• Question: Why do people speak different!!

    Asked by emmagrace to Dalya, Derek, Sarah, Tim, Tom on 21 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Sarah Thomas

      Sarah Thomas answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      There are a number of factors that contributed to all the different accents we have in our country:

      1) Firstly the different settlers that came to Britain (Anglos, Saxons etc) already spoke different dialects.

      2) Also we had influences from other languages: either people we invaded or people we invaded us e.g. the celts, the vikings, the normans and the romans.

      4) There’s the social mobility aspect e.g. stronger accents reserved for the poorer classes.

      5) the ability of humans to adopt accents! This is why people that have a strong accent and then move to another country and end up with a cool accent which is kind of a mix of the two!

    • Photo: Derek McKay-Bukowski

      Derek McKay-Bukowski answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      There are many variations of language. From different accents (say, Liverpool vs Manchester), different dialects (say, London English vs Jordi English), to different languages if the same type (say English vs German) to languages of completely different types (example English vs Welsh).

      Originally languages start related, but as people move and talk, they start using new words. Unless some effort is made to keep them all together, they slowly drift apart from one generation to the next.

      Then, as Sarah say, new people arriving bring new words with them and things get mixed up.

      Additionally, different people try to change things, alter the spelling or correct words by law.

    • Photo: Tim Millar

      Tim Millar answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Isolation from outside influence and we learn by mimicry and so that we can communicate and get our thoughts across to people

    • Photo: Dalya Soond

      Dalya Soond answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      You can also change your accent as an adult. My accent for instance is 1/2 American half British, but within one day of being back in the US, I start sounding completely American again. I can literally feel muscles in my jaws that I don’t usually use start working again. It’s pretty funny.

    • Photo: Tom Crick

      Tom Crick answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      An accent is a manner of pronunciation specific to a particular individual, location, or nation — it may identify the locality in which its speakers reside (a geographical or regional accent), the socio-economic status of its speakers, their ethnicity, their caste or social class, or their first language.

      Accents typically differ in pronunciation of vowels and consonants, whereas a “dialect” covers a broader range of grammar, meaning, vocabulary and other language characteristics.

      Why do people speak differently in the UK? Because we all have had a range of different influences: immigration, cultural, upbringing, education, etc. The difference is accents across the UK is quite incredible considering the size of the country!

      Take a look at the speech accent archive for some interesting examples of accents.