Why do people have accents?
Differences in accents reflect the cultural history of different people.
Asked by: Karen Hunte, by email
These differences in pronunciation reflect differences in the cultural history, and thus language, spoken by our peers when we learn to speak. So, for example, American regional accents reflect features of the English, French and other languages spoken by settlers in the various regions. Some national accents reflect regional accents from other countries. So, for example, the Australian accent has features of the London accent, from where many early settlers came.
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Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.
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