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How do accents evolve and why are there many different accents in a particular country?

How is it for example that in England you'll have the geordie accent, the Liverpudlian accent, a west country accent, a brummie accent and so on. Where do they come from?

4 Answers

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  • 1 day ago

    By being separated from other groups of people.

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  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    1 day ago

    People talk like the people they meet talk. During the middle ages, most people never left their own village, so pretty much every village developed its own way of speaking.

    Standard languages evolved later. Sometimes by travelling theatregroups, sometimes because someone translated the bible, sometimes because a government promoted one specific dialect to national standard... and by forcing men into armed forces.

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  • 1 day ago

    England used to be a number of different Celtic tribes with different languages until the Romans invaded. When the Romans left it again became several different small kingdoms, so you would have (for instance) the King of Northumbria and the King of Wessex. The common people would have spoken Celtic languages but educated people spoke in Latin.

    During this time England was invaded by the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, bringing in their Germanic languages. They settled in various parts of England, so Germanic influence was variable throughout England. Later the Vikings also invaded bringing linguistic influence to small settlements they established.

    England became united in 829 AD under Alfred the Great. At that time the common English language was Anglo-Saxon, but it would have been spoken differently in different parts of the country. In 1066 William the First conquered England from Normandy, bringing in the Normans who spoke French. But although they had administrative power over the whole of England, the northern parts of England kept their Anglo-Saxon ways longer than the southern parts.

    Although England was one kingdom, day to day life only changed slowly. People were still dealing directly with local administrators (eg barons) rather than centralised authority. Most common people wouldn't travel much from their local towns or villages. Church services were conducted in Latin. So there was no way for English to become a unified language.

    In Tudor times there was the birth of modern English. With the Reformation the Church of England started conducting church services in English, and we have publication of the "Book of Common Prayer" which was still in use in the late 20th century. English became unified as a written language, but not as a spoken language. And England retained a class system where common people would retain local accents which distinguished them from the gentry.

    It wasn't until the Industrial revolution that there was widespread migration between the different regions of England. And not until the early 20th century that most people had radio, then later television. But even with television, parents remain the major influence on linguistic development. And a lot of British television actually preserves local accents, with actors going out of their way to speak in the accent of the character they are playing.

    It will take a long time for the various local English accents to unify.

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  • 1 day ago

    How accents evolve:

    typically

    - influence from neighboring populations

    - influence from immigrants and/or conquerors and/or frequent visitors

    So

    for example

    a port city

    will have its accent influenced by

    - language or accent of major immigrant populations

    - language or accent of major traders

    in addition to the language or accent of neighboring communities.

    These accents develop

    because of

    - a locale has SOME degree of isolation from the rest of the people speaking that language

    - a combination of linguistic influences unique to the locale

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