How common is it for immigrants' kids to have an accent similar to their parents?

#1
I've heard some people say that second generation kids are highly influenced by their parents' accents. It doesn't really hold true for me. My mom is Brazilian and has a very thick accent yet I speak general American English with no hint of any South Americanisms. A lot of second generation people I've met seem to be the same way. So, is it common at all? From my perspective it isn't.
#3
Quote by Mistress_Ibanez
No it isn't common. At all.

You can trust my opinion on this as I'm a linguist

There we have it then!

Thread over?
#6
If I remember my Psychology right, children usually pick up their accent primarily from their peers. So it's probably not very common.
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#7
Quote by rgrockr
If I remember my Psychology right, children usually pick up their accent primarily from their peers. So it's probably not very common.

This.
#8
Quote by bulldozerbob
There we have it then!

Thread over?


Yep!


Nobody ever takes my word for it though


Anyway, for a bit more detail I'd ask you why you think someone might have their parents accent? You don't speak only to your parents. You pick up the accent of your surroundings. Maybe you could expect a child just starting school to be influenced by their parents but they would soon do something known as' accommodation' - simply, pick up the speech patterns they hear around them.

Simples.
#9
I always wondered how this works.


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#10
Quote by Mistress_Ibanez
Yep!


Nobody ever takes my word for it though


Anyway, for a bit more detail I'd ask you why you think someone might have their parents accent? You don't speak only to your parents. You pick up the accent of your surroundings. Maybe you could expect a child just starting school to be influenced by their parents but they would soon do something known as' accommodation' - simply, pick up the speech patterns they hear around them.

Simples.

What would happen to someone that moves a lot as a kid? Mixed speech patterns?
#11
Mistress Ibanez is right.

My parents both immigrated from India, but I have an American accent.

Sometimes I do have vocal slurs or whatever they're called. I've heard it's from learning two languages as a young child but I don't know.
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Last edited by mcjosh at Sep 25, 2010,
#12
Quote by Mistress_Ibanez
Yep!


Nobody ever takes my word for it though


Anyway, for a bit more detail I'd ask you why you think someone might have their parents accent? You don't speak only to your parents. You pick up the accent of your surroundings. Maybe you could expect a child just starting school to be influenced by their parents but they would soon do something known as' accommodation' - simply, pick up the speech patterns they hear around them.

Simples.

Wait, how come I have a northern ontario accent when I grew up in southern ontario?
#13
Quote by Masamune
What would happen to someone that moves a lot as a kid? Mixed speech patterns?


It would really depend where they identify the most with.


Accommodation has 2 kinds: positive and negative.

Positive is when you try to make your speech like those around you to fit in. Negative is when you emphasise your own different accent to show your distance to those you are speaking with.

A kid who moved from England to America and hated it would probably make an effort to hang onto their English accent more than one who wanted to fit in with her new friends.
#14
Quote by Masamune
What would happen to someone that moves a lot as a kid? Mixed speech patterns?

I don't know the answer to this but the thought that they'd be skitzophrenic (sp?) and would switch between different accents at random intervals is kind of entertaining
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#15
Quote by the_unforgiven6
I don't know the answer to this but the thought that they'd be skitzophrenic (sp?) and would switch between different accents at random intervals is kind of entertaining

How would that be schizophrenic?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia


You're probably thinking about Dissociative Personality Disorder (Multiple personalities) which is often mistaken for schizophrenia for some reason.
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Last edited by rgrockr at Sep 25, 2010,
#16
Quote by Masamune
What would happen to someone that moves a lot as a kid? Mixed speech patterns?

I've been playing through FFX lately and I just up to where I can almost get Yojimbo.

But I'm getting bored of it.


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Find a dice and assign a number to each girl. Throw the dice.


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#17
I'm from Newcastle, and most immigrants never speak English...

So I guess I'm void from this thread in some respects.


But, the ones I have heard, do sound like their parents.
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#18
My accent's East Coast American with sprinklings of Irish Cork. Yeah, my father's accent has had an influence on me.
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#19
Quote by the_unforgiven6
I don't know the answer to this but the thought that they'd be skitzophrenic (sp?) and would switch between different accents at random intervals is kind of entertaining


I don't see the entertainment in somebody with a psychological disorder
#20
It depends on how early/late they start speaking English.

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#21
Quote by Arrived+Dparted
My accent's East Coast American with sprinklings of Irish Cork. Yeah, my father's accent has had an influence on me.


I highly doubt that's parental influence, it is much more likely you are one of the billion americans who desperately wants to be Irish. It's the negative accommodation I was just talking about.
#22
Quote by Mistress_Ibanez
I highly doubt that's parental influence, it is much more likely you are one of the billion americans who desperately wants to be Irish. It's the negative accommodation I was just talking about.


See the thing is, I don't want to be Irish. I just am. I'd be fine if I my heritage was different. I think it's less that and more wanting to be like my dad. But I see your point.
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#23
Quote by Arrived+Dparted
See the thing is, I don't want to be Irish. I just am. I'd be fine if I my heritage was different. I think it's less that and more wanting to be like my dad. But I see your point.


Well, that's still accommodation

So much about our identities is conveyed in the way we talk, most people have no idea. It's really interesting.
#24
i dont really have much of an accent. i speak english as good as any other american although my parents are from somewhere else.
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#25
Quote by :Vicious--
i dont really have much of an accent. i speak english as good as any other american although my parents are from somewhere else.

Yes you do have an accent.
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#26
not all the time, but you do see it i guess, i think its more the environment you grow up in! Like my girlfriend has VERY indian parents, but she doesn't have any accent! Whereas lots of other indian people i've met have really strong accents haha
#27
The best time at learning language is during childhood; kids meet other kids in kindergartens, schools, and so on, and are affected by the most common accent, usually the local dialects.
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#28
My parents came here from India in the 80's. I have a completely american accent. So, nope.

Although, I know this one girl whose kind of antisocial, and she has a bit an accent...

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#29
If they live in an immigrant neighborhood they usually have accents. Like where I used to live, almost all the Mexican/Hispanic kids at my school had noticible accents, probably because most of them lived in neighborhoods where everyone was an immigrant. But where I live now, accents are a lot rarer, probably because most immigrants here grow up around people with American accents. At least that's my guess.
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#31
Quote by rgrockr
How would that be schizophrenic?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia


You're probably thinking about Dissociative Personality Disorder (Multiple personalities) which is often mistaken for schizophrenia for some reason.

Ya thank you for the correction
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#32
You know what I'm interested to know? My parents are both from totally different parts of the world and have different mother tongues. I have the accent of my peers, as Mistress_Ibanez suggested would happen, which is actually a weird hybrid of a few different accents, having moved from the US to Jordan and attending a British school.

But that's not my question. My question is, why can't I hear my parents' accents? I know I grew up with them and I should have grown accustomed to their accents, but it's not that I ignore them. I just don't hear them. To me it sounds like my parents speak perfect English, but my friends literally have difficulty understanding my dad, and they say my mom clearly has a present accent.
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