Tangier Island, VA - accent

  1. Ouabache

    Ouabache 1,323
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I was watching some clips on dialects of American English and
    ran across a very odd one. Has anyone had experience with the folks
    speaking on Tangier Island, Virginia? The people who settled there began
    arriving from England in 1670s.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIZgw09CG9E
    Listen to the folks sitting around the shop at 0:39 -0:58 and 1:35 - 2:08

    Can you understand what they are saying? Does the accent remind you of one
    you've heard before? (where)?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. wolram

    wolram 3,719
    Gold Member

    There has been another thread on this, it is most interesting, i would love to talk to these guys.
     
  4. Ouabache

    Ouabache 1,323
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Actually I had PM'd you about this one, two months ago. You were thinking they sounded possibly, West Country (UK) but not Brummie. A friend from northern Canada told me it sounded like an accent he's heard in New Foundland.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2008
  5. turbo

    turbo 7,365
    Gold Member

    Yep! When I heard those guys, I thought "Newfies"
     
  6. They don't move their upper lips very much when they speak.
     
  7. Ouabache

    Ouabache 1,323
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Good call. They do lean in that direction.. here are some Newfies..
    it was titled "Another Newfie Discussion"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I70kiCR_Pio
     
  8. Ouabache

    Ouabache 1,323
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You're right I didn't notice that before :smile:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I recently spoke with a lady from Otley, Yorkshire, UK. She thought they sounded a bit like West Country (Cornwall).. so I did a little digging.. Here is a Cornish fisherman's accent. See what you think? (voices start around 1:23)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmkQKaSEso
    (there seems to be some technical difficulties with new server on embedded youtubes. If embedded video says, no longer available, try the hypertext link I gave above).
     
  9. I wonder what area of England these Tangier Island people came from?
     
  10. Tangiers Island was settled by fishermen from Devon and Cornwall in the late 17th Century prior to the larger emigration from Southern England to the Chesapeake Bay area. I’m from Devon originally and the dialect being spoken definitely sounds like an archaic form of the far southwest England (Devon and Cornwall) accent.

    Hope that helps
     
  11. Ouabache

    Ouabache 1,323
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I've got a new lead on those folks Wollie!! I just met a Geordie who moved to a town in Somerset. He believes they sound close to a Somerset accent and also confirms they sound like Newfies.. So perhaps some West Country fisherfolk came over to Newfoundland in 1600s and some wandered down the coast to this island in the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia and kept their accents from the 1600s.
     
  12. I've been to Newfoundland. They dont talk that funny, they sound irish. Hey Ivan, did you see the Newfy point with his middle finger in the video? Forward to 1:02
     
  13. Yes their accent is somewhat weird. Must be the influence from their Scottish settlers way back in the 1600s. Physical isolation from mainland VA could be another factor. They do sound like Newfies because Newfoundland was settled by Scotts as well.
     
  14. Garth

    Garth 3,367
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  15. Ouabache

    Ouabache 1,323
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    okay we have another good comparison to an old Cornish accent. I found this on the website of the British Library, archive of sound recordings. We have a farmer from Kilkhamton, Cornwall by the name Richard Hurd (born in 1872) and recorded in 1963. Don't be confused by the interviewer who is not from the area. As soon as I heard Richard's second sentence "I was out to service.." I hear the same intonation as the Tangier Islanders. The rest of the clip has more great examples, as he tells his story of tending bullocks & sheep.
     
  16. Sounds like the West Country, around Cornwall or Somerset to me.
     
  17. It sounds like the original English language. The words heard are similar, if not the same to those used when England had various dialect in different regions of England all based on English.

    There's a word at around 0.50 in the original video that I've heard before but can't quite place it.
     
  18. Ouabache

    Ouabache 1,323
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    That is good corroborative news. I see you are now in northern UK. I wonder, do you know some people down West Country. Did you live near there?
     
  19. I live in Wales, which is just North of Cornwall.

    Been there a few times and the accent is very similar. But, it still sounds older. Particularly the language used.

    Could even be Yorkshire language wise, not sure with the accent.
     
  20. AlephZero

    AlephZero 7,298
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Just for info, I think somebody has mixed up two different regions here.

    West Country is the extreme south-west of England, i.e. Devon and Cornwall

    West Midlands is the region around Birmingham (approximately the center of England) and west to the border with Wales. Brummie is the acccent in the city of Birmingham itself. The region close to Birmingham is also called the Black Country (because of the number of factories built there in the Industrial Revolution).

    The accent in the video is west country - nothing like the west midlands accent. The main feature IMO is the extreme difference in length between the very long and very short vowels, and the fact that groups of short syllables are almost run together without the consonants
     
  21. AlephZero

    AlephZero 7,298
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I didn't spot any Yorkshire dialect words (My ancestors are 50% Yorkshire and 50% Lincolnshire).

    The Yorks accent is completely different - very "flat" vowel sounds.

    Yorkshire dialect is mainly Scandinavian origin (as were the people). 50 years ago it was said that a non-English-speaking Norweedish person and a typical Yorkshire dalesman could understand each other well enough to communicate, without any language lessons.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share a link to this question via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook
Similar discussions for: Tangier Island, VA - accent
Loading...