After taking root with the earliest European settlers, the New England accent held surprisingly strong for several generations. Our forefathers may not have actually pahked cahs in Hahvahd Yahd, but they likely did send boats up and down the rivah.
But what stood the test of time for centuries is now rapidly unraveling, according to researchers from Dartmouth College and the University of Texas at Austin. Each time the New England accent’s geographic reach has been mapped in the past, the Green Mountains of Vermont have acted as an important dividing line. West of that line, Ma likes eating lobster; east of it, Mar prefers lobstah. The new study, however, found that the line of demarcation has moved several miles east, and the reach of the New England accent has diminished. Its disappearance is especially notable among young people, who told the researchers they associate thick accents with “old-fashioned” people.