English Accents: Why Does English Sound the Way It Does?  with Dr. Asya Pereltsvaig

English Accents: Why Does English Sound the Way It Does? with Dr. Asya Pereltsvaig


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

English, like all other languages, changes over time and varies according to place and social setting. The way a person sounds—such as with the “southern drawl” or dropping their “r”s—immediately conjures up a sense of the place where they come from. But the way we speak is influenced by many factors: not only our geographical roots, but our social and educational background, our working environment, our friends, our own sense of identity, and even our political views all affect how we sound. 

In this seminar, we will examine English dialects and accents around the world, and how they changed over time. We will wonder what Shakespeare really sounded like, and how we can know that. We will observe how English speakers can manipulate the way they speak to emphasize their identity. We will contemplate how Bostonians and New Yorkers, posh and working-class Londoners, Scots and Irishmen, Canadians and Australians speak. 

Led by an expert on linguistics and history Asya Pereltsvaig, Ph.D., this Conversation will open your eyes - and your ears! - to the great diversity of Englishes around the world. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a better appreciation of the variety of English accents, the people who speak them, and how we react to the dialectal speech. 

This seminar has been designed to be enjoyed as part of a series. We invite you to explore:

Asya Pereltsvaig received a PhD in Linguistics from McGill University and has taught at Yale, Cornell and Stanford, as well as in several U.S. and European universities. Her expertise is in language and history, and the relationship between them. Her most recent books, Languages of the World: An Introduction, 3rd edition (2020) and The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics (2015) were published by Cambridge University Press.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
83%
(5)
17%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K.E. (Ehningen, DE)
The Enigma of Accents

Dr. Pereltsvaig presented a well-organized and fascinating overview of the origins, developments, and transformations of various versions of spoken English.

D
D.B. (Cody, US)
English Accents

I unfortunately missed most of the talk, so I await the video with bated breath! What I did hear was very interesting and enlightening.

S
S. (Minneapolis, US)
Excellent Program

Although this seminar primarily covered the differences between British and American English, there are many more "flavors" of English around the world and the subject is a much larger topic than I anticipated. Dr. Pereltsvaig is very knowledgeable about her subject and gave a detailed and thought provoking presentation. In addition she had much more to add during the Q&A section.

K
K. (Potomac, US)
Really interesting lecture!

I found this lecture to be fascinating! Hearing about the development of English language over time and how migration patterns affects English speakers all over the world was very enlightening. I would recommend this presentation to anyone who is interested in languages and in particular the development of the English language in the English-speaking world.

D
D.B. (Casper, US)
English Accents

Very thorough and extacting information. Mostly new to me, so I will have to review it to actually learn the depth of it. However, a lot I have a subconsciously and intuitively been aware of.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
83%
(5)
17%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K.E. (Ehningen, DE)
The Enigma of Accents

Dr. Pereltsvaig presented a well-organized and fascinating overview of the origins, developments, and transformations of various versions of spoken English.

D
D.B. (Cody, US)
English Accents

I unfortunately missed most of the talk, so I await the video with bated breath! What I did hear was very interesting and enlightening.

S
S. (Minneapolis, US)
Excellent Program

Although this seminar primarily covered the differences between British and American English, there are many more "flavors" of English around the world and the subject is a much larger topic than I anticipated. Dr. Pereltsvaig is very knowledgeable about her subject and gave a detailed and thought provoking presentation. In addition she had much more to add during the Q&A section.

K
K. (Potomac, US)
Really interesting lecture!

I found this lecture to be fascinating! Hearing about the development of English language over time and how migration patterns affects English speakers all over the world was very enlightening. I would recommend this presentation to anyone who is interested in languages and in particular the development of the English language in the English-speaking world.

D
D.B. (Casper, US)
English Accents

Very thorough and extacting information. Mostly new to me, so I will have to review it to actually learn the depth of it. However, a lot I have a subconsciously and intuitively been aware of.