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Kangheon Lee

Ms.Lee

ELA

23 April 2017


THE ACCENT OF THE OLD SOUTH

Cleo Monroe once said, “They seem to be charmed about my Southern Accent.” The people of America have lived in america for a few centuries, and they have developed a way of saying their own language. In each state of america, there are accents that differ from one another. Ever since the civil war has separated america in half, the accent from the north and the south were different. The South unique accents, like the accent spoken in Louisiana. Now, this essay will talk about the accents that was spoken in the south.

The southern dialect during 1930~1940s had various slangs and accents. For example, Southern Louisiana, as well as some of southeast Texas (Houston to Beaumont), and coastal Mississippi, feature a number of dialects influenced by other languages beyond English(Wikipedia).This accent was influenced by foreign languages as well. This accent was non-rhoticity(if a word ending in written "r" is followed closely by a word beginning with a vowel, the /r/ is pronounced—as in water ice.) for the most part, and had a high nasalization. It also got rid of any words final consonants. This accent is well known for gliding vowels, which made it unique. Another example of the southern accent is the New Orleans accent. This accent, which also sounds like the cowboy accent, pronounces “Where you at” to "Where Yat.” It is non-rhoticity, and has a short-a split system. Like the Louisiana accent, this is also pronounced with a glide, and is as rounded. It doesn’t have the typical vowel changes of the Southern Shift and the pin-pen meter(conditional merger of /ɪ/ and /ɛ/ before the nasal consonants [m], [n], and [ŋ].)(Wikipedia), which are often heard in other places in the south.

Although the south had different accents, they had some similarities as well. For example, Lowland Southern English accent was non-rhotic, which is similar to the Louisiana accent. This accent is vowel breaking, for example, dog, or cat. All of the vowels seem to be pronounced longer than the north. The North had more of  a U~ accent, while the southern accent says A~.Another example of the southern accent is Inland/Mountain Southern accent. One interesting fact is that all words that end with -in, -en, -im and -em are spoken with equal vowels. Words that contain two Os are pronounced shortly, for example, goose. As these accents are gradually morphing into the standard English nowadays, they are pronounced more like the standard english pronunciation.

In conclusion, The North and the south had different ways of pronouncing languages, as they were separated during the civil war. The southern americans had accents, like the Cowboy talk. Some accents were confusing to some other foreigners and northerners, but overall, as the North and the South United, the standard ways of speaking English has changed. The southern accent sounded a bit ignorant, as it sounded like a cowboy. Fancy rednecks once said, “Don’t mistake my southern accent for ignorance.”


Example of Southern Accent

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=320cvK_-3nE





Works Cited Edit

\“The American Accents.” Dialect Blog, WordPress, 4 Mar. 2015, dialectblog.com/northamerican-accents/. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.

George W Bush Dallas Memorial Service 7/12/16 FULL SPEECH. YouTube, 12 July 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=320cvK_-3nE. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.

How To Get A Southern American Accent. Videojug, 12 Apr. 2011, www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBZnnAeO9hA. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.

Johnson, Sarah. “A Guide to Southern Accents and Sayings.” WanderWisdom, WanderWisdom, 5 May 2016, wanderwisdom.com/travel-destinations/A-Guide-to-Southern-Accents. Accessed 23 Apr. 2017.

MACNEIL, and LEHRER. “American Varieties Rful Southern.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 2005, www.pbs.org/speak/seatosea/americanvarieties/southern/. Accessed 18 Apr. 2017.

“Southern American English.” Wikipedia, 30 Apr. 2004, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_American_English. Accessed 18 Apr. 2017.

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