ven at vvcrane.fsnet.co.uk
Wed Aug 22 21:53:56 EDT 2001
> Funny, I'd never thought about it until you wrote this, and then had to go
> check. Sophie never says anything that I could find about Howl's having
> an accent. When they go to Wales he talks in a foreign language, which
> she recognises as probably being the same as The Saucepan Song, but
> nothing else. I'm far from being an expert (Ania will be here tonight and
> can correct me), but everyone I've heard from Wales had a really noticable
> accent - rather like a Cork or Kerry accent here. You'd never fail to
> notice one of them.
I have to disagree a bit Hallie. I know one guy from Wales who
speaks in a rather posh standard english accent, which I suspect
is as common among the middle classes there as it is everywhere
else in the UK (which is definitely not to suggest that it's universal).
I would venture to suggest that when you have encountered Welsh
people without a conspicuous Welsh accent you just didn't realise
they were Welsh (when I first knew my friend I assumed his
parents were incomers to Wales but his mother, at least, is
Welsh.). I suspect Howl isn't quite as posh as my friend but iirc he
did go to university. I also think that he is proficient at code
switching (sociolinguistics speak for changing speech patterns to
suit the company). I take the "Megan bach" that Jennifer refers to
as indicating that his accent has become more Welsh. (it's
demonstrable that the less formal the speech, the further it drifts
from the standard and informal speech is usual amongst family).
magic, if present, can do almost anything
Diana Wynne Jones
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