Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Accents around the world.

Photo by Mary Vee

Today we are talking about accents around the world.

While working with a Crow Indian people group, I noticed the children barely had the accent of their parents'. I mentioned this to a linguistics student and learned an individual's accent comes mostly from the child's school and neighboorhood friends. 

The child spends the majority of their formative time in the schoolroom and playing in the neighborhood. As they speak, he or she is corrected by their teacher and peers. The peers tend to correct during everyday play and offer the community's slang and idioms. The teacher tends to offer something closer to correct grammar with an added ingredient, his or her own accent, cultural idioms, and slang.

So, when my sister came home with her family after serving as missionaries in Wales, she had taken on such phrases as "I will phone you," instead of "I will call you," etc. A few of her sentences had the sing-songy raise at the end. But that was it. Her children, however, came home speaking completely with Welsh inflections. The accent, after more than ten years there, was so different from what they had before moving to Wales. 

Since then, one of her children has married an American girl and had a son. This son speaks with a Midwestern accent, having not picked up the Welsh accent of his father. Quite typical for where he is being raised.

So curious.

I, of course, do not feel I have an accent. In my head, I hear myself speak normally. I hear the accents of others and detect the differences from mine. Therefore I do not have an accent. 

Hmmm. Is it possible, everyone feels that way?

What do you think? 

This post has been brought to you by the one-word: Accents

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quietspirit said...

Mary: My mother was born in Georgia and grew up in Florida. I never heard an accent when she talked. Her sister was born in Florida and spent time in Mississippi. My aunt very definitely had a southern drawl. I never thought about the difference in their way of talking until I read this post. Thank you for the information.

Mary Vee Writer said...

We often don't hear our family members speak with an accent. I am told I have an accent, but I don't hear it. I think our mobile country tends to blend accents. Northerners go south for the winter, etc.

Thanks for your thoughts!!