Pages 12-13. Written by a native Hawaiian in [Published on 03-01-2022]
I'm not a racist - you're just intellectually inferior!Play video
A controversial and potentially triggering sequel to the previous artifact - the pronunciation coach defends his "correcting" of people's English, disowns racism, and accuses people of intellectual inferiority.
Accent Assassination 101Play video
A pronunciation coach comments on a movie clip where Chinese actor Hu Ge speaks English - with rather unnecessary brutality.
The Chinese Pronunciation ProblemPlay video
A native speaker of Chinese, fully capable of ordering at an Australian coffee shop, hires a pronunciation coach to sound more like a native speaker of English.
American pop culture LOVES these 10 accentsPlay video
video explaining how different accents are used to portray personae in American pop culture media
Touches on differences in the senators accent pre-running vs. post-running/ while democratic vs. republican. Goes into rebranding, 'quotability', being 'folksy' vs. 'educated', "dialing things up a notch for the cameras as most good politicians do"/public persona. Mentions his speech being flat and having faster cadence, then slowing down, 'giving him a distinct vocal style'. [Published on 10-15-2020]
Why British Singers Sound AmericanPlay video
This video explains, why British (or non-American) singers sound American, when they sing.
People Explaining the Accents Present in their Home StatePlay video
A person from each US state explains their interpretation(s) of the accent(s) present in their state.
Fred Armisen Does Every North American AccentPlay video
Comedian Fred Armisen gives us his take on the regional accents of the US, with brief descriptions of the differences between them.
Life of Brian - Latin Lesson - Romans Go Home!Play video
1979's "Life of Brian" comedically depicts the titular main character, played by Graham Chapman, defacing, in Latin, a Roman monument. A Roman centurion, played by John Cleese, stops him and punishes him for his "bad" grammar. The scene is largely a parody of the relationship between English schoolchildren and their teachers. Linguistically, it's interesting as a demonstration of prescriptive norms as well as the representation of different dialects. Cleese's dialect is meant to sound more elevated while Graham Chapman's, who is from Melton Mowbray, north of London, is meant to sound less elevated, which is supposed to add to the comedy. Funnily enough, I think some of Brian's usages correlate with changes that would end up occurring in Latin before it changed into the various Romance languages.
Michael Caine Using His Cockney Accent in an Alfie (1966) MonologuePlay video
In Alfie, Michael Caine has stated that he used the natural cockney accent with which he regularly speaks, which is notable because he has said that there was incredible pressure on actors of his generation to adopt a "posh" way of speaking. Here is a monologue from early in the movie (monologue starts at about the 1:30 mark)
Philadelphian Accent - Indexing and Ideologies (PhillyTawk: Da Accent inna Media)Play video
Philadelphian and self-proclaimed “accent nerd” Sean Monahan makes Youtube videos about the accents in the Mid-Atlantic region. In this video he talks about representations of the Philadelphian accent in movies and TV (or lack thereof), then it cuts to a montage of Philadelphians speaking to hear the difference between actors and native speakers. This video is a great example of indexicality and language ideologies at play. Sean is very proud of the accent that indexes him as a Philadelphian but aware that the lack of accurate representations of the dialect makes it hard for outsiders to recognize it. In the beginning of the video he even mentions people on the west coast though he had a speech impediment – this reveals a language ideology they have about how English “should” sound.
FBI Profiler Says Linguistic Work Was Pivotal In Capture Of Unabomber [Published on 08-22-2017]
This article notes terms and pronunciations of certain words that seem to contribute to the establishment of Portland as a distinct speech community. Imus used data from the Harvard Dialect Study, as well as conversations with native, longtime, and newly arrived Oregonians to gather information about the terms included in their article. Kitty-corner, filberts, and the distinction between grocery and grocery store were a few terms on the list that stood out to me. [Published on 10-18-2016]
One of my favorite bands sings with prominent features of West Coast English. In this song especially, in order to poke fun at a certain kind of west-coaster, the singer's vowels are very fronted. There's also a notable drawn-out "r" sound in "smarter" and "more". The way he says "American imperialism" is especially hilarious.
This video is an interview with Bunny Matthews, the creator of "Vic and Nat'ly", an iconic New Orleans cartoon series with two characters who are great examples of the New Orleans "Yat accent". In the video, Matthews describes how he conceived of Vic and Nat'ly. If you look up these comics, their speech is written to resemble the Yat accent. [Published on 08-03-2010]
Accent Expert Gives a Tour of U.S. Accents - (Part One)Play video
"Dialect coach Erik Singer takes us on a tour of different accents across English-speaking North America. Erik and a host of other linguists and language experts (Dr. Nicole Holliday, Dr. Megan Figuero, Sunn m’Cheaux, & Kalina Newmark), take a look at some of the most interesting and distinct accents around the country." This video is the first of two (as of 2/18/2021) that discuss accents in various areas of the United States. It explores some specific features of the accents, such as phonetic production and prosody, as well as they came to differ from other accents in the region.
Bernie Sanders' accent, explainedPlay video
This video briefly explains some aspects of the New York accent, such as r-dropping and vowel raising. It also goes over how the New York accent is strongest in the working class, how movies have stigmatized the accent, and how young people are much less likely than older New Yorkers to have these features in their speech. I think this ties nicely into our discussion of the Labov and Mather because it discusses the general trend away from the New York accent that may be occurring.
A video of someone doing a "Baltimore Accent Test," and saying the phrase "Aaron earned an iron urn." After saying it out loud they seem amazed and say, "We really talk like that?" Their friends also say the phrase, while someone in the background comments on its unintelligibility. It speaks to how difficult it is for us to hear our own accents. [Published on 12-04-2019]
The boroughs quiz!!
This video is a nice, cute compilation of examples of linguistic variation across the US. Most of the examples are more semantic, simply having different names for things like "soda" or "sub" as we've seen in class. The different areas that are highlighted on the map are particularly drastic for some of them, like "in line" versus "on line," with "on line" only really being said around New York and in most of Colorado (outside Denver). These isolated instances make me wonder what drove the variation, especially when they aren't very populated areas. It would also be interesting to know how multidialectal individuals would respond to these questions.
This is super entertaining if you just want to see how nuanced accents can be and how talented Fred Armisen is when it comes to imitating them, but I also thought it was really interesting how he described his own accents while he was doing them. For example, when asked to do Hamburg, he explained that "Berlin is a little more like loud and confident" while Hamburg is "more educated" and therefore they are "more conservative," hence the difference in their accent. He may have said this for comical reasons, but definitely pointed to how language can index social meanings, and perhaps how social meanings can also contribute to how we consider the sound of accents.
Pittsburgh dad: giving directionsPlay video
This video comes from a channel dedicated to this character of "the Pittsburgh dad". This is what people usually think of when they think of a Pittsburgher in terms of accent and slang usage. Many Pittsburgh natives don't necessarily talk like this, though many do to varying degrees, so the accent indexes this persona more-so than it does the concept of localness. There are tons of other videos on the channel, but I think this one shows a lot of examples of the low back merger.
Spongebob Squarepants - I Can't Understand Your AccentPlay video
sponge bob being discriminated against due to the unintelligibility of his "accent" (probably more like a dialect).
This article discusses a study similar to Lippi-Green's paper, along with work done by Calvin Gidney and Julie Dubrow, in which the trend of villains in children's media being voiced with non-American accents is analyzed. Isabel Fattal mainly focuses on British, German, and Slavic accented English. [Published on 01-04-2018]
A question about the usage of erhua in a morphological context instead of in the phonological context, asking if there are examples of times when it can be used to differentiate one word from another. A reply to the message gives some examples of it, and a second reply gives a description of an encounter the author had about perceptions of what erhua is according to native Chinese speakers not from the Beijing area. [Published on 05-19-2015]
A British two-year old finds his dad's Northern accent to be incredibly funny. He even goes so far as to mimic the accent.
The RP English Accent – What is it, how does it sound, and who uses it?Play video
A brief overview of RP - the history and cultural significance of the accent, and a few physiological details
Don Omar - Danza Kuduro ft. LucenzoPlay video
The song Danza Kuduro is an example of the effect globalization has had on language. It is sung in both Portuguese and Spanish, with the music video also utilizing English, by Don Omar, a Latin American pop star, and Lucenzo, a French-Portuguese artist. Borrowing from African culture, the kuduro itself is a type of dance that originated in Africa becoming popular in Angola, a Portuguese colony. The song was number one on the charts in Argentina, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, showcasing how the song transcended language barriers and how globalization has impacted language use.
English ConundrumsPlay video
This is a clip from an "I Love Lucy" episode in which a foreign man is having troubles with some English words. It is interesting, because it points out the several different ways one can say -ough. In my opinion, this is a great example why English is considered one of the more difficult languages to learn as a second language.
Is "talking white" really a thingPlay video
This is a clip in which two people are blindfolded and asked to determine if people are white or black only by their voice. The speaker is given a song to read aloud as the listeners try to determine if “talking white is really a thing”. There is a belief that people will inherently sound different simply because of their ethnicity. This puts the stereotypes to the test and shows how different vocal inflections are perceived
American Accent ImmitationsPlay video
This video depicts 70 non-Americans doing their best impression of an American "accent". I find this video interesting because there are so many different dialects of English and numerous other languages spoken in America, but the impressions all tend to be pretty similar, depicting Americans as ditzy, uneducated, improper, etc. This relates to language ideologies and how people outside of America perceive and have certain opinions about how all Americans tend to speak.
Fargo - Chit ChatPlay video
Having experiences traveling around the country, many people find Minnesotan accents to be a novelty. In this clip from the movie "Fargo", two Minnesotan men are discussing a recent homicide in the town. The example does a great job of portraying the conversational mannerisms and (overwhelmingly polite, questioning, not all that descriptive, and full of town references) that one finds in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
NPR's Tovia Smith reports on linguistic discrimination in relation to the Fair Housing Act. The interviewee was repeatedly denied housing because of linguistic profiling, and Smith talks about legality and the lawsuit that ensued. The segment addresses many of the concerns in Baugh's "Linguistic profiling" paper. (CW: N-word is used by AAE speaker) [Published on 09-05-2001]
British Woman Wakes Up With Chinese Accent??Play video
This is a perspective on what 'Chinese' accents sound like and how social stigma/racism influence how we could perceive speech - and in a larger context, a way to sensationalize stigma of accents.
Different Chinese Accents - North v. SouthPlay video
We are going to read Qing Zhang's Rhotacization and the ‘Beijing Smooth Operator’:The social meaning of a linguistic variable in class. I think that this video will showcase the differences in accents between North (closer to Beijing) and South China.
Accent Self-Analysis of a Chicago English SpeakerPlay video
This video is a Chicago English speaker's analysis of their own use of Northern Cities Chain shift and Midwestern variants, showing that even without formal linguistic training, Chicago English speakers are to some degree aware of the ways how they speak is different from standard English.
MSNBC's Thomas Roberts Busts Out His Baltimore AccentPlay video
In this video, a Maryland-born reporter gives an example of "Baltimorese," an accent of English found among many white working-class individuals in the Baltimore metropolitan area. This video also gives an example of language prejudice, as the reporter from Maryland expresses his own dislike for the accent, and the two other reporters mock the accent to some extent. Given that Baltimorese is a working-class accent, this prejudice against the language is likely a proxy for some prejudice against working class people.
Linguist David Crystal and his son Ben (an actor) present an argument which reconstructs the "Original Pronunciation" of Shakespearean texts through historical linguistics. They claim that these works were meant to be read/performed with rhoticity and vowel changes that don't correspond well to Modern British English. CW: near the end of the video, a joke is reconstructed in OP that uses language some may find troubling [Published on 10-31-2016]
Foreign Word PronounciationPlay video
College Humor showing how trying to fit in with the culture is not always a positive thing.
NBA Rising Stars Try to Pronounce "Giannis Antetokounmpo"Play video
This video shows NBA players trying to pronounce a name they are not familiar with. It presents some funny language barriers and interesting takes on speech community.
Coca Cola - Mock SpanishPlay video
This Coca Cola - Hispanic Heritage commercial clip shows the Coca Cola company using Hispandering by using Hispanic sterotype such as a run down town, and tattoos that are on the coke can that they can apply to their skin, especially the one of "Rodriguez" which he applied the tattoo to his neck.
Australian EnglishPlay video
Looking at the different Australian accent varieties. Also shows some popular language myths about why the Australian accent sounds the way it does, and shows a bunch of people pronouncing the same line.
This meme demonstrates the use of the term "subways" to mean footlong submarine sandwiches, which are strongly associated with the restaurant chain Subway. Lexical innovation!
Philippine English vs. Australian EnglishPlay video
"Philippine English vs. Australian English" is a funny YouTube video by a Filipino husband and his Australian wife illustrating the differences between the two different dialects of English. By comparing different words and terms between the two dialects, the differences are sometimes profound, incomprehensible, and often very funny!
What kind of Asian are you?Play video
In this video directed by Ken Tanaka (David Ury), a common topic/"issue" is addressed in a humorous way. This issue is the tendency of caucasian people to ask people who are clearly not caucasian the question "Where are you from?" This is a strange issue because almost all the time, the asker does not mean where the person was born, or where they grew up, but usually is trying to ask where their family origins/heritage lies. It is a funny phenomenon that occurred mainly due to a lack of any other 'politically correct' way of asking someone (usually a stranger) where their family origins are.
So You Like Dags?Play video
In this video, the assumptions the narrator reaches about the use of the Romani language comes from his beliefs about Romani as a group. The narrator assumes that gypsies are untrustworthy, and that this is why they speak in a manner that is difficult for him to understand.
Maz Jobrani: Comedy TedTalk in QatarPlay video
Maz Jobrani is an Iranian-American who does a lot of comedy to bridge Americans with the Middle East, and to bring awareness of Middle Easterners.
Family Guy - Stewie Griffin & Eliza Pinchley.Play video
Some popular TV shows that are based on more offensive humor are great places to find examples of problems with language such as hegemony and accents. This example shows how the american baby is upset with the thick British accent of the girl and demands that she learns the proper accent and pronunciation of English. It is a bit ironic that he too has a bit of a British accent but continues to throw insults about her language ideologies and the accent associated with the way she speaks the same language he is speaking. This example shows how even when groups use hegemony to get others to conform to their ideals that they are a bit ignorant to the flaws of their own ideals and would rather focus on others "wrong doings".
People Around The World Try An American AccentPlay video
In this video, people from different countries do their impression of the English language in the United States. Many of them project different language ideologies according to the accent they sound out, whether it be: Southern, Minnesotan, New York, or a Wisconsin accent. With their impressions they link their cultural ideologies with what they say. For example, one guy does an impression of a Wisconsin accent and while projecting his best impression he talks about cheese, a cultural item often associated with the state.
"Spanish Radio" - Gabriel IglesiasPlay video
Comedian Gabriel Iglesias "Spanish Radio" skit relates to language ideologies regarding the Spanish language. Iglesias, who speaks Spanish and English, creates a humorous effect on how people from the "motherland" of Mexico speak rather fast, even for himself. Iglesias has the ability to speak two different languages (bilingualism) and codeswitches between the two languages in a lot of his skits. The skit can relate to our standard language ideology in that the Spanish speaking language is fast and hard to understand and he presents that concept through mock Spanish.
A Few Things to Know About American Sign LanguagePlay video
Similar to the different accents that exist in the English language, different styles of sign language express different cultural upbringings. This video is a short personal account into a few individual’s experiences with sign language and its perception from none deaf people. Explaining issues like the use of the term “hearing impaired”, is considered more offensive than being labeled deaf because it does not recognize deaf people as a “linguistic minority”. The point is that deaf people have a culture. One of the speakers talks about how slang has influenced ASL specifically in the African-American cultural community. Being deaf does not exclude people from existing in a living language that adapts and changes to fit the times. Rich with the impact of various cultures.
Foreign Accents: Louis C.K's Skit on Saturday Night LivePlay video
In this video clip from a recent Saturday Night Live, the skit seems to have been written to specifically mock both Louis C.K's inability to reproduce a foreign accent, while also mocking the foreign accents of early immigrants. It is difficult to understand their motivations for the skit, but it seems to me that their depictions of 20th century immigrants relate to our Standard Language Ideology that immigrant language is difficult to understand and is something to be mocked. It is also an interesting example of linguistic crossing, as Louis C.K's appearance in this skit depends on his ability to imitate a foreign accent which he is unable to do.
The Italian Man Who went to Malta.Play video
Warning: explicit language This hilarious video exhibits people who have different accents and ways of saying the same words in English. Because of this, there is a lot of miscommunication. There is also linguistic relativity happening in that these people speaking the same language have different meanings for the same words pronounced differently. All in all, quite a funny predicament.
British Villains -Tom Hiddleston en Jaguar F-Type CoupéPlay video
This Jaguar car commercial adds to an ideology that an English accent sounds villainous. Indexically and through performativity the actor, Tom Hiddleston, describing how to successfully sound "villainous". This commercial is a part of a series featuring other British actors describing how to sound "villainous".
This news article/video is about how comedian Chelsea Handler put down First Lady Melania Trump for having an accent. Chelsea Handler stated that she would never have Melania Trump on her show because "she barley speaks English." However, the article quickly points out that the First Lady actually speaks at least five languages, including French, Slovene, Italian, German, and English. This portrays how language ideologies are used in everyday life and how it influences individuals' attitudes, beliefs, opinions and knowledge about language. In linguistic anthropology language ideologies are a set of shared beliefs, such as the appropriate language use or how language should be used by particular groups. Chelsea Handler has a negative attitude towards Melania Trump's accent because in the U.S., there is the idea or belief that powerful leaders in politics should not possess "foreign accents." Chelsea Handler's comment about not wanting Melania Trump on her show portrays the idea that English is the dominant language. In the United States the popular ideology in regards to the English-only Movement is very prevalent in today's society. [Published on 01-24-2017]
John Oliver and Jimmy Fallon Talk AccentsPlay video
There are a few instances in this video that relate to or bring up some sort of sociolinguistic/sociocultural linguistic norm or topic, but the main one that sticks out comes up at about 1:00, a minute into the video. John Oliver, who is an English comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, media critic, and television host of the HBO political talk show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. He is asked about his 18-month-old son and whether or not he will have an English accent or not. Oliver goes on for a bit poking fun at American accents after explaining that his son will most likely NOT have an English accent, where he jokingly says, when talking to Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon who has an American Accent, "the way you make words sound hurts my ears", and when explaining how he will speak in a different manner, he again jokingly says he will be speaking "worse". The main example he presents though is at the 1:50 minute mark when talking about the difference between American and English accents and whether it makes it harder to communicate in America. Oliver goes on to explain that for people without an American accent, automated machines are a "real problem". He jokingly makes a comparison in which he says when dealing with automated machine people without American accents are "battered down into submission by the machine until you talk like a sedated John Wayne" after which he does an impression of...a sedated John Wayne, in which he speaks with a stereotypical American accent. This last bit is very interesting because even though he talks about it in joking, light-hearted manner, he brings up strong evidence for people without American accents being "battered down into submission" to not use their accents. In these situations, people without American accents are forced to accommodate their speech and change it to sound more American which also relates to Style-Shifting. To me, there is also a slight bit of globalization too in a similar way to what I just mentioned. It is most likely indirectly but it is pushing towards just a plain American accent to be used.
Family Guy- Almost American ForeignersPlay video
This is a family Guy clip showing the “guys who have been in America almost long enough to speak English”. This clip reinforces stereotypes of foreigners not being equal for not speaking English. This also shows differences in language, culture, and way of speaking. They use terms that are almost correct, but their foreign differences still show through.
Transformers 2 mudflap and skidz spitting on leoPlay video
this video shows off to heavily criticized characters from transformers 2 : revenge of the fallen. director Micheal Bay has a habit throughout this movie series of introducing transformers that are stereotypes of races and cultures such as the Mexican and samurai warrior transformers in the 4th movie. mudflap and skidz are no exceptions to this habit, both portraying a stereotypical African american way of talking and using certain words like bust a cap in his ass and nah what I mean?
Movie Accent Expert Breaks Down 32 Actors' AccentsPlay video
This video picks apart different actors movie accents and talks about whether they are appropriate to the dialect they are portraying. It gives insight into what unique phonological features make an accent sound authentic, and the relevant social context that can affect a person's way of speaking. This video pick apart different actors movie accents and talks about whether they are appropriate to the dialect they are portraying. These accents include some that relate to socioeconomic classes in the English language, and english accents from different geological location around the world. The video gives insight into what unique phonological features make an accent sound authentic, and the relevant social context that can affect a person's way of speaking.
A discussion of prejudice against certain accents from the perspective of someone in the UK. This mirrors many of the things we have seen about the US -- people less willing to rent apartments, more willing to think someone's guilty of a crime, etc. if they speak in a different accent. It also talks about the "politics of transcription" in the way 'non-standard' accents are transcribed, for example, in subtitles, and suggests that mocking people's accents is seen as a more socially acceptable form of prejudice since it's "not a big deal."
Hillary Clinton - Southern AccentPlay video
In this clip from an interview with the South Carolina Democratic Chairman, Jaime Harrison, Hillary Clinton accommodates her speech style by speaking with a Southern accent. The accent is a speech style that only appears in speeches with Southern audiences.
My Fair Lady - Why Can't The English?Play video
This song called "Why can't the English?" from the movie My Fair Lady. In this song Henry Higgins starts the song off by singing: "Look at her, a prisoner of the gutter, Condemned by every syllable she utters By right she should be taken out and hung, For the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue." referring to Hepburn. With this, followed by a lot of remarks that are similar in nature, he is implying very strongly that there is a Standard English language that should be spoken by all English people, and if anyone doesn't, "by right" they could be hung. He says most people are never "taught" and instead learn other stigmatized varieties of English and refers to these as murderers of the English tongue. He is in this way implying that there is a legitimate use of proper English language, and that is the standard variety that he speaks. therefore considering himself as a "better Englishman", and more educated, in this way making a social class distinction between him and the others. He is also implying that there should be unity of the nation as mentioned by Bourdieu in "The Production and Reproduction of Legitimate Language". Higgins refers to the English speaking people of England as Englishmen, but also mentions that non-standard speaking varieties are "painful to your ears" and is afraid they will never be able to get "one common language".
Why Do People In Old Movies Talk Weird?Play video
The history of the transatlantic accent.
Tanto and Lone RangerPlay video
This is a clip from Lone Ranger, featuring scenes with the famous Tonto. It shows how Tonto talks versus the cowboys/other Americans. It also shows a very skewed view of how Native Americans interact and how they speak English (broken sentences and a sense of "inproper" English).
The Man Of Many LanguagesPlay video
A polyglot man who can speak at least 15 languages and he wants to learn all languages in the world. He explains why and how speaking another language can give you a different perspective on life.
Kodak Black Social Artifact Golden BoyPlay video
He uses a dialect that is familiar with the rap community, and has an accent that is usually associated with the Haitian community. His delivery of the language he uses gives him his swagger, and gives him a style that stands out from other artists. Examples of his lyrics include saying things like "dat" instead of "that", or "witchu" instead of with "with you".
Animator and Narrator, Safwat Saleem, reflects on his experience with the "pre-existing notion of normal" at a young age and how he is still challenged by that notion today. Throughout his life Saleem has faced criticism due to society's idea of what is "normal" and what is "good" and has let it negatively affect his career and esteem. Saleem explains how he has overcome those challenges and now chooses to use his accent and work to help shape and transform a more accepting society. [Published on 02-01-2016]
In this article, the various features of what are commonly associated with the American Jewish accent are detailed. This accent is often associated with comedians such as Mel Brooks, Larry David, and Don Rickles. The accent, while not as widespread as it used to be, is still recognizable to listeners by the word order and intonation it borrows from Yiddish, Hebrew, and other languages of prominent Jewish communities. [Published on 09-26-2016]
British People Attempting Their Best American AccentPlay video
In this video we have people on the streets of Great Britain trying to do their best American accents. The accents revolved around "Southern," "Californian/Surfer," and "Hyper-Metropolitan" accents. The words included by those speaking generally reflected stereotypes involving surfing and smoking weed (for the Californian/Surfer), eating cheeseburgers, shopping, and gossip (Hyper-Metropolitan), and drinking beer and shooting guns (Southern). The participants were not asked to do a specific kind of "American accent," either, they merely did an accent that they deemed to be what is "the American accent." How Americans are perceived by these participants was evident in their style of speech and words chosen to reflect typical American conversation along; one could also possibly argue that this reflects that some British people group all of the American identities into one conglomerate identity which they deem to be wholly "American." Thinking about this more outside of the video, I feel that this could be true in terms of how Americans think of other cultures as well, like how Americans think of the British identities.
The Foreigner's Guide to Irish AccentsPlay video
Video shows how tightly a language can be held to a very small geographic region, even when in close proximity to others of a different dialect.
As the title suggests, presidential hopeful, Donald Trump's wife Melania Trump gave her first major political speech last night. Many found striking similarities between her speech last night and that of First Lady Michelle Obama's earlier DNC speech. These similarities bring up the question of "shared values" or plagiarism. Also notable are factors such as Melania's native language not being English: how did this affect the speech and the way it was received? [Published on 07-18-2016]
Sally Wainwright, a British writer, said that there should be more representation of northern England accents in British media, and described some of the qualities of northern English speech that she finds appealing. She also labels southern English as "posh." This might be an example of Ochs' (1993) model of indexicality, where certain linguistic features index social meaning, which then index a social category. It's also part of a larger discussion about media representation. [Published on 04-04-2016]
Sometimes you try to pronounce your words more Greek-ly and you are made fun of 2000 years later. The Roman poet Catullus wrote this poem about an acquaintance of his whose habit of aspiration was seen as an attempt to sound more Greek. Oh how it backfired.
Fresh Prince: Carlton plays "Gangster"Play video
In this video created from the show Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Carlton, who is known as a preppy, straight-A, and very propper character changes his complete "style". He is in the projects with a bunch of gangsters who live a completely different lifestyle and also talk completely different than Carlton. Therefore, Carlton constructs his identity and changes the way he speaks and even dresses in relation to the gang members he is surrounded by. His cousin Will is completely thrown off, but realizes that he is only changing his "style" because of his surroundings.
A detailed map of how American accents are changing.
Hillary Clinton and her Evolving AccentPlay video
Hillary Clinton demonstrates styleshifting during her many years in public life.
This blog post explores the idea of the singular "y'all". The post entertains the idea that this form of "y'all" comes from a style-shift used around non-Southerners in an attempt to differentiate themselves and assert their identity (similar to Kara's Jersey vowels being more commonly heard outside of Jersey). [Published on 10-03-2014]
Comic Peter Sellers does a wide-ranging parody of accents in Britain and elsewhere.
Pidgin: The Voice of HawaiiPlay video
An excerpt from the documentary Voices of Hawaii, profiling the accent discrimination case of James Kahakua et al. in the late 1980s, where speakers of accented English were denied jobs as broadcasters for the National Weather Service.
A website featuring sound files of "authentic" pronunciations of proper names for streets, neighborhoods, shops, etc. relevant to New York.
Acrolectal Trinidadian EnglishPlay video
In this video of The Culinary Institute of America, a Trinidadian demonstrates how to make a traditional Trinidadian dish: Callaloo. It's interesting because the chef produces features (such as th-fortition, non-rhoticity, consonant cluster deletion, and Trinidadian intonation), but also variant use of superstratal features such as plurality and past tense marker (ie dice pumpkin instead of diced pumpkin).
Pittsburgh is the official winner of Gawker's "America's Ugliest Accent" context. [Published on 10-20-2014]
A linguist's response to the internet controversy over actress Kathy Bates' attempt to produce a Baltimore accent on the TV show American Horror Story. [Published on 10-22-2014]
Slate.com's version of Joe Fruehwald's objections to the Gawker tournament where voters select "America's Ugliest Accent." [Published on 10-02-2014]
Sociolinguistic Josef Fruehwald responds to the Gawker "Ugliest Accent" tournament, highlighting the use of language as a proxy for discrimination against speakers from various social and geographic groups. [Published on 10-01-2014]
We talked in class about apparent-time vs. real-time studies, and I thought this was a very interesting example of the latter, focused entirely on one person--the Queen of England. Because of her televised christmas broadcasts, recordings of her have been public consistently since the 1950s. If you compare the Queen's accent in her 1957 christmas broadcast (http://youtu.be/mBRP-o6Q85s) to the one from 2013 (http://youtu.be/6E4v4Dw5Ags), you can here an enormous difference. This short article says that her accent is moving closer to the standard speech of the area, and that "It demonstrates that the monarchy, at least as far as the spoken accent is concerned, isn't isolated from the rest of the community." It would be very interesting to look at recordings from between then and now, and see how quickly these changes happened.
Texans trying to pronounce Wisconsin city namesPlay video
A fun little video about different pronunciations between Texas and Wisconsin. (note: some of the city names are hard to pronounce for Wisconsinites too).
Accent Challenge: NorwichPlay video
A young woman from Norwich, England completes the Accent Challenge in 2011.
A researcher known as "Dr. Quack" reports that recordings of "Cockney" ducks from London differ in their quacking from "Cornish" ducks. [Published on 06-01-2004]
The Kroll Comedy Show spooks speakers from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in one sketch, and Gawker calls them "America's ugliest accents."
The Atlantic compiled audio recordings from the Harvard Dialect Survey and the maps of Jonathan Katz from the same dataset into a video.
Password Plus: Don't Piss Marcia OffPlay video
On this episode of the game show Password Plus, Marcia Wallace used "furry" to prompt her partner to say "Harry" (or for her, the homonym "hairy.") The judges rejected this, pointing out the "Harry" and "hairy" have different pronunciations. But not for Marcia, who is from the midwest, as she correctly points out.
"We're sinking!"Play video
A commercial for Berlitz in which a German coast guard trainee misunderstands a call for help from a sinking American ship.
Star Trek: YoopersPlay video
A YouTube video that spooks the "Yooper" accent (Upper Peninsula, Michigan)
American Talk: The cast of Harry PotterPlay video
The cast of Harry Potter read phrases related to American culture in their best American accents
BBC EnglishPlay video
A BBC Two segment on BBC English, which may be another term for Received Pronunciation, and its impact on other varieties of English
New Zealand's Next Top ModelPlay video
This website "translates" any web page into a variety of "dialects:" Redneck, Jive, Cockney, Elmer Fudd, Swedish Chef, Moron, Pig Latin, and Hacker.
"California" AccentPlay video
A short YouTube submission from a native Californian, first in his native accent, then in a hyper-sytlized "California" accent.
30 Rock: Maryland /o/ on Overshoppe.comPlay video
A spook of /o/ fronting on 30 Rock
How to speak with an American AccentPlay video
A commercial advertising accent reduction services designed to enhance speakers' American accents.
This 2012 piece on Jezebel describes the voices of California Project currently in progress at Stanford. It includes an embedded clip of the SNL skit "The Californians," and the video "Shoes."
Greg and Donny have an accentPlay video
The Pronunciation page from the University of Pittsburgh's "Pittsburgh Speech and Society" page, which has audio of seven native Pittsburghers reading a passage.
Barbara Johnstone on PittsburghesePlay video
A lecture by Barbara Johnstone for a popular audience on Pittsburghese, or English in Pittsburgh.
A 2006 piece on NPR about Bill Clinton's use of a heavier Southern accent in a moment of anger, with guest Walt Wolfram, who explains the phenomenon of style-shifting.
A 2008 NPR interview with William Labov about Sarah Palin's Alaskan accent.
Outer Banks EnglishPlay video
An excerpt of the dialect of the Carolina Outer Banks from the documentary Voices of North Carolina.http://www.talkingnc.com
Fair Housing PSAPlay video
PSA highlighting linguistic discrimination.
Linguistic Profiling on 20/20Play video
20/20 feature on racial linguistic profiling and housing discrimination with linguist John Baugh.