I'm currently researching attitudes towards accent variation in countries across the world. What I'm particularly interested in are the accents which people dislike - stigmatised accents, and was wondering if people out there who are not from the US or UK could tell me what the most heavily stigmatised accent is in their country. I've so far determined that the most disfavoured variety in the UK is the Black Country variety, in the US it is the 'hill-billy' accent of southern states, in Norway it is the Toten variety, in Greece it is the Cretan variety, and in Germany it is the Sachsen variety. Any help would be much appreciated.
Well, not all southern states, Hythloday. Mostly the Appalachian Mountains accent.
Personally, I don’t find the "hillbilly" or Appalachian Mts accent annoying at all. Granted, those who speak this way are subject to relentless ridicule because, well, let’s face it, they’re not well educated and it shows in their grammar. But still, there’s a certain down-home charm to the accent.
The accent(s) I do find annoying are the outer boroughs accents of New York City (the stereotypical "toidy-toid and toid" pronunciation for the intersection of 33rd and 3rd streets). Most annoying is the Queens accent, which is whiny, nasally, dissonant, and coarse. The men from Queens don’t sound as bad, but the women, with their shrill, piercing, and nagging voices are like nails on chalkboard (imagine being in a small room with Edith Bunker, the Nanny, and her mother – oy vey!). Sorry if I offend anyone, but again, this is just my personal opinion.
REPOST for easier reading:
Personally, I don't find the "hillbilly" or Appalachian accent annoying at all. Granted, those who speak this way are subject to relentless ridicule because, well, let's face it, they're not well educated and it shows in their grammar. But still, there's a certain down-home charm to the accent.
The accent(s) I do find annoying are the outer boroughs accents of New York City (the stereotypical "toidy-toid and toid" pronunciation for the intersection of 33rd and 3rd streets). Most annoying is the Queens accent, which is whiny, nasally, dissonant, and coarse. The men from Queens don't sound as bad, but the women, with their shrill, piercing, and nagging voices are like nails on chalkboard (imagine being in a room with Edith Bunker, the Nanny, and her mother -- oy vey!). Sorry if I offend anyone, but again, this is just my personal opinion.
What Julian means by "Queens" is one of New York City's boroughs, not the Queen of the Commonwealth.
Agreed, New York accents are THE most annoying in the world. O_O I just can't talk to these people. I once had a French teacher who was a New Yorker. AHHHHH
Personally, I don't really appreciate the accents of the rural American south- accents in states such as Alabama and South Carolina. It's just my personal opinion so don't feel offended if you come from those places.
I think Estuary English (middle-class standard in Southern England), Californian English, and Midwestern American English are the most non-stigmatised accents, i.e. they are appreciated almost everywhere.
In China, every dialect is stigmatised in every place in which people don't speak that dialect.
There is still some negativity to Estuary in northern England, as it is a "southern" accent. I've been on plenty of message boards with Northerners talking about "Cockney w*nkers" referring to anyone from the London area who talks Estuary now and not just people in East London. Accents in northern Britain such as Geordie and standard Scottish are probably more accepted than Cockney on the whole, I would say. I think I read a poll on the subject one time that said such. Yorkshire tends to be fairly well liked as well.
In the US, you are right. Midwestern (except for rural Minnesota) and California (except for Valley Girl and Chicano accents) are pretty well universally accepted here, although some southerners don't like "yankees" and their accents much.
Yes, Black Country and Birmingham I would say. Many formerly stigmatised regional accents have become fashionable but the above still get a bad press outside their areas. They are very close (geographically) to each other but if I said they were similar I would be stepping outside the boundaries of my knowledge.
In my opinion, the most stigmatised accent in Australia would have to be the Aussie Yobbo accent, and to a lesser extent, the "Wog" accent. The yobbo accent is the equivalant of the American red neck accent. The "Wog" accent describes the accent of Greek Australians (in the past "Wog" was an insulting term for Greek). There was a huge influx of Greek/Italian immigration into Australia after WW2, especially into Melbourne, which has lead to the large Greek and Italian communities in present day Australia. So, just as there is an Italian influenced American accent, there is a Greek/Italian influenced Aussie accent, dubbed the "Wog" accent, which is often negatively stereotyped.
What about Aborigine accents, Rugger? In the US, the African American accent is kind of stigmatized but mostly it is either laughed at or imitated by white youths. The Applachian accent and perhaps some New York accents are still more stigmatized than the African American accent, I think.
Rugger, are the accents you mention still restricted to any specific geographical areas like Melbourne? The American 'red neck' accent is southern, I believe, so I was wondering whether same was true of the 'yobbo' accent. I was also wondering whether they are predominantly lower/working-class, and can you also tell us how they are negatively stereotyped?
I think its the American accent thats the most annoying.To me all Americans sound just about the same.If I had to pick it would be the valley girl kind of accent.All Americans sound very nasal.
I still fail to understand what's so much more likable about a Canadian accent than an American accent. They are almost the same. I really think that some people in other countries have a bias against Americans that makes them biased against the accent. This is similar to countries like the UK in which people in cities like Birmingham and Liverpool also have stigmatized accents just because people don't like the cities.
I agree with Ryan. American and Canadian accents are almost the same. After all, there is no DMZ between the US and Canada. You don't have US and Canadian soldiers staring one another out, prepared to open fire anytime, and blaring propaganda from loudspeakers like they do at the North/South Korea border.