March 5th, 2011

type type type, homestuck, karkat, terezi, trolls

Losing an American Accent, Picking up an English Accent

Searches: Googling for "losing an American accent" mostly just turned up guides for how to do so, rather than information about it just happening on its own through osmosis. Searching through little_details itself was more useful, especially in terms of showing how widely picking up and losing accents varies by individual, but most of those tended to deal with British Characters moving to America, or very young children, or non-native speakers. It's possible I missed something, though-- LJ search is kind of bad.

Setting: Neat-future fantasy world. Technically, all of these are fantasy countries that resemble real-world countries in certain ways, but instead of writing about "an invented country with an accent I represent as an English Accent" or "an invented region that speaks a dialect similar to Southern American English" or "a city which has certain sociopolitical and geographic similarities to London" or whatever, I'm just going to use the actual names since the differences aren't really important here.

The situation: I have a 30 year old character who was raised speaking American Southern English (let's just call it Coastal Southern), and has lived in the South for most of her life (except for a few years here and there spent abroad in Japan). Her parents are immigrants from India who speak (fluently) with Indian accents, but that never really rubbed off on her.

Now she's a postgraduate student working on an astronomy PhD at a highly prestigious university in London. The people she interacts with on a daily basis are all either highly educated university types from various locations around the UK (mostly Southern England, but probably a mix of everywhere from Scotland to Wales to Yorkshire to wherever), or other international students/faculty who were taught British English. (She also knows a number of people from Japan she speaks to in Japanese but that's not really relevant) The only Americans she talks to on any regular basis at this point are her parents when she occasionally calls home amidst a tidal wave of postgraduate work.

Given this, I have three questions:

1.) I know that the rate at which accents are dropped and picked up varies a lot, but what's the fastest she could lose her American accent without her consciously deciding to drop it. She's not making any particular effort to keep the accent, but she never sits down and thinks, "Wow, time to stop sounding so American!" specifically.

2.) Given 1.), what would she sound like after about six months in London? Would her accent have changed enough that another American would notice it?

3.) What sort of English accent would she emerge from all of this with? Would it be a London accent? Would it all just iron out into Received Pronunciation? Would it just sound generically English to Americans and be sort of unidentifiable to UK natives?

Possibly relevant factors:
1.) For her whole life, a big portion of the English-language media she's been exposed to has been British. This is actually because of various geopolitical factors in the setting, but for the sake of argument let's just say that she's a BBC-loving Anglophile, since the net effect-- she's used to hearing British accents on TV and in the movies-- is the same.
2.) She's fluent in Japanese and knows her way around Latin, so she's no stranger to thinking about language in terms of pronunciation and accents.

wow that was kind of a long question sorry ;_;

stabilizing werewolf hit by a car, modern-day

Yet again my Muse's werewolves have written me into a corner I can't begin to think how to Google my way out of, since it's not even really comparable to any situations that I imagine would arise in human medical practice:

The setting is a large city in the contemporary US. Our werewolf, in his canine form (full-on shape and basic biology of a dog, albeit a very large one, say circa 180lb), has been clipped by a car in a crosswalk. His minder calls immediately for medical assistance, and he's brought to a (sympathetic) emergency vet.

My question is, assuming that his injuries will revert at least partially once he changes back at moonset, what would be done to stabilize him medically, as a "dog", until then? I can tinker with both the severity of his condition and the length of time until moonset; the problem I'm having is that the vet wouldn't want to be doing any serious interventions like casts or surgery under these circumstances (since they realize he will heal at least part of the way during his transformation back, so anything that's still an issue afterwards is better left to treat when he's human again, and at any rate it would be awkward to have a dog-sized cast on or be in the middle of a surgery when he did change), so they're basically keeping him comfortable, oxygenated, whateverthehell..., for maybe an hour or two until then, so he has the best chance of transforming back to human under as little additional stress as possible. What is he hooked up to, how is he being medicated or sedated (he retains his human intelligence and can follow directions if he's conscious, if this affects anything), what is the vet telling his minder, can this be kept going until the family has a chance to arrive and be worried for him, etc?

Effects of REM deprivation in a sci-fi setting

Subject is a healthy male in his late thirties to early forties, but is a habitual user of a powerful barbiturate which has caused him to be unable to have dreams/experience REM sleep (Yes, this is related to "Inception"). Unfortunately, he's been deprived of the barbiturate, which is the only thing that helps him to dream on his own. I've looked up "REM deprivation" and "effects of REM sleep deprivation". Unfortunately, this brought up information on plain old sleep deprivation. Also a friend told me that not getting enough REM sleep can lead to powerful, realistic hallucinations while one is awake, but I wondered if this sort of thing would even be possible given the effects which the habitual drug us has had on the subject's mind.

Identical Cousins

Time: Now-ish
Location: UK
Legwork: Looked up 'identical cousins' (useless), 'genetic multiplicity' (not even close), family resemblance (dead end), 'genetic likeness' (relevant, but ultimately unhelpful), and even spoke with a medical school friend (just as stumped as I am). Checked tags here.

Basically, I've got a set of 'identical' cousins. No, not genetically identical, or even physically, really. But close enough that if you only know one of them, and you see the other unexpectedly, you may find yourself a bit confused at first glance.

I've heard a term for this, but I cannot remember what it was for the life of me. And not knowing what it's called is making it very difficult to properly research it.

* What is the term for this phenomenon?
* How common/likely is it to happen?
* Are there certain relations within a family where it is more likely to happen?
* Would the parents (both mothers or both fathers; not a case of identical twin females marry identical twin males) of the cousins being identical twins increase the odds of something like this