“I think various American accents are converging to some extent. The southern accent seems to be merging with the midwestern accent in my area.”
I hate to say it but I have to agree with you, at least to a certain extent. In the big Texas cities, most of the kids are losing their regional accents and are sounding like someone from the upper midwest. For the most part, our small town and country kids are retaining theirs at least for now.
My little 5 and 6 yo grandsons have good Southern accents but we live just east of the Houston area in the far exurbs. My 7 yo granddaughter who lives in the city, not so much, but her accent is still not totally “Yankeefied”.
True. I grew up in Dallas but moved out when I was a teen. I went back about 15 years later and came to a complete stop in a North Dallas shopping center and just stood there listening to people speak. It was like another country rather than a city I had grown up in. Freaky! Another example was my college roommate. She and I had similar accents in college - hers from Ft. Worth and mine not so long out of Dallas and then with recent influences from hicksville. I visited her a few years later in Houston and she was speaking more big city uppity.
The loss of the Southron accent is most likely due to media trying to have everyone sound like they are midwest (not Chicaaago) and the prejudicial assumption that if “y’all tawk like ‘at” you must be stupid, racist... any number of things. But when you hear a valley, or mall accent— to a southerner they sound extremely stupid, airheaded...”y’know”?
For the most part, our small town and country kids are retaining theirs at least for now.
Oh, it will remain. My cousins and I are Texans and way middle-aged, yet we still say “ya’ll” and speak Texan, as do their kids. My latest Southern drawl special was “he’s a “aawlcaholic” speaking of another cousin. Love the drawl!