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How much slower is the SC Southern drawl than other US accents really?

by Tribune News Service | January 22, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
The French Quarter of Charleston, S.C. South Carolinians speak slower in general than most other Americans, a linguistic study shows.(Sean Pavone/Dreamstime/TNS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolinians speak slower in general than most other Americans, a linguistic study shows.

South Carolina ranked as the second slowest-talking state in an analysis by Preply, an online language learning platform. Louisiana came in as the top slowest speaking state.

The study shows the rate of speech in South Carolina is 4.8 syllables per second. Meanwhile, the average rate of speech in the U.S. is 5.09 syllables per second. Minnesota, the fastest talking state, has an average speech rate of 5.34 syllables per second.

To try and identify the states with the slowest and fastest talkers, Preply analyzed data from two nationwide studies that were based on YouTube videos and call recordings. The site then ranked the average speech rates of Americans from 114 cities and all 50 states. The full analysis shows where speech patterns intersect and diverge throughout the U.S.

The study notes the Southeast and the Southwest are the only U.S. regions that aren't included among states with the fastest talkers, which isn't that surprising, given the long-lived stereotype about slow Southern accents.

Florida came in as the Southern state with the fastest speech rate, ranking 16th overall and averaging 5.19 syllables per second.

Besides speed, the study also ranked the most talkative states -- meaning people from states who use more words than others to convey the same ideas. In that ranking, South Carolina settled in as the seventh most talkative state.

Here are 10 slowest talking states:

1. Louisiana

2. South Carolina

3. Mississippi

4. Alabama

5. Georgia

6. New Mexico

7. Arkansas

8. North Carolina

9. Texas

10. Illinois

Here are 10 fastest talking states:

1. Minnesota

2. Oregon

3. Iowa

4. Kansas

5. North Dakota

6. Massachusetts

7. New Hampshire

8. South Dakota

9. Nebraska

10. Vermont

Here are 10 most talkative states:

1. New York

2. California

3. New Jersey

4. Nevada

5. Maryland

6. New Mexico

7. South Carolina

8. Texas

9. North Carolina

10. Arizona

Print Headline: How much slower is the SC Southern drawl than other US accents really?

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