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Mith242

Arkansas Accents

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Not sure if this topic will be to everyone's liking but I wanted to hear what people thought of the accents here in Arkansas. Are there many differences throughout the state? Just from my experiances most of the state seems very similar. I do think that in southeast Arkansas the accents seem a bit more infleunced by the deep south. Another area I've noticed is that extreme in northwest Arkansas there seems to be less influence from the southern accent found in much of the state. It also seems to be somewhat influenced by nearby midwestern accents. Although this is in some ways harder to notice because of the influx of people to northwest Arkansas. One other area where I've noticed some differences is in some areas of the Ozarks. There seem to be pockets in the more mountainous areas that seem to have much more of an Appalachian accent. I think the more mountainous areas didn't have other people move in as much as others so the original Appalacjain accents of many of the original settlers has hung around. Anyone else have any comments about Arkansas accents, different areas of the state or just the state as a whole?

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Up here in NW Arkansas, especially Benton County, there's definately quite a bit of Midwestern Accents.

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Up here in NW Arkansas, especially Benton County, there's definately quite a bit of Midwestern Accents.

Yeah it seems to be in the extreme northwest corner. Especially the flat land area. It's weird because you can go over to Madison County just to the east and more into the Boston Mtns the accents can suddenly change over to a thick Appalachian accent.

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I remember being in Little Rock one day, and being amazed at the southern accent.

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I remember being in Little Rock one day, and being amazed at the southern accent.

I know a little about the accent in other areas of the state but I'd like to find out a little more. See what other people in Arkansas think. Does it vary much around the state? But since we do have some people not from Arkansas checking us out they can feel free to join in too. Let us know what you think about the accents in Arkansas compared to other areas.

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Arkansas accents across the state are very Southern, but are divided into the Mountain and Deep Southern accents. Accents in the Delta are as strong as anywhere in the South. For example, my grandparents from there would pronounce the word "corner" as "connah." All of South Arkansas has strong accents as well. The fact that these areas attract few outsiders helps keep the accents strong. For example, I know a white man from Magnolia who pronounces "before" as "befoh," which is usually thought of as common to some black dialects. I can't distinguish people in the Ozarks from those in the hills of Tennessee, which makes since since they were settled by people from there moving west, and are sparsely populated. Cities in the River Valley such as Russellville and Fort Smith have very Southern accents as well.

The two main metro areas of course have the most variation. Little Rock is a big city (as always, by Arkansas standards) and thus has more people from other areas, but it has maintained a good Southern accent because of a slow growth rate, and the fact that many people from smaller Arkansas towns move here. Northwest Arkansas is the area of the state with fewest Arkansas natives. In fact, due to that area's tremendous growth, it now has more people born outside Arkansas than those born here. For this reason, its Southern accent is quickly disappearing, particularly in Benton County, which has seen the most growth and had a small population from the beginning. The people I have known from that area before the Wal-Mart boom started, have an accent that I can't differentiate from the rest of the Ozarks. The phenomenon happening in NWA is no different than is happening in other booming Southern metros; the traditional cultures are being replaced by those moving in from other parts of the country.

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Yeah a lot of the big southern metros are losing their southern accents. And it's going to happen in northwest Arkansas because of the large amount of people from out of state moving in. Although I still think there were areas up here that didn't have very strong southern accents to start off with. :D I've never paid much attention but I wonder what the accents are just across the state border in Missouri and Oklahoma. I've seen so many different maps and a lot of them have different info. I've seen some having part of the state, mainly the southeastern part, as a deep south. And then the rest of the state as a continental south. Although I will certainly agree with Arkansawyer about the Appalachian accents. I can't say how widespread it is throughout the Ozarks but it is certainly found in pockets. I've certainly noticed it in the more rugged areas, like the Boston Mtns.

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I can't say I have an ear for distinguishing different types of southern....

Southern accents sound southern. That's it.

I divide the accents between two types: those who have a southern accent, and those who don't.

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I can't say I have an ear for distinguishing different types of southern....

Southern accents sound southern. That's it.

I divide the accents between two types: those who have a southern accent, and those who don't.

For a long time I used to have a real hard time with it myself. I wouldn't say I'm great now but I can distinguish some different southern accents if I get myself to pay more attention.

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I can't say I have an ear for distinguishing different types of southern....

Southern accents sound southern. That's it.

I divide the accents between two types: those who have a southern accent, and those who don't.

Agreed, I'm the same way. I can't tell the difference in someone from Mtn Home, Texarkana, or Eudora by accent.

Growing up in West LR, you always noticed that locals had less obvious accents or often little accent at all. There was always a negative connotation to it.

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I think accents are interesting. The only Arkansas accent I have to go by is Bill Clinton's, which is similar to other southern accents and well as the Texas accent. I have personally heard different types of southern accents. In North Carolina, you will hear at least 3 or more southern accents. I think maybe North Carolina has a slightly "twangier" southern accent than Arkansas, due to the Appalachian Mountain influence. I have read that the Appalachian accent is spreading and taking the place of the old plantation dropped "r" southern accent.

Any Arkansan have any more people to give as examples of the accent of your state?

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I think accents are interesting. The only Arkansas accent I have to go by is Bill Clinton's, which is similar to other southern accents and well as the Texas accent. I have personally heard different types of southern accents. In North Carolina, you will hear at least 3 or more southern accents. I think maybe North Carolina has a slightly "twangier" southern accent than Arkansas, due to the Appalachian Mountain influence. I have read that the Appalachian accent is spreading and taking the place of the old plantation dropped "r" southern accent.

Any Arkansan have any more people to give as examples of the accent of your state?

I think I've heard about the Appalachian replacing the old plantation. I can think of one other person from Arkansas who you might have been able to hear. Billy Bob Thornton is also from Arkansas. Although he was born not too far away from where Bill Clinton was. It's a bit hard to discuss accents with only text. As was mentioned earlier, I think southeast and other parts of southern Arkansas have a 'thicker' southern accent than the rest of the state. Parts of the Ozarks have an Appalachian accent, but I'm not sure how widespread it is or if it's holding it's ground. There are more people moving into the Ozarks. I think the Appalachian accent was able to hold on in some of the more rugged areas where few people from other areas moved in. I have a few relatives who grew up in Tennessee and west North Carolina. I always thought they had a 'twangier' accent as well.

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Mith, I think it's safe to say that you are addicted to urban planet. I hereby diagnose you an

urban planet-aholic. Is there an urban planet-aholics' anonymous group up there in NWA?

:unsure:

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Mith, I think it's safe to say that you are addicted to urban planet. I hereby diagnose you an

urban planet-aholic. Is there an urban planet-aholics' anonymous group up there in NWA?

:unsure:

Yeah I have been on quite a bit lately. But um, I can quit whenever I want you know. :lol:

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Yeah I have been on quite a bit lately. But um, I can quit whenever I want you know. :lol:

LOL your response came only a few minutes after the post.

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LOL your response came only a few minutes after the post.

Yeah what's funny is that I keep leaving and when I come back you just happened to respond. :D

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I think I've heard about the Appalachian replacing the old plantation. I can think of one other person from Arkansas who you might have been able to hear. Billy Bob Thornton is also from Arkansas. Although he was born not too far away from where Bill Clinton was. It's a bit hard to discuss accents with only text. As was mentioned earlier, I think southeast and other parts of southern Arkansas have a 'thicker' southern accent than the rest of the state. Parts of the Ozarks have an Appalachian accent, but I'm not sure how widespread it is or if it's holding it's ground. There are more people moving into the Ozarks. I think the Appalachian accent was able to hold on in some of the more rugged areas where few people from other areas moved in. I have a few relatives who grew up in Tennessee and west North Carolina. I always thought they had a 'twangier' accent as well.

Oh yeah, I have heard Billy Bob Thornton, and I remember Wesley Clark's accent as well. There are similarities between them. I think you are correct in saying that the coastal southern accents are a bit different than the interior southern and especially gulf southern. I really enjoy all of the variations the southern accent posseses.

You are right, in most of western and even some of the central piedmont of North Carolina you will hear some major twang going on. It is almost nasal in a southern kind of way. You go to the eastern part of the state and the accent mellows and smooths out a bit more, generally speaking. I have been told from various people I had little accent, a country twang, and a southern drawl.......different people with different ears, I suppose.

Tennessee is a bit different than North Carolina, 'cuz the western section sounds like it has a little deep south influence. Eastern Tenn. is similar to western North Carolina with the Appalachian thing going on, hence "North Cack-a-lackie", lol.

It seems that Arkansas has a mix of Gulf, Appalachian, and a little Texas to my ears.....similar, but still somewhat different than a Carolina/Tenn/Virginia accent.

I'd like to visit Arkansas one day.....it seems like a "hidden gem" southern state. The Ozarks seem really nice too.

Since your state is right below Missouri, is it true that some people in Missouri pronounce it "Missourah". I am sure that your state has at least a little midwestern influence in the very northern section, doesn't it??

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Oh yeah, I have heard Billy Bob Thornton, and I remember Wesley Clark's accent as well. There are similarities between them. I think you are correct in saying that the coastal southern accents are a bit different than the interior southern and especially gulf southern. I really enjoy all of the variations the southern accent posseses.

You are right, in most of western and even some of the central piedmont of North Carolina you will hear some major twang going on. It is almost nasal in a southern kind of way. You go to the eastern part of the state and the accent mellows and smooths out a bit more, generally speaking. I have been told from various people I had little accent, a country twang, and a southern drawl.......different people with different ears, I suppose.

Tennessee is a bit different than North Carolina, 'cuz the western section sounds like it has a little deep south influence. Eastern Tenn. is similar to western North Carolina with the Appalachian thing going on, hence "North Cack-a-lackie", lol.

It seems that Arkansas has a mix of Gulf, Appalachian, and a little Texas to my ears.....similar, but still somewhat different than a Carolina/Tenn/Virginia accent.

I'd like to visit Arkansas one day.....it seems like a "hidden gem" southern state. The Ozarks seem really nice too.

Since your state is right below Missouri, is it true that some people in Missouri pronounce it "Missourah". I am sure that your state has at least a little midwestern influence in the very northern section, doesn't it??

Yeah I don't know how prevalent it is but I do here people saying Missourah. I don't think there's much midwestern influence in the state though. I think there's some in extreme northwestern Arkansas. I tend to think it's the other way around. I think the southern accent keeps going north into southern Missouri. Granted it's not as strong as many areas of the south but I think many people I've met from southern Missouri still have a bit of a southern accent. I'd like to be able to hear some more southern accents in general. I can generalize some southern areas. But I know it's much more complex than that. If you ever need any Arkansas info for a future trip let us know. We'll see what we can do to help you out.

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Yeah I don't know how prevalent it is but I do here people saying Missourah. I don't think there's much midwestern influence in the state though. I think there's some in extreme northwestern Arkansas. I tend to think it's the other way around. I think the southern accent keeps going north into southern Missouri. Granted it's not as strong as many areas of the south but I think many people I've met from southern Missouri still have a bit of a southern accent. I'd like to be able to hear some more southern accents in general. I can generalize some southern areas. But I know it's much more complex than that. If you ever need any Arkansas info for a future trip let us know. We'll see what we can do to help you out.

Then again, if a midwestern accent is by definition the absence of an accent....then the North has footholds all over the south....

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Then again, if a midwestern accent is by definition the absence of an accent....then the North has footholds all over the south....

It depends on which midwestern accent you refer to. The upper midwest certainly has a strong accent. The southern areas of the midwest don't. But I don't think it's necessarily the fact they don't have one. I think it's more the fact that it's more readily understandable to all the other accents. The only area I tend to see without an accent is the western US. I have heard that is attributed to the fact the west hasn't been settled as long and have yet to establish an accent yet.

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Oh yeah, I have heard Billy Bob Thornton, and I remember Wesley Clark's accent as well. There are similarities between them. I think you are correct in saying that the coastal southern accents are a bit different than the interior southern and especially gulf southern. I really enjoy all of the variations the southern accent posseses.

You are right, in most of western and even some of the central piedmont of North Carolina you will hear some major twang going on. It is almost nasal in a southern kind of way. You go to the eastern part of the state and the accent mellows and smooths out a bit more, generally speaking. I have been told from various people I had little accent, a country twang, and a southern drawl.......different people with different ears, I suppose.

Tennessee is a bit different than North Carolina, 'cuz the western section sounds like it has a little deep south influence. Eastern Tenn. is similar to western North Carolina with the Appalachian thing going on, hence "North Cack-a-lackie", lol.

It seems that Arkansas has a mix of Gulf, Appalachian, and a little Texas to my ears.....similar, but still somewhat different than a Carolina/Tenn/Virginia accent.

I'd like to visit Arkansas one day.....it seems like a "hidden gem" southern state. The Ozarks seem really nice too.

Since your state is right below Missouri, is it true that some people in Missouri pronounce it "Missourah". I am sure that your state has at least a little midwestern influence in the very northern section, doesn't it??

Wesley Clark isn

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Mith, every person who speaks on the planet Earth has an accent. If someone from the West moved here to Little Rock and associated with a group of people from the area, he would be deemed the one who sounded strange because of his accent. I think what you mean is that the Western accent is the type that sounds the closest to the accent on news broadcasts, and therefore is thought of as being

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I think the main reason you go to places where people have different accents is because people move around so much in today's society. You'd think that the mass media would help wipe out many accents. But studies keep stating otherwise. There's even a little article in this month's National Geographic saying accents are actually becoming stronger and more different from each other. It usually takes quite a while but a lot of people do eventually take on accents if they live in a place long enough. One of my coworkers is originally from California. She's lived here in northwest Arkansas for about 15 years and she's got a stronger accent than I do. But as I said before, with the way people move around so much, I'm not sure if people tend to stay in areas long enough to pick up accents. I think it it's more evident here in the south, because so many people seem to be moving into this region along with the west. The bigger cities in the south seem to be losing out because they have such a large percentage of people that have moved into the area from another region. But given time things could end up a bit like it is over in Britain. Where every city it seems has it's own accent.

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Your statement makes sense...but I don't think you can say that.

I know several native-born Arkansans at my school without accents. In fact, there really isn't anyone at my school with an accent. ....maybe 3-7 people at most.

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