But, the key to the quandary probably lies somewhere around my wholly appropriate use of the word "few" immediately prior to "existing chunks of knowledge".
And one such example cropped up the other day as I was reading a book, an American one no less. I read a lot, something you might be aware of, and I reckon I'm quite good at it, though I do struggle with the more meaningful stuff.
As I munched my way through this book I dwelled more and more on the thought I'd had. I contemplated the books I read, many of which are Sri Lankan, many British and many American. Yes, I thought, I was right, I wasn't imagining it.
Every character in every book I've ever read, and I include comics here too, from Tin Tin to Asterix to Bertie Wooster to even Pradeep Mathews, is the proud owner of a middle class and British accent. The only exceptions I can think of are rare ones like the Godfather, where of course Don Corleone sounds like Marlon Brando trying to do an Italian accent with wads of tissue stuck in his cheeks.
I have a vague feeling that I sometimes give villains a foreign accent, totally understandable I think. But, for the main, my literary world consists of British people, well, more specifically English, even Londoners.
I wonder if this is the same for everyone. When you read a book and imagine the voices of the characters do they assume your native accent? Do you change the accent in your head according to the character or are these people without dialect?
Have you ever even thought about this?