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On the Origin of The American Accent

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posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 12:57 PM
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Originally posted by Nosred
America first began to be colonized by English speaking people in the 17th century. Since that time English has grown to become the de facto language of the USA. I'm sure you've noticed that Americans and Brits sound completely different. This thread will help explain why.


Why omit the obvious? Seems like you went out of your away to mention the Irish influence.




posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 12:59 PM
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If you listen to the accent in places like Minnesota, they it sounds mixed with a Swedish accent. In the midwest, it probably averaged-out with German and others.In the south, I don't know.



LOL I don't know either. (from south)
What's funny is that in southern schools, they always tell you growing up that southern English is actually the most proper English, and that Northerners and modern British just kind of screwed it up. What a ridiculous notion.



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 01:46 PM
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There is no such thing as an American accent. If you want to hear THE unaccented sound of the living, breathing English language, you will hear it spoken by such people as Jim Carey, John Roberts of CNN, the late Peter Jennings of ABC, etc. and other Canadians and Americans who sound like them. This 'accent' spans the border of North America and it is English spoken in a manner that allows for change and growth of the language as an ever finer and concise method of communication. The Germans invented the language and it is now still living in North America, not embalmed like it is in England so that it stays the same as it did when Britannia ruled the waves.



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 02:21 PM
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Pshaw and hurumph! I used to speak with a pennsylvania dutch accent, when I was in the military in California I picked up a socal accent, as did a lot of other people I'd met from all over the states, and they all seemed to have their own accents, the texas twang, the missouran drawl, louisiana's cajun accent, New Yorker, Bostonian, Jersey, Mid West, etc, etc.. Even the untrained ear can recognize the basic geographical accents and with a little practice I've seen people capable of very precise observations based only on speech. British accents are unique as are the americans, somehow I question the authors motives. Sounds strangely xenophobic, as if to insinuate that the true american accent has one particular cultural source, nothing could be further from the truth. The melting pot society is the culture of cultures and the accents spoken in different parts of the US are directly related to these diverse historical and cultural roots. Curiously english itself is founded on different cultural roots, most notably latin and germanic, and originated in western germany and was later 'taken' to england.



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 02:46 PM
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How many of y'all have been fixin' to do something?
Whar ya'll from? Oh, over thar.
You know the widder got seen nekkid by some young-uns, didja hear?
I do remember my sparkin yars, but I'm all growed up now.
So, honey, tek car of your little sh*ts, or Ima goin' to have to slap a little cracker.



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 02:52 PM
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I've found the origins of the Southern states

Devon, England...........

Home of the Southern man


[edit on 6-9-2010 by JTK69]

[edit on 6-9-2010 by JTK69]



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 02:57 PM
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we have to remember the army adopted many names & traditions from the natives..

im sure i dont have to go into listing much... apache..chinook.. etc



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 04:03 PM
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I think there is something to be said of the Rocky Mountain/Colorado accent. It sounds impossible, but to us Coloradans(Coloradoans?), the California accent sounds a little extreme, filled with exaggeration and inflection, as well as the Midwest newscaster accent, which sounds a little fake, if you hear them talking when off air, they don't really speak like that. In Colorado, we generally adopt certain colloquialisms in a sort of joking manner, saying y'all and and adopting a redneck twang. Even though this happens a lot, it's not really how we talk. Anyone else from CO who would like to add?



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 05:07 PM
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Very interesting thread.

I can tell for one that any Duth people that lived in the states and returned are almost unable to get theier American accent to take a hike.

Funny thing is that in my country only 5 minutes travel can be all that you need to hear a different accent. You can drive from one end to the other in about 4 to 5 hours.

We even include an extra language called Fries. The home region of Doutze Kroes.

Our biggest are of cours the r and the g.

They used to asked the resistence members in the second WW to say Scheveningen.
germans also have troubles with our g they would have identified themselves at the spot.



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 08:37 PM
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well what about the austrailians and the jamaicans. i think americans hate the english so much and because of the revolution, the new americans consciously decided to sound different from them as to not be associated or be accused of being a brit. at that time loyality was being questioned at every turn and being accused of being british could get you killed. sounding different from an englishman at that time when revolutionary fever was running extremely high could have been seen as an act of patriotism. other examples of this are the american spelling of color and the british colour. this newly formed nation wanted to be completely independant and distinguish itself as much as possible from england and the crown that they adopted a whole new way of pronunciation and accent. that could also explain why texans sound so different because in their early history they wanted to be an independant nation.

[edit on 6-9-2010 by randomname]



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 08:55 PM
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OP, sorry, but you're way off. American English is definately NOT like the english spoken in Shakespeare's time.

American English is not based on British English, it is based on Irish English. It's really obvious if you listen to it. This is because the Irish outnumbered the English in America by about 20 to 1 in its early history. The English actually started to ban the Irish for fear of revolt!!! The English (upper classes) used the Irish to populate the new world.

By comparison, S.African and Australian English are based on British English. Australian English in particular is very close to London English and Cockney ('All right, mate!').

A very good book on the subject is The Story of English

This was made by the BBC and PBS, so is transatlantic and can be trusted. It's also a very entertaining book.



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 09:02 PM
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Several people have used the term 'Germanic' to refer to German. This is incorrect. Germanic is the root language of a group of languages including English, German, Dutch and the Scandinavian languages. To say that one can hear the Germanic influence in English is absurd. English is a Germanic language.



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 09:06 PM
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I know that the soothing British accents played on N.P.R. and B.B.C. could tell you that asteroids were falling and you would still fall asleep..like honeyed opium for your ears.



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 09:47 PM
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reply to post by Nosred
 


Well, you obviously didn't take my wife's Intro to linguistics course!

This thread is incomplete. Your thread title itself is inaccurate and misleading as it implies that there is only one American accent. You have not accounted for the MANY regional dialects and accents across the US (You mention East coast, but which one??). Further, you haven't even accounted for ethnic variation (e.g. AAVE).

There is way more to it than loan words from native american and immigrant languages.

There are linguists who literally devote their entire lives to studying one specific accent of American English. I can't even count the number of sources dedicated to this subject. Three sources and a short thread don't even scratch the surface.



posted on Sep, 6 2010 @ 10:28 PM
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As an Aussie, I would say the White American accent sounds basically Irish influenced, with a little of the "Norf" England accent thrown in. That Manchester/Birmingham way where they pronounce their Rrrr's. Like the Old Pirate Lanuage. R R me Rrrtees.
Like randonname, I would also think that with the "American" hatred of all things British after the 1770s, that anyone (Washington etc) who spoke with a cultured "Posh" English accent (im assuming that the Gentry would have), would be seen as Anti-American.
Coincidently, in the 1770s the English invaded Terra Australis (also known as New Holland at the time), and bought mainly Londoners/Cockneys to the new land. This type of English accent, then and now, was characterised with the quaint charm of dropping the "H". So.... " I 'ad a bad day, fell orff me 'orse, an 'urt me 'ed. People still speak like this who came here in the 1950s.
The Canadians speak with very obvious "Scottish" sounds...the ooo's as in, "Its Aboot time you got here."
I believe in the Early USA, there was a referendum as to what the National language should be...German or English??......Perhaps in an altered dimension Kennedy would have said..." I Love London"

Australia also has different dialects/accents, tho more subtle than England or the US. As the Colony of South Australia was a Free State, with mostly English and German migrants, in its early history, it therefore people spoke with a slightly more refined accent than rough Ol Sydney town.
Intrestingly, my father travelled to the US in 1969 thru Indianapolis/Ohio/Michigan and apparently the locals repeatedly wanted him to talk to them, because his accent sounded like a "Movie Star".??

Even tho we are all related, it is still amusing when an American tries to emulate an English or Aussie accent and just does'nt have a clue. (some get close). But we can usually easily do an American or English accent, as noted by the many Aussie and UKer actors in the US using their American accents.
.
All good stuff, keep it flowing.



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 12:54 AM
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Originally posted by gort51
Coincidently, in the 1770s the English invaded Terra Australis (also known as New Holland at the time), and bought mainly Londoners/Cockneys to the new land. This type of English accent, then and now, was characterised with the quaint charm of dropping the "H". So.... " I 'ad a bad day, fell orff me 'orse, an 'urt me 'ed. People still speak like this who came here in the 1950s.
The Canadians speak with very obvious "Scottish" sounds...the ooo's as in, "Its Aboot time you got here."
I believe in the Early USA, there was a referendum as to what the National language should be...German or English??......Perhaps in an altered dimension Kennedy would have said..." I Love London"




All Aussies I've heard speak like cocknies twisted into another dimension.

Scots have definitely left a stamp on Canadian English (as in 'there's a moose in the hoose'). It's subtle in most cases though. Check out some maritime accents which are remarkable and I wouldn't even recognize as N.American.

There was never a referendum on German / English in the USA. I believe it was a myth put around by the Nazis. German immigrants to the USA numbered no more 11% at their height.



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 02:24 AM
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reply to post by Nosred
 

I'm not sure if you should be using wikipedia as your soul source. Anyone who has an account can put in whatever information they want into it.



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 04:24 AM
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Originally posted by rizla
OP, sorry, but you're way off. American English is definately NOT like the english spoken in Shakespeare's time.

American English is not based on British English, it is based on Irish English. It's really obvious if you listen to it. This is because the Irish outnumbered the English in America by about 20 to 1 in its early history. The English actually started to ban the Irish for fear of revolt!!! The English (upper classes) used the Irish to populate the new world.

By comparison, S.African and Australian English are based on British English. Australian English in particular is very close to London English and Cockney ('All right, mate!').

A very good book on the subject is The Story of English

This was made by the BBC and PBS, so is transatlantic and can be trusted. It's also a very entertaining book.


Exactly, the OP thinks American language is based on British English when just by listening to it you can tell it is obviously Irish.



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 10:33 AM
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reply to post by Nosred
 


What exactly is an "American" accent anyways?

Have you not traveled around this large nation and noticed we have dozens of different accents in our own country? Some of them sounding just as foreign as places overseas......

Trust me, put three people in a room, one from Los Angeles, one from New York and one from Mississippi, and tell me they are all speaking "American"



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 12:29 PM
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Originally posted by rizla

A very good book on the subject is The Story of English

This was made by the BBC and PBS, so is transatlantic and can be trusted. It's also a very entertaining book.


Beat me to it! I bought this book as a companion to the PBS series of the same name back in the late '80s. Very good and highly recommended for anyone interested in the subject.






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