This study investigated changes in vowel production and perception among university students from the north of England, as individuals adapt their accent from regional to educated norms. Subjects were tested in their production and perception at regular intervals over a period of 2years: before beginning university, 3months later, and at the end of their first and second years at university. At each testing session, subjects were recorded reading a set of experimental words and a short passage. Subjects also completed two perceptual tasks; they chose best exemplar locations for vowels embedded in either northern or southern English accented carrier sentences and identified words in noise spoken with either a northern or southern English accent. The results demonstrated that subjects at a late stage in their language development, early adulthood, changed their spoken accent after attending university. There were no reliable changes in perception over time, but there was evidence for a between-subjects link between production and perception; subjects chose similar vowels to the ones they produced, and subjects who had a more southern English accent were better at identifying southern English speech in noise.

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