Swedish scientists are currently trying to figure out if cats adopt their human’s accent. Does this mean we sound like little furry Canucks?
The phonetics specialists at Sweden’s Lund University will spend the next 38 cat years (5 human years) studying cats and their humans from two regions of the country. They will examine the voice and speaking style of humans-to-cats and cats-to-humans to see if cats adapt to different accents.
“It seems that cats and their human companions together develop some kind of unique ‘pidgin language’ in their vocal communication, and it is not impossible that some of the accent or dialect features of the human speech is included in the vocal signals of the cat as well,” Susanne Schötz, an associate professor of phonetics and researcher at the university, told Newsweek.
Other animals, like birds and sperm whales, have been found to have different ‘accents’ depending on where they live.
“We hope to find distinct melodic patterns that can be related to specific situations, as well as find that cats in different geographic locations adapt their melodies—at least to some extent—to the human language and the accents or dialects spoken around them,” Schötz says.
“If we can relate different types of melodies to different situations or different accents we hope to contribute to improving human-cat communication and also the quality of life for cats.”
It’s about time, eh?
Image credit: Tumblr/ohmeowsers, Tumblr/caterville