The Morning Breeze w/ Carolyn McArdle & Cort Johnson

The Morning Breeze w/ Carolyn McArdle & Cort Johnson

The Morning Breeze on 98.1 The Breeze in San FranciscoFull Bio


Why The Southern Drawl Is Disappearing

Country road with big green trees and fences at either side

Photo: beklaus / E+ / Getty Images

Believe it or not... the Southern drawl is dying, y'all.

And we have Gen Z to blame.

A new study published in Language Variation and Change claims the classic Southern American accent has been slowly fading over time — with the younger generation now helping to hammer the final nail into the proverbial pine box.

It all has to do with vowels.

Using a computer model, linguists estimated where speakers placed their tongues when pronouncing the sounds, quickly finding distinctive differences.

“We found that, here in Georgia, white English speakers’ accents have been shifting away from the traditional Southern pronunciation for the last few generations,” lead researcher Margaret Renwick said in a press release.

“Today’s college students don’t sound like their parents, who didn’t sound like their own parents,” Renwick reckoned. “We noticed that older speakers often had a thick Southern drawl, while current college students didn’t.”

Read more here.

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