Paulatic wrote:I’m a great defender of local accents and love how you can pinpoint where folk are from. Aged 13 I was very impressed by a shopkeeper in the Highlands who pinpointed me immediately to Barnard Castle after I spoke. I’ve been honing those skills ever since. Locally there is a mile between Beattock and Moffat yet listen closely and I can tell you who was raised in Beattock. I think it was due to schooling and a long standing teacher. It might not be as easy with the current generation.
When I went to school teachers were very keen for you to loose your accent and speak propa.
However there is one aspect and as hard as I think about it I’m never fully able to say why. Why do some local accents sound alien to you and immediately make warming to them a little harder. For me most American, some London, and South East accents immediately make it harder to warm to them.
It seems we are conditioned to like where we grew up.
Yes, it's interesting but quite hard to pin down.
Though we are of course very tribal, deep down.
There is research on accents and their favouredness/ acceptability. (which I can't be bothered to go and find, sorry)
There is yet another dimension though, and that is the the relative positions in society -social status.
Received Pronunciation is, in research, often found to be quite well "favoured" right across various accent and social groups throughout the UK.
It has been suggested that this is because it is (certainly historically but still broadly the case ) the language of power.
The language of the ruling class.
Anyone speaking it can "curry favour" in a subliminal way!
You are more likely to buy that secondhand car/bike/ appliance from an RP speaker than from a broad Brummie!! ((Brummie being one of the least favoured accents in the UK.))
It gives a sense of trust!!
This affect goes further than old bangers though.
And a great many people cultivate such an "improved" pronunciation for just those reasons.
Gandalf said to those listening to Saruman, "beware of his voice".
Tolkien was a linguist.