Minstrel's Dialect

Daniel Partner dpmstrel at BAYAREA.NET
Mon Nov 10 21:25:44 UTC 2003

Hello, I am a musician and performer specializing American antebellum popular
music, especially the music of the early blackface minstrels. I am researching
the dialect that these performers used in the lyrics of their songs. Can you
direct me to any sources concerning mid-nineteenth century American phonetics
and/or something specific about the language of the blackface minstrels?

For example: How did they pronounce the word "de" as in "De Camptown Ladies
sing dis song, doo-dah! doo-dah!" Was it with a long or a short "e"?

I appreciate your help.

  Daniel Partner

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