Regional Accents in the US
• Some of the most remote places (mountains, islands) have very distinctive accents
o E.g. Tangiers
• In the US, the accents came from the first settlers. Different settlers settled in
different areas on the East coast, and then spread west.
• Farther west there is less regional distinction, more blending
• Geographical feature (e.g. Connecticut River) barriers to accents.
• Made up of subtle, cultural aspects, rhythms, tonal pauses, pauses
o Appalachian: Strong emphasis on the individual, so they are long in
coming to the point.
o Westerners feel their speech/social rules are very frank and forthright
• Foreign languages left their mark: eg. French/English – Cajun
• People often have different words for the same thing.