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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: November ::
Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainmen
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.2278  Wednesday, 13 November 2002

[1]     From:   Joachim Martillo <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 12 Nov 2002 14:30:47 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2263 Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainme

[2]     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 12 Nov 2002 14:43:26 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2263 Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainmen

[3]     From:   D. Bloom <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Nov 2002 07:40:39 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.2263 Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainmen


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joachim Martillo <
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Date:           Tuesday, 12 Nov 2002 14:30:47 EST
Subject: 13.2263 Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainmen
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2263 Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainmen

>#3 Over the past 40 years I have heard of studies being conducted by
>various groups from both the UK and the US.  Opinions varied but the
>overall view was that in Tenn., GA, KY and North Carolina there were/are
>pockets that have retained some vestige of pre-colonial English. You
>might start with Duke Univ.  Appalachia starts in Pennsylvania and ends
>in Arkansas(?).  This is a large piece of territory and so there would
>be many variations in dialect.

I thought the dialects preserved in the South were regionally incorrect
if one were trying to approximate Elizabethan London pronunciation.
Until very recently there was an alleged pre-colonial dialect spoken in
rural areas of New England particularly in Western MA and parts of NH
and Vermont.  It was supposed to originate in Southwest England.

I have read similar claims for the pineys in NJ.  And I vaguely remember
that certain NY dialects were particularly conservative in the
preservation of a wide array of vowel sounds.

I know that some common words where I grew up in NJ had yet to shift
long u to au although these pronunciations no longer exist.  Because a
lot of people still used voiced h in wh in parts of NJ, it was a long
time before I perceived which and witch as homonyms.  I do not know if
these pronunciations are colonial, pre-colonial or otherwise, but they
seem conservative.

I vaguely remember one claim that an educated Elizabethan Londoner would
sound like Franklin Roosevelt if he were speaking with a strong Irish
brogue.

If the proposal were true, such an accent would not sound particularly
Appalachian.

Joachim Martillo

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Tuesday, 12 Nov 2002 14:43:26 -0500
Subject: 13.2263 Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainmen
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2263 Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainmen

>Southern drawl is not the language for witty
>byplay.

Egregious cultural chauvinism, John Velz. I'm only a Southerner by
experience--4 years at a Southern college, and a lifetime of exposure to
some very close friends of Southern origin.  In both connections I've
heard as much witty byplay as I ever heard while living in London or
dining with British friends.

I sense here an echo of the made-for-TV Much Ado (1973) with Sam
Waterston as Benedick and Kathleen Widdoes as Beatrice.  It is set in
the American South in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War, but the
southern elements are mostly visual and ethical--ideals of honor and
gender, in particular--not matters of accent.

David Evett

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D. Bloom <
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Date:           Wednesday, 13 Nov 2002 07:40:39 -0600
Subject: 13.2263 Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainmen
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.2263 Re: Much Ado About . . . Mountainmen

Haddon Judson writes:

>. . . I realize
>that the term "Hillbilly" is a product of Hollywood.

and

> . . .overall view was that in Tenn., GA, KY and North Carolina there
>were/are pockets that have retained some vestige of pre-colonial English.

I hate to be nit-picky, but I believe the term "hillbilly" antedates the
movie industry. The first listing in the old OED Supplement is 1904.

Likewise, I'm not sure how pre-colonial English could exist anywhere in
America, unless pre-colonial is a technical term has passed me by.

Just to be clear about it.

don

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