Leigh Wilson Smiley
The Visual Accent Dialect Archive (VADA) was created as a central resource for performers seeking authentic dialects and accents of the English language in which they could see the speakers as well as hear them. The gestural characteristics of the speakers from different regions, while unique to the speaker, are also unique to the culture of the region and help the researcher to acquire the sounds intrinsic to that dialect or accent by the formation of the lips and use of the vocal and articulatory musculature. As a crowd-sourced website, or “wiki”, the Visual Accent Dialect Archive has the potential to attract dialect and accent donations from all over the world. Donors may speak a story, or a list of words, or a paragraph. Once the VADA website is populated, researchers can click on a specific region, country, or state and locate the specific dialect or accent. In addition to being a central resource for performers, the website provides excellent cultural information for anthropologists and linguists.