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Why Do We Have So Many Accents?

What makes us sound so different from each other – even when we’re speaking the same language? Listener Amanda’s question takes us all over the world… and inside our mouths.

Why do we have so many accents - even when we’re speaking the same language? What's happening in our brains and mouths to make us sound so different from each other? This week’s question from listener Amanda takes CrowdScience to Glasgow in Scotland: home to one of the most studied - and distinctive - accents of English.

Along the way we visit a voice coach to try and learn a Texan accent, use ultrasound to see what different sounds look like inside our mouths and find out how a brand new dialect was formed when many accents collided in New Zealand.

Do you have a question we can turn into a programme? Email us at crowdscience@bbc.co.uk

Presenter: Nastaran Tavakoli-Far
Producer: Cathy Edwards

New Zealand Mobile Unit recordings courtesy of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

(Image: A mouth screaming white letters. Credit: Thinkstock)

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27 minutes

Last on

Mon 3 Apr 2017 13:32GMT

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Send us your question

Send us your question

Do you have a question we can turn into a programme? Email us at crowdscience@bbc.co.uk

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