Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 11:49:01 -0400

From: "William C. Spruiell" 3lfyuji[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CMICH.EDU

Subject: Which Southern accent...

A message forwarded by Alan Metcalf contains:

"Another question I would like to ask. What happened to the old =


Southern accent?=20

I was left wondering what was meant by the "Old Aristocrat" accent. As a =

native of Alabama, from an area in which Coastal and Southern Midland =

forms mix, I had always had the impression that the Coastal dialect was =

*perceived* as more "refined" (perhaps because of the difference between =

classic media stereotypes: Scarlett O'Hara vs. Grandma Clampett). If, =

however, the writer was referring to the Coastal dialect as the =

"aristocratic" one, it would be difficult to see how it could be dying =

out -- any syllable-final r's one finds in south Georgia or Alabama are =

usually clinging desperately to a midwesterner, terrified that their =

native habitat will disappear. Are there (or were there recently) =

strong class-dialect distinctions *within* Coastal that could be meant =

by "the aristocrat Southern accent"? If so, are they, or have they, died =