George Mason University has developed a thorough compilation of English accents online at their Speech Accent Archive.  The site asks for a participant in the study to read a standardized elicitation paragraph and upload the recording.  In addition to audio samples of each accent, the Speech Accent Archive keeps track of biographical and regional data.  Each clip has a readout of the sample paragraph next to the phonetic transcription.

In a quick browse of their speakers, I found everything from a Yiddish to a Mortlockese accent.  This relatively simple idea has provided a structure for a unique set of data.  In addition to being a fun site to casually explore, it provides a resource for speech pathologists, actors learning an accent or even engineers training speech recognition machines.  If that wasn’t enough, all the files are released under a Creative Commons License.

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