old english accent was closer to American southern accent

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by EmoBorg, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A few months ago, I came across an article, that stated that the British Received Pronunciation accent was of recent origin.

    The link to the article is below.

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/29761/when-did-americans-lose-their-british-accents

    Yesterday i came across a Vsauce youtube video and according to the video, The General American Southern Accent is much closer to the old English accent than the British Received Pronunciation accent.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atI-JPGcF-k

    If that is the cause, shouldn't all actors in future dramas set in the Elizabethan era, the Stuart period or the English civil war should speak with a General Southern American Accent from now onwards?

    Could The BBC hire American actors to play historical English characters who lived before the 18th century and simply let them use their natural American accent.
     
  2. ainmneacha_Nollag

    ainmneacha_Nollag Living the Irish dream. Admiral

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    One would think they could, but I'm not sure it would happen.
     
  3. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In the unlikely event that we get another TNG movie with the original cast, I want the French Captain Picard to be speaking in an thick (as Georgia mud) Southern drawl.

    Worf; "Romulans decloaking Sir."

    Picard: "Well boy, getz them shields eep."



    :)
     
  4. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    i want the julian bashir character to speak in a North Carolina accent.
     
  5. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    I think the accents in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia would be closer than general Southern. They're similar to the Southern accent but without the drawl, and tend to be very rapid and clipped with vowel sounds that I still have to interpret for people. My "i" sound, for example, is closer to what you say when a doctor puts a tongue depressor down your throat. People have frequently heard me and said, "That's a vowel?!!!"
     
  6. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You mean like the girl in the video below.

    4[​IMG]
     
  7. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    The central Appalachian accents generally, but also the Chesapeake island dialects and possibly those found in the more remote corners of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
     
  8. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Why does everyone in something set in Ancient Rome have British accents instead of Italian accents? Yes, I know Classical Latin didn't sound Italian, but it sounded far more Italian than English. Some things are just conventions by now.

    I should add two clarifications to your post.

    First, and I assume this is fairly obvious, but I should say it anyway. By old English, you mean Elizabethan English (which is an earlier modern English). It was after the great vowel shift. Before that point, everything was pronounced (and pronounced differently). The word Knight literally pronounced the k, n, g, and t and the i was like the i in the word Nick. That language would sound alien to us.

    Second, more to the point. Elizabethan English was closer to a southern accent, but the southern accent has changed as well. The article there doesn't take a firm position on what accent would have been spoken. The recent discussion about Richard III demonstrates some British accents that predate the colonial period that are close to what is there today. I've heard in the past that the Tidewater accent is the closest, but the article you linked to seems to dismiss the idea.

    I think what we do know is this:
    The accent wasn't an RP accent. If a similar accent survives today, it'll probably be a lower class accent.
    It was a non-rhotic accent. Most (if not all) accents in England don't pronounce their R's. Similarly, with the exception of Philadelphia and Baltimore (Mid-Atlantic accent), the American accents on the east coast are the same. The Mid-Atlantic accent owes its use of the R to a significant German and Irish population. The rest of America followed suit (either because they were settled from this group or out of a conscious decision to distinguish themselves), but the accents derived from English accents don't pronounce R's.
     
  9. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    For what I understand, Classical Latin should have sounded like a mix between Italian and German: lots of hard consonant, intermixed with long, open vowels.

    And that would sound like bliss for me, or anyone who speak a language with a regular, consistent pronunciation. I love English, but the divide between written and spoken English is hell.
     
  10. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    It may be hellish, but I would venture to say that there are few languages that offer such rich opportunity for wordplay!
     
  11. Crom!

    Crom! Admiral Admiral

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    You beat me to it. There are three different Ages regarding English (before getting to Modern English):

    • Old English (from the first traces of written texts circa the 8th century).
    • Middle English (from the 11th century in parallel with the Norman invasion)
    • Elizabethan English (up until the 18th century)
    As Alidar mentioned, the Great Vowel Shift took three hundred years to take place, and that's one of the constants of any languages; they mutate.

    EDIT: Oh by the way, I studied History of English at college (a minor in Linguistics) and it was awesome! I remember "Vader Ure"
     
  12. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    The diversity of the English language is both its greatest strength (for those who know how to exploit it) and its greatest frustration (for those daring to learn it.)
     
  13. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    I've a hard time imagining Shakespeare sounding like an episode of "Honey Boo Boo". ;)
     
  14. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have been told that the different American spellings of written English words is a throwback to older versions of the language. With regard the spoken language, some American accents probably do have close links to older English, but so do some English accents - these are the two often stated to be the most closely related (and one I am very familiar with) :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqIcbLkY2iY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTfC1BIgTCw

    Neither sound that similar to Southern American to me, but linguists can probably hear some commonality.

    Ps. - look out for the 'Batmon' t-shirt !
     
  15. Crom!

    Crom! Admiral Admiral

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    :lol:
     
  16. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought Ulster Scots was generally reckoned to be the closest as a lot of them settled in what were to become the southern states.

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUshUlDlRoY[/yt]

    I thought that American English spelling was largely down to Noah Webster, although he might well have revived older variants.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webster's_Dictionary
     
  17. Crisp Crinkle

    Crisp Crinkle Admiral Admiral

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  18. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I support more italian sounding roman dramas.

    I understand that the great vowel shift over the last 300 years will make old spoken english hard to understand for modern english speakers and hence unsuitable for modern television programs. But why can't we use the American southern accent? It is more closer to old English accents. The British RP accent is fairly new. To be honest, I would like to hear Shakespeare spoken in an eastern Kentucky accent.

    All those British period dramas set in the 18 century and earlier centuries need to have more American sounding actors.

    The game of thrones novel is written by an american but the show features all british accented cast. The game of thrones is set in Westeros and Essos and not Great Britain. Why can't the american casting folks hired some americans for some of the roles and allow for their american accent on the show. I want a jon snow with a North Carolina Accent.
     
  19. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not if you don't want to. I was just pointing out that American spelling was more down to Noah Webster wanting to create an American English that was distinct from the original tongue -- although he failed to get Americans to spell that particular word as "tung" or "women" as "wimmen".
     
  20. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, everybody knows Shakespeare sounds best in the original Klingon. :p

    Well, go see a production at Eastern Kentucky or UK or Berea then. :D Lincoln Memorial right across the border in northeast TN would probably work too. Or support local theatre if you're from around there.