The Southern Accent—Alive and Well

Reprinted with permission from the Southern Historical Collection, Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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The Southern Accent—Alive and Well

by Michael Montgomery
Southern Cultures, Inaugural Issue: 1993

"Are the days of the southern accent or the southern dialect in fact numbered?"

In May of 1986, newspapers throughout the South ran a feature story about a southern linguist who’d been researching the region’s speech. Local papers topped the story with catchy headlines like “Southern Accent Here to Stay,” “Ain’t No Cause fuh Alahm, Y’all,” “Don’t Fret Y’all—The Drawl Isn’t Dying,” and “Southern Drawl Still Going Strong.”