World Speech Accents Online

In a previous post I discussed Forvo, an online database for teaching and learning pronunciation.  In a similar collaborative resource approach, a group at George Mason University maintains an archive of speech accents for English, spoken by both native and non-native speakers of English from around the world.

Each speaker records the same paragraph of English text, allowing comparative studies such as contrastive analysis of different language groups.  This “elicitation paragraph” has been constructed to contain most of the sounds used in common English, together with some words that use “difficult sounds and sound sequences”.

The site is collaborative in that it solicits recordings from its visitors (described as “remote researchers”) and provides a detailed set of instructions for making high quality recordings for inclusion in the archive. Samples must be 44.1 KHz., 16-bit mono recordings and each sample is vetted by the GMU archive team, cosisting of qualified linguists.  Samples also need a signoff by subjects, ensuring that all required ethical conditions have been met.  These include a minimal age of 18 and an understanding of how the recording will be used, etc.

One nice touch about this site is the Atlas page, allowing visitors to browse accents by geographic region. I couldn’t resist checking out a regional accent for Sydney, Australia.  To my ear, the provided sample sounds like a caricature of Australian English, more like a exagerrated version of Paul Hogan’s speech than a typical Sydneysider.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Advertisements

0 Responses to “World Speech Accents Online”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 9,485 hits

%d bloggers like this: