Are there different Southern accents?
She is definitely Southern, but her accent is rather subtle... My guess would be that she tried to standardize it for the show, but didn't do a perfect job.
That's Miss South Carolina, and she's taken a lot of crap for her comment... I feel bad for her... lol
Well of course there is more than one Southern accent, even more than one dialect, Hell, for that matter there is even more than one Southern language (Y’all ain’t even mentioned Cajun or Gullah).
And by Golly if the upland Southern (i.e. “Appalachian) accent ain’t “really Southern” then there ain’t a dog in Georgia. “Tidewater” Southern (or more probably a fake “movie Southern”) may be what most ignorant yankees and uninformed non-Americans think of when they think of the Southern accent but it certainly ain’t the dominate accent in the South either in geographic area or in numbers of speakers. That distinction would have go to the upland Southern accent.
This is only natural too since most Southerners are just not and never were of that old “Cavalier” tidewater culture. There is certainly nothing wrong with that culture or accent of course and it is certainly Southern too but to intimate that it is somehow the only “authentic” Southern accent or culture is absurd.
And yes I know full well that upland Southern has subsets. Hell I can identify at least four within my own State. In many cases I can even pinpoint the county a speaker is from after just a few sentences (at least if he/she is a real Southerner and not some “new south”, urbanized, homogenized, public school brainwashed, 1984ised “general American”).
Miss South Carolina Teen USA has southern features of her speech. I tried to find a biography online or something, and as far as I've seen she hasn't lived anywhere but Lexington.
Can’t identify much that is really any kind of Southern in her speech at all (except maybe it is a tad slow, but then that may have more to do with brain function than accent or dialect) She sounds like one of those government school brainwashed urbanized, homogenized “new south” types trying her best to sound like she is from Iowa to me, poor girl. Her accent aside I think she gives dumb blonds a bad name. And BTW what in the hell did she say anyway?
I personally believe the U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh...people out there in our nation don't have maps, and, uh, I believe that our education like such as South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such as and...I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., err, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our...
I felt really bad for her... So I made myself feel better by telling myself she's probably a jerk in real life... I hope she is... Otherwise, I'd still feel really bad for her.
You know, last week I met someone from Bakersfield and they had what sounded like a Southern accent. I wonder how the southern accent in Bakersfield compares with the accents in the actual south.
"And by Golly if the upland Southern (i.e. “Appalachian) accent ain’t “really Southern” then there ain’t a dog in Georgia. “Tidewater” Southern (or more probably a fake “movie Southern”) may be what most ignorant yankees and uninformed non-Americans think of when they think of the Southern accent but it certainly ain’t the dominate accent in the South either in geographic area or in numbers of speakers. That distinction would have go to the upland Southern accent."
No, it's true that upland Southern is far more dominant in the south than the old, non-rhotic dialects of yore. However, the reason that I would say "Appalachian" dialects are not technically Southern is that they actually originated in Southwestern Pennsylvania, where the accents still maintains similarities to "appalachian" English to this day.
I've noticed a trend--the Southern speakers in this forum notice less a Southern accent on Miss Teen USA than the GenAm speakers, who detect the Southern inflections more than we do.
Perhaps we have "mismatch" neurons that make it easier to detect differences rather than similarities; indeed, in my own case, I hear much more GenAm in Miss Teen's voice than Southern.
This would probably make me a better choice to parse GenAm accents because they're different; the subtleties of Southern speech might be more difficult for me to detect, with the exception of Tidewater accents--which are DIFFERENT.
Does anybody know anything about the science of this? I guess it would fall under the category of neurolinguistics.
On a related note--do you think Miss Teen USA's accent is a native hybrid, or do you detect that she's code-switching?
Southern speakers are surrounded by folks with southern accents day in and day out. We are also frequently exposed to people that have a hybrid of Standard American and Southern American...
The point is, this will typically be the case. Someone who speaks in one dialect will hear theirs as being closer to Standard American than another person would.
For example, the entirety of the San Diego State student body (Linguistics majors are the exception) believes that they have no accent at all, when to me most of my friends spoke "valley girl" or "surfer dude."
A Southern accent is not going to sound as thick to a Southerner as it will to a Minnesotan, and vic versa.
"the reason that I would say "Appalachian" dialects are not technically Southern is that they actually originated in Southwestern Pennsylvania"
Well, half the people that populated the South came through Pennsylvania for a generation or two. By that line of reasoning there ain't no such thing as a Southern accent. Taken to the logical conclusion there ain't no such thing as ANY American accent if you want to keep going back to where they "originated"
Guest is right... It's not the fact that it started in Southwestern Pennsylvania, it's that the accent extends from Pennsylvania to northern Alabama... It's not a PURELY southern accent...
I guess... lol
Speaking as a life-long Southerner, and an avid amateur linguist, I think I can say with some confidence that there are significant differences in Southern accents across the U.S. Here in the Appalachain mountains of NC, the accent is "twangy" and uses many words now obsolete in standard American English. In my local area, at the foot of the mountains, much of the local speech would be almost unintelligible to an outsider overhearing locals conversing with each other. For me, it is easy to identify someone from Georgia, for instance, or from South Carolina. Virginians, Texans and Alabamans have still other distinctions in their accents that would make it easy for me to identify them as not being local to my area.