I cannot place Kes' accent. What is it? Is it based on any non-fiction accent? Is it the accent of Jennifer Lien from her daily life? Or was it a choice to make this the accent of the character?

  • To me, it sounds like a carefully modulated northeastern American accent (that is, not New England, Bronx, Brooklyn, etc.)
    – nebogipfel
    May 22, 2022 at 4:57
  • The actress grew up in Chicago, but I think that's hard to tell from her accent May 22, 2022 at 9:13
  • 3
    I've listened to her in a few things and her accent in the show seems quite similar to her real life voice;
    – Valorum
    May 22, 2022 at 10:05

2 Answers 2


Jennifer Lien played the character of Valerie Fox in The Critic. Her accent seems very similar to the one seen in Star Trek: Voyager (albeit slightly more...sultry).

Lien is apparently a native of Chicago, Illinois and her accent reflects this.

  • Like you mean it's this accent talked about in this video? youtu.be/IsE_8j5RL3k?t=423 with the northern cities vowel shift and all that?
    – user152192
    May 22, 2022 at 14:06
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    @user133469 Her accent does not sound at all like the Northern Cities Vowel Shift. She in fact seems to be going the opposite directly. Perhaps this is common in Chicago, as a counterreaction to the NCVS. But I could also be that she worked to try and change her native accent to not sound like she's from Chicago. Changing accents to avoid typecasting is fairly common in actors and entertainers. Consider all the Northern Englanders and Scottish people who learn to speak with a London accent.
    – trlkly
    May 23, 2022 at 0:34
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    @trikly “Consider all the Northern Englanders and Scottish people who learn to speak with a London accent” — ugh, must we? We already let the provincials into our theatres, pray at least let our daily contemplations remain unsullied. May 26, 2022 at 22:26
  • This might be the greatest answer to ever appear on this site.
    – SDH
    May 27, 2022 at 5:26
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    Was there a particular timestamp in the video that highlights the accent? The video is over 22 minutes long.
    – Burhan Ali
    Jun 2, 2022 at 8:43

Jennifer Lien has used a similar accent in at least one other show (The Critic). Lien is a native of Chicago, Illinois.

However, it is hard to tell from her Voyager accent that she is from Chicago. Her Voyager accent does not display the Northern Cities Vowel Shift and she may be attempting to sound like she is not from Chicago.

Lien played Hannah Moore in Another World in 1991. There, the accent she used incorporated aspects of a typical Chicago accent (see especially around the 9:45 mark of this episode: "I got outta there", the vowel in got is shifted towards an a like in cat).

I have been unable to find any source that states what non-fiction accent she has/uses in Voyager (and in The Critic).

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