Will mass media eventually blend all of our regional accents in a linguistic melting pot?
Hardly. Famed linguistics professor William Labov at the University of Pennsylvania says regional accents may actually be getting stronger and more pronounced. At the moment, it isn’t clear why accents are growing stronger. What is known, however, is that sound differences are becoming increasingly exaggerated. Labov provides one theory that “…dialect differences have become associated with political differences, so that the Blue States/Red States division comes close to the boundary between the Northern and Midland dialects.”
It’s difficult to categorize regional accents and accents do vary largely in their major groups. Linguists have categorized about 10 major regional accents in the United States. unsurprisingly, most people tend to keep the accent they grew up with. Children mimic the dialect their parents’ and peers.