Texans are proud of a lot of things: their football, their barbecue, their history. So it goes without saying Texans are also proud of their accent. But new research out of the University of Texas at Austin says the Texas twang is fading away.
The researchers said immigration and urbanization meant Texans today don’t sound much like Texans from a generation or two ago.
“Probably the last 30, 40 years, there has been an influx of people from different areas of the country who are bringing their speech patterns with them,” said Karan Kaplan with the UT Dallas Callier Center for Communications Disorders.
Kaplan, who studies accent reduction, said regional accents were fading as more people moved into cities, and everyone’s accents are thrown into the melting pot.
“In the bigger cities like Dallas or Austin and Houston where there is more of a change in population, they’ll change more than in the smaller areas,” said Kaplan.
CW 33 News spoke with three native Texans and Metroplex residents.
“Right here in Dallas. 66 years,” said David Laza.
“For 61 years, all my life from day one,” said Vernon Washington.
“I’ve been here 31 years,” said Kenyasha Williams.
All three believed, despite the research, that the Texas accent was alive and well in the Lone Star State, and they were all proud to have it.
“I’m going to keep it and I’m proud of it,” said Laza.
“It’s how I talk. I’ve been all over the country; I can’t talk like a New Yorker. I can’t talk like a Bostonian,” said Washington.
“That’s what I’ve been born with. I mean, I don’t know anything else but to have a Texas accent,” said Williams.