AP on Southern "accent" reduction

Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Wed Nov 23 21:18:38 UTC 2005

Erica Tobolski's accent wouldn't be welcome at my house either.


>Whither the Southern Accent?
>By JEFFREY COLLINS and KRISTEN WYATT, Associated Press Writers
>COLUMBIA, S.C. - "Y'all" isn't welcome in Erica Tobolski's class in voice and
>diction at the University of South Carolina. And forget about "fixin'," as in
>getting ready to do something, or "pin" when talking about the writing
>Tobolski's class is all about getting rid of accents, mostly Southern ones in
>the heart of the former Confederacy, and replacing them with Standard American
>Dialect, the uninflected tone of TV news anchors that oozes authority and
>Interesting that the first two examples of Southern "accent" are lexical. The
>article goes on to discuss the "diversity of dialects" in the South, with
>obligatory references to "Appalachian twangs" and "Elizabethan lilts".
>--Ben Zimmer

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Morrill Hall 15-C
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1036 USA
Office: (517) 353-4736
Fax: (517) 353-3755

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