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I’m referring to the usual mainstream American accent that Americans speak with. Where did it come from?

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    When Did Americans Lose Their British Accents? There are many, many evolving regional British and American accents, so the terms “British accent” and “American accent” are gross oversimplifications. mentalfloss.com/article/29761/… – user66974 Jul 25 '15 at 11:41
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    @Josh61 The end of your referenced article mentions southeastern England as a region with rhotic speakers. That’s wrong: it should be southwestern instead, given that West Country English is known for its rhoticism: “West Country accents are rhotic like most North American and Irish accents, meaning all "r"s in a word are pronounced, in contrast to non-rhotic accents like Received Pronunciation where "r" is only pronounced before vowels. Often, this /r/ is [...] lengthened at the ends of words.” – tchrist Jul 25 '15 at 12:20
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    These are interpreting questions and answerable, but may take a book to answer even in its most simplified form. I remember seeing on the web the notes to a class on English dialects that attempts to derive the sources. Note however that there are sources and then there is the independent development within the specific language community. – Mitch Jul 25 '15 at 13:32
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    Please show some homework – Kris Jul 25 '15 at 16:13
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I'm English and I occasionally mistake some Irish accents for American until I listen very carefully

Irish Catholics

According to the Dictionary of American History,[10] approximately "50,000 to 100,000 Irishmen, over 75 percent of them Catholic, came to United States in the 1600s, while 100,000 more Irish Catholics arrived in the 1700s." Indentured servitude was an especially common way of affording migration, and in the 1740s the Irish made up nine out of ten indentured servants in some colonial regions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_immigration_to_the_United_States

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    It would be interesting to investigate to what extent people of Irish heritage returning to Ireland from the US may have affected the Irish accent. – Hot Licks Jul 26 '15 at 2:54
  • That's interesting, but it doesn't quite dovetail with my experience. Although I'm originally from Texas, I speak mostly with an SAE accent, and many Texans argue I must be from somewhere else. When I speak with people of Irish descent I distinctly hear the accent, though perhaps a bit mellowed from the Old Country. I presume that when I hear an accent that's a sign that its different from my own, which is to say my SAE is something distinct from third- or fourth-generation Irish. American English still varies regionally even though broadcast media slowly level the accents. – Feralthinker Sep 14 '15 at 22:24

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