The Native Accent (Native America Calling)

“The Native American accent can be both a marker of one’s identity and a source of ridicule. But regardless of what you think about the way we speak, it is undeniably unique to our tribes and our communities,” says Native America Calling radio host Tara Gatewood before introducing two guest speakers: Nacole Walker ’11 and Kalina Newmark ’11, who talk about their ongoing research on the Native American dialect.

“We began researching the Rez accent while we were at Dartmouth,” says Walker. “It was just really something that had kind of piqued our interest while we were in a socio-linquistics class.”

The two began interviewing and recording other Native American students at the College, which, Newmark points out, “has more Native students than all the other Ivies combined.”

With the support of a grant from the National Science Foundation, the two are continuing the work they began as undergraduates.  “One of the things Nacole and I and others have talked about is where do we think this dialect comes from,” says Newmark.

Listen to the full story, broadcast 4/1/15 by Native America Calling.