Do You Have A Connecticut Accent?

Jun 4, 2013

One of the ongoing debates in American sociolinguistics concerns the so-called Ocracoke brogue, a dialect from the barrier islands off the cost of North Carolina. You could probably throw in the dialect of Smith Island off the coast of Maryland.  There are people who claim that these dialects represent a closer approximation of Elizabethan English, the accent spoken by Shakespeare's actors, than anything found anywhere else.  Weighing the evidence, I'm not really buying that, but there is an unmissable sound of the British Isles in the way these people talk, and it's probably true that the colonial accent of the early 18th century lingers more in the sounds of their speech than it does elsewhere in the U.S. Linguists who studied the Smith islanders discovered that the "old" accent is actually stronger in the youngest generation. Today, a show about dialects and regional accents.  You can join the conversation. E-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.