Cos (cos) wrote,

New England Tahk

From a coworker:
    My mother who had a career as a school psychologist, moved to Southern Maine in her forties, having lived in Cincinnati since girlhood. Early on, she was testing a kid, and asked him, "Can you tell me what a hat is?"

    The kid answered, "A haht? A haht's what beats in your chest!"

    The thing is, when I tell that story to native New Englanders, they don't get it. "That's a perfectly good answer for a kid!"
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
Why no, I'm not a NOC.
Wait, something doesn't jive here.

If she's from Cincinnati, she would've said 'hæt' aloud. A New Englander reading this would think of the sound 'h/ah/t'. However the Cincy lady would have spoken it, not written it.

I lived in Boston for a dozen years. I know pronunciation differs. However you're suggesting that aural parsing differs.

I understand this with Long Island accents, where they say "Mary, merry, and marry" differently but us upstate New Yorker cannot hear a difference. It took me a year of Nassau County jagovs laughing at me before I realized they nasalized two of them (the ones without the 'e') and had this vowel stretch on the Virgin's name.

Do Bostonians think "hat" and "heart" are homophones? I never noticed anything that extreme. How would they honor the flag at the opening of sporting events?
Do Bostonians think "hat" and "heart" are homophones? I never noticed anything that extreme.
I've known a tiny handful of people with accents that *strong*, but I don't think they were in that particular direction. (Closer to "hot" and "heart" being homophones? Though not all the way there?)

But accents can vary a great deal based just on where in the Boston area you are (I once read something which described how they'd migrated around since the mid-to-late 1800s; I wish I could find it again); the stereotypical "pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd" accent exists, but is a pretty small % of the metro-area population. A Southern Maine accent might well be nowhere near Bostonian.