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Everybody ― whether or not an individual admits it or not ― has an accent. Whether or not it’s thick Louisiana Cajun or Valley Woman, the way in which you speak may also help others determine the place you’re from. 

Some accents ― comparable to Southern ones ― will be related to adverse stereotypes. Though numerous states ― even cities and counties ― have dialect variations, analysis carried out in 2013 with adults and youngsters as younger as 10 confirmed that People stated they assume individuals with Southern accents will not be as good as these with Northern accents. That examine additionally revealed that ballot respondents stated they considered people with Southern accents as sounding nicer than these with Northern accents. 

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However why?

In keeping with Dictionary.com, individuals assume sure accents sound enticing due to stereotypes related to them.

Stereotypes about Southerners usually stem from the historical past of racial discrimination and academic entry disparities within the Southeast, based on Jessica Ray, a Ph.D. scholar in anthropology and linguistics on the College of Arizona. 

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“By associating Southerners and the Southern accent with being uneducated, ignorant, morally corrupt … the stereotype suggests that individuals from different areas of the nation are, in distinction, educated, ethical and rich,” she stated. 

But a current examine by YouGov discovered that the Southern coastal accent was deemed probably the most enticing American regional or metropolis accent by the most important share of these surveyed: 18 p.c. A Texas accent got here in second, with 12 p.c.

One attainable purpose: Southern accents are just about well-known everywhere in the world. 

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It doesn’t take lengthy to determine a Southern accent. Jean Berko Gleason, a psychological and mind sciences professor emerita at Boston College, stated that due to the excellence of those accents, they’re simply recognizable. 

“One factor that’s distinctive a couple of Southern accent is that all of us have a tendency to acknowledge it after we hear it,” she stated. “We could not know the place within the South an individual comes from, however we’re fairly certain they’re from the South.”

The recognition of flicks comparable to “Forrest Gump,” “The Assist” and “Driving Miss Daisy” suggests that individuals have a fascination with Southern accents, just like why People assume British accents are horny.  

Erik Thomas, a professor at North Carolina State College, stated that one of many major results of popular culture on dialects is to maintain and amplify stereotypes. 

“Motion pictures and tv exhibits exploit stereotypes as a handy manner of situating a personality or scene within the South,” he stated. “Usually, these depictions give attention to just a few iconic linguistic options comparable to “y’all” however ignore different options that could be pervasive in speech however haven’t gained widespread notoriety.” 

Together with his deep Mississippi accent, Forrest Gump is a lovable but oblivious man whose low intelligence is commonly mocked by different characters within the film. But the film is wildly fashionable on Rotten Tomatoes amongst viewers (and it gained the Academy Award for finest image in 1995).

These stereotypes prevail, particularly amongst those that have by no means been to the South. 

In keeping with The Washington Submit, regardless of how individuals converse, their voice performs a task of their relationships, and research have discovered that when individuals’s voice sounds good, we expect they appear good too.

“Folks assume accents are horny in the event that they admire the nation,” Lynne Murphy, a professor of linguistics on the College of Sussex, instructed the Submit. 

On this case, there’s maybe a fascination with Southern tradition — from Forrest Gump to Southern Thanksgiving dishes — that transfers over to a keenness for the accents too.  

  • This text initially appeared on HuffPost.

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