Berkeley's New Students Will Analyze Their Voices

July 18, 2011

The University of California at Berkeley -- which set off a controversy last year by asking freshmen to send in saliva samples for a program on DNA -- is taking a new approach this year. The university is asking students to record their voices for a project that will examine accents and "map" the speaking styles of the class, The Los Angeles Times reported. About 30 percent of income Berkeley students report that English was not their first language. "It seemed like a good opportunity for me to learn something about our population and also give the incoming class a chance to learn something about each other, just by listening to each other," Keith Johnson, a linguistics professor who is leading the experiment, told the Times.

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