Taylor Swift's accent has changed in so many ways, according to academics

Taylor Swift's accent has changed in so many ways, according to academics
Taylor Swift had the 'most wonderful time' performing in Sydney
Cover Media / VideoElephant

How Taylor Swift's accent has changed over her two-decade-long career has been studied by academics.

Researchers at The University of Chester have looked at how her performances of different genres, most famously from country to pop, affected her drawl.

During her country era at the start of her career fans noted how the 34-year-old had a Southern or Tennessee accent but in her latest music, Swift has had a more northern USA tone, according to the paper.

Dr Helen West, Senior Lecturer in English language/linguistics, and English graduate, Esther Humphries investigated this stylistic vocal change in Swift's artistry.

"Taylor's accent changes between her country and pop music styles has generated quite a lot of public attention, but, until our research, it had not been analysed in any depth," said Dr West.

"The results reveal significant stylisation dependent on the musical genre Swift performs, with Southern American English accent forms more prevalent in her earlier country-style music.

"Her popular-style performances demonstrate a transition to Northern American accent forms.

Though Dr West noted this accent change is "more subtle" than most of us may think.

"However, while there is clear evidence of accent shift between the two genres for all the accent sounds investigated, our results reveal that the shift between the genres is more subtle than we had hypothesised, with Swift using less perceptible Southern accent forms in her country area, rather than some of the features that index (are very recognisable in) a Southern American accent."

The paper was one of the 130 (out of 400 submissions) presented at the Swiftposium academic conference at the University of Melbourne.

Meanwhile, Miss Humphries noted: "These results suggest that Swift is not performing the accent simply for her music but indicate a form of bilingualism, with some linguistic awareness.

"The changes could be attributed to a range of factors including her immersion into the Nashville/South American English speech community, having moved to Nashville at the age of 14, and they could also carry some social meaning about 'countryness', youth culture and lack of pretension."

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