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Southern dialects originated in large part from a mix of immigrants from the British Isles, who moved to the American South in the 17th and 18th centuries, and the creole or post-creole speech of African slaves.
Upheavals such as the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and World War II caused mass migrations of those and other settlers throughout the United States.
There is also debate whether or not Austin, Texas is an exclusion. ANAE identifies the "Inland South" as a large linguistic area of the South located mostly in southern Appalachia (specifically naming the cities of Greenville SC, Asheville NC, Knoxville and Chattanooga TN, and Birmingham and Linden AL), inland from both the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts, and the originating region of the Southern Vowel Shift.
African American Vernacular English (AAVE) has many common points with Southern English dialects due to the strong historical ties of African Americans to the region.
The dialects collectively known as Southern American English stretch across the south-eastern and south-central United States, but exclude the southernmost areas of Florida and the extreme western and south-western parts of Texas as well as the Rio Grande Valley (Laredo to Brownsville).
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.