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It's difficult to determine when Americans stopped sounding like them because the human voice wasn't documented until the 1860s

BY- JAYA CHOUDHARY

The process of language development is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating aspects of history. It's amazing how, with the exception of a few words, Americans and their northern neighbors in Canada sound almost identical when they talk, yet when you listen to the British across the ocean, you instantly wonder what's going on. The primary topic is when and how English colonists in America lost their British accents, and when and how American accents emerged.


During the preparation for the War of 1812, Britain forcefully conscripted American sailors into the British navy by claiming they spoke with a British accent and were British. Was it true that the American and British dialects had differed so drastically? The Revolutionary War had recently come to a conclusion.


Navy Traditional English was primarily "rhotic," whether spoken in the British Isles or the American colonies.Pixabay

We don't know if the Brits were grabbing American sailors because of their accents or because they were poor losers, but accents might have played a role. This is a difficult issue to solve because regional accents exist in both American and British English. It's difficult to determine when Americans stopped sounding like them because the human voice wasn't documented until the 1860s.

Linguists refer to what most Americans perceive as a British accent as Received Pronunciation or BBC English. They talk with a newscaster's accent or a general American accent. Traditional English was primarily "rhotic," whether spoken in the British Isles or the American colonies. In terms like "hard" and "winter," rhotic speakers pronounce the "R" sound differently from non-rhotic speakers. Non-rhotic speech is now widespread throughout the United Kingdom. Most current Brits, for example, would say it's been a "hahd wintuh."

ALSO READ: the history of the English language

Nonrhotic speech became popular in southern England at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, not long after the American Revolution, notably among the upper and upper-middle classes. It was a symbol of social class and prestige. This aristocratic accent was standardized as Received Pronunciation (RP) and taught to those who wished to learn to speak in a fashionable manner by pronunciation teachers. The military forces, the civil service, and, subsequently, the BBC propagated the Received Pronunciation accent across England and the empire because it was regionally "neutral" and simple to understand.

Political and economic influence shifted from port cities and cotton areas to manufacturing centers in the Mid Atlantic and Midwest after the Civil War and well into the twentieth century – New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, and so on. In these regions, which were primarily occupied by Scots-Irish and other migrants from Northern Britain, the British elite had a considerably less cultural and linguistic impact, and rhotic English was still used. Received Pronunciation fell out of favor in the United States and the newscaster accent became the standard.

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