Saturday, May 21, 2011

Is the Southern accent dying?

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in 1939 film Gone With the Wind, charmed audiences with her Southern drawl

The distinct drawls and twangs that dominate America's Southeast as we know it may be dying off, new research suggests.

A North Carolina State University study has noted a gradual shift away from the drawn-out vowel pronunciations widely associated with Southern speech, which experts say is 'disappearing'.

Linguists say upper and middle classes in the state capital of Raleigh have adopted a distinctly 'less Southern' drawl in recent years, and it's a trend that will continue........

........The speech changes to the degree that you don't really sound like you're from Dixie anymore.'

Bob Tomb, 70, said the shift makes him reminisce about growing up in the region, when a Southern drawl was more distinct.

'It's very pleasant to run into an older person who sounds like they're from Raleigh. The accent gives the place a little style,' he said.

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