Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I - for one -- refuse to believe this

There's a gradual shift toward a less distinctive regional accent, and our vowel sounds are leading the way, says the News & Observer.

"Language is always changing, always in flux," said Robin Dodsworth, an associate linguistics professor at N.C. State University. "Over time in Raleigh, the Southern variant is disappearing."

Apparently, this is a story about the South in general, not just Raleigh. I don't believe it.

Walt Wolfram, NCSU's William C. Friday distinguished professor of English linguistics, says the South isn't losing its identity in terms of speech - it's reconfiguring. The South, particularly in urban areas, has transformed itself during the past 30 years, Wolfram said. Cities have been more influenced by outsiders, and this vowel shift is partially a product of that change. And it's more subtle than natives might realize.

"If a Southern person goes north, people are still going to say you sound Southern," Wolfram said.

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