Talk:Midland American English

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Western, ENE, WNE, etc.[edit]

I'm glad we now have a Midland article. Thank you, Jack Lumber. I think the dialects on Wikipedia should correspond with those in ANAE. Right now, that's obviously not the case. I realize the Western dialect is largely the same as this one, but ENE and WNE could use articles. Should the General American article stay? I don't know if it could be deleted anyway. Thegryseone (talk) 03:04, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

We currently have a New England English article, but it's a mess--not to mention that there's no single "New England English" in the first place. General American exists as a region-free, idealized set of speech patterns; it doesn't exist as a regional accent, however, so it can't be analyzed within the same framework as Midland, Western, etc. The General American article should stay IMO, but with the caveat that it's something different from Southern American English, Midland American English, or Inland Northern American English. Jack(Lumber) 14:17, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

So what you're saying is that GA is just a concept, and it doesn't actually exist. Thegryseone (talk) 17:56, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

It doesn't exist *as a regional dialect*; in this respect, it's similar to Received Pronunciation, which used to be associated with a specific region of England but it's not anymore. General American does exist as a region-free accent, and its speakers are found throughout the country. Jack(Lumber) 19:31, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

So, how is the (North) Midland dialect different form GA? (talk) 21:04, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

I think that Labov, Ash & Boberg have the answer (Chapter 19). They do not justify the labeling of any one dialect as "General American", a term promoted by John Kenyon to indicate a conservative Inland Northern dialect. But the Inland North dialect is now strikingly different from other North American dialects because of the NCS. Therefore, The Midland dialect ... would have a much stronger claim to be the lowest common denominator of the various dialects of North America. Many features of the Midland are the default features – that is, the linguistic landscape remaining when marked local dialect features are eroded. Jack(Lumber) 21:42, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

If one were to exclude NCS from the modern Inland Northern dialect (as many people in rural areas still do, for example), would it be safe to say that that would be the dialect that most closely approximates General American? Talu42 (talk) 06:43, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Saying "exclude NCS from the modern Inland Northern dialect" is largely meaningless—the Inland North is defined by modern dialectologists as the area subject to the NCS. On the other hand, General American was more-or-less based on the dialect spoken in the Inland North before the NCS began, so you may be right in that respect. AJD (talk) 00:21, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Fronting of /aʊ/[edit]

Do you have a source for that Jack Lumber? I mean, I'm quite sure that it happens, but you know Wikipedia. Thegryseone (talk) 03:12, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, don't worry, I can provide citations for just about everything--except of course the statements with the "citation needed" tag... Jack(Lumber) 14:17, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I also have a formant chart for the North Midland; I'm going to upload it later on today. Jack(Lumber) 14:22, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Original Research About the Boundary Between the Midland and the South[edit]

The actual Midland dialect is a bit more complicated. People southern Illinois, southern Indiana, and southern Ohio speak a Southern-influenced dialect. I have also heard speakers of this dialect from Missouri, Iowa, and Kansas. It may not be identical to SAE, but it definitely bears resemblance to it. I'm pretty sure that all of the speakers of this Southern-influenced dialect are outside the Inland North. From what I've observed, the speakers of this dialect are: 1.)Of a lower social class (in a supposedly classless society) 2.)From rural areas or small towns (outside of the Inland North region as I said). I have heard speakers of this dialect from as far north as Roseville, Illinois (not that that's a notable place). This very well could be a sociolect. Please don't tell me to research this, because I would like to; I just can't right now. Thegryseone (talk) 03:39, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

I finally read the article now. How stupid of me. It's the South Midland I'm referring to. People there sound very different from the people of the central parts of those states. But there are people surprisingly far north who speak something similar. Thegryseone (talk) 04:00, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

I have sources for that too. Each one of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio can be divided into at least three dialect areas; this should be emphasized somehow. Jack(Lumber) 14:17, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm from Southern Indiana (which according to this article is in the South Midland region) and I disagree with your description of South Midlands English. All of my grandparents and my parents are from the South Midlands and neither they nor any of the other natives of the area I know use y'all or shorten /ɑɪ/ to [ɑː]. Does anyone dispute this, or can it be corrected?

I have noticed some pecularities in the speech in this area. For example most people here say roof with the u sound in hoof and milk with the e sound in yet. Many people also saw "whenever" instead of "when," i.e. "Whenever I turned 16, my parents bought me my first car." Is this tendency found in any other region?

Irishevan99 (talk) 22:28, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Lead paragraph[edit]

I'm having trouble getting across a particular important idea for the lead paragraph. Here is the sentence in question as it stands now:

Midland American English's "exact regional boundaries and defining features are somewhat debated among linguists due to its pronunciation undergoing rapid changes since the mid-twentieth century."

Here is the version of the sentence that I think gives a fuller picture and yet, obviously, it makes for a clumsy and unwieldy sentence:

Midland American English's "exact regional boundaries and defining features are debated among linguists due the fact that some linguistic studies base its definition more on its lexical/vocabulary features and others more on its phonological features and even furthermore due to the fact that its pronunciation has begun undergoing rapid changes since the mid-twentieth century."

Any thoughts on how to get these same ideas across more concisely or neatly? Wolfdog (talk) 06:16, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

"Its exact regional boundaries are somewhat debated among linguists because there a variety of possible ways to define its key features, and communities in the region have been undegoing rapid phonological change"? AJD (talk) 07:34, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

Bad map[edit]

The pink and green map near the top of the article includes Philadelphia but not central and western Pennsylvania in its broadly-defined Midland / SE super-region area. This is definitely wrong; central and western PA is more Midland-like in virtually respects than southeastern PA, and so any definition or map of the Midland that includes the latter should include the former. Can someone redo this map? AJD (talk) 07:37, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

  • True. Not sure how I overlooked this. Ping me in a few days if I forget to change this. Are we considering Western Pennsylvania English (as well as Mid-Atlantic American English) a type of Midland English? Wolfdog (talk) 16:01, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
    • Actually, the ANAE does not classify central and western Pennsylvania, on p. 137, as part of the southeastern super-region on the basis of the Midland/Southeast showing no completed cot-caught merger. (I do see other discrepancies on the WP map.) Of course, the ANAE gives just one definition of Midland American English. Wolfdog (talk) 16:20, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
      • Well, huh. (But defining the southeastern super-region by "cot-caught merger was not yet quite complete in 1996" is clearly a definition doomed to obsolescence, even more than most dialect-region definitions.) AJD (talk) 18:09, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
        • I agree that it's an odd basis for a definition. Feel free to take down the map if you think it's more confusing than clarifying. There's so much transition in the Midland at the moment that there is probably no universally appealing map. Wolfdog (talk) 20:22, 26 December 2016 (UTC)