That's a funny accent you have there...
September 17, 2010 12:29 PM Subscribe
Is there a term in linguistics for the residual accent a non-native speaker has when speaking English?
posted by Biru to Writing & Language (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I learned Arabic in a small classroom environment with other English speakers from across the country. Some had strong regional accents (in English) which then also transferred over to them speaking in Arabic (Arabic with a Geordie/Liverpudlian accent!) which made me cringe to hear it. However, I got thinking about it and thought "I can nearly always identify a non native E flush speaker just by the sound of their accent." People from India/Pakistan being the obvious examples. Then I got to thinking... you could have a Russian, a German, a Pakistani and a Korean all learn English from the exact same source materials and yet they'd all still have an identifiable sound. This sound is also common amongst others of their respective nationalities (Germans sound like Germans and so on). So, finally getting to my question, is there a reason/name for this phenomenon? Where can I read more about it?