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Expert warns new 'tiktalk' accent that's taking over young people will become normal English speech

Expert warns new 'tiktalk' accent that's taking over young people will become normal English speech

The youth of today might soon all sound like TikTok influencers. Oh, the horror...

A language expert has warned that the way TikTok influencers speak could be giving rise to a new accent.

If you spend your days scrolling through TikTok, then you might have noticed that a lot of the popular content creators on the platform have a homogenous quality to their voice.

Linguistics professor Christopher Strelluf of Warwick University has suggested that women who are influencers on TikTok as well as famous figures such as Kim Kardashian, Ariana Grande and Katy Perry are driving this new accent.

The way TikTok influencers talk is developing a new accent known as 'TikTalk'.
Getty Stock Photo

Professor Strelluf said that the 'TikTok accent', also known as 'TikTalk', could be 'the future of the English language'.

He told National World that the hallmarks of 'TikTalk' are 'uptalk' and 'vocal fry', and that while pretty much everyone does these things at times when they speak it's young women in particular who are using it in an 'innovative way'.

Whatever one's opinion on TikTok it's a simple fact of life that accents grow, develop and change over time just as we do.

People do not always speak in the same accent as they once did, professor Paul Kerswill of the University of York previously told LADbible about the growth of Multicultural London English which he said had overtaken Cockney as the dominant accent among working class people in London.

Language has the incredible capability to transform itself, and as far as 'TikTalk' is concerned professor Strelluf reckons it's 'making the language better' as it gives people new ways to converse and share information.

He said: "This 'TikTalk' is a feature that's been spreading as an innovative thing young people do - and seeing it online might encourage the continued spread of these features.

"In almost all studies of language change, the innovators of language seem to be young women - spread through use by young women.

Professor Christopher Strelluf said the growth of the English language was being driven by women on TikTok, and 'TikTalk' could be 'the future of the English language'.
Getty Stock Image

"In general, the way young women use language is the future of the way language evolves. So any changes we hear by young women are probably the future of English."

Journalist and 'languages nerd' Sophia Smith Galer provided a good demonstration of what exactly these two features sound like, and naturally she did it on TikTok.

She demonstrated how 'uptalk' and 'vocal fry' were used by TikTokers to keep their audience engaged and avoid sounding condescending.

There is a reason these features of 'TikTalk' have become popular among influencers on the platform as they seem to work.

In a piece for BBC Future she also noted that during training for radio broadcasting she'd been given the tip to 'never sound like you're finishing a sentence', which is where 'uptalk' comes in.

However, she also noted the backlash to the features of 'TikTalk', as on her video she'd had comments from people saying they did not like the hallmarks of the developing accent.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@thesamanthajd/@jigglyjulia

Topics: TikTok, Viral