Thursday, January 29, 2009

Warshin' Yer Harse

Explore your linguistic background, practice your Detroit accent, or simply feel superior to others in your region because of your remarkable pronunciation abilities. Whatever your motivation, the Speech Accent Archive, created by the good folks at George Mason University, is hours--no, really it is--of academic fun.

"Each individual sample page contains a sound control bar, a set of the answers to 7 demographic questions, a phonetic transcription of the sample, a set of the speaker's phonological generalizations, a link to a map showing the speaker's place of birth, and a link to the Ethnologue language database."

What that means is that you can hear speakers from all over the globe reading the same paragraph in English about Stella's rather unusual trip to the grocery store (blue cheese, snow peas, a plastic snake, a toy frog--oh my!).

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