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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 06:35 GMT 07:35 UK
Cows moo in West Country accent
Farmers believe a close bond with their cows leads to a local moo
A claim by Somerset dairy farmers their cows moo with a West Country accent is being backed by experts who confirm different herds make different sounds.

Dr Jeanine Treffers-Daller, reader in linguistics at the University of the West of England in Bristol, said the accent may be learned from relatives.

The phenomenon was noticed by the West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers group.

The group also noticed accent changes in herds in the Midlands, Essex, Norfolk and Lancashire.

"When we are learning to speak, we adopt a local variety of language spoken by our parents, so the same could be said about the variation in the West Country cow moo," said Dr Treffers-Daller.

Farmer Lloyd Green of Glastonbury, one of the West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers, said: "I spend a lot of time with my ones and they definitely moo with a Somerset drawl.

"I've spoken to the other farmers in the West Country group and they have noticed a similar development in their own herds.

"I think it works the same as with dogs - the closer a farmer's bond is with his animals, the easier it is for them to pick up his accent."

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