I was curious how intelligible my Sole Survivor in Fallout 4 would be to the people of the Commonwealth – considering that she has been frozen for ~200 years – so I looked up some of the earliest recordings of American voices I could find. Unfortunately, we do not have any recordings from ~1818, and so I had to make due with late 1800’s / early 1900’s.
Most prominently, I suppose, were recordings of Taft and Teddy:
After listening to a bunch of the earliest stuff I could find, I came to the conclusion that the Sole Survivor would be perfectly intelligible to anybody in the Commonwealth, but that she would definitely have a temporal accent that people might find strange, as well as strange mannerisms that might be seen as idiosyncrasies.
And then – in support of this – after I did all this research on Temporal accents, Jack Cabot was able to accurately guess the Sole Survivor’s age at ~200. He claims that he based this on her speech and manners. Since he’d lived through that era, it makes sense that he could hear the temporal accent and be able to make a rough guess. He’d also lived in the Boston area for I think his whole life, and that’s where the Sole Survivor was living, so that would definitely reduce any regional variations that might otherwise throw him off.