Columbia News Service on Southern accents

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Thu May 25 16:33:18 UTC 2006

This is certainly better than the AP story last November on Southern
accent reduction, though it adheres to the usual vague folk
descriptions of the Southern "twang/drawl." Walt Wolfram, Patricia
Cukor-Avila, and Dennis Preston are quoted.,1,3474549.story?coll=chi-newslocalnearwest-hed
Some Southerners work to erase accent as others drawl with pride
By Cody Lyon
Columbia News Service
Published May 25, 2006
The added syllables, twangs and the occasional drop of an "r" or "g"
from certain words are part of a diverse linguistic culture that
blends class, race and geography, and remains -- despite demographic
shifts and a pervasive national media -- as strong as ever, linguists
As the South continues to come to terms with its complicated past,
many Southerners are embracing the twangs, drawls and vernacular of
the region as part of their heritage.
"Increasingly, Southerners are adopting a kind of dialect defiance
that is proudly different" said Walt Wolfram, a linguistics professor
at North Carolina State University.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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