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Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents?

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  • Terry Foreman
    http://www.livescience.com/33652-americans-brits-accents.html
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 4, 2013
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    • Susan Thomas
      This was very interesting! It links in with all those speculations about what Shakespeare would have sounded like - even to having a production of one of his
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 4, 2013
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        This was very interesting! It links in with all those speculations about what Shakespeare would have sounded like - even to having a production of one of his plays done with Warwickshire accents as in the 16th century (supposedly). The grammar is interesting to - Brits used to say "gotten", but now it is perceived as an "Americanism". Lots more examples, but I really should do some work........





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        Susan Thomas

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      • Todd Bernhardt
        Thanks for the link, Terry -- interesting, but I m not sure I buy it.  Too much deviation throughout the British isles from each region and American
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 4, 2013
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          Thanks for the link, Terry -- interesting, but I'm not sure I buy it.  Too much deviation throughout the British isles from each region and American pronunciation the to have come about in just 200 years, I think. Plus, we have Sam's (and others') phonetic spelling to help show us how words were pronounced there before the colonies split off, and much of that doesn't strike me as being too close to the American accent...


          From: Terry Foreman <terry.foreman@...>
          To: 'Terry Foreman' <terry.foreman@...>
          Sent: Sunday, August 4, 2013 1:24 PM
          Subject: [pepysdiary] Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents?

           
          http://www.livescience.com/33652-americans-brits-accents.html


        • peter easton
          I don t buy it either. It sounds as if the article is based on imaginative speculation rather than research. Accent varies subtly all over the UK. In my
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 5, 2013
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            I don't buy it either. It sounds as if the article is based on imaginative speculation rather than research. Accent varies subtly all over the UK. In my experience, the 'rhotic R' is most noticable in Scotland and the SW, and perhaps East Anglia. Accent  also varies quite considerably across the US, though less per mile than in the UK. New England is dramatically different from the deep south. I think the East Coast accent is heavily influenced by Irish immigration, especially New York - which contradicts the article (Irish = rhotic, US East Coast = non-rhotic).

            We can also perceive changes in accent during our own lifetimes. With the caveat that radio/TV accents are often not 'natural', by comparing radio/TV broadcasts from the 30s, 60s and now (in UK), you can hear a difference. Thus, over centuries, I'm sure accents change considerably.  

            At the time of Pepys, differences in accent would have been discernible village by village. I live in Belgium, where I'm told that elderly Flemish/Dutch speakers often cannot understand each other if from different parts of Flanders - due to differences in accent and words. One reason this still exists today is because Flanders never had a 'national' language which tends to unify dialects and accents. In comparison, the Netherlands has a much more unified form of Dutch (though local dialects still exist).

            Accents are forever fascinating.



            From: Todd Bernhardt <beat_town@...>
            To: "pepysdiary@yahoogroups.com" <pepysdiary@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Monday, August 5, 2013 12:54 AM
            Subject: Re: [pepysdiary] Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents?

             
            Thanks for the link, Terry -- interesting, but I'm not sure I buy it.  Too much deviation throughout the British isles from each region and American pronunciation the to have come about in just 200 years, I think. Plus, we have Sam's (and others') phonetic spelling to help show us how words were pronounced there before the colonies split off, and much of that doesn't strike me as being too close to the American accent...


            From: Terry Foreman <terry.foreman@...>
            To: 'Terry Foreman' <terry.foreman@...>
            Sent: Sunday, August 4, 2013 1:24 PM
            Subject: [pepysdiary] Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents?

             
            http://www.livescience.com/33652-americans-brits-accents.html




          • Jenny Doughty
            Interesting article, Terry. I take your point Todd, but if you think about how evolution works in other regards, I guess we could say that both the American
            Message 5 of 7 , Aug 5, 2013
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              Interesting article, Terry. I take your point Todd, but if you think about how evolution works in other regards, I guess we could say that both the American and British accents have descended from a common ancestor, like all the various breeds of dog from wolves!

              Jenny

              From: Todd Bernhardt <beat_town@...>
              Reply-To: <pepysdiary@yahoogroups.com>
              Date: Sunday, August 4, 2013 6:54 PM
              To: "pepysdiary@yahoogroups.com" <pepysdiary@yahoogroups.com>
              Subject: Re: [pepysdiary] Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents?

               

              Thanks for the link, Terry -- interesting, but I'm not sure I buy it.  Too much deviation throughout the British isles from each region and American pronunciation the to have come about in just 200 years, I think. Plus, we have Sam's (and others') phonetic spelling to help show us how words were pronounced there before the colonies split off, and much of that doesn't strike me as being too close to the American accent...


              From: Terry Foreman <terry.foreman@...>
              To: 'Terry Foreman' <terry.foreman@...>
              Sent: Sunday, August 4, 2013 1:24 PM
              Subject: [pepysdiary] Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents?

            • Todd Bernhardt
              Oh, no doubt about that!    :-)    I think it s fascinating in general to hear how English-language accents have evolved around the world, including
              Message 6 of 7 , Aug 5, 2013
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                Oh, no doubt about that!    :-)    I think it's fascinating in general to hear how English-language accents have evolved around the world, including Africa and Australia, and especially in areas of isolation (for example, some accents, and even the music, in some Appalachian "hollers" is supposedly very close to the accents/music of the original settlers).



                From: Jenny Doughty <jmdought@...>
                To: pepysdiary@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Monday, August 5, 2013 9:06 AM
                Subject: Re: [pepysdiary] Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents?

                 
                Interesting article, Terry. I take your point Todd, but if you think about how evolution works in other regards, I guess we could say that both the American and British accents have descended from a common ancestor, like all the various breeds of dog from wolves!

                Jenny

                From: Todd Bernhardt <beat_town@...>
                Reply-To: <pepysdiary@yahoogroups.com>
                Date: Sunday, August 4, 2013 6:54 PM
                To: "pepysdiary@yahoogroups.com" <pepysdiary@yahoogroups.com>
                Subject: Re: [pepysdiary] Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents?

                 
                Thanks for the link, Terry -- interesting, but I'm not sure I buy it.  Too much deviation throughout the British isles from each region and American pronunciation the to have come about in just 200 years, I think. Plus, we have Sam's (and others') phonetic spelling to help show us how words were pronounced there before the colonies split off, and much of that doesn't strike me as being too close to the American accent...


                From: Terry Foreman <terry.foreman@...>
                To: 'Terry Foreman' <terry.foreman@...>
                Sent: Sunday, August 4, 2013 1:24 PM
                Subject: [pepysdiary] Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents?

                 
                http://www.livescience.com/33652-americans-brits-accents.html




              • Jenny Doughty
                I highly commend the book Albion s Seed to anybody interested in how the folkways of different parts of the British Isles have come down to different parts
                Message 7 of 7 , Aug 5, 2013
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                  I highly commend the book "Albion's Seed" to anybody interested in how the folkways of different parts of the British Isles have come down to different parts of the USA on the backs of the first five great waves of immigration.

                  Jenny

                  From: Todd Bernhardt <beat_town@...>
                  Reply-To: <pepysdiary@yahoogroups.com>
                  Date: Monday, August 5, 2013 9:15 AM
                  To: "pepysdiary@yahoogroups.com" <pepysdiary@yahoogroups.com>
                  Subject: Re: [pepysdiary] Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents?

                   

                  Oh, no doubt about that!    :-)    I think it's fascinating in general to hear how English-language accents have evolved around the world, including Africa and Australia, and especially in areas of isolation (for example, some accents, and even the music, in some Appalachian "hollers" is supposedly very close to the accents/music of the original settlers).

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