Wondering if anyone else has this I'm English, lives in England, parents sound English but I sound South African or Austrailian depending on who you ask. Weird right? Is this something to do with the autism?
I'm from particular area in the UK and people there have an accent but apparently I don't have it...
I was brought up there for 18 years but I don't have the same accent as my family or the people I grew up with. It's not African or Australian though. My sister describes it as "posh"...
Interestingly, I like participating in musical theatre as a hobby and adopting an accent is absolutely no problem for me. I sometimes wonder if this comes from masking and mimicking others all my life to try to fit in socially as I find I also subconsciously change my accent depending on who I'm with... Again I believe this is a social inclusion thing that I've learned without realising that I do it. I've listened to others to try to work out what I'm supposed to say and do and part of what I've picked up is also the accent...
My reply has disappeared! But it basically said similar. I worked on a boat with many accents and am aussie thought I too was Australian! I think it may be subconscious mimicking?
Yes, I am the same. I don't have the accent of where I am from (Probably a good thing, as it's not very nice!) and have variously been guessed at coming from the West Country, Yorkshire and a few others. I pick up accents from the people around me, if I like them. It's not just accent either - if I am talking to someone who is not English, I pick up the speech patterns/rhythm of their speech. I have been doing this since I was a child. I remember talking to a kid from abroad at school and picking up the rhythm and for about 4 days afterwards people I'd just met asking me if I was from somewhere else "because you're not English, are you". I speak fluent French and the same thing happens when I switch back to English. The rhythm of French sticks around for a bit afterwards.
I think it's mimicking the people around you to fit in. We subconsciously try to sound like the people around us. I am sure this is ASD related as I can't do any of the accents that I purportedly adopt if someone says to me "do a West Country accent". Then my ability to copy it is laughably bad. I think it's a much more subconscious thing.
I dunno. It might be ASD related. I've been diagnosed with Aspergers when I was 6 and I am 16 now. I've always been picking up new accents. I grew up in London and so everyone here as a strong Southern English accent however a lot of people say I sound Australian or that I have a British accent but the rhythm and the way I structure my sentences sound American. I find when I'm around Americans or Canadians, I seem to pick up their accent and I have to force myself to keep my British accent to avoid awkwardness - my brother would make fun of the American accent. There are certain words I do pronounce that sound American but I dunno, it may be ASD related as I seem to be switching accents all the time. I think it just depends on the individual and if you have ASD that contribute to it because I saw a documentary on autism a couple of years ago and a boy kept switching accents due to his autism - no 2 people are the same but it can be related to autism :)
I worked in a large open office where there was occasional group noises - just like being in a monkey house in the zoo. They would randomly shout lines from films or make noises at one another. it seemed to be 'necessary' as being part of the team and to be acceptaed. I noticed that if higher-ranking members started the noise, the subordinates would copy instantly.
I measured that it took 6 months before new starters would mimic the behaviours.
A nice repeatable experiment.
It's not something I took part in, but it was educational to witness..
Its funny you say this as my son is autistic too and he seems to have a bit of a south african accent, me and his mother have no idea where it came from. i never even thought of it being linked to his autism
My accent and manner of speaking changes depending on who I'm talking to. People have commented on it before because I work with a huge variety of people from all over the UK and Europe so my speech changes all the time. Its not just accent though, it's mood too. I guess just mimicking the other person. I don't do it conciously though and only notice if it's pointed out to me. This must in some way contribute to my lack of sense of self or sense of not having my own personality. I'm a muddle of people that I've met.
'Accent' depends to a large extent on different vowel formations, and also on the length of time syllables are held for.
And a lot of these sound formations are due to the shape of the mouth and the position of the tongue in the mouth. Try speaking while holding your tongue against the roof of your mouth and you will sound quite different. Try keeping your tonguke against your teeth and you will sound different again.
Someone I saw on television said that he thought the accents of the black country and the North West of England were caused by the pollution in the factories and pits of the areas, and the way the popullation held their head to have a clear windpipe. I don't think it was altogether serious but it is a thought.
We have so many influences on our accents these days - radio and television means we hear accents from all over the world. And we can 'mix' accents similar to mixing paint, so a 'mixture' of two accents can result in something different. Listening at a formative age to certain characters on television, or even people at school who have different origins can all have an affect. And to your original question, autistic people can try mimicking others, and this might result in something different to what is being mimicked. If I try to mimic a South African accent it often comes across more like a bad Australian accent. And Americans are known for mistaking a Cockney accent for an Australian accent (listen to *** van ***'s attempt at a cockney accent in Mary Poppins and you will know what I mean). Sid James was South African but many people thought he was a Londoner.
I myself find the whole thing of accents fascinating. To us British on first hearing all South African accents are the same. But on further listening a Cape Town accent is a lot 'softer' than a Johannesburg accent. And I would imagine that they are as different in reality as a Cockney Accent is to a Liverpudlian accent.
Trainspotter said:*** van ***'s attempt
OMG! Nearly spat out my salad laughing at that censorship by NAS...
What would we do if we wanted to chat about that school dessert favourite Spotted ***?
Or talk about Holland and the use of dykes to prevent flooding and create agricultural land?
Ha haha hahaha...
What?! I'm allowed a pair of dykes but not a single ***?!