How to Do a Mississippi Southern Accent

Learn how to do a Mississippi southern accent from voice and speech coach Andrea Caban in this Howcast video.

Here are some tips for your Mississippi southern accent. It’s a romantic stereotype kind of accent, and it’s southern drawn out. So you hear the musicality in some of the drawn out portions of it. The jaw is slightly elevated. So if you sigh through that oral posture, you have ahh. Ahh. Ahh. As opposed to your general American oral posture, which is uh, uh. A jaw that’s a little bit more dropped.

So let’s take a look at some sound changes. The diphthong I, that has two elements, I, ih, is drawn out and lengthened to one sound. Ahh. So my, time, I becomes my, time, I. But that’s really the only one that goes to a pure sound. That ahh. Everything else turns into another diphthong. Another two element vowel. So the e sound turns into oi. Is he afraid to speak to me? There’s that ahhn glide. Oi. Same thing with a. You want to elongate the first element. I. Play. Jake. Say. Give that a shot.

For that ih sound, that also turns into a diphthong. So hill, pen, chill becomes hill, pen, chill. So we would call this Mississippi southern accent a non-rhotic accent, meaning there are no r’s. So you would say things like father, and drifter. Instead of father, and drifter. Also there is no elision in this accent. So you wouldn’t say it’s farther up. You would say it’s farther up. Like that. So you wouldn’t connect farther and up. You would say it’s farther up. Give that a shot.

Very often in this Mississippi southern, we’ll drop the ng sound at the ends of words. So you’ll be swimmin’, and sittin’. Instead of swimming, and sitting.

So what’s the musicality of this accent? Well you hear it right now. It’s very lengthened, and very slow southern drawl. So slow that you create diphthongs. You create two element vowels instead of pure vowel sounds.

So have some fun with that accent. This is, like I said, a romantic stereotype accent. But people still speak like this. So look on the internet. Look for some clips. And see what you find in the accent.