ENG 105/ Christie Harper
The South and its Accent
The South has been recognized as “the most distinctive speech region of the United States”. The distinctiveness of the Southern speech is not always positive. Many perceive the “Southern Drawl” as slow and uneducated, but I will prove that the South’s accents and ways are so much more than that!
Every person has their own “English” that they speak. Depending on where you are from, deciphers how you will sound when you speak. Southerners have a very strong, drawn out “drawl” if you will. Many Americans perceive our “drawl” to be idiotic and uneducated. Beyond being upset at this accusation, I will fancy you with some of the South’s best qualities of our heritage and prove that the name callers are the real dunces of America.
There are actually many accent groups that make up the “southern drawl or accent”. They originated from immigrants from England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Canada, the western coast of Africa, and all the islands in the Caribbean. The “R” is only pronounced if it precedes a vowel, such as “dawlin”, or the “R” sound is added where it does not belong, such as, “warshing you clothes on low in the warshing machine” or “the toirlet needs to be cleaned”. The drawl means slow speaking and drawing out the words. The South is more slowly paced than say New York or California, so this may be the reason the accent in the South is more drawn out.
There are particular words that are unique just below the Mason Dixon line. Words like “ya’ll”, “fixin”, and “liked to”- are all common words and uses of the South. “Ya’ll” is used in place of “you all”, “fixin” is used when telling someone “you are about to do something” and “liked to” is used when telling about something being “near”. An example, “Ya’ll liked to have gotten bit by that snake!” and “We are fixin to go out for dinner.”
The typical stereotypes for Southerners are dirt-poor, uneducated, overall wearing rednecks...