Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

David Beckham 'posher' living in US

David and Victoria Beckham's accents have changed while living in America, researchers claim

Footballer David Beckham has become posher since his family move to America, a study claims.

Linguistics students at the University of Manchester came to the conclusion after studying videos of his interviews on YouTube since 2007.

They discovered the former Manchester United and England midfielder was less prone to dropping his Hs or using Cockney sounding vowel sounds.

In a separate video study, they found his fashion designer wife Victoria was posher than her "Posh" days in the Spice Girls as she was now more likely to pronounce the L at the end of words such as "all".

The final year students are studying how changing circumstances affect the way we pronounce words, under the guidance of linguistics lecturer Dr Laurel MacKenzie.

From the videos studied of Beckham - currently playing for French team Paris St Germain - he dropped his Hs 80% of the time before his move to play football for LA Galaxy.

After the relocation the figure slumped to 20%, according to the research. Victoria Beckham pronounced Ls only 25% of the time aged 23 in 1997 - a figure which nearly doubled to 46% at the age of 38 in 2012.

Student Naomi Proszynska said: "Our analysis shows that Posh's speech is definitely getting posher because of changes to her L vocalisation.

"In 1997, her speech resembled what we associate with the classic 'Essex girl'. But by 2012, her speech no longer so strongly represented her Essex roots. We think this may be connected with the fact that she's forged a different career as a widely respected fashion designer."

Fellow student Charles Boorman said: "It's clear that Becks, once a broader Cockney, nowadays speaks with more of a standard English accent. In fact, he's even hypercorrecting himself because he puts 'Hs' into words when it's not really required.

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