Question About Accents

For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Six Fingers
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:19 pm UTC

Question About Accents

Postby Six Fingers » Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:46 am UTC

If a British couple moves to the United States, and they have a kid, does the child grow up with a British, or American accent...or something in between?

User avatar
Landed Gentry
Posts: 2151
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:49 pm UTC
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Question About Accents

Postby Lazar » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:07 am UTC

I'm pretty sure the kid would have an American accent, because this would be the medium for all their social interaction from early childhood. The issue is more pronounced when the parents speak a different language, and the child effectively grows up as a native speaker of English; but in any case, peers have a huge influence on linguistic development. The child would have no incentive to speak with a British accent.
Exit the vampires' castle.

User avatar
Posts: 698
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:59 pm UTC
Location: Wales. Explaining much.

Re: Question About Accents

Postby Dave_Wise » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:01 am UTC

American. What's the point in moving to the states if you don't get to acquire a sexy, ideologically suspect mid atlantic accent?
The future is always bright. Bombs generate quite substantial amounts of illumination
-a friend.

User avatar
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:51 pm UTC
Location: California

Re: Question About Accents

Postby Ianto47 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:44 am UTC

I have a cery strong Welsh accent, but my two sons are indistinguishable from any other Southern California youths. I know people with strong european accents whose children grow up completely Americanized in speech. The only exceptions are children from south and central America who live in neighborhoods with a similar ethnic majority.
So it has to be said that peer pressure not parental influence, determines accent.
"Why is a Raven like a writing desk?"
The Real Alice in Wonderland

Posts: 45
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:37 am UTC

Re: Question About Accents

Postby extrablue » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:37 pm UTC

American accent, but will randomly through in some weird british words or phrases into conversations. The parents will have some affect. (every proud new englander should know that no one ever ever says E ffect. It is always pronounced Ah ffect.)
If I'm on internet forums I'm probably drunk.

Posts: 654
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:57 pm UTC

Re: Question About Accents

Postby Makri » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:06 pm UTC

The parents will have some affect.

Well, this is kind of a prerequisite for producing a child, no?

Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:37 pm UTC

Re: Question About Accents

Postby bluestripe » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:22 pm UTC

Makri wrote:
The parents will have some affect.

Well, this is kind of a prerequisite for producing a child, no?

AHAHA! Linguistic humor is the best.

I was born in Australia but moved to the US when I was four. My accent changed pretty quick, but there are still some hints of Aussie at times. Mostly lexical items, but now and then some of my vowels will change at home.

One's accent/dialect, or even native language is always determined by ones peers, not parents.

Sheikh al-Majaneen
Name Checks Out On Time, Tips Chambermaid
Posts: 1075
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:17 am UTC

Re: Question About Accents

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:17 am UTC

My parents are both from the midwest, but moved here in the south just after I was born.

When I went to kindergarten, I had a strong midwest accent, practically minnesota nice. Now I have a neutral american accent. I'd say its comparable. Expect the kid to sound like charlton heston.

User avatar
Posts: 286
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:05 pm UTC

Re: Question About Accents

Postby the_stabbage » Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:15 pm UTC

When I moved to North America I dropped my old accent in about six months; my sibling did that in a year. Now we both speak the same accent, with a few odd word choices eg. "boot"/"trunk".

Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:45 pm UTC

Re: Question About Accents

Postby minehowe » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:20 am UTC

Whereas I was born and brought up in one area with a particular, strong accent, with parents from the other end of the country with a very different accent (take my word for this - outsiders usually think the local accent comes from the wrong country entirely), and have never had the local accent. I don't think I can really be placed within the country using my accent at all, but no-one is going to think I come from here.

So I suppose my answer would be "The kid will probably use the local accent, or a hybrid accent quite close to it, but results may vary." :wink:

Return to “Language/Linguistics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests