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English Language   >   Accent Bias

What are Accents?

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Accent Bias

In this course, Dr Dominic Watt (University of York) explores the concept of accent bias – the idea that some accents are considered 'better' or 'more correct' than others. In the first module, we think about what we mean when we talk about accents, and how they differ from dialects. In the second module, we introduce the concept of accent prescriptivism – the idea that there is a 'correct' way to pronounce certain words – before turning in the third module to look at the Accent Bias in Britain project. In the fourth and final module, we think about some of the steps that could be taken to reduce accent discrimination in Britain.

What are Accents?

In this module, we ask the question 'What are accents?', focusing in particular on: (i) the difference between accents and dialects; (ii) what speech itself is; (iii) the extent to which the fact there are different words for 'dog' in different languages is analogous to the fact there are different ways of saying the word 'dog' in different accents; and (iv) the idea of 'standard' accents.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Watt, D. (2022, April 11). Accent Bias - What are Accents? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Watt, D. "Accent Bias – What are Accents?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 11 Apr 2022,


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Dr Dominic Watt

York University