Language & Politics in the New South

2021 ~ Present | DILAC, Dr. Jon Forrest, Assistant Professor of Linguistics (UGA)




With an approval from the Georgia Tech IRB, we are in the process of building and transcribing a corpus of recorded audio interviews with Georgia Tech students. (So far, we have recorded and transcribed 25 interviews, but we aim for over 100 to get enough data for each of the different demographic and political affiliations that interest us.)  We use phonetic software to measure the position of the tongue in the mouth when producing vowels to quantify the idea of a “southern accent” to explore the hypothesis that more-conservative young Georgians may use more-“southern” accents. We are also conducting perception studies, gathering data on how “southern” people sound, to explore whether the perceived “southernness” of their accent correlates with phonetic measurements and/or with perceptions of their race/ethnicity and/or how “conservative” or “liberal” they sound.  Broadly, this project explores the role of (political) ideology in accents and language change.  Students build skills in interviewing, data management, qualitative and quantitative analysis, web surveys/experiments, phonetic measurements, statistics, and the presentation of academic results to varied audiences.

Some of our participants consented to share a short clip of themselves reading a story as public data.  (For all our participants, the part where they talk in more detail about their lives is private because it is more personal). If you want to hear what young Georgia Tech students sound like today (do they have "southern accents"?), you are welcome to listen to these clips!

Issues Involved or Addressed

 Language, politics, society, linguistics, psychology, demographics, speech

Methods and Technologies

  • Praat (phonetics software)
  • Qualtrics
  • Mechanical Turk
  • Python
  • R

Academic Majors of Interest

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • General Management
  • Global Development
  • IT Management
  • Leadership and Organizational Change
  • Marketing
  • Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • Strategy and Innovation
  • Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization
  • Analytics
  • Computational Media
  • Computational Science and Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Human-Centered Computing
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • OMSCS asynchronous
  • OMSCS asynchronous, case-by-case
  • OMSCS synchronous
  • OMSCS synchronous, case-by-case
  • Architectural Technology
  • Architecture
  • Building Construction
  • Building Construction and Facility Management
  • City and Regional Planning
  • Geographic Information Science and Technology
  • Industrial Design
  • Music Technology
  • Urban Design
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Applied Systems Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Health Systems
  • Industrial Engineering
  • International Logistics
  • Machine Learning
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Physics
  • Robotics
  • Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies
  • Chinese
  • Digital Media
  • Economics
  • Economics and International Affairs
  • French
  • German
  • Global Economics and Modern Languages
  • Global Media and Cultures
  • History, Technology, and Society
  • International Affairs
  • International Affairs and Modern Languages
  • International Affairs, Science, and Technology
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Literature, Media, and Communication
  • Public Policy
  • Spanish
  • Education
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Music
  • Pre-Law
  • Applied Physics
  • Applied Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Neuroscience
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Statistics

Preferred Interests and Preparation

Language / Society / Politics

Experience with or willingness to learn qualitative and quantitative data analysis skills.

Completion of LING 2100 (Intro to Linguistics) not a strict requirement.


Meeting Schedule & Location

Meeting Location 
Klaus 1440
Meeting Day 

Team Advisors

Dr. Lelia Glass

Partner(s) and Sponsor(s)

DILAC, Dr. Jon Forrest, Assistant Professor of Linguistics (UGA)

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