Miriam
Has your native accent changed over time?
I just watched this interesting video with an analysis of Harry Styles' accent: https://youtu.be/8RWC_MwRL_4. Three interviews are analysed. First Harry Styles has a Cheshire accent but not too strong, then he leans more towards RP and in the end he hads some American to it.

Did this happen to you, that you changed your accent, for instance because you moved somewhere else. Do you adjust your accent depending on whom you speak to?

I have a Southern German standard accent with slight influences from the Franconian dialect. I live in Swabia now but don't adjust my accent at all. I don't know why but somehow I resent the idea of including some aspects of Swabian accent into my own. I do think though, that I adjust my accent to sound more Franconian when talking to Franconians and more standard when talking to other Germans. Normally I don't observe my own German accent, but I was interviewed for TV twice. Once when I lived in the North of Germany, and when I watched the video I was like "Hey, I thought I speak Standard German but I totally sound Franconian!! Why didn't anyone tell me?!". The second time was done here in Swabia and when I watched this, I was like "Hey. I speak with a completely neutral and standard accent. I sound like someone from North Germany!! Why didn't anyone tell me?!" I'm not sure if my accent really changed because it would be somehow counterproductive to sound more Southern when living in the North an vice versa. Maybe it was only my impression of my accent compared to the surrounding accents.

Jun 24, 2020 6:53 PM
Comments · 13
I think our accents automatically change unless we try very hard to keep them the way they were to start with.
June 24, 2020
I am from western Canada, and have always maintained my native accent no matter where I went in the world.

A funny story about my mom's accent:

My mother is from the US and deliberately dropped her American accent to sound more Canadian as soon as she could. She moved to Canada as a teenager and didn't want to be "different", as the other kids would imitate her accent back to her and tease her about it. This annoyed her. So, she made a concentrated effort to change.

25 years after my mom's move to Canada, when I was about 13, one of her old American friends from school went on a long road trip with her husband and they stopped in to see us. As soon as my mom was in her presence, that old American Lakes' accent came back as if not a day had gone by. She didn't even realize she was doing it. It was almost like she had slipped into another language. I remember thinking, "Who are you, and what have you done with my mother?"

It seems as though that natural, native accent is always within us. :)
June 24, 2020
Yes but none it has been consciously, it has always been as a result of the people I mixed with at any particular period of my life. I think this happens to us all, I often say something that is a copy of what I have heard being spoken around me. For instance I might say something that is not correct and I know it is incorrect and I say it just because I have recently heard it by many speakers.
I have spoken at various stages a little bit of Australian, Irish, Scottish, Rastafarian, Jamaican and the other accents of people I have worked with it tends to happen only on certain sounds or words.
June 24, 2020
My accent has changed a lot over my lifetime. I was born in a rural town in south Alabama and learned to speak with a heavy southern drawl. Then, I moved to the Midwest USA at age 8. My classmates ridiculed me incessantly. I very consciously changed my accent over the next few years. Lastly, I did much of my higher education in the UK and Ireland, which further influenced my accent. Most people accept my accent as a neutral general American but I do get asked sometimes, "Where are you from?" or "I can't place your accent,,,"
June 24, 2020
Yes, my accent has changed over time, both consciously and unconsciously.

I grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania, an area with several quirks in pronunciation, vocabulary, and even, I think, grammar (if I'm remembering the academic paper correctly).

When I moved from western Pennsylvania to the Pacific Northwest, I very consciously changed my pronunciation of several words, mostly in response to misunderstandings or strange looks. (In one case, a friend said "Aw, it's cute how you say 'onion'.") The "accent" is usually an issue of vowel positioning. Close, fronted vowels end up pronounced more centrally (or maybe more open? or both?) where I grew up, because that's where I seem to run into trouble.

So, where I grew up, "feel" and "fill" both sound like fill, "steel" and "still" both sound like still, etc. One time, a roommate here in the Pacific Northwest asked what my high school's mascot was, and I said "We were the tigers." The more standard American pronunciation of tiger is /ˈtaɪɡɚ/ but I had learned to say it as /ˈtæɡɚ/. So I said (what I thought was) "tigers" and my roommate heard "taggers." She was pretty confused.

I went back to my hometown last fall and ended up staying longer than planned. My accent reverted back a bit, which was definitely an unconscious change on my part. I didn't even notice it until I returned to the Pacific Northwest, where I've lived almost 20 years, and someone who knew me fairly well commented: "You've got an accent now!"
June 24, 2020
Show More
Miriam
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), French, German
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin)