WHAT IS THE future of speaking American? Two things we can be sure of in speculating about what comes next.
First, all the ways we now think of as ways of speaking will change beyond recognition. None of the language varieties we have described is still in use. Valley Girl is gone; the dialects of the b’hoys and g’hals of midnineteenth-century New York are forgotten. The “Pilgrim” dialect of Plimoth Plantation, the New England theme park, is well intentioned but certainly unlike what the seventeenth-century Bostonians would have spoken.
Second, the new varieties of American English will be shaped from new materials, and they will not necessarily be specific to a time or place as in the past. People, especially young people, pick up voices where they find them, and now, with the Internet offering riches, the voices could be from almost anywhere.
The only way to be sure what will happen next is to wait and see.