General Question

damien's avatar

How is a new accent born?

Asked by damien (2394points) June 28th, 2008

In the UK, it seems that you only have to travel in the car for 15 mins and you’ll find a place where people speak with a completely different accent to where you just came from.

I’ve often wondered how accents became so varied within such a small space and how does a new accent come about? I mean, it wouldn’t have thought it would be be a conscious decision to change..

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4 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Accents develop through isolation. New ones are less likely precisely because we are so much less isolated today. We move around so much more than people used to, there is more and more intrusive media. You could easily go a whole day in Dallas without hearing a Texas twang or in Atlanta without hearing a Southern drawl.

In the past, they denoted not only place isolation, but economic isolation of a particular group.

playthebanjo's avatar

We are indeed less isolated, but can’t the same be said for colloquialisms? New ones of those are created and probably serve the same “purpose” as accents. When I moved to Seattle from Savannah and someone told me to go to the store and pick up a half rack I had no idea what they were talking about. But then when I said that I was fixing to do something they just looked at me blankly.

marinelife's avatar

Why, hush my mouf’, ptb, y’all is so right!

jamzzy's avatar

i think the english language is like a giant game of telephone…=]

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