Y’all.

I am not native Texan and my speech sounds more Midwestern than Texan.  This surprises some people, when they learn that the sum total of my various times in Texas exceeds 45 years.  My speech, like many others of my generation, has been homogenized by mass media.  Years ago, when I began exploring small towns in Texas, I learned to relax my speech in order to sound more Texan.  I broke myself of the habit of saying “you guys” and began saying “y’all”.   Still, no matter how much I strive to sound naturally Texan in order to fit in, I never will.

Oh, before I forget let me add this:   most Hollywood ideas of Texas speech sound as phony as my Chinese.  (My Spanish, though, is pretty darn good!)

Anyway, if you are curious about such things, here is a map of English dialects in Texas.  The map is 35 years old, and is taken from Atlas of Texas, published in 1976.  I am too ignorant about dialects to tell you what is meant by Upland Southern Dialect or Plantation Southern Dialect.  You will have to figure that out for yourself…

This map is presented courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

Please let us know what you think about what we see.