19 April 2017
“Aah, caint fit into this wed-din dray-ess, Mama!” This short sentence is southern pronunciation of ‘Oh. I can’t fit into this wedding dress, Mom!’ This sentence includes dialects of southerners during 1930s and 1940s. It is very different from modern English. Dialect is a particular form of a language that is different to a specific region or social group. Accent is noticeable version of a syllable in terms of differential loudness, or pitch,or length, or a combination of these. Dialects during 1930s and 1940s were containing many differences from contemporary days, and there were accent differences. Many people think that southern accent is just “southern accent”, but actually, there are many accent differences between different states and regions.
Southerners pronounced their own dialect with many diverse ways. To pronounce southern US accent, firstly, you just have to change the way you speak. Southerners spoke slowly, especially their vowels, and they mixed vowels such as middle of “pen” and “pin”. They spoke with little lilt, which involves dragging out vowels to the point so that they sound like two syllables. (Wikihow) For example, “bill” turns into “bee-hill” and “short” becomes “showat.” They also need to take away their “g”s, like “fixin” instead of “fixing”. They used colloquial sayings such as “Bless her/his little heart” means someone is incompetent, “Dad burn it!” means, “Gosh darn it.”. If you want to try that accent, you’d better memorize these sayings. Also, they used them as a meaning of already, did... Southerners reduced “are”, “is”, and “am”, and used y’all instead of you all.
There were various different accents due to region. The Lowcountry is known as its own unique English dialect region. It traditionally recognized as a Charleston accent, and most of which no longer exist today. In Charlestonmag, it’s a low sound and the Charleston accent seems to come from the bottom of the mouth. The jaw jutted just a bit, the lips a little pursed. (Charlestonmag) Cooper becomes “cuppah,” house is “hoose,” and state, “stey-it”. Mississippi is known as the state which uses the most dialects. As you can hear it in that MP3 file, this accent is really strong. The Mississippi accent is the true Southern drawl. It’s slow, musical, and drawn out. Like many Southern accents, it’s non-rhotic, which means there are no R’s. (Flypaper) Words like “butter” and “mister” become butt-uh and mist-ah. Ing’s are typically dropped from the ends of words. “Drinking” and “running” become drinkin’ and runnin’. Vowels changes. This accent is so slow in fact, that single vowels become diphthongs. Diphthongs are vowels that have 2 distinct vowel sounds or syllables within them. “Pen” becomes pee-ehn. “Play” becomes pl-ah-ay.
There are various way to pronounce this accent, and differences between various regions. As I mentioned previously, Southern accent is not only just accent which black people, also is accent that has various versions. Those two were only some examples, and there are much more different accents. What about trying some southern accents to your friends?
“The Charleston Accent.” Charleston SC - Charleston Magazine, 11 Jan. 2010, charlestonmag.com/features/the_charleston_accent. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.
“File:Yall US Map.svg.” Commons.wikimedia.org , commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yall_US_Map.svg. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.
“A Guide to Southern Accents .” WanderWisdom, WanderWisdom, 5 May 2016, wanderwisdom.com/travel-destinations/A-Guide-to-Southern-Accents. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.
“How to Achieve the Perfect Country Twang: Southern Accents.” Flypaper Soundfly, SARAH SPENCER, 11 Jan. 2016, flypaper.soundfly.com/tips/achieve-perfect-country-twang-part-2-southern-accents/. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.
Krista Scott. “MISSISSIPPI 2.” IDEA.
Pages in category "Southern dialects (language)"
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