[Ads-l] Accents of the Civil War

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Feb 12 07:01:55 EST 2021

This fifteen-minute clip may be of interest to dialectologists, because the
speaker was born in 1846.  He came from a wealthy family in southeastern

He may be enunciating for the microphone more carefully than usual:


This man was born in rural Minnesota in 1850.  Unfortunately the sound
quality is very poor:


These speakers (starting about 1:15 in) were only a few years younger.
Their accents sound perfectly ordinary to me:


The interesting question (which can't be answered from these clips) is how
much U.S. accents have changed in the past 160 years. A lot? A little? If
only a little, what about 100 years before that?

The question is probably too broad to be answered.

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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