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Your accent

So the international accents being sexy thread got me thinking and discussing this with my family.

An accent is defined as "the characteristic mode of pronunciation of a person or group, esp one that betrays social or geographical origin." My question has several parts.

1. Do you have a noticeable accent from where you live now or where you were born?
2. In what way does your accent manifest? For example New Yorkers add R sounds to their words while Bostonian leave them off.
3. Has anyone been able to figure out where you live based on your accent?

For me I got thinking about this because I have read several articles in the local dead fish wrapper (uh i mean local newspaper), about linguistics of Oregon. While it was formerly believed that there were no noticeable accents west of the Mississippi, that belief has changed. It is widely accepted that anyone, anywhere has an accent. This however seems to be excluding northwestern Oregon and southwestern Washington.

I personally think of an accent as a common manner of speaking between the majority of residents of a certain area. If you follow this guideline there is no accent in northwestern Oregon and southwestern Washington. We all sound different, use different words for the same things, and it is almost impossible to determine we are from here based solely on our voices. The only thing that I have heard close to having an accent here is that we leave out or shorten vowels making words like caught be pronounced like cot, but this has more to do with modern slang worldwide and is not confined to local speech.

That's my rant and i'm sticking to it. So do you have one or what?
 

Jeanie

still nobody's bitch
V.I.P.
I've been told by people in other parts of the country that I have a slight Midwestern accent. I think it comes through in words with short vowels, like "stop" or "car" or "have".

Kay said I reminded her of the nympho from Minnesota who was living in the attic on Family Guy, but I don't think it's that bad.
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
Ok, I've spoken to Jeanie on the phone and she does have a slight Midwestern accent.

Pam once said she didn't think I had a Spanish accent but when I spoke to her again she said "oh yeah, you do, I can hear it now that you've mentioned it". I think it comes out with certain words and when I speak kind of fast.
 
Ok, I've spoken to Jeanie on the phone and she does have a slight Midwestern accent.

Pam once said she didn't think I had a Spanish accent but when I spoke to her again she said "oh yeah, you do, I can hear it now that you've mentioned it". I think it comes out with certain words and when I speak kind of fast.
is the spanish accent from where you live now or where you grew up? or maybe even your parents? and is it spanish like spain or spanish like mexico?
 

CaptainObvious

Embrace the Suck
V.I.P.
is the spanish accent from where you live now or where you grew up? or maybe even your parents? and is it spanish like spain or spanish like mexico?
Both, I grew up and still live in South Texas. Spanish was actually my dominant language until I started school.

I don't really hear too much of a difference between Spanish from Spain or from Mexico, when speaking proper Spanish that is, but I would have to say more like Spanish from Mexico.
 

Impact

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
@EWR because we were derailing the other thread.

The thing is though, you have to speak a certain way. And maybe within your country, it isn't distinguishable from other American accents, but overseas it is. Compare how you speak to how a Brit, or a German, or an Australian talks and there will be differences. So you may not have an accent that can distinguish what state you are from, but it will be easy to recognise you as American.

And from right below where you got your definition In linguistics, an accent is a manner of pronunciation peculiar to a particular individual, location, or nation.. I draw your attention to where nation is stated. You can't pick and choose what part of a definition you use. So, again, as i've seem to have said many times now. You may not have a regional accent, but you have a national accent.

Anyway, I should probably address your questions.

I have a very noticeable accent. I was born in England, and currently reside in England, but due to being raised in New Zealand, I speak like a Kiwi. Although, I think i'm picking up a little bit of the Yorkshire accent from my housemate, and American from my mom. I usually get confused for being Australian when i'm overseas, although i've had some weird guesses of American.
 
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Rebeccaaa

yellow 4!
I can't imagine someone being able to claim they don't have an accent. But keeping the definition that you posted in mind, it seems more feasible. But otherwise, everyone does.

1. Do you have a noticeable accent from where you live now or where you were born?
I guess... From where I was born, which is the South* of England. I now live in the North* but I haven't picked an accent up because I live with university students and they come from all over the place. Although, my family is actually originally from up North so occasionally I get mixed up with the pronunciation of words that are notoriously different throughout the two regions.

**Even though I'm only distinguishing between North and South here, there is a huuge number of accents within each side of the 'divide'.

2. In what way does your accent manifest? For example New Yorkers add R sounds to their words while Bostonian leave them off.
I speak much more on the side of 'Queen's English' than anything. I don't use slang and I pronounce pretty much all the letters in words, for example. It's a really basic British accent. I definitely wouldn't call it 'posh' but I suppose it might be if compared to others throughout England.

3. Has anyone been able to figure out where you live based on your accent?
Well, I'm sure it's obvious I'm not from anywhere in the North or below London. As for anything more specific, I'm not sure anybody has ever tried to guess, thinking about it.
 
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@EWR because we were derailing the other thread.

The thing is though, you have to speak a certain way. And maybe within your country, it isn't distinguishable from other American accents, but overseas it is. Compare how you speak to how a Brit, or a German, or an Australian talks and there will be differences. So you may not have an accent that can distinguish what state you are from, but it will be easy to recognise you as American.

And from right below where you got your definition In linguistics, an accent is a manner of pronunciation peculiar to a particular individual, location, or nation.. I draw your attention to where nation is stated. You can't pick and choose what part of a definition you use. So, again, as i've seem to have said many times now. You may not have a regional accent, but you have a national accent.
ok well that was not clear to me the first few times you argued with my point. I think in Canada and maybe a few other countries we could pass for locals but yes would stick out like a sore thumb in the majority of Europe. but i also don't think you can classify American as an accent because there are so many different types based on regions, like hundreds of different accents.
 

fractal

Eye see what you did ther
I've been told by most people that I have a foreign accent. I doubt my accent can be categorised.
 

shelgarr

Registered Member
I'm not sure what it is unique with the way I talk. About 15 times in my life I have been mistaken for being European and will be asked where I am from. Over the summer I hung out with one of my friends at her 4 y/o's party. She works at a german speaking emersion preschool. Her co-workers were there so many spoke german and again one asked where I was from. She happen to have a speech therapy background and said that I form my vowels way back in my throat. I didn't get tons of detail or examples of how it changes the sounds of words.

I was born in Biloxi Mississippi and lived there until age 2. With my dad in the Air Force we moved to France when I was age 2-5. Even though we were on an english speaking AFB she thinks I learned many speech patterns while exposed to french speaking people. I figure between a deep south start and a french influence I was doomed.

When asked here in San Diego I tell people I've been here since '83 and raised in Utah. I throw in the Mississippi part and France part when there's any questions about how I speak.
 
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