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> Has your accent changed at university?, study into accent and home identity
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ML Hammer95
post Oct 16 2017, 07:58 AM
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Wanted to get as wide a range of thoughts as possible for my qualitative sociology study, so please feel free to answer in as much depth as possible to these questions! Would be of great help to me on what I find to be an interesting topic!

Do you consider yourself to have an accent? (please specify)
Did that accent change when you left home? E.g. university
Was your accent noticeable to people when you moved away?
When you returned home (e.g Christmas holiday) did people notice a change in your voice? Or over a longer period of time?
Do you associate more with your hometown or the city you moved too?
Did you want to keep your accent or lose it when moving away?
Do you know of any positive or negative connotations associated with your accent?
Do you think your accent portrays your class?


I can only use my experience but I didn't consider myself to have that strong an accent until I moved away. There's not many people from the West Country in Manchester and those that do don't really have the Bristolian twang that I did. The connotations were obviously those of being a farmer and cider and references to Hot Fuzz and combine harvesters! I don't really want to lose my accent as I almost feels it gives me individuality at uni and it's always a great icebreaker at parties or when meeting new people. It often gets made fun of when I roll my r's but I find that funny more than anything.

It's interesting because my dad and sister have no real accent while me and my mum have more of a Bristolian one - if you heard me and my sister speak you would not believe we were related! And we had essentially the same upbringing although she moved away in 2011 she had no West Country accent growing up if I recall whereas mine was noted straight away when I arrived in Manchester. We're probably a lower middle class family (both parents have traditionally working class jobs, but we are quite well off) and I think my sisters accent shows that more than mine does.
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M.
post Oct 16 2017, 08:16 AM
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When I speak English, I have an Irish accent, basically kinda like the one from the town I live in (or so I was told) but a bit more 'proper' if that makes sense kink.gif I still rarely use the slang from my town and I always felt like I don't really fit in here, despite sounding like I could be from around here originally. I picked the accent up super quickly, as well as the language.

When I speak my mother tongue, it's probably just a general Estonian accent. There aren't as many different ways of speaking over there, but there are some notable quirks from some places.
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lotita
post Oct 16 2017, 08:17 AM
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Do you consider yourself to have an accent? (please specify) I guess I do, just because so many people have commented on it. I don't have a really strong Dorset accent but most people can tell I'm from the South. I sound quite posh I guess
Did that accent change when you left home? E.g. university The accent itself hasn't changed even though I think my language has more! I lived with a girl from up north, a couple of people from LDN and another couple of people who had similar accents to me anyway
Was your accent noticeable to people when you moved away? No one really commented on it, it's quite a generic posh english accent
When you returned home (e.g Christmas holiday) did people notice a change in your voice? Or over a longer period of time? No one noticed any change in my voice but my family commented on the fact I used a lot more slang
Do you associate more with your hometown or the city you moved too? probably with my home town just because coming from a small community where everyone knows each other is so easy to assimilate to. having said that, I still don't ever want to move back, but I still don't think I'll stay living in Southampton all my life either
Did you want to keep your accent or lose it when moving away? keep it! as annoying as I can sound, I think my voice suits me kink.gif
Do you know of any positive or negative connotations associated with your accent? farmer/posh
Do you think your accent portrays your class? my accent portrays the complete opposite, I probably sound a lot more posh and affluent than I really am, if I had an accent which matched my current social class it would be a lot more chavvy kink.gif

Obviously when reading my answers, don't forget I moved from North Dorset to Southampton for Uni, so despite being around more people with heavier accents than I'm used to in the countryside, the general city doesn't really have a hugely different accent to mine!
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ML Hammer95
post Oct 16 2017, 08:20 AM
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Also, I would like to hear from people who live in their childhood town and haven't moved away for a period of time - part of my study is do people who stay have a stronger home identity and if moving away affects that.
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lotita
post Oct 16 2017, 08:23 AM
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QUOTE(ML Hammer95 @ Oct 16 2017, 09:20 AM) *
Also, I would like to hear from people who live in their childhood town and haven't moved away for a period of time - part of my study is do people who stay have a stronger home identity and if moving away affects that.


I lived in the exact same tiny town in the middle of the country for 19 years so feel like I can answer that in more detail for you kink.gif When I was applying to uni I only applied to places around 2 hours ish away from home because I always thought I'd like to continue living in the South, and the furthest I'd ever move to would be Soton/Bristol. Since moving out to soton, as I said in my last post I've completely 360d and feel like I don't ever want to return there because it's just TOO SMALL. I'm now wanting to move to Manchester after I graduate!
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ML Hammer95
post Oct 16 2017, 10:40 AM
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Interesting thoughts so far! Will reply individually once I've had a proper chance to read them. Some other questions I have thought about too...

Does your accent change when drunk?
Do you sound like your parents and siblings, or only like one family member?
When moving away, did you discover you used local slang or did you pick up any from your new home town? (one for me was saying keener instead of nerd - never realised that was a Bristolian thing)
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ʟɪɴᴅs.
post Oct 16 2017, 10:40 AM
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Do you consider yourself to have an accent? (please specify)
Definitely, it's sort of like softer Glasweigan I think, I'm from a town that's about half an hour or so outside of Glasgow so thankfully it's not quite as harsh as some Glasgow accents laugh.gif

Did that accent change when you left home? E.g. university
Nope it's still the same as far as i know, I moved to Perth which has quite a neutral accent so that's not affected mine at all, except I think I've maybe adopted a couple of mannerisms when I speak that Perthshire people typically have, most notably finishing sentences with "ay" or just being like "ay?" instead of saying what or sorry laugh.gif

Was your accent noticeable to people when you moved away?
Oh god yea, my accent sticks out like a sore thumb here.

When you returned home (e.g Christmas holiday) did people notice a change in your voice? Or over a longer period of time?

It was my family that pointed out the ay thing but nothings really changed so nah

Do you associate more with your hometown or the city you moved too?
Probably my hometown or just Glasgow in general tbh, I tend to tell people I'm from Glasgow if they ask, at least in Perth anyway

Did you want to keep your accent or lose it when moving away?
Keep it but I hoped maybe it would become a bit more dilute being around people who don't have much of an accent

Do you know of any positive or negative connotations associated with your accent?
Not my specific accent but the Glasgow one has mostly negative ones I think, ie sounding aggressive or uneducated, quite rough etc which is why I'm glad mine isn't as harsh as the proper Glasgow one

Do you think your accent portrays your class?
I guess so, I've never felt like my own accent differs from my class but I do worry I sound awful when mixing with people with posher accents :')

Does your accent change when drunk?
See this one is interesting because I'd say no but quite a few of my friends in Perth have said I go more Glasweigan, I guess it's because you're more relaxed and less conscious of what's going on around you when you're drinking so you slip back into what's more "natural" but then that would imply I make an effort to try and mask my accent when I'm sober, which I don't think I do but who knows, maybe I do subconsciously laugh.gif

Do you sound like your parents and siblings, or only like one family member?
Yea I sound like my whole family, at least the ones from the same town as me. My dad is from another area of Glasgow which has the really harsh, slang way of speaking but he's the type of person who just adopts whatever accent is around him, as soon as he's around his sister he talks SO Glasweigan-slang it's painful but he's usually got the same accent as me, my mum, my brother etc
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T Boy
post Oct 16 2017, 06:21 PM
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I always thought I had a nothing voice but apparently there's such thing as a Wrexham accent. And my accent certainly changed when I went to uni. I went all valleys on my voice and it was like that for a good 5 years...
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post Oct 16 2017, 06:30 PM
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Do you consider yourself to have an accent? (please specify) - technically, yes but it's really just a basic British accent I think

Did that accent change when you left home? E.g. university - Haven't left home yet, but I very much doubt it would ever change

Do you associate more with your hometown or the city you moved too? - If I were to move, I'd've no idea but it's a pretty interesting thought thinking.gif

Did you want to keep your accent or lose it when moving away? - I've said before I'd love to "learn" different accents, but "losing" it, I wouldn't care either way

Do you know of any positive or negative connotations associated with your accent? - Not sure, maybe people make assumptions about it that I think are rediculous tho

Do you think your accent portrays your class? - Slightly unrelated to the Q I guess but I wish it wasn't so deep as it doesn't really reflect my personality imo
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*Tim
post Oct 16 2017, 08:10 PM
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I started speaking more Flemish, yes
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Lorderella
post Oct 16 2017, 09:56 PM
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Do you consider yourself to have an accent? (please specify) - every single person does


My English is such a melting pot. I generally prefer speaking with British accents (just for the fact i'm lazy to anunciate everything) but I do go all American when i speak with americans and people whose native language is not English at work. With Spanish I try to speak with Madrid accent but always use some of Andalusian flavour since my boyfriend is from there. As for Russian there's generally not a lot of differences in dialects (especially in the European part) within Russia so it's more neutral.
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Iz~
post Oct 17 2017, 05:39 PM
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Do you consider yourself to have an accent? (please specify)
- Yes, I do, but as I'm a fairly quiet speaker it's less noticeable unless I get emotional, but it's a mediumly strong English RP (Received Pronounciation) accent with shades of West Country (but not Cornish), I believe Silas described it in teams as (paraphrasing) 'Conservative MP filibusters about hunting ban', which is fine, as I aspire to have the voice of Jacob Rees-Mogg, it's the only good thing about the man. I'm certainly not as plummy as him though and as much as I try to avoid it, I know there's a bit of a 'geek tinge' to it (like, you know how there's a gay accent, like that but for nerds). I think I've avoided getting a Cornish accent as I've mostly hung out with people who don't have that accent.

Did that accent change when you left home? E.g. university
- Yes but well, because Exeter is known for having large amounts of its students come from middle class families in the south east, I think it just got MORE RP. And I started to develop more of an identity for myself and tried more to affect it so it's noticeable, something I still do semi-consciously.

Was your accent noticeable to people when you moved away?
- Not so much, mostly because I didn't move far and was with people mostly speaking similarly, but also because it's not really that noticeable except in rare circumstances

When you returned home (e.g Christmas holiday) did people notice a change in your voice? Or over a longer period of time?
- I'd say there has been a change (less geek, more 'posh/RP') over the last few years but I don't recall anyone commenting on it, it's all too gradual

Do you associate more with your hometown or the city you moved too?
- I don't really associate with any town or city, I liked Exeter very much but I'm gone from there now, I haven't really fit in to anywhere in Cornwall because I have different interests to most of the locals, I identified with Exeter far more if I had to choose.

Did you want to keep your accent or lose it when moving away?
- Keep and make it stronger seems to be the theme.

Do you know of any positive or negative connotations associated with your accent?
- Oh definitely!
Positive: Clear accent, gives an impression of well-spoken, educated and well off - once the BBC accent, still very well-used in documentaries and the like. I often (jokingly) call it the only proper accent and I think that, that idea (however wrong it is) that it is the right way to speak has been what's part of what's made me try to affect it more.
Negative: Southern posh bast*rd (especially if you're from the UK but not from the South), villainous (thanks Star Wars), someone who's up themselves

Do you think your accent portrays your class?
- To an extent. It's not so cartoony RP that you'd immediately assume I was a toff upon meeting me, and my family certainly isn't that, we're reasonably well off and definitely middle class, but still have to watch our spending habits. I suspect it is just a typical middle-class accent you might associate with that.
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Harve
post Oct 17 2017, 10:51 PM
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I moved from a Derbyshire Peak District farm to Glasgow. My closest friends are from outside the UK so my accent has neutralised quite a bit into a generic English accent rather than turning Scottish/Glaswegian. I still don't make the foot/strut split that Scots and southern Englanders would for example but my intonation has become pretty generic and I no longer have more working class features such as dropping H's, saying 'cunnner' instead of 'couldn't' or making 'water' rhyme with 'splatter' or pronouncing 'make' like 'mekk', which are all things that I've noticed my siblings still using, who haven't moved away.

It had already changed during my first two years but I consciously altered it when I went on Erasmus and found that many non-native speakers who had never lived in an English-speaking country and had learnt all their English from American TV shows couldn't understand me that well~
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