Do Amarillo Texas Panhandle Natives Have An Accent?
It's always pretty strange listening to an individual from another part of the country or an entirely different nation speak and hear a completely different accent from our own.
And the crazy part about it is that it is entirely normal to them. To us, their accent is strange and irregular but in their perspective, they are probably the ones speaking normally and we are the ones with the weird accent.
And then that got me thinking. If the residents of Amarillo have an accent, how would we describe it to others if this is our normal way of speaking?
Well, user Unlikely-Chard8496 asked a similar question to r/amarillo, asking users if the Amarillo/Panhandle area has its own accent and if so, how would they describe it? The post got some pretty good answers that had me speaking out loud, trying to figure out if I really do talk this way.
Some Possible Answers
The words "pin" and "pen" sound identical when said by native speakers; they both make the short "i" sound. I had a college professor point this out one time, and it blew my mind.
I listened to an NPR program on our accent once. The most uniquely panhandle part of the accent was our vowel replacement - we replace a's and o's with short u's. In the most iconic example, Amarillo becomes Amuhrilluh.They noted that this accent is actually disappearing over time, and that they could tell the age of a speaker largely on how many vowels they replaced.-isprobablyatwork
the older generation here has a thicker southern accent than most-sitmebackdown
People from the Texas panhandle speak much more slowly and save all of their vowel pronunciation for the last consequential word in a sentence where they can stuff them all in for emphasis:-overthoughtamus
Someone once told me that the Panhandle accent is demonstrated best by Ricky Bobby’s son Texas Ranger in Talladega Nights.-FantasticDayforPBJ
When listening to younger people speaking and comparing them to the way that older folks speak, I definitely can hear a slight difference in accents and the pronunciation of vowels.
As to why the younger generations are losing the accent that older generations have, I honestly don't know, but I am genuinely curious to see where the Amarillo/Panhandle accent will go in the future.
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