WRAL.com at the State Fair

Do you speak NC?

Posted October 17, 2010

If you've just moved here you know there's such a thing as a southern accent. If you've lived here for any length of time you probably also know that there are many different southern accents, even in just our state. People in different parts of North Carolina talk in different ways.

The North Carolina Language and Life Project was established in 1993 to research the language differences in our state and beyond. And they're at the Fair for the first time this year. They're in the lobby of the Expo building, close to front entrance doors.

Grab a button or two (I Speak NC! Juvember!) and check out the DVDs that the project has put together. Offerings include films on the Lumbee dialect and the "Carolina Brogue" accent of the Outer Banks, as well as an upcoming DVD on the life and culture of "Down East."

The group has a Web site available at http://www.talkingnc.com with more information about the group as well as information about the books, films, and CDs available (along with some previews.) There's a list of broadcast times for the group's films, so you can find out when to see them without having to buy them, but the dates on it are from 2009 -- eek!

If you want a sample of the many different ways North Carolinians speak, visit the International Dialects of English Archive, which has a page for North Carolina at http://web.ku.edu/~idea/northamerica/usa/northcarolina/northcarolina.htm. Here you can sample the speech of North Carolinians of different ages and geographic areas.

Or you could just sit down on a bench outside of Dorton Arena and listen as the people come by and the voices come over the loudspeakers. "Chocolate Paaaahhh... Lemon Pahhhhh...."


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  • enlightened Oct 18, 2010

    I moved to NC just before the 9th grade. I'm 45 now and still don't enjoy hearing the NC accents. It's not just the speech, either; it's also the incorrect grammar and emphasis on the wrong syllables.
    "Get me some IN-sho-ince." "Wear my UM-brella." "Get me my TOW-boggin." "Mash the brakes."
    It's embarrassing for the state when our elected officials sound like this, too.

  • swerves Oct 18, 2010

    I picked up the Mountain Talk DVD. If you have an affinity for the mountains and the awesome folks who have lived there for generations, it really is an awesome documentary. I was so excited to see this group at the fair!