USA SEF logo

Over the weekend of April 25-27, the LSA presented a booth, “Do You Have An Accent?” at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. Over 325,000 people from all over the country attended the festival, which included presentations from Bill Nye, Mike Rowe, They Might Be Giants and many others.Participants in the vowel shifts exercise

 Visitors to the LSA booth were treated to a series of demonstrations created by members of the LSA Public Relations and Language in the School Curriculum Committee. The booth included a “How well do you hear accents?” activity where listeners were invited to identify tokens representative of the Northern Cities and Southern vowel shifts, and “See your accent” where participants could measure their own vowels—and occasionally our student volunteers could play Henry Higgins.

 The event was a rousing success and helped get the message out about importance and fun of the scientific study of language to the many attendees at USA-SEF. 

 Many thanks for a great event to the LSA committee organizers, Walt Wolfram, Dennis Preston, Jeffrey Reaser, and Dave Pippin; the LSA secretariat organizers, Jessi Grieser and Sara McVeigh, and our super student volunteers, Lauren Friedman, Claire Gellner, John Mathena, Lauren Negrete, Stacy Petersen, Mackenzie Price, Jay Ritch and Rachel Thorson Hernandez.