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Who Sounds More Texan: Greg Abbott or Wendy Davis?

Marjorie Kamys Cotera & Bob Daemmrich via Texas Tribune

The words a political candidate uses mean a lot. But how those candidates say those words can make a big difference, too. Especially in a place like Texas.

UT linguist Lars Hinrichs studies the Texas accent. He and some students wanted to see how the two leading candidates for Texas governor match up when it comes to sounding Texan.

“Well, we started from the assumption that because Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott are politicians, they would probably use language to their advantage and use language differently in different contexts – that was our assumption. And we set out to measure their speech to see if we were right,” says Hinrichs.

They looked at how Texan Abbott and Davis sound when they say three vowels: the “I” in price, the “A” in face and the “E” in pen.

So, who sounds more Texan: Wendy Davis or Greg Abbott?

Matt Largey is the Projects Editor at KUT. That means doing a little bit of everything: editing reporters, producing podcasts, reporting, training, producing live events and always being on the lookout for things that make his ears perk up. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @mattlargey.
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