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Old 07-05-2009, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Lancashire, England
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I would describe my English accent as being as near accentless as possible, if that makes sense, although very occasionally people can spot the regional accent I used to have. Yet there are occasions when I can't make myself understood in the US. Last week, in a corner bar in South Philadelphia, the woman behind the counter couldn't understand me when I said "Coors."
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,144 posts, read 42,188,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmerkyGrl View Post
This is true. Many people nowadays are starting to develop the ...middle-america middle class white accent is the best I can describe it. Not being racist or anything and I'd be open to suggestions for alternative descriptions. I was raised in the south and think southern drawls are cute...kind of saddens me there are many people I knew that are trying to get rid of the drawl
Interesting point there.

While growing up in the Wash DC area; I was born/raised there, people from California back in the 1960's always sounded 'natural' to me whereas New York/Boston accents as well as southern drawls always sounded 'funny' to me.

I attribute a lot of the above to the influence of movies and TV.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:33 PM
 
47 posts, read 157,562 times
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Quote:
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.
Anythoughts ??


This is a topic of interest to me and I learned a lot when I bought a miniseries on video about the history of English. ("The Story of English" published by PBS and BBC)


I can't remember all the details, but the gist of it was, that American English came from Elizabethan English as spoken in the English West Country (Cornwall, Devonshire) in the 17th century. Supposedly it also has some resemblance to Shakespearean English. Of course this is quite different from other British dialects, and also came before RP English took hold. The explorers who settled the Mid-atlantic USA in the beginning were from the West Country, or at least a large proportion of them were.

One example that was illustrated was Tangier Island, in the middle of Chesapeake Bay between Maryland and Virginia. The people there still speak almost the same way that they did when settlers first came from the West Country in the 1690s, because their community has not been absorbed due to its isolation. I cannot describe how it sounds - you really have to hear it (check youtube). I can understand it, but it sounds strange. The r is "burred" like West Country English or Standard American, but many other sounds are exotic to my ears. Sounds like a mix of American Southern with British English. Supposedly, many Americans in Maryland and Virginia sounded like this when the first settlements were made. Over time, it got diluted and changed when settlers from other areas came and mixed with each other.

According to the video, English in the Deep South has the influence of the English aristocracy from which some of its people came. It is also influenced by Black English, because of the contact that the groups had. New York English is a mish-mash, with Dutch influence earlier, and later Italian, German, and Yiddish influences. Massachusetts and Boston English has a heavy East Anglia influence, because that's where the people came from. Appalachian English is largely Scots-Irish, from Northern Ireland. Irish has also affected American English, and so on.

Apparently, American English did keep some words and expressions that British has since dropped. Hardly surprising, if its basis is indeed in Elizabethan and Shakespearean English.



another interesting blurb:
How and when did the American accent become recognisably American? | Notes and Queries | guardian.co.uk
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:58 AM
 
Location: Bolton,UK
294 posts, read 700,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakefront View Post
This is a topic of interest to me and I learned a lot when I bought a miniseries on video about the history of English. ("The Story of English" published by PBS and BBC)


I can't remember all the details, but the gist of it was, that American English came from Elizabethan English as spoken in the English West Country (Cornwall, Devonshire) in the 17th century. Supposedly it also has some resemblance to Shakespearean English. Of course this is quite different from other British dialects, and also came before RP English took hold. The explorers who settled the Mid-atlantic USA in the beginning were from the West Country, or at least a large proportion of them were.

One example that was illustrated was Tangier Island, in the middle of Chesapeake Bay between Maryland and Virginia. The people there still speak almost the same way that they did when settlers first came from the West Country in the 1690s, because their community has not been absorbed due to its isolation. I cannot describe how it sounds - you really have to hear it (check youtube). I can understand it, but it sounds strange. The r is "burred" like West Country English or Standard American, but many other sounds are exotic to my ears. Sounds like a mix of American Southern with British English. Supposedly, many Americans in Maryland and Virginia sounded like this when the first settlements were made. Over time, it got diluted and changed when settlers from other areas came and mixed with each other.

According to the video, English in the Deep South has the influence of the English aristocracy from which some of its people came. It is also influenced by Black English, because of the contact that the groups had. New York English is a mish-mash, with Dutch influence earlier, and later Italian, German, and Yiddish influences. Massachusetts and Boston English has a heavy East Anglia influence, because that's where the people came from. Appalachian English is largely Scots-Irish, from Northern Ireland. Irish has also affected American English, and so on.

Apparently, American English did keep some words and expressions that British has since dropped. Hardly surprising, if its basis is indeed in Elizabethan and Shakespearean English.



another interesting blurb:
How and when did the American accent become recognisably American? | Notes and Queries | guardian.co.uk

YouTube - The odd accent of Tangier VA (from AMERICAN TONGUES)


You can hear the West country Accent in that
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:17 AM
 
Location: Bolton,UK
294 posts, read 700,230 times
Reputation: 230
Is this for real?

Boston Brahmin


YouTube - Boston Brahmin
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:50 AM
 
1,126 posts, read 2,696,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke81 View Post
My english teacher told me in school that it isn't amercan english that evolved but rather british english. The accent of people in the appalachians is the closest to elizabethan times english it gets. I don't know if this is true, but my english teacher told me 8 years ago or so.

I have also heard the same. Funny, isn't it? Imagine all those movies were the British speak as they do today when in fact they should have been having a Southern accent
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:50 AM
 
1,257 posts, read 3,439,008 times
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Just about the same thing happened in South America. In South America, more so in Peru and Colombia, their language is far more similar to the language spoken in Spain during the XVII century that modern day Spanish.

The Spanish spoken in the Caribbean basin and by the small Spanish-speaking populations that settled in the US during the XVIII (Mississippi Delta, Tampa, Key West, Tao in New Mexico) derives from the Spanish dialect spoken at the Canary Islands.

Even today, the Spanish spoken in parts of Cuba, or in Louisiana is almost indistinguishable by untrained ears from Spanish spoken in some Canary Islands.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:59 AM
 
Location: England
3,261 posts, read 3,711,871 times
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I think that in my part of the world, Surrey/Sussex people would say that they spoke " Estuary" english.
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Simpsonville SC
46 posts, read 139,637 times
Reputation: 57
Sadly there's that 'term' again..............."Scots-Irish", Please please please, scots-irish is insulting and meaningless. As a son of the country which produced more inventors and inventions than any other in the western hemisphere - Scotland - I wish to make it known that I am SCOTTISH. I'm sure there are others reading who would like it to be known that they are IRISH. Please stop lumping us together as if we were just ballast thrown ashore after the paying customers had left the ship!
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:47 AM
 
1,257 posts, read 3,439,008 times
Reputation: 419
Yes, you're a bit right.
They should be called Irish Protestants or Unionists.
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