A 'California Accent' Exists: Do You Think You Have an Accent?

AdriHead 2012/09/20 19:00:00
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A California accent? Like, no way, dude. You can't be serious. Though Californians -- and other West Coasters -- often pride themselves in thinking that they are free of accents and speak in the purest linguistic form, a new study is here to tell us that that's all a load of crock. The California accent is alive and well!

Researchers found that California is actually home to a very distinct dialect and accent. Some examples? "Black" sounds like "block," "pen" sounds like "pin," and in general the Californian "a" is very nasally. So... whether or not you're from California, we've got to ask: Do you think you have an accent when you speak?

JEZEBEL.COM reports:
A team of researchers is canvassing California to try and nail down some of the linguistic peculiarities native to its various regions. Conventional wisdom holds that, aside from garish movie caricatures like Spicoli and Cher Horowitz, the English spoken on the west coast is clean, accentless, and standard.
spicoli cher horowitz english spoken west coast clean accentless standard

Read More: http://jezebel.com/5944274/the-california-accent-i...

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  • taitaFalcon23 2012/09/22 03:47:38
    Given that everyone here is usually from somewhere else, you very rarely encounter an actual california native. Californians speak with a pretty 'neutral accent' from my experience.
  • exhon2009 2012/09/22 03:08:26 (edited)
    I'm from California too. When I was an auditor that traveled all over the country I used to get into the argument about accents. I would settle it by asking them if they could tell where I was from. They could not. I lived in Colorado for years before moving to Minnesota for two years and then California for 20 years. I would then ask them if they watch the local news. They always answered yes. I asked them what the people on the local news sound like. They think about it for a second and responded that they sound like me. Argument settled, there is a geographicly free unaccented American English.

    I have a more perplexing question. Why do British Islanders often lose their accents when they sing?
  • Tom R 007 exhon2009 2012/09/22 04:31:59
    Tom R 007
    It sounds to me like you may have a General American (GenAm) accent, which (despite what some Americans seem to think) is still an accent.
  • exhon2009 Tom R 007 2012/09/22 04:46:44
    I like your description General American accent. Being from New Zealand any Yank will sound like they have an accent to you. If one speaks in, as you say, a General Am accent, it is impossible to tell which area of the country they are from. If you CAN tell what part of the country someone is from then by definition they are NOT speaking in a Gen Am accent.
  • Tom R 007 exhon2009 2012/09/22 04:54:20
    Tom R 007
    General American is a correct term. It's not my description. It is like the American version of British RP.


    As an actor, I am very familiar with accents in your country as well as accents in the UK. Every person on earth (unless they are mute) has an accent.
  • Ian exhon2009 2012/09/22 06:46:48
    Yes i have noticed that, even groups that would have had a cockney accent do not have a accent when they sing.
  • SillyLegs 2012/09/22 02:40:58
    The northwestern one. With our babbling cricks and the ruffs on our houses and the rutts in our plants. And our perses and our begs. =]
  • Willow 2012/09/22 02:13:56
    Everyone does.
  • Tiah 2012/09/22 02:10:14
    Im from Australia so obviously I have an accent
  • Culgan 2012/09/22 01:14:18
    What kind of dumb question is this in all honesty....everyone has an accent.
  • seahawk665 2012/09/22 01:10:52
    We ALL have accents. If you can talk, you have an accent.
  • Sybil 2012/09/22 01:08:54
    Ya, Canadian eih?! That's what it's all aboot :P
  • lill 2012/09/22 00:55:45
  • Tobi 2012/09/22 00:49:11
    I'm Chinese but I speak with a British accent
  • Ian Tobi 2012/09/22 06:59:23
    What British accent there must be 30 accents in The UK,i can travel 40 miles to Cardigan and they have a accent that is diferent to mine,London has various accents.What accent do you think you have, dont ask some other person, i did not realize how strong my Welsh Accent was till i heard myself on video.It odd we do not realize how stong the accent is untill we hear ourselves.
    I have English friend who has learned Welsh but speaks with a slight Yorkshire accent,and when we go to the local Pub to see the Wales and England in the Rygby he shouts for England in Welsh with a Yorkshire accent, i laugh my head clean off.
  • Rick4Ron - Paul☮2012 2012/09/22 00:41:45 (edited)
    Rick4Ron - Paul☮2012
    California... is a melting pot of nations, and of numerous states. So, accents abound.

    If any accent exist, in numbers enough to apply labels, it would have to be Spanish.

  • Jenni 2012/09/21 23:54:51
    I have a Californian and American accent. Technically everyone has an accent.
  • †ADAM.† 2012/09/21 23:23:33
    I'm British. british accent gif
  • gone i guess 2012/09/21 23:20:49
    gone i guess
  • woodnymph 2012/09/21 23:09:18
    Of course, everyone does. Now, what I find more interesting is that birds have regional accents =D
  • Tom R 007 2012/09/21 23:03:01
    Tom R 007
    Who are the idiots who answer "no" to this question? Maybe they're mute? Every single person on this planet who speaks has an accent. I really can't comprehend how any intelligent person could answer no to this question (unless, as I said, they are mute).
  • Rick4Ro... Tom R 007 2012/09/22 01:49:19
    Rick4Ron - Paul☮2012
    Idiots? Okay, Professor Higgins...

    Of course, we all have... accents... pronunciation, tone, articulation, inflection, brogue, intonation, diction, modulation, elocution, enunciation, accentuation. -Dictionary.

    However, that would be defined by the listener. The voice we speak, unless purposefully manipulated... sounds rather typical... to us.

    The question was... "Do you (think) you have an accent when you speak?"

    No! I don't "Think" I do? However, I'm sure (to another) I, no doubt... do!
  • Tom R 007 Rick4Ro... 2012/09/22 01:52:22
    Tom R 007
    Well I "think" that I have an accent despite the fact that most people around me speak the same way.
  • Rick4Ro... Tom R 007 2012/09/22 03:41:48
    Rick4Ron - Paul☮2012
    I imagine, you speak Kiwi... just as we yanks have bastardized the Kings English, in our own multi-ethnic and regional way.
  • Tom R 007 Rick4Ro... 2012/09/22 04:22:57
    Tom R 007
    Yep, I have a New Zealand accent, and I'm fully aware of the fact that I have one even though I live in New Zealand where most of the population has a New Zealand accent.
  • fortyca... Rick4Ro... 2012/09/22 06:36:30
    It would be impossible to further bastardize the King's English than the English themselves have done.
  • fortyca... Tom R 007 2012/09/22 06:36:00
    I think part of the point here is that, no matter where we're from, we all have a point of reference--maybe media-driven, maybe no--that we consider "unaccented." Naturally, this point of reference will differ from place to place, or even from person to person.
  • Tom R 007 fortyca... 2012/09/22 06:52:08
    Tom R 007
    But my issue is with people saying that they DON'T have an accent at all. A General American accent (which is a correct term. I didn't just invent it out of ignorance) is still an accent, just as the British RP accent is still an accent even though it is free from regionalisms.
  • TheEbonyAphrodite 2012/09/21 22:59:17
    Apparently, I mean according to others I sound "white".
    They think African Americans are supposed to be all loud and have No proper English.
  • fortyca... TheEbon... 2012/09/22 06:44:15
    That stereotype must get pretty tiresome. I think it's on it's way out, tho. :)
  • TheEbon... fortyca... 2012/09/22 19:03:41
    It better, I hate it.
    White people make fun of me for it a little,
    Yet some Black people think it's cute :)
  • De-Dee TheEbon... 2012/09/22 18:34:11
    Same here.
  • addie 2012/09/21 22:51:43
    New York born and raised, but without that idiotic accent so often attributed to us!
    I'm a New Yorker, not a New Yawkuh. Diction can say a lot about a person.
  • jere.chievres 2012/09/21 22:44:43 (edited)
    I was raised in Central FL it took me YEARS to lose the suthrun Drawl! Living overseas helped a lot!
  • Yes
    Catnip "Guru" ◊◊◊∞◊◊◊
    New YAWK accent!!!!
  • Kate 2012/09/21 21:22:45
    I was raised all over the world but mainly in the south but have spent 20 of the past 30 years in NY. We travel frequently into Canada since we live right on the border and when showing my passport, border security always questions me about where I was born. They detect a southern accent but when I go south to visit relatives they detect a "yankee" accent. It only takes a few minutes talking to my southern relatives for me to revert to the ole southern drawl!
  • wpsark 2012/09/21 21:21:24
    I can't hear my own accent but have been told by outsiders that I have a thick southern accent...So I try to contain it when talking to a non-southerner
  • Dub wpsark 2012/09/22 04:39:37
    I love southern accent.
  • EmoMcParland 2012/09/21 21:15:24
    No California accent; Chicago yes; I was born & raised there ; )
  • Alexis<3 2012/09/21 21:04:16
    I'm a Texan lol we have that accent ya just can't hide especially when I talk loud it becomes very noticeable.

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