jump to last post 1-2 of 2 discussions (6 posts)

When did Southeners begin speaking Southern?

  1. 0
    screamingposted 4 years ago

    And why did Southeners adopt the accent?

    1. habee profile image92
      habeeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      It's the grits. They make you talk slowly and d-r-a-g out your words.

      Some linguists claim the drawl is because of the heavy Scot-Irish influence in the South...but aren't there a lot of people with Irish ancestry in NYC? I think I'll stick with the grits theory. lol

    2. ngureco profile image86
      ngurecoposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      When they separated. In most cases, the separation line is usually a river or a mountain.

      Any language is continuously changing all the time. When a group of the same people separates into two groups and the two groups no longer maintain close communication with one another, then, dialects (two?) will form.

      Whether it’s Southerners who adopted the accent depends on who is asking that. You say I have an accent and I say you have an accent. The majorities will always win in convincing the minorities to be the group that have adopted the dialect whilst in the real sense you have two groups each with its own dialect.

  2. 0
    screamingposted 4 years ago

    lol...could very well be! I heard on the history channel today, the accent was adopted after the Civil War in an effort to be different from the North?

    1. Rochelle Frank profile image88
      Rochelle Frankposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I saw that today, too. According to that program the 'Southern ' accent developed after the Civil War, and before that there was not much difference between the speech of N. and S.---- so all  the dialogue in those Civil War movies is wrong?

      1. Aficionada profile image93
        Aficionadaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        What sort of studies did they cite to back up that claim?  Honestly, it sounds preposterous to me, but I'm willing to hear evidence. 

        I know that in the British Isles, for example, there was never a time when there was one and only one dialect of English. From the beginning, the language developed as several unique dialects.  Over time (slowly), a standardized form developed.  That process continues today, partly because of greater worldwide communication. 

        I also know that in terms of word usage and other points of language, there has been some difference in the language in different parts of North America, from earliest days.

        I agree thoroughly with ngureco that separation helps to create dialects - and that separation was much bigger in earlier days when more difficult traveling and communication meant less face-to-face interaction between different parts of the country.

        But this program was on the History Channel, right?  They tend to create programs around very interesting theories, some of which turn out to be true - but not all.