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Old 11-18-2007, 06:55 AM
 
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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 ??
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Old 11-18-2007, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
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Great question. I've never thought of this before. If it was a natural evolution of speech the UK folks would have lost theirs too.
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Old 11-18-2007, 07:31 AM
 
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Actually, There were many other languages around than English. At the time of writing the Constitution, there was a lot of discussion about making German the official language as it was almost as common as English. French and Gaelic came over early too. It influenced how we spoke.

In my area, there was an early influx of people form the germanic and austrian areas. The Irish and Scots were another big influence

We tend to talk like our families, if they dropped final consonants, we most likely will too and even more so. They drawled, so will their children. We lived in small towns for a long time. The differences grew. It was a long time before we had the crowded cities like London, Liverpool.

listen to some of the British Comedy Shows. There are a lot of different sounds to "English" Some are almost completly incomprehensible.
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:31 AM
 
Location: in the southwest
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French, Gaelic, Welsh, and Germanic languages influenced English.
And then all those folks began coming over here.
The Scots-Irish might have influenced the American accent a bit.
It seems to me that American east-coast accents, in their way, retain a bit of a Brit sound. Speech is much flatter west of the Mississippi.
This video series and book is fascinating stuff.
The Story of English
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Old 11-18-2007, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Vienna, Austria
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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.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Maine
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Accents are changing all the time. The so-called "English accent" of today is not the same accent of the 1600s. And there isn't even a uniform "English accent." People in northern England sound quite different than southerners.
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Old 11-20-2007, 04:00 AM
 
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And not only the British accent, think about all the different accents in the U.S....from the deep South to the NorthEast. How did all of those come about?
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Old 11-20-2007, 04:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katie45 View Post
And not only the British accent, think about all the different accents in the U.S....from the deep South to the NorthEast. How did all of those come about?
Deep South probably has SPanish influence whereas Northern accents have more of a French influence. I have nothing to back this up, just guessing from geographics.
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Old 11-20-2007, 06:27 AM
 
Location: The world, where will fate take me this time?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmerkyGrl View Post
Deep South probably has SPanish influence whereas Northern accents have more of a French influence. I have nothing to back this up, just guessing from geographics.
I happen to agree with you SmerkyGri, there are a lot of french words and spanish words in english, like Vigilante or Creole

Mexican spanish and American english continue to heavily influence each up to these days.

For example the Mexican word for computer is computadora, while the Spanish word is ordenador.

American english is full of expressions from Mexican or Spanish origin as well.

List of English words of Spanish origin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I've always wondered if Spanglish, Portunhol or Globish will be the languages of the future.

//www.city-data.com/forum/immig...es-future.html
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmerkyGrl View Post
Deep South probably has SPanish influence whereas Northern accents have more of a French influence. I have nothing to back this up, just guessing from geographics.
I read an article back in college from a noted linguist. The so-called "Southern Accent" of places like Georgia, Virginia, etc., actually comes from the so-called "British accent" of the British gentry -- broader vowels, loss of the R-sound, etc. Spanish had no influence on it whatsoever. Spanish had no real influence in southern regions until you hit the Southwest -- with the exception of Florida.

I'm not sure about the "northern accent," though there's lots of variation there. Even here in New England, people in Maine sound different from people in Boston who sound different from people in Vermont. Go to New York and the accent changes yet again.

Television is changing this, eroding accents. People are less isolated than they used to be, and it's affecting the language.
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