Thursday, 5 December 2019

Jo Swinson's strange accent

The wife watched The One Show on BBC1, which was followed by the Andrew Neil/Jo Swinson interview, so despite myself, I watched the first few minutes.

He asked the obvious question, "Would you agree to a second Indyref if the SNP demanded that in return for supporting a second referendum on Brexit?", which she resolutely refused to answer.

So far, so boring.

What was weird is that Ms Swindon has a Scottish accent most of the time, but she pronounced some words in proper Queen's English, in particular the word "vote".

Did anybody else notice this?
UPDATE: prompted by Staffordshire Man's comment, I subjected myself to the first ten minutes again on BBC i-Player, and he's right. She pronounces words with long vowels (like 'campaign', 'time' or 'voting') not in Queen's English but in the Bristol/south west fashion, with the long vowels slightly too long. Short vowels are straight Scottish, using Andrew Neil as a comparison.


Staffordshire man said...

Yes I did notice her strange accent. At times it sounded as if she came from Bristol

Mark Wadsworth said...

SM, yes she did, didn't she?

Bayard said...

I'm usually interested in this sort of thing, but I can't bring myself to listen to Jo Swinson.

James James said...

Bayard said...

What we recognise as a "Scottish" accent is actually the accent from only a part of Scotland, other parts sounding much more RP, so I suspect the Bristol influence is simply characteristic of wherever Jo Swinson hails from.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, yes, there are different Scottish accents, the same way as a stereotypical Northern accent shades between Liverpudlian, Geordie and Hull-ian (if that's a word). Using these three as fixed points, you can interpolate where somebody is from. People from Warrington or Wigan sound generic northern, shading into Liverpudlian.

But most accents are internally consistent, after a minute or two, you can predict how the speaker will pronounce certain words, even if he has not used them yet. All the sounds fit together nicely.

But Swindon's accent is all over the place, she jumps back and forth.

For example, she mainly uses the proper Scottish rolled "R", with tongue at back of mouth, but when she is doing long vowels with tongue at front of mouth (Bristol fashion), the "R" comes out wrong. Try saying "Roll" with a Scottish "R-" and a Bristol "-oll". It's difficult and sounds like shit.

Bayard said...

Perhaps her mum was from Scotland and her dad from Bristol.
A friend of my youth married an American and went to live in the US. When I met her many years later back in England, I noticed that when she was speaking about her life in the US, she sounded American, but when she was speaking about the old days in England, she sounded as she used to.