Sunday, April 17, 2011

Maine Talks... but how?

One fascination that folks seem to have with Maine is the so-called "Maine accent," which is liberally abused by actors from all over the place.

Mainer Tara Taylor did a bunch of research on the topic for her thesis project, which can be seen online at, and is called "Hahd Tellin' Not Knowin'"

The project itself takes the form of a massive Flash file, which will take some time to load and watch. But the end result is pretty neat. The page that loads gives you several options. You can listen and read about "The Dialect," "The Words" (there's a great vocabulary list), and "The People" who use them. For another melange of words and images, you can click on "The Place." All in all, it's a fun way to focus on the rhythm of speech that most of us here in Maine take for granted.

I realized when listening to her recorded interviews that I run across the Maine accent all the time, but being from here I don't think about it, my brain just fills in the blanks and accepts certain turns of phrase and pronunciations as normal. For me, they are normal. There's almost a tidal push and pull in the way Mainers talk that grows on you, and while it drives some folks from away nuts trying to decipher it, there are those of us that delight in it as a simple element of who everyone here is.

1 comment:

Gorio said...

The maine accent is unique and words are being lost. I compiled a list on my blog...