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At the moment of the series’ release, I was intrigued by a quote from actor David Morse, that portrays George Washington. Discussing the accent he provided for Washington in an intercheck out via The Onion AV Club, he explained:
The accent earlier then was most likely nothing favor what we think of as a Southern accent now or a New England accent now, so we tried to find the root of the accents. For Washington, it was a little little bit of Cornwall, that western country English accent with a trace of farmer.
Here is a brief clip of Morse as Washington (He starts speaking at :38).
I reap Morse’s accent right here, regardmuch less of its strict accuracy. He gives us a hint of West Counattempt (especially those difficult r’s), while keeping the feeling that Washington’s language was part of an earlier step in the evolution of Amerihave the right to speech*.
Would tright here have been a West Country affect on the speech of early american Virginia? The question is somewhat irrelevant, given that most of 17th- and 18th-Century Southern England also would most likely sound quite ‘West Country’ to a contemporary Englishman. Outside of East Anglia, rhoticity would have actually been widespcheck out, while the vowel in ‘kite’ would certainly have actually had a more ‘raised’ pronunciation. Both features are typical of West Country English this particular day. And these attributes were no doubt lugged to the New World.
There is plenty of contemporary proof that Virginia (or at least components of Virginia) as soon as had somepoint of a ‘brogue’-choose accent. Isolated islands off the coastline still betray the influence of a West-Counattempt favor progenitor (note my earlier conversation of the accent of Tangier Island). Then tbelow is Virginia’s ‘Tidewater raising,’ a comparable instance to Canadian Raising by which the vowel in words like ‘mouth’ is increased prior to voicemuch less consonants (so that ’bout’ might sound a little bit choose ‘boat’).
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None of this is brand-new, yet it’s amazing to see an actor adopt an accent that shows this history. I definitely favor to the ‘Mid-Atlantic’ British-ish speech typical of so many kind of actors portraying Washington!
*I need to really give crmodify to John Adams’ dialect coach, Catherine Charlton.