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For English as spoken in South America, see South American English. largely superseding the older Southern American English dialects.With this younger and more unified pronunciation system, Southern American English now comprises the largest American regional accent group by number of speakers.This article is about English as spoken in the Southern United States.

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One historical English dialect spoken only by those raised in the Greater New Orleans area is non-rhotic and noticeably shares more pronunciation commonalities (due to very strong historical ties) with the New York accent than with other Southern accents.

Since at least the 1980s, this local New Orleans dialect has popularly been called "Yat", from the common local greeting "Where you at? The New York City English features shared with this dialect include: Yat also lacks the typical vowel changes of the Southern Shift and the pin–pen merger that are commonly heard elsewhere throughout the South.

In the purple areas, the merger is complete for most speakers.

Note the exclusion of the New Orleans area, Southern Florida, and of the Lowcountry of South Carolina and Georgia.

However, there is still actually wide variation in Southern speech regarding potential differences based on factors like a speaker's exact sub-region, age, ethnicity, etc.

The following phonological phenomena focus on the developing sound system of the more recent Southern dialects of the United States that altogether largely (though certainly not entirely) superseded the older Southern regional patterns: The merger of pin and pen in Southern American English.

Features of the deeper interior Appalachian South largely became the basis for the newer Southern regional dialect; thus, older Southern American English primarily refers to the English spoken outside of Appalachia: the coastal and former plantation areas of the South, best documented before the Civil War, on the decline during the early 1900s, and basically non-existent in speakers born since the Civil Rights Movement.

Little unified these older Southern dialects, since they never formed a single homogeneous dialect region to begin with.

This linguistic region includes Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Arkansas, as well as most of Texas, Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and northern and central Florida.

Southern American English dialects can also be found in extreme southern parts of Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, and Illinois.

and differ in many other respects from the main body of Southern dialects".

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