27 August 2010

the way of our words

Linguistics is just a cool field all-around.

This site
is very interesting, especially to those of us from other countries, or who grew up with accents surrounding our day-to-day. You can browse the sound of the English accent in different cities and countries. I think it would be even more poignant if they had a male and female version of each, but maybe that's just me...

What they do provide is information on each speaker, including: age, years speaking English, how they learned the language (naturally or academically), and whether they ever lived in an English-speaking country. Hell of a project, really.


Sarada Kakinada said...

Dr. B,
I personally think this is kind of sad, but here is an article on a study where they looked at ability to trust based on accent. It didn't fare so well for non-native speakers, regardless of whether they knew what they were talking about or not. I originally saw this piece in an American paper, but I can't seem to find it so here is the Telegraph version.


DrB said...

We came to the U.S. from Poland, and both of my parents have very strong accents--especially my father. I am very well acquainted, sadly, with discrimination and intolerance based on the inability of some people to hear past an accent. (Hell, even I was once told that I cannot be understood, because I sound like a Southerner. This was in upstate New York, and I spent most of my formative years in Missouri.)

This is why this particular site is so fascinating to me--it brings about an awareness. And with awareness, often, comes understanding.

Dragonfly said...

Oh wow. I love that sort of stuff (having a mixed up accent of my own).