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August 22, 2016

Dialect Profile: Taylor Swift

I'm a pretty big fan of pop music, and as a linguist, I like to pay attention to the particular language singers use when they sing. I've noticed a couple of interesting trends over the years, but I didn't really have anywhere to post my observations. Well, I've decided to scream into the abyss and just talk about it on YouTube!

The first video is about Taylor Swift. Her dialect is pretty standard when she's speaking, but she often purposefully changes how she pronounces words between different songs. Some of this has to do with vocal range, some with genre, and some seem to have no rhyme or reason other than "this sounds cool."

In the future, I'm going to delve into some celebrities that deviate more from the standard, like Kesha. This video also focused on phonology, because that's most of what varied in Taylor Swift's speech, but future entries will devote more time to syntax and morphology. I'm trying to keep them as short as I can since most people won't want to watch a 30-minute video about celebrity dialectology, so unfortunately I won't always be able to include every observation.

If you watched this video, let me know what you think! Are there any celebrities you think deserve a linguistic analysis?