Is it proper to say "Texan accent" or "Texas accent" - or does it make any difference?

  • Ahm purdy shur Texans speak Texan in a Texan accent: what other way could they speak it? :) – tchrist Aug 18 '13 at 0:24
  • Both are fine. You can use the adjective form or the noun as modifier form. What people -tend- to say is another matter. It's a "Southern" accent, not a "France" accent, and oppositely a "New York" accent, not a ... whatever-they-call-them-there accent. – Mitch Aug 18 '13 at 14:48

I've never heard anyone say Texan accent, while Texas accent is pretty common. Ngrams agrees with me.

On the other hand, you won't hear anyone say England accent or America accent over English accent or American accent. I am not sure about the reason behind this inconsistency but I suspect that perhaps with non-countries, the region/state/city name is used, regardless of the existence of an adjective form.

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    Um, no: Ngrams doesn't agree with you, because it certainly has heard people say that. Yes, three times as many people say the other version, but that's far from negligible. – tchrist Aug 18 '13 at 0:27
  • As a Brit, I'd be inclined to say Texan. I'd also say Californian. For the latter, Ngrams still shows Califoria as higher, but with a less marked difference than for Texas – TrevorD Aug 18 '13 at 0:30
  • @TrevorD It's not just you: I'd say a Californian or Texan accent, too. Some states have easy adjectival forms, but many do not. Sure, if pressed into service you can variously have Montanan, Floridian, New Mexican, Coloradan, Nevadan, Minnesotan, Virginian, Arizonan, Oregonian, Indianan, North Carolinan, South Dakotan but you run into trouble with using that style for accents in places like Connecticut, Massachusetts, Wyoming, Wisconsin, New York. – tchrist Aug 18 '13 at 1:07
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    Well, I would never say Texas accent and I would have wagered on it and have lost the sum. It might be more pertinent to know whether the Texans themselves refer to their dialect/accent as being Texas or Texan. – Mari-Lou A Aug 18 '13 at 4:23
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    @Mari-Lou A: Don't the Texans call their dialect "normal", and name everyone else's accent? – Pieter Geerkens Aug 18 '13 at 6:08

One speaks with a Texas accent, but one talks Texan. See this article.

EDIT: By request, a relevant excerpt from the linked article. Note the distinction made between a "Texas accent" and "talking Texan."

The Texas accent "has great symbolic value. It has a local identity versus, say, Arizona English. That makes Texas English more resilient," said Lars Hinrichs, an English language and linguistics professor at UT Austin.

There are many aspects to "talking Texan": pronunciation, cadence, syntax, not to mention vocabulary. And, technically, there are several Texas accents — the drawl of East Texans like Matthew McConaughey, say, or the nasal West Texas twang of Laura Bush.

  • Interesting article, it would be a pity if, in the future, the link became broken or if you had to subscribe to the paper in order to read the piece. You should put the relevant info in block quotes. – Mari-Lou A Aug 18 '13 at 4:19
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    @Mari-LouA Good suggestion, thanks. I edited the article accordingly. – Gnawme Aug 18 '13 at 4:46

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