try to catch the deluge in a paper cup (primroseburrows) wrote,
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows

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weeping on a willow, sleeping on a pillow, leaping armadillo, yes!

I know I'm procrastinating when I'm actually surfing Wikipedia. But y'know, find things. Like the page on the Boston accent.

"The Boston accent is the English dialect not only of the city of Boston, Massachusetts itself but also much of eastern Massachusetts." Check.

"It and closely related accents can be heard commonly in an area stretching throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and southern Maine." Check.

"These regions are frequently grouped together with Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut by sociolinguists under the cover term Eastern New England accent." SO, SO WRONG.

Rhode Islanders sound very different from Boston/Mass/Maine folken. Say a couple of people from, oh, I dunno, Cveeeeanstin (That's a common RI pronounciation, honest!) are sitting around with their friends from Boston wondering when Donna and Bobby are going to come back with the Chinese take-out. The RI people in the group will say "Daahner and Baahby". The Bostonians will say "Dawnah and "Bawby". The RI accent is more like New York than Boston, which may help explain the sad but true fact that many Rhode Islanders are fans of the Evil Empire. Also, Vo D'eyelandiz are, like Bostonians, are all about the non-rhoticity (how cool is that for a term?). The difference is that RI speakers put the R back. They say pahk and cah and sistah, sure, but they also say Linder and Hanner and idear and grammer (meaning "gramma").

Here is a typical example of the Boston accent. This guy lives in Dorchester, near Southie.

I tried to find a recording of a RI accent, but no, there isn't one. :/


Of course, none of this applies when you're talking about Woonsocket (pronounced "Woone sock két" or even "Woone sock ay" by the locals). The town was settled by immigrants from Québec who came to work in the mills. There probably aren't that many people under fifty with French accents, but they still use the grammar (sort of like how some Irish people still use the Gaelic grammar)If a guy from Woonsocket wants you to toss his jacket down to him, he's likely to say "t'row me down the stairs, my coat". He "pahks his cahs side by each", and, I kid you not, "lives on top of his mother". Well, if his mother lives in the flat downstairs, that is. :) If you go to Woonsocket, you'll want to drive slow your car.

Believe it or not, I've never been to Woonsocket. I might have gone through there to get from point A to point B, but I don't remember ever stopping there. This is not good, because Woonsocket has the Museum of Work and Culture. Really, I should lose my geek license for not ever going there.

If you're really interested in the Rhode Island accent, or are a giantgiant dork like me (and you are, if you're really interested in the Rhode Island accent), you might want to take a look at this little RI dictionary. fascinating.

And hmm. I wonder why, after twenty-eight years of living in RI, I don't consider myself a Rhode Islander? *waves "I'm From Massachusetts" banner*

This pointless post took forever to write (I'm cleaning at the same time, honest!). I really ought to get therapy. :/
Tags: linguistics, pointless posts, procrastination, random
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