington
Warsh for wash
yuns for plural you (all in the south)
those &$#@@# bums for the Cleveland Browns
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:04 am Reply with quote
dustinbagley
 
Joined: 17 Jul 2006
Posts: 2


I spent some time in both Roanoke and Lynchburg. There, they pronounce it, Appa-lach-in whith a short "a." I live in Utah now and out here we say Appa-lAsh-in with a long "A" and the "sh" sound. We also have a town we call Monti-sello insted of Monticello.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:13 pm Reply with quote
RabiAkiva
 
Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 163
Location: Israel


I grew up in the Netherlands and we pronounce it as the Appelachen (with a gutteral ch) which, coincidentally, means in Dutch: 'The apple is laughing'. I am sure this is a great contribution to solving the mystery.

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ok, interesting
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:00 pm Reply with quote
Lachia
 
Joined: 18 Jul 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Blacksburg, VA


Hi, I'm new to the forum...very glad to be here. I stumbled upon this entery in the regional speech area after creating my "handle." I have chosen my usual handle, the one I almost always use and it has to do with the love I have for these lovely mountains of mine (yes, they're mine, all mine).

I have alway pronounced my nick-name/ handle with a long "a" (as in main) even though I grew up in Roanoke, VA and have always heard the mountain range refered to by my peers and other locals with the shortened "a". Infact, though the thought of pronouncing the name of said range with a long "a" is very uncomfortable, I can't imagine pronouncing my nick-name with a short "a". I think this is because I come from yankee parents Laughing

Roanoke, though, is a hot-spot for relocation and transfer (especially within the Norfolk Southern Corp.) and as a result is prone to a LOT of outside influence. So I suppose what I'm trying to get at is that I think you may be right in that Roanoke may indeed be a marker of the "a" pronunciation switch, but I think you will also find that the smaller towns further north of the 'Noke prefer the short "a"

Erm...Just FYI, I'm a plant scientist, please don't attack me if my grammar is less than up to par... as a dyslexic with ADD I've always struggled with it as well as with spelling Wink I rely on others for proof reading very heavily when not just having fun on the computer at home.

Glad to be here, hope my post is helpful!
Lachia

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:31 am Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


Thanks, Lachia. It sounds like the isogloss is farther north than Roanoke.

Okay, the search is still on: where is the isogloss (linguistic dividing line) between the "Appalachians"? Where do native speakers start pronouncing the next-to-last vowel to rhyme with "day"?

It's north of Roanoke, Virginia, but how far north? Anybody here from the Shenandoah Valley? Any West Virginians here? (Or spouses or close friends who are natives of those regions?)

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 3:56 pm Reply with quote
Janet
 
Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1


I am Canadian and attended university in Morgantown, West Virginia for a year. That year was when I first encountered the "hat" version of the pronounciation. It was a long time ago, but I remember my room mate from the southern part of the state (Beckley) corrected me the first time I used the "cake" version. Other friends from Charleston used the "hat" version.

Now, this was interesting, as we had students from W.Va, as well as Ohio, and S W Pennsylvania. "Out of state" students fell into the "cake" camp. Locals (Northern W.Va) who wanted to identify with the more urban areas to the north and west also used this. But locals who identified more strongly with the strong rural identity of the state used the "hat" version.

I wonder, though, if that was an affectation, to sound more "authentic", meaning similar to West Virginians from further south. It was, interestingly, not completely consistent with their accent.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:05 pm Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


Bump.

(That's a clumsy and slightly rude thing to do, but hey, I own the forum! Very Happy )

I think this is my eternal linguistic quest. I really want to figure out where the line is where the pronunciation of the name of this mountain range changes.

There is a small state university campus in Boone, NC, called Appalachian State University, and that name is pronounced with the "hat" form of "a". (I think in IPA it's written as // .)

So I'm still waiting, all you Americans. Who says it what way, and where?


Last edited by Dave on Wed Sep 19, 2007 5:21 am; edited 1 time in total

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:38 pm Reply with quote
Dennis
 
Joined: 05 Dec 2006
Posts: 26
Location: Bethesda, MD


Hi Dave,

Well I'm from California... It's a long A there, and also a long way from your isogloss. I wish you well it your quest.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:31 am Reply with quote
Tonamel
 
Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 38


In West Virginia, it's largely appa-latch-un, but where I grew up, it was appa-lay-shun.

But when I went to college, I went further west to Columbus, and it was appa-latch-un again, so I don't think this is an easily defined line (as if I needed to tell you!)
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 4:40 pm Reply with quote
Kryssye
 
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Atlanta


If it helps you to narrow it down, you can mark Ashland, Kentucky as an "Appa-lay-shun" area. Thats where I grew up and thats how I have always heard it pronounced.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:53 pm Reply with quote
Waterfall
 
Joined: 19 Mar 2007
Posts: 5
Location: Western North Carolina


I lived in Staunton, VA, for a while and don't remember hearing anyone ever pronounce it with the short "a" ... but that was 20 years ago, so my memory may be fuzzy.

I'm now in "Apple Atchin" territory, not too far from Boone & App State. I grew up in Louisiana, where we pronounced it with the long "a" ... and get dirty looks here in NC when I pronounce it the "wrong" way.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 5:26 am Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


Waterfall wrote:
I lived in Staunton, VA, for a while and don't remember hearing anyone ever pronounce it with the short "a" ... but that was 20 years ago, so my memory may be fuzzy.

I'm now in "Apple Atchin" territory, not too far from Boone & App State. I grew up in Louisiana, where we pronounced it with the long "a" ... and get dirty looks here in NC when I pronounce it the "wrong" way.

I just heard from my informant in Blacksburg that it's pronounced the "latch" way there. This confirms an idea I have had that the isogloss is south of the Shenandoah Valley, perhaps around Roanoke or so.

When Appalachian State University recently upset the University of Michigan in football, I was amused to hear the national TV sports commentators pronounce it correctly (i.e., "latch") early in the day; but by the time of the evening newscasts, they had "corrected" it to sound like "standard American."

I actually sent an email to the local NBC sports guy in Washington, DC, and he wrote back somewhat chagrined at having made the mistake. He said he had gone to school at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, right in the "Apple Atchin" mountains, and should have said it the authentic way (and not the "correct" way).

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Where does "Appalachian" change?
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