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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Accents & Dialects for Stage & Screen

This guide is designed to provide an overview of resources available in the libraries relating to accents and dialects.


Identifying and analyzing the specific changes in the accent’s pronunciation of English speech sounds should be your next step after listening and observing. Pay attention to pitch, tone, rhythm, tempo, and musicality as you dive deeper into a particular accent or dialect. 

This page includes tips for finding material in the library catalog as well as some recommended books and online resources to get you started.

Search Tips

Conducting a keyword search in the library catalog is always a great place to start. Use the "Material Type" filter on the right of the "Advanced Search" screen to limit your results to "Books."

After finding a relevant book in the catalog, use the topics (listed in the subject field of the record) to find related materials. At this point, if you've identified several promising materials that have the same subjects listed, consider clicking on any of the subject headings to launch a new search for similarly classified items - this is a great way to get hints for future searching!

To get started, try searching the catalog with some of the subjects listed below:

  • English language--Dialects (or, substitute another language and perform the same search - e.g. Spanish language--Dialects)
  • English language--Phonology (or, substitute another language and perform the same search - e.g. Italian language--Phonology)
  • English language--Pronunciation by foreign speakers
  • Phonetic alphabet
  • Acting
  • Voice culture

Selected Books from the Catalog

Online Phonetics and IPA Resources

In addition to the catalog recommendations listed above, there are many free, online resources that can help you as you study phonetics. Check out the list below for some suggestions to get started!