An ADS evaluation of dialects in movies?

Bob Haas highbob at MINDSPRING.COM
Sat Nov 20 15:56:13 UTC 1999

Dennis, could you recommend an article or book that would further explain
this phenomenon?  It sounds very interesting to this son of the south; I
thought that the accent went back to before the War Against Northern
Aggression, but I'm no linguist, just an interested dilettante.

Many thanks.

"Dennis R. Preston" wrote:

> Brittany,
> First, you ain;t got nothing to worry about; of course it is not fading
> (except in carpetbagger domains like Atlanta).
> Second, why "antebellum"? Most of the evidence we have is that what we
> think of as today's "Southern Accent" (with a few exceptions, r-lessness,
> possibly /aI/ monophthongization) is a fairly recent phenomenon (and I
> apologize for that old-fashioned singular; I know it has become
> "phenomena"). In short (and I know this will horrify many daugheers and
> sons of the South), most of the Civil War Confederates whom you love to
> hear in the movies would have sounded a good deal more like what you call
> "midwesterners" than any self-respecting southerner of today.
> Course, it's hard to be self-respecting which a bunch of fools from the
> north are always laughing at the way you talk.


Bob Haas
Department of English
High Point University
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

                      "Shun the frumious Bandersnatch!"

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