How to Do an Alabama Accent

Learn how to do an Alabama accent from voice and speech coach Andrea Caban in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Let's work on a general, Alabama, southern accent. Well, you hear now in the oral posture that there's a little bit of tension in the back of the tongue, not so much tension that you get real twangy like you might get in a Texas accent, or nasally, but if there's some bunching back there so I switch back into the Alabama.

And also, you hear that there's some "r's" in this accent so it's not a non-rhotic accent like the Mississippi southern. You have some "r's" there. So, listen to this phrase: "I was born and raised in a small town just outside of Birmingham." So, you hear those little words like, "and, born and raised", are almost unstressed so that they disappear. That is a feature of the musicality of this accent.

The [default] "i" becomes "ah". And it's not a lengthened "ah" like you hear in a Mississippi accent but it's, "ah", as in "tiny, mine", just like that. And then the "a" dipthong, as in "play, take" becomes "play, take". "Eh" turns to "i". So, "friend, tend" turns to "frind, tind". Now, what's the musicality of this accent? You get a little quicker than your southern drawl. Maybe a little less pitch variety than in your southern drawl but you still have quite a bit of pitch variety. But don't take my word for it. Go listen to some native Alabama speakers and then go work on your Alabama accent.

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