Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award

Spring 2020

Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project

Department

Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

David Janoviak

Honors Program Director

Dr. Gavin Keulks

Abstract

This project will explore the creation of a fictitious accent, similar in process and results to Constructed Languages or Conlangs, as they have been termed and the documentation of the process by using methods typically employed by linguists like Nick Farmer and David J. Peterson in creating their Conlangs, such as Belter from the dystopian science fiction show The Expanse and Dothraki from the high fantasy series Game of Thrones. Belter serves as an excellent example of my end goal: while it is its own conlang, it has three different levels with each becoming increasingly affected, with the lightest affectation coming across as an accent that, on television, does not necessitate subtitles for its audience. Nick Farmer built the language by pulling from several languages and their structures and phonologies instead of starting from scratch and creating his own. Following this idea, I will create a sound system that will borrow from existing languages and are able to be “plugged in” and substituted for sounds in the “Standard American Dialect.” From that, I will create a step by step workbook in the style of David Allen Stern’s Acting with an Accent Series to guide other people with a working knowledge in the International Phonetic Alphabet in successfully being able to adopt the accent. My purpose with this project is twofold. The first to produce a fully functioning accent that can be replicated and distinguishable from other real-world accents. The second is to demonstrate how multiple distant cultures can come together into one 4 product. Similar to the Belter Conlang created by Nick Farmer for a fictitious demographic to show their diverse and far flung roots, my accent will act as a possible destination as people and accents become more interconnected and explore the intentional and unintentional effects of blending dialects.

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