23 June 2011

We are a hill people...

Hey, I promised you some dialect and I don't want to disappoint. These are examples of the dialect spoken where I grew up. Geographically, the region is known as "Upper Appalachia." Its denizens affectionately call it "coal minin' country." The dialect is a variant of the Midland or North Midland dialect region.

Jesco White "Outlaw Dancer"
phonological (sound) variants:  
  • warsh     "wash"
  • crik         "creek"
  •  simular   "similar"
  • 'at           "that"
  • 'ere          "there"
  • 'At 'ere... "That there..."

lexical (word/vocabulary) variants:
    • press      "closet"
    • redd out "clean out" (note: redd up is "to clear the table")
    • dinner    "lunch" (Really; it's so confusing.)
    • mango    "green pepper" (Talk about confusing! Even says it at the grocery store.)
    • commode "toilet"
    • poke        "brown paper bag" 

                                           syntactic (grammar/usage) variants:
    Mamie White
    • We wuz at BINGO when we seen 'im.  
    • Conjugation of "to be" and wider use of the past participle differ greatly from standard English.
    • We's been rentin' lots a' movies anymore.  
      This is referred to as "positive anymore" and is not regularly found in any other dialect.
    • We had pork chops and applesauce, an'at. 
      Sociolinguists refer to this catch-all phrase, suffixed to any list in a sentence, as "the an'at."
    • The baby needs fed; that cat wants put out; the dog likes his haid petted.
      Honest to god, we talk like this.
    • You'ins is comin', ain't yinz?
      These second person plural pronouns correspond to the better-known y'all of the South. There's also we'z but I don't think it's as noticeable in connected speech.

    "The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia!" Go ahaid! Click on 'im!

        1 comment:

        1. I kind of like "the cat wants put out." I think I'll start using that.