learn gullah accent geechee

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Gullah Accent

Gullah and Geechee are the common terms for the accent and culture of African-Americans along the coast of the southeastern United States. This accent developed largely due to years of isolation on the islands off the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia - today, it's in danger of dying out.


Gullah Accent Learning Materials

  • The Gullah accent materials include recordings of AccentHelp coach Jim Johnson guiding you through learning the accent, using the text, as well as a number of recordings of native speakers. Jim gathered these recordings during two trips in and around Beaufort, South Carolina - bringing the experience back to you in this download.
  • You'll get four versions of the written materials: a PDF file to print or read on a standard computer, a large-format PDF for portable reading devices, and MOBI for Kindle and EPUB for other portable readers.
  • This accent is appropriate for productions of Yellowman and other plays. You may have heard hints of it on the TV series Gullah Gullah Island - although no such place exists, the islands off Beaufort, SC, were the inspiration.
  • Gullah accents are a specific accent that has elements of African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) and of Caribbean accents. Today there are very few Gullah and Geechee speakers who aren't quite old, though some of the accent carries over for some younger blacks who still live in the area, but the strong accents are on their way out...

Audio files (93.1MB, 98 minutes)

  1. Introduction to Sound Placement, Intonation, and Helpful Hints for speaking with a Gullah accent (7:53)
  2. Consonant sound changes when learning a Gullah / Geechee accent (12:48)
  3. Vowel sound changes for this Gullah accent (7:36)
  4. changes to Diphthongs in Gullah accents (5:01)
  5. Alternate Pronunciations for words when speaking with a Gullah/Geechee accent (1:26)
  6. Wrap up to learning a Gullah dialect (3:32)
  7. Male Chef conversation (25:51)
  8. Facility Manager Male conversation (1:23)
  9. Hilton Head Male reading (1:20)
  10. + his conversation (3:11)
  11. Cast Net Maker Male conversation (16:10)
  12. "Aunt Pearlie Sue" Female reading (1:19)
  13. Bonus: Conversation with Anita Singleton-Prather (10:34)

Most of these recordings are made "in the field" so you will hear such things as birds, cars or other people in the background. A transcription of the conversations is included to help you follow along.