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#1
Old 06-22-2007, 09:44 AM
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Is there a distinctive Alaskan accent?

And if there is, could someone point me to a recorded example of it? (Or them, if there's more than one.) I mean, it's easy for me to name a Georgia accent (Paula Deen), or Massachusetts (any Kennedy), or Brooklyn (Bugs Bunny). Is there a similarly distinctive Alaska accent?
#2
Old 06-22-2007, 10:57 AM
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No, not really.

Alaskans (other than some Alaskan Natives, and that's generally a case of ESL accenting) have essentially an American-neutral accent.

If you're really curious, you can email me at the email in my profile and I'll give you my phone number - I grew up in Alaska
#3
Old 06-22-2007, 11:04 AM
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Gotta differ with Aangelica. Grew up in Seattle, I can pick an Alaska accent out of a crowded bar room full of conversation. And it's not because the voice is bragging about wrestiling a halibut to the deck of a trawler and raping it in front of a dozen bored onlookers either.

I don't have a recorded example though. I'd describe it as typical Pac Northwest with slightly exaggerated vowels & Rs.
#4
Old 06-22-2007, 11:06 AM
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I wouldn't think so. I spent 7 years in Alaska and they sounded just like I do, that is typical West Coast Normal.
#5
Old 06-22-2007, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aangelica
If you're really curious, you can email me at the email in my profile and I'll give you my phone number - I grew up in Alaska
Geez, that was the easiest time I ever had pulling a girl's digits. I wonder: could I adapt this technique, somehow, to work in bars or clubs? The possibilities are endless!

Um, I mean...e-mail coming.
#6
Old 06-22-2007, 11:14 AM
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Alaska somebody that question and see what they say.

"Juneau if there is a distinctive accent?"

"I have Nome idea"
#7
Old 06-22-2007, 12:08 PM
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Heh, I'm more than happy to be disagreed with, Inigo, as I have no real ear for accents - but I sound precisely like every other Alaskan I've met, and nobody ever seems to peg my accent.

Plus, I've had to do a lot of interaction with tourists, who all seem vaguely amazed that nobody in Alaska has an accent. Of course, a good many of them also surprised we spoke English, so there you go.

If anything, in times of stress or pure irritation, I have a south-east Texas sound to my voice, courtesy of my Dad, the Texan. And living in NYC for the last few years has made me more likely to use the word "fuck" than previously.
#8
Old 06-22-2007, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneCentStamp
Geez, that was the easiest time I ever had pulling a girl's digits. I wonder: could I adapt this technique, somehow, to work in bars or clubs? The possibilities are endless!

Um, I mean...e-mail coming.
Heh Since my days on the dating scene are well and truly over (being happily married to another Doper and all), I'm not sure it'd work as a date-getting device. Although, it's more entertaining than asking a girl up to see your etchings!
#9
Old 06-22-2007, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya
Gotta differ with Aangelica. Grew up in Seattle, I can pick an Alaska accent out of a crowded bar room full of conversation. And it's not because the voice is bragging about wrestiling a halibut to the deck of a trawler and raping it in front of a dozen bored onlookers either.

I don't have a recorded example though. I'd describe it as typical Pac Northwest with slightly exaggerated vowels & Rs.
Are you sure that's not Canadian you're describing? I always thought Canadian "accent" comedians did was grossly exaggerated -- then I watched the Discovery Channel's special on the Ice Road. Man, those guys speak Canuckian!
#10
Old 06-22-2007, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aangelica
Although, it's more entertaining than asking a girl up to see your etchings!
That would never work for me. I wouldn't even be able to get out the word etchings without a pause and a lecherous smirk, and the girl would know full well that I had no etchings.
#11
Old 06-22-2007, 01:44 PM
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There's no detectable accent here. There is one here, but the native language of the speaker is "Yupik".

Incidentally, this site is a really neat little time-waster. You can listen to other regional accents by browsing maps of the world through this link.

Last edited by Max Torque; 06-22-2007 at 01:46 PM.
#12
Old 06-22-2007, 01:50 PM
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I grew up in Alaska and never noticed any major accent change when I moved down to the lower 48. I've been in California so long now that I don't think I retain any of whatever Alaskan accent I may have had. I doubt people up there say "hella" as much as I do now.
#13
Old 06-22-2007, 01:55 PM
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I keep thinking of Marilyn on "Northern Exposure" who had an obvious accent but I wonder if that's more of a Native American accent than an Alaska thing (especially since the show was filmed in Washington State).
#14
Old 06-22-2007, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoeless
I keep thinking of Marilyn on "Northern Exposure" who had an obvious accent but I wonder if that's more of a Native American accent than an Alaska thing (especially since the show was filmed in Washington State).
That's a NA accent, not an Alaskan accent; it's common for Natives who grew up on the rez, though hers was a very broad version. It's actually a really pretty accent, IMO. The excellent movie Smoke Signals features extensive dialog in this accent.
#15
Old 06-22-2007, 02:45 PM
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My WAG is that there has, since, oh, the middle of the last millenium or so, been a significant portion of people in Alaska that were neither born nor raised there. Therefore, the existence of an easily discernable Alaskan accent is unlikely. Please note that having a few common phrases or vowel sounds does not an accent make.
#16
Old 06-22-2007, 03:29 PM
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My uncle moved to nowhere Alaska (Kotzebue) in the 60s and married a native Eskimo. They had 4 daughters during the 70s.
Whenever they came to visit us (rarely) in Milwaukee nobody could detect any type of accent.

I still remember when I and my other Milwaukee cousin (both 12 at the time) got in an arguement with our cousin from Alaska (she was 12 also) she accused us of being prejudice against eskimos. Being 12 we were both extremely confused and amused at the same time.
#17
Old 06-22-2007, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jodi
That's a NA accent, not an Alaskan accent; it's common for Natives who grew up on the rez, though hers was a very broad version. It's actually a really pretty accent, IMO. The excellent movie Smoke Signals features extensive dialog in this accent.
Hee. I was going to assume it was NA because of having heard Adam Beach as well.
#18
Old 06-22-2007, 08:04 PM
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Ya - Marilyn on Northern Exposure had a Native Alaskan accent, and a fairly pronounced one.

That particular accent is fairly common in people who were either raised in smaller, primarily NA communities or people who do not speak English (but rather one of the NA languages) as a first language.

Either way, it's not so much an Alaskan accent as it is a Native Alaskan one, if you see the distinction.
#19
Old 11-17-2010, 05:50 AM
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Alaskan Accents

I wonder about accents in Alaska. I'm from there and do not feel that they exsist. However, Alaska is a large state, and in different regions some accents do prevail. For instance, I thought Sarah Palin was "windy" and her accent was faked. However, the region she comes from had an influx of settlers from the upper midwest states during the great depression. Of course while running for election she hyped up her usage of some phrases like "you betcha, ect." go help her in her attempt to connect with the voters. All politicians do that..it's called code switching. You can hear her attempting to enunciate her -ings and her yous more clearly in responses where she appeared to have a ready answer, and returning to her more natural -in' and ya when she does not have an answer.

So returning to Alaska and accents...yes and no, it depends on the part
example: http://web.ku.edu/~idea/northamerica...ska/alaska.htm

Also, the Marilyn from Northern Exposure was from Washington State (where Norther Exposure was filmed). Her accent is not Alaskan
#20
Old 11-17-2010, 02:40 PM
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"I can see Russian braains from my house."

"OMG, you killed Zombie Palin!" "Wait, she was a zombie?"
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#21
Old 11-17-2010, 02:51 PM
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I always thought Alaskans sounded a bit Canadian. The sum total of my experience with Alaskan speech comes from Deadliest Catch, though.
#22
Old 11-17-2010, 03:01 PM
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I have a friend who grew up in the same place as me (central California) and had the very, very light southern accent we have here, mixed with the sing songy normal So Cal way of speaking. About 6 or 7 years ago, he moved up to Alaska and actually lives not too far from Wasilla. He definitely has picked up. . . some sort of accent. I can't pin it down, but when we talk on the phone now, there have been several times where I've started laughing at him for sounding like Sarah Palin. Don't get me wrong, it's not nearly as pronounced or obnoxious as her way of speaking, but just the way he enunciates certain words. . .
#23
Old 11-17-2010, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaboi867 View Post
"I can see Russian braains from my house."

"OMG, you killed Zombie Palin!" "Wait, she was a zombie?"
The unrevived thread predated Palin's national prominence, so there's no Zombie Palin involved.
#24
Old 11-17-2010, 03:13 PM
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Alaskan born and raised, me. Linguistic background: I am tested high-aptitude for languages and have spoken four languages fairly fluently in my life. I am also a good mimic and have an ear for dialects and accents.

I left Alaska at age 20 and returned to live there at age 50, with several visits in between. After a 30 year absence, I'm sure I would have detected an accent, particularly from my family members who remained there all that time and from co-workers.

IME, Alaskans with accents fall into three categories: Alaska Natives, immigrants from other states/countries and their offspring, and poseurs. There are a large number of people there who are from elsewhere, particularly since the oil boom started and Texans and Okies flooded the place. Their accents are genuine, if occasionally annoying. Palin is a poseur, who affects a folksy accent in order to ingratiate herself with others. There are many like her who affect a Midwestern accent, or a faux Western accent attempting to immitate a Montana drawl. Beats me why they do it.
#25
Old 11-17-2010, 03:18 PM
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Due to the fact that basically no one is a fifth-generation Alaskan, there hasn't been time for Alaska to generate it's own distinct accent. Everyone born and raised here kind of generates their own strange variant accent, based on the strange hybrid environment. If anything, it's easy to spot an Alaskan accent, just based on how goddamn unique that person's accent is.

I've lived here in Alaska for all my life, cradle to early 20s. If you want to hear my strong Alaskan accent, post up a script for me to recite.
#26
Old 11-17-2010, 03:24 PM
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I grew up in Alaska.

Lots of people had accents from where they grew up. There are a lot of transplants, so it's common to hear accents from all over.

Alaska Natives sometimes have a particular accent, even if english is their first language, especially if they grew up in the bush.

Everyone else just had a generic west coast accent. To my ears, I talk exactly like people on TV talk.
#27
Old 11-17-2010, 03:37 PM
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I live on the west coast of Canada, and I fail to detect any significant diffences in accent between the western lower states, BC, or Alaska.

Nothing like the difference one encounters when crossing the Niagara River from Ontario to New York.

Or listening to Bostonians or Newfoundlanders.

I think it takes a couple of centuries of relative isolation to develop a regional accent, and in this day and age of television, individual group accents are even less likely to take hold.
#28
Old 11-17-2010, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneCentStamp View Post
And if there is, could someone point me to a recorded example of it? (Or them, if there's more than one.) I mean, it's easy for me to name a Georgia accent (Paula Deen), or Massachusetts (any Kennedy), or Brooklyn (Bugs Bunny).
Slight nitpick, but the Kennedys don't have a Massachusetts accent. I guess they have a Kennedian accent.
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