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Re: OT-Pronunciation

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <iris-l@rt66.com>
  • Subject: Re: OT-Pronunciation
  • From: Bill Shear <BILLS@hsc.edu>
  • Date: Fri, 6 Feb 1998 08:39:30 -0700 (MST)

Ian's comments were interesting.  According to my family, whenever I return
from a trip abroad or to another part of North America, I come back with
some sort of accent.  A few years ago in Ireland I was consistantly
mistaken for a native by local people, just from "some other part of
Ireland."  This may be extreme and a result of my compulsive tendency to
mimic others.

Recently I read of a study which focused on how people adjust the tone of
their voice to match that of the person to whom they are talking.
According to the researchers, the person who changes tone the most is the
more submissive of the pair.  Looking at politician/interviewer pairs, they
found that Bill Clinton changed tone the least, and Dan Quayle the most.

A former student of mine who lived in England for three years in the early
90's still has a very noticible accent.  Of course, English friends find it
easy to imitate the way we speak, too.  I'm always amused when they do
this--sounds like they're loosing their accent.  Reminds me of our
congressman, who has a very strong SW Virginia accent.  He was asked during
his campaign for election if he felt his accent would hurt him among
upscale voters, and replied "What accent?"

OK, OK, this is really OT!  I'll shut up about it if you will.

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374

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