Re: Hawkeye's "American" accent!

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Posted by Mike Zeares on June 15, 1997 at 19:20:14:

In Reply to: Re: Hawkeye's posted by E. Lane on June 14, 1997 at 07:17:01:

I tried posting a reply to this yesterday, but it seems to have been munched. Anyway, according to a book on American cultural patterns I was browsing through recently, the various American dialects can indeed be traced back to country dialects in England. Writers during the colonial period commented on the similarities between the Virginia dialect and the Sussex country dialects, for example. What is interesting is that these dialects haven't changed much since. They have, however, pretty much died out in England, due to efforts by the British education authorities in the 19th century (I'd be willing to bet radio and tv had a lot to do with it, too.). What we think of as a British accent is the London dialect, which has spread throughout the country. The country dialects are preserved in the regional dialects of the U.S., especially the New England (East Anglia) and Southern (Sussex and Wessex) dialects. Therefore, DDL was perfectly correct in trying to use an American dialect. To my ears, he had some trouble with it, but it could have been deliberate. Maybe his research convinced him that this was how someone like Hawkeye would speak. It would be interesting to ask him about it.


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