The way mostAmericans speak, both their phrases and their well known accents that inflect upon those phrases, comefrom their original upbringings. In a nation of more than 300 million people, it’sno wonder that those accents vary widely across America. “Their way of speakingis as rich , diverse , and lively as Americans themselves” as said by OrlaghCassidy in the ” Do you speak American” Documentary.Most of the informations attest that it allstarted when English colonists established their first permanent settlement inthe New World at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607.
We can’t really say whenAmericans first started to sound stricking differently from the British but onebig factor in the divergence of their accents is rhotacism. The General American accent is rhotic and speakers pronouncethe r in their so spoken words.In theNorth part of America are the most strongly seen differences along the Eastenseaboard, like the Eastern New England English, that actually describes theclassical “Boston Accent.
” It alsorefers to relatable accents that are visible in Eastern Massachusetts, RhodeIsland, Maine, Eastern New Hampshire and Eastern Connecticut. The mostimportant feature of this is thenon-rhoticity that is very easy to hear. Unlike other American accents, NewEnglanders drop the “r” at the end of thewords which describes a more british way of speaking.
They have a famous phrasethat is very known in their community which is “pahk yuh cahr in hahvuhd yahd”(Park your car in Harvard Yard). In theBoston Urban there are a few sub-dialects in their Hub, from the stereotypicalSouthie dialect , to the Boston Brahmin and the departure are moredetermined by class . The hold and influences of Irish inhabitants has led to a very evident Bostonian accent,though the contemporan accent sounds nothing like the Irish one. In WesternNew England which is outside easternMassachusetts, they have a noticeableaccent for dropping the T sound. Forexample the last Democratic president was Bill Clin-n. It’s not as distinctiveas the eastern accent but you can slightly hear it .
The next accents would be in Hudson Valleywhich is a New York State region thatstretches along the Hudson River from Westchester Country to Albany , the statecapital.So the influenced language refinednorth of New York City. The sitting area in front of their doorstep is called astoop, and the best-sellers at Dunkin’ Donuts are crullers and olycooks as saidby The Washington Post.
The NewYork City English is one of the most famous American accents, also called theclassic “New Yorkese” has been immortalized by many films (“Goodfellas,” and “Manhattan,”among many others). The mix of ethnicities that built the great Big Apple, created their own dialectthat doesn’t sound much like the rest of America as said by The Washington Post. The “TH” sounds become Ds, and words getcrumbled together easily in their way of speaking.
Also in New York Citythe short “a” inwords like cat or sad proceed from a well defined set of rules bywhich some words are pronounced a bit more tensely.Anotherinteresting North American accent would be the Bonac . Now so close to beinglost forever, there was once a flourishing local Bonac dialect, which held onstrong into the middle of the last century. Today, sadly , the Bonac accent isin the process of being fallen between cracks to the New York City speechpatterns of the western section of the LongIsland. It is a small and decreasing dialect which was once a part of NewEngland.
Inland Northern which is Upstate New York and Vermont ,blend in the Western New England andthe Midwest together . The words like merry, marry and Mary are all pronounced similaryin this side of America.Mid-AtlanticEnglish is making reference to the American accents spoken along the urban aislefrom the Philadelphia area to Baltimore. It sounds lightly like the way theyspeak in New York City, but with a few major differences, for example the r ispronounced at the end of car, mother, star, etc.We aregoing along the San Francisco Urban whichis the city by the bay that has more in common with the East Coast than theWest Coast really, thanks to the habitants who originally made their way to theBay Area. San Franciscans speak a medley of the Northeastern and MidwesternEnglish.
UpperMidwestern is a region in the northern portion of the U.S. ,which is the homeof the Midwestern sounds, influenced by a succession of Northeasterners andSoutherners who migrated up the Mississippi River, as well as the Scandinavian habitantswho settled that area. A sub-dialect in and around Minnesota mirrors more ofthe Norwegian influences.The GreatLakes English is the accent usuallyassociated with the “Northern CitiesVowel Shift.” You can hear this accent in states like Chicago, Detroit, Buffaloand Cleveland.
Now assaid in the previous text ,Chicago Urban is situated on Lake Michigan inIllinois, and it is among the largest and third-most populous cities in the U.S. withover 2.7 milion residents. It was incorporated as a city in the mid-nineteencentury in 1837 near a portage somewhere between the Great Lakes and theMisssissippi River . Chicago’s unique dialect is influenced by what mostlinguists call the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, and what makes it differentfrom other accents is that short vowels started sounding like their longercousins. Chicago’s dialect was mostly influenced by migrants who traveled along theErie Canal, west from the Northeast.
The midlandAmerican Accents is a uncertain and quite obscure term that applies to the Americanaccents that lie between North and South, in states like Missouri, SouthernIndiana, Southern Illisnois, Southern Pennsylvania, Kansas, Oklahoma, and a fewother states. NorthMidland is where the European habitants who didn’t move to New York City startedplaying a pretty big role. The Scotch-Irish and German settled from Pennsylvaniato the central Midwest creating acombination of Northern and Southern features. As said , PennsylvaniaGerman-English style is a small but specific dialectin the center of the Keystone State. The grammar system is the most distinctivefragment of the region’s immigrant populations because it sounds more like German than it sounds likeEnglish.TheRocky Mountain are stretch some 3,000 miles from British Columbia and Albertain Canada through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and down to New Mexico inthe U.S. It has heavy influences from frontier settlers and of course the Native American language.
Thenagain , Western American Accents are more influenced from Native Americanlanguages in this area.An example is the potluck, a gathering where everyonebrings a dish, a origin of the Native American “potlatch’ .This category coversthe largest amount of territory in America, including most of the Mountain andWestern states. Accents here can turn from sounding slightly Southern (as inparts of Colorado) to having a bit of a Canadian essence (the PacificNorthwest).But there’s fewer signs of an accent here than elsewhere, given thefact that the region was settled somewhat recently.
PacificSouthwest are the settlers who came to California for the gold it is said bythe Washington Post, and that still shows in some of their slang as an exaplebeing the word “goner” phrase that all started in California.Southwesternis the way Mexican dialects of Spanish invest in Southwestern English. Wordslike “patio” and “plaza” became a part of everyday English, thanks to theSouthwest.Inlandor Mountain Southern is known to be the other Southern dialect, sometimes perceivedas more rasping. You hear this accent amongst Appalachian natives, Texans,Tennesseeans and many more others.SouthMidland is West of the Appalachians and into North Texas, speakers heresometimes put an A before a word ending in -ING, in place of words like “are.
“TH is often replaced with an F in their speaking.Ozark are the SouthernAppalachian settlers that developed their own dialect, best illustrated in popculture by the Beverly HillBillies which is an American sitcom originallybroadcast on CBS from 1962 to 1971. The show is about a poor backwoods familywho move to posh Beverly Hills, California, after striking oil on their land.Onanother hand the Southern Appalachian is a bit different from the west. The “g”in gerunds doesn’t survive often in their speaking. But overall, the accent ispretty similar to the South Midlanders.ThePiedmont region of Virginia is a part of the greater Piedmont physiographicregion , it starts to develop south of Washington, and the letter r becomesslide sounded.The verynext would be the Coastal Southern whitch is quite similar to the Piedmontdrawl, but with more remnants of Colonial English.
TheGullah which is very interesting are the descendants of enslaved Africans ofvarious ethnic groups who live in the Lowcountry region of the U.S. states ofGeorgia and South Carolina, in both the coastal plain and the Sea Islands.
Thiscombines English with West African languages brought over by slaves who enteredthe U.S. in the 1700s and 1800s. All new type of words entered the country.GulfSouthern is basically the Deep South minus Georgia and New Orleans. It’s aresult of mixing English settlers from the southern colonies with Frenchsettlers in Louisiana, and it’s where the Americans get words like “armoire,””bisque”, or so more.
Louisianais the French settlers who first traveled up the Mississippi River brought awhole mess of dialects. They include Cajun French, which incorporates someSpanish, and Cajun English, which makes New Orleans “Nawlins” by followingtheir accents.As youcan see , and in my opinion there are many different American accents as wellas ways to speak American English .You can’t really talk dialects withouttalking race.They have their very own diversity and uniqueness and are veryintriguing to study in more than just one way. Some accents may have things incommon , others may be so different that you can’t quite understand but themain point is that they carry on being divided by speakers.
By having an accentand speaking it ,you give away your somewhat exact location of birth. Expressyour accents and their historical point of view and bigger picture along withit.