Developing the English Voice

After reading the last passage in the book, one thing that stuck out to me were how diverse the dialects across the English region were. The book lists Worcestershire, East Anglia, Yorkshire, Anglo-Ireland, as well as London as epicenters of various regional forms developing out of Anglo-Saxon English. I find it really interesting that in a space we would consider to be somewhat concentrated in our Modern world, that such a diversity in language can be found.

The book also mentioned how these various regions developed their prose and alliterative verse differently. The purpose of the structure of writing was to prompt the reader to take breaths and pauses where necessary when reading the text aloud. I thought this was really interesting when considering the various regions and their different uses of the English language. Today, when people from different parts of England (or even our country, for that matter) speak, there is a notable difference despite speaking the same language. The region as a collective has its own distinct sound and tone when using the language, speaking at pace particular to the region. For example, when considering the U.S. for instance, one typically describes the South as having a “slow drawl” while the North is seen as more fast- paced and abrupt speech. I wonder if these different regional tones and manners of speech may have developed due to the way that each region wrote them structurally. How has punctuation and structure affected regional tonality and accent?

Here’s a video where a guy uses 67 different accents in the English language that are all particular to a place/ region:

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