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Old 08-01-2009, 12:26 AM
 
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It took the movie Fargo for me to realize how southerners must feel when "generic southern accent" is applied to their region. While I recognize that the movie was meant to be an ironic caricature of the accent, they could have used some help in the accent department.

On a different note, when I moved to Fargo from the middle of ND, I got a lot of guff for my accent.

America is a real hodge-podge of regional accents as well. In some places it's pretty easy to pick out people from a given ethnic group (or region) simply by their accent.
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Old 08-01-2009, 12:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 6 FOOT 3 View Post
I've always wondered about this question.The English Colonist first came over and founded Jamestown in Virginia and Plymouth Mass in the early 1600's and from there they slowly inhabited the original colonies so i wonder when and/or how did we lose the English accent. I know other countries that speak English sound different than Great Britian but Austrailia and even some African countries that speak English sound closer to the motherland than our American English accent.

Anythoughts ??
probably by no longer speaking nor using the same exact words the english used?(
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by majoun View Post
There was a study of California accents at the beginning of the 20th century - early enough to actually observe how Californians spoke before the massive population increases following WW1 - and Northern California accents in that survey resembled those of the Midwest. In particular San Francisco's accent was said to have closely resembled Chicago's. Southern California's accent at the same time was very much like Central Texas.

It seems that the old Northern California accent became the basis for subsequent California English (albeit with Hispanicisms and unique words coming from various subcultures differentiating it from Midwestern English), while the old Southern California accent died out. When I was a kid I did hear old people speaking with that accent but assumed they were Okies/Texans, not being aware that the old SoCal accent was much like that of Austin or San Antonio. Other posters on C-D have said that the old SoCal accent hung on in rural areas until about 1980.

The English of Washington State and BC is pretty generic "North American English" not far removed from "Standard American".
I am from San Antonio and I think the Texas or southern accent is also fading into "Standard American" At least it is in the large Texas cities maybe not so much in the rural areas especially East Texas. I visit relatives in Illinois quite often and they have made comments as to my lack of a southern accent. My one explanation is the huge influx of people from all over the US stationed in SA for the military or just moving there for jobs which has been going on for years. I course I blow it when the occasional yall slips out. Down here you guys are meant for just males yall isn't gender specific it covers both. It's a contraction for us like "it's" you all= yall.
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Originally Posted by BillyH View Post
I am from San Antonio and I think the Texas or southern accent is also fading into "Standard American" At least it is in the large Texas cities maybe not so much in the rural areas especially East Texas. I visit relatives in Illinois quite often and they have made comments as to my lack of a southern accent. My one explanation is the huge influx of people from all over the US stationed in SA for the military or just moving there for jobs which has been going on for years. I course I blow it when the occasional yall slips out. Down here you guys are meant for just males yall isn't gender specific it covers both. It's a contraction for us like "it's" you all= yall.
Funny, "you guys" serves a similar function in CA.

BTW the people I know from Austin all have the Texas accent, and the people from San Antone whom I know have it. The Texas city where I notice the accent fading the most is Dallas.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Western Cary, NC
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Our English became a bit of a mongrel language when we took words from Germany, France, Spain, and black cultures, mixed them together and slowed down the speech rate. In some areas that may be increased the speed at which you talk, but for me being from the South it was a slow down.
I think it takes a while to lose the accent even if you try. I worked over seas for many years, and when I came home could hear the difference in my sound, and my families. A week later I was back to my old southern self. When back over seas I would shift back to a neutral accent. I also have friends from England who have now been here for 20 plus years. Once in a rare while I catch just a glimmer of the English accent. I am told when she is back in England the old accent shines through, and you canít tell she has lived in the Southern US for so long.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Originally Posted by cncracer View Post
[font=Verdana]Our English became a bit of a mongrel language when we took words from Germany, France, Spain, and black cultures, mixed them together and slowed down the speech rate.
Don't forget the influence of words from Yiddish (although technically that's a German dialect) and Italian either, especially in the Northeast US. The influence of NYC in the media spread those words all over the US.

There are also some slang words imported from the UK in more recent times, like "shag", "poofter", "ciggies", "Paki", even "ginger","seeing the Duke", and "load of pants" due to the influence of media, particularly comedians and TV personalities from the UK (or pretending to be as in the case of Mike Myers). A sort of specific subcultural import: the Scientologist adaptation of "wog"
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:31 AM
 
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I was listening to a former british born radio talk show host Laura Flanders on tv this week as it's been a few years since i heard her speak as she used to have a really strong british accent back then and so i noticed she sounded quasi british/american now as it seems that her living in america for 40 years ?? as i believe her family immigrated here when she was 10 is starting to slowly effect her british accent
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Old 03-26-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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There is more than one British accent. Try comparing cockney to Oxford English. Any time two groups are physically seperated over centuries, their language will vary signficantly.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by noetsi View Post
There is more than one British accent. Try comparing cockney to Oxford English. Any time two groups are physically seperated over centuries, their language will vary signficantly.
Yeap i have an english friend on another forum site who lives in London who told me that she speaks Cockney and i assume writes it as i'm always having to ask her what she mean't from her writings as it's hard to understand it at times. It took me a bit to figure out what she was saying as many times she leaves me a message with one word ''Watcha !!'' as i used to think ''what the heck is she saying here'' but now i know

That being said it's still odd to hear Laura F. speak with many of her words are American sounding now and not entirely British like when she was younger.
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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There is an old saw that goes that Americans and the English are two nationalities seperated by a common language One of the quirks of the two variations of english is the british habit of adding u's to words like armour for armor.

Interestingly, the reverse has occured inside the US. Until say 1960 there were many dialects in the US of which southern english was the best known, but not unique by any means. Since then the language has become less differentiated, I believe because of television primarily. I live in the south, have all my life, and I have rarely heard a southern dialect for decades even in more rural areas.
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