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    #1

    Why is the Southern accent in the US different from Standard American accent?

    I have heard people who are from Southern regions of the United States, like those cowboys from Texas. The accent they speak with is different from what we hear by American news anchors on CNN, and those from New York, Washington DC. ect.

    The Southern accent is also close to Australian accent, because many words they pronounce are similar to those pronounced by the Australians.

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    Last edited by Aamir Tariq; 04-Apr-2016 at 19:29.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Why Southern accent in the US is different from Standard American accent?

    Note that your title should be "Why is a Southern accent in the US different from ...? We don't construct a question by writing a statement and then just adding a question mark.

    Did you mean "Texas", rather than "Taxes"?

    I don't equate a Texan accent with an Australian accent.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: Why Southern accent in the US is different from Standard American accent?

    It's not unusual to have differences in regional language. I doubt that everybody in the American South speaks with a Texas cowboy accent.

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    #4

    Re: Why Southern accent in the US is different from Standard American accent?

    There isn't one Southern accent. Texans, for example, are most likely to say "y'all". Here in Charlotte (NC) hardly anybody speaks with a Southern accent. However, in other parts of the state you will probably find more people who speak with an accent. (I'm from the Midwest (Missouri).)

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    #5

    Re: Why Southern accent in the US is different from Standard American accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    There isn't one Southern accent. Texans, for example, are most likely to say "y'all". Here in Charlotte (NC) hardly anybody speaks with a Southern accent. However, in other parts of the state you will probably find more people who speak with an accent. (I'm from the Midwest (Missouri).)
    I agree but people from California and the people from New York, Maryland, Virginia they sound the same. They all speak with a typical nasal American accent. Californians should have a different accent from those in New York because it is even farther than Texas.
    Last edited by Aamir Tariq; 04-Apr-2016 at 19:32.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Why Southern accent in the US is different from Standard American accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aamir Tariq View Post
    I agree but people from California and the people from New York, Maryland, Virginia they sound the same. They all speak with a typical nasal American accent. Californians should have a different accent than from those in New York because it is even farther than Taxes Texas.
    Aamir Tariq, are you reading our replies carefully? I told you in post #2 that it's not Taxes, it's Texas, yet you repeated the error. Why did you capitalise "people" in the middle of a sentence?

    I don't even know what you mean by "it is even farther than Texas".

    To you, it might sound like people in California, New York, Maryland and Virginia all sound the same. I am certain that AmE speakers will tell you they do not. Even as a BrE speaker, I can tell a classic New York accent from a California accent.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 04-Apr-2016 at 19:14.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: Why Southern accent in the US is different from Standard American accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I don't even know what you mean by "it is even farther than Texas".

    To you, it might sound like people in California, New York, Maryland and Virginia all sound the same. I am certain that AmE speakers will tell you they do not. Even as a BrE speaker, I can tell a classic New York accent from a California accent.
    I mean Texas is less far from New York, Maryland, Virginia and still the accent there is a far cry from the accent they speak with in New York, Maryland, and Virginia. Whereas California is even more far away (farther) than New York, Maryland and Virginia and still Californians as well as the residents of Maryland, Virginia and New York speak with Standard American accent (typical nasal American accent). I guess I didn't say they don't sound different but I said they speak with a nasal accent that is Standard American accent. However, Southern accent is not nasal, is it? and it is not Standard American accent, like that used by the anchor persons on CNN.

    I hope my point is now clear to you.

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    #8

    Re: Why Southern accent in the US is different from Standard American accent?

    If you say a place is less far (or farther) from another place, you need to say where it is less far (or farther) than.

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    #9

    Re: Why Southern accent in the US is different from Standard American accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aamir Tariq View Post
    I mean Texas is less far from New York, Maryland, Virginia and still the accent there is a far cry from the accent they speak with in New York, Maryland, and Virginia. Whereas California is even more far away (farther) than New York, Maryland and Virginia and still Californians as well as the residents of Maryland, Virginia and New York speak with Standard American accent (typical nasal American accent). I guess I didn't say they don't sound different but I said they speak with a nasal accent that is Standard American accent. However, Southern accent is not nasal, is it? and it is not Standard American accent, like that used by the anchor persons on CNN.
    New York, Maryland and Virginia each have a significant range of accents. Many Virginians speak with a non-rhotic southern accent which shares little with the non-rhotic accents of New York. Tidewater Marylanders speak quite differently from other Americans. California was settled by Anglophones at least a century later than the eastern states, so it's not surprising that its accents are less distinctive.

    Wikipedia has a good article on American accents. You might find it interesting.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #10

    Re: Why Southern accent in the US is different from Standard American accent?

    The term 'Southern Accent' is a very broad brush, as others have said, and somewhat subjective as well.

    Generally, the closer you live to an area, the more distinguished your ear in terms of pinpointing accents. While somebody from outside the US may have trouble distinguishing one Southern accent from another, somebody who lives in the Southern US can likely tell you within a less than a hundred miles exactly where somebody lives (or grew up), based on their accent. Some dialects and accents are specific enough to narrow to a single town or county.

    This is true of any country, and any language, by the way, not just the U.S. For example, I could probably accurately differentiate between an Irish, Scottish, and English accent, but I couldn't tell you what part of Ireland, Scotland, or England aside from some haphazard guessing, unless it was something extremely distingtive like a Cockney accent. I can't accurately pick out a Welsh accent from an English one.

    For a broad range of accent samples from not only various US Southern accents, but accross the United States and across the world, spend some time listening to samples on the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA).

    Click on the 'Dialects and Accents' Tab, then progressively narrow down your geographic region. The neat thing about the archive is is also factors into account other factors such as age, gender, first language, ethnicity, education, and other factors such as amount of time in that region, outside influences (i.e. living abroad), etc.

    For your "Southern Accent", pick some samples from Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas, and you'll quickly see that there is not such thing as one "Southern" accent.

    After listening to a few of those, navigate to Australia and listen to some samples from various regions in Australia, and I think you'll easily be able to hear they really sound nothing similar.

    There are generally two parts to each sample - an excerpt reading from a standard passage, and then conversational prompts. You'll note that some peoples' accents change noticeably from the reading prompts to the conversational prompts. Factors such as education and professionalism tend to kick in during reading, and people may adopt more neutral or standardized accent, while then tend to slip back into their stronger regional dialect when talking of childhood memories, etc. Sometimes, there are phonetic transcriptions of both speech samples.

    Really quite fascinating stuff, in my opinion. The downside is that they really need a lot more samples of different people from the same regions.

    A couple of related videos:

    Amy Walker - 21 accents. Again, I can't speak for the other variants, but her American accents are spot on.

    Here, she does only American accents. Around the 1:30 mark, she discusses some differences in Southern US accents. Note that she comments that these are all generalizations.

    Sara - gibberish accents. Interesting, because it focuses on sounds, not words. She's not saying anything coherent in any of her various accents, just gibberish but manages to sound pretty authentic to me on ones I'm familiar with.

    Guide to British Isles accents
    . Perhaps some of our members from across the pond can comment on the veracity of his observations - I can hear the differences, but can't of course comment on the accuracy.
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