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Questions tagged [accent]

Pronunciation characteristics of a certain individual, location, or nation. Generally does NOT include learning to speak with various accents or identifying accents.

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Where do accents and dialects come from?

Why do people in different areas speak differently? Where do accents come from, how do they change and/or survive over time and why do we have them? Reading recommendations on this topic would be ...
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4answers
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What are the important differences between Canadian and American (USA) English?

English is not my first language; the little English I know is mostly from the USA. I know some of the differences between British English (or just English?) and American English, and the same with ...
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6answers
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How did the Australian accent come about?

Can anybody tell me how the Australian accent came about? It seems strange to me that it is not more like an English accent taking into account that the first and the majority of settlers were ...
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7answers
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Is there software that can determine whether I speak with a neutral accent?

I have a query regarding enhancing my accent. I am searching for software in which I speak a paragraph and it compares my speech to find out whether it is accent-free or not.
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4answers
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How to explain accent variations to students

I am an ESL teacher working in China. During lessons, I am occasional interrupted by students or parents who point out that my pronunciation of some words is incorrect. They then produce a dictionary ...
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4answers
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Should “ate” and “eight” be pronounced exactly alike?

Is pronouncing "ate" and "eight" differently wrong? When I say "ate" it sounds like "ate" itself and when I say "eight" it sounds like "ey-ht" is that a wrong pronunciation? I understand ...
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5answers
41k views

Did regular Americans speak the way actors in the 30s and 1940s did?

I watch a lot of old movies, and I've noticed that American actors of the 1930s and 1940s often spoke in a quasi-generic-posh-British accent. Katherine Hepburn's accent would be the perfect example. ...
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5answers
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Is there a 1950's American accent?

Listening to old recordings, there is a distinct accent that radio and television announcers used that is different from a modern-day "Standard American" or neutral accent. It seems that over the ...
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2answers
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What are the 'distances' among the major English dialects?

Yes, I admit, as an AmE speaker, that all non-North American accents sound the same: BrE, Irish, Scottish, Australian and South African. Or rather, I can tell they are different if placed side by side ...
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2answers
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What accents pronounce “quarter” as “korter”? Which other words can drop /w/ before /ɔr/ like this?

Many people drop the "w" from words like "dwarf," changing the pronunciation from /dwɔrf/ to /dɔrf/. This has led to the re-spelling "dorf" being used in some informal contexts, e.g. "Dorf Fort." My ...
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6answers
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Has the Tangier island accent truly remained unchanged since the Elizabethan period?

I'm not sure how well known Tangier Island is outside the Chesapeake region. To make a long story short, Tangier Island is an isolated fishing community in the Chesapeake bay. It has been mostly ...
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8answers
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Identifying British accents

Are there rules of thumb for pinpointing British accents regionally? What other accents do Americans tend to mistake for British? Are there good online resources that can help with this? Audio samples ...
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4answers
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In what contexts is it important to maintain your accent or dialect?

I'm an American who lives in Germany and hear many kinds of English spoken by many nationalities. Just as "one can either write organization or organisation but the main point is to be consistent" I ...
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3answers
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Accents of characters in Downton Abbey

To continue the question started in identifying accents of British actors, there is one popular current cultural artifact with an excess of non-standard British accents, and that is The BBC series ...
11
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2answers
526 views

Did the non-standard pronunciation of “gold” as “goold” come from an Old English sound change?

John Walker in his Critical Pronunciation Dictionary (1791) transcribes the pronunciation of the word “gold” as go¹ld, or go²o²ld which in modern transcription equates to /goʊld/ or /guːld/. He ...
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3answers
469 views

“penny LANE” vs “PENNY street” [duplicate]

Why do English speakers say "penny LANE" (emphasis on LANE) but would say "PENNY street" (emphasis on PENNY)?
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6answers
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Is there an American English dialect that sounds as “distingushed” as British English?

Obviously there are a lot of subjective words in the question. There are dialects of British English that don't sound distinguished at all (Cockney). Also, what sounds distinguished is somewhat (...
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1answer
828 views

Australian regional shibboleths

I have been living in Australia for 7 years now, and still haven't been able to pin down the local regional accents. I can tell a "Town" from a "Country" accent, but I can't reliably tell which state ...
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3answers
3k views

How do American dialects differ?

I grew up in a very homogenous suburb, and was quite shocked when I moved to Philadelphia for college and started hearing how many different dialects exist even within one city. My untrained ear could ...
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4answers
3k views

Which native English speakers are linguistically the most “germanic”?

English is a Germanic language. Another significant Germanic language is of course German. Which native English speakers are the closest to German basing on the following criteria? accent-wise (...
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3answers
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Pronunciation of “lib”

I've been a computer programmer for many years, and recently my father has been learning computer programming. Programmers often times will use a folder called "lib." Not a native English speaker, ...
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3answers
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Recognizing a Welsh accent

For an American, I'm pretty good at UK dialects. I can immediately tell an Irish or Scottish accent from a typical (educated, Londoner) English accent. But I'm on shaky ground with Welsh accents, ...
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2answers
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Sam Weller in The Pickwick Papers: What accent is Dickens portraying?

In Dickens' Pickwick Papers, there's a character "Sam Weller". Weller's dialogue is written somewhat phonetically, I presume, but I'm struggling to understand what accent Dickens is trying to portray. ...
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2answers
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Dropped g's in upper-class 1930s Britain

‘Now take huntin'…’ ‘Oh, bull-fightin' — that's quite a different kettle of fish.…’ Italics bred italics. Dropped g's fell as thick as confetti. (Jan Struther, Mrs Miniver, 1939; 4th chapter, “The ...
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2answers
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When does realisation of velar nasal /ŋ/ as alveolar nasal [n] happen along with tensing of the preceding vowel (/ɪ/ to [i])?

I have observed some English speakers in North America who seem to produce this assimilation in words like "running" /ˈrʌnɪŋ/ (as /ˈrʌnin/) or "winning" /ˈwɪnɪŋ/ (as /ˈwɪnin/). I'm specifically ...
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1answer
2k views

Proper way to pronounce “Pyrzqxgl!” [closed]

In my youth, my father used to read me The Magic of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The magic word that was used to transform, Pyrzqxgl, was very difficult to pronounce. Are there any guidelines on pronouncing ...
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4answers
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What Defines a Utah Accent?

I have heard a number of people refer to the "Utah accent." What is it that distinguishes a Utah accent from others? I have noticed that, in some cases, people from Utah omit the 't' from words such ...
7
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1answer
721 views

/z/ + /ð/ = /zdð/?

I was wondering what exactly happens when the common English speaker* pronounces /z/ and /ð/ right after, for example , the word - combo "is this ...". Honestly, for me it's almost impossible to ...
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3answers
5k views

“It's a-me !” — just an imitation of an Italian accent or something more?

I've seen and heard this at various times: It's a-me! [first name]! (Most of the time, seemingly as a reference to Mario.) I was wondering what the intent was behind the construction "a-me". Is ...
6
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5answers
16k views

In which accent does Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) speak?

I don't know if Stack Exchange is the right place to ask this question but I am very keen to find out: Which accent has Brad Pitt adopted in the movie Inglourious Basterds for the role of Lieutenant ...
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5answers
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What is a West Coast (U.S.) accent?

I've seen references to the American Midwest as being the home of the least accented form of American English. I always think of the Northern Midwest as having an accent that I associate with ...
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4answers
334 views

Does “nonstandard English” come across as judgmental in the following context?

I am looking for an alternative to the word nonstandard (if necessary). I used the word in my answer to a question at Academia SE. Let me first lay out the context. The question I was offering an ...
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2answers
908 views

How do I know if I have the Northern Cities Vowel Shift?

I grew up in Kalamazoo, MI, where (according to Wikipedia and other sources), many speakers have something called the Northern Cities Vowel Shift (NCS). So I'm trying to figure out if I'm one of them. ...
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2answers
661 views

What kind of accent is this?

What kind of accent is this? Is the speaker there speaking American English or Canadian? It is quite obvious it's not British or Australian accent. If it's American, can you, please, say what part of ...
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4answers
13k views

Why do some people say “v” as “w”?

I've noticed that Germans and Indians will sometimes say "/w/ector space" instead of "/v/ector space". I get that in German "w" is pronounced /v/. But "vau" (German "v") is pronounced like /f/. So ...
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4answers
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Palatalization of the initial “s” in words starting with “str-”

Sometimes I hear native speakers pronounce the s at the beginning of a word as [ʃ]. For example, straight as [ʃtreɪt], or struggle as [ʃtrʌɡl]. It sounds like German words. Is it a certain English ...
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2answers
59k views

What's the best way to get rid of international accents? [closed]

I have lived in the United States for more than five years now, and I am over 20 years old. Although I do not have that many problems with my verbal or written skills, it is not hard for people to ...
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3answers
2k views

Pinpointing British accents

After having watched British TV and movies for a while, I came across several accents I liked. But I'm not completely sure what they are, so I need your help :) David Tennant as The 10th Doctor (skip ...
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4answers
317 views

Communicate via written notes - although native speakers?

In another forum I read the following amazing thing: "In the middle 1980s, when I was in the Navy, the submarine I was in operated out of Holy Loch, Scotland. Our Xerox copier needed maintenance and ...
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1answer
287 views

Is lexical stress mostly consistent across accents of Standard English?

According to Wikipedia, lexical stress in Standard English* is "phonemic" (whatever they think they mean by that), using the minimal pair insight/incite as an example. My hypothesis is that, across ...
5
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1answer
241 views

British South Asian accent

This is a two-part question. A lot of British South Asian that are born and bred in the UK have a peculiar accent. It's very different than the familiar Indian accent too. So my question is... Is ...
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8answers
89k views

Pronunciation of 'aunt' in the US

I was under the impression that all Americans pronounced aunt like the insect, ant (/ænt/), or relatively similar sounding variants such as the southern aint (/eɪnt/). According to both Webster and ...
4
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2answers
2k views

What is the meaning and etymology of “cod-French” accent?

Here's a passage referring to re-enactments of the Battle of Hastings: As you might expect, the English king, Harold Godwinson, comes across as an essentially decent chap, albeit weary and ...
4
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2answers
479 views

Cockney wh-dropping

The Cockney accent typically, or at least stereotypically, drops the initial /h/ from many a word. Does it drop the initial /h/ from who, whole, whore, and whose? Wikipedia says yes, but I seek a more ...
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2answers
2k views

Is there a way to phonetically write English so that when read it is with a “British accent”? [closed]

I am going to be performing a monologue which will mostly be in a southern accent, but there is one brief part, where I quote a British person, and would like to give it a general British accent. Is ...
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2answers
3k views

Why is a Scot's accent so difficult for Americans to understand? [closed]

When I was in Edinburgh, Scotland, the locals could understand me just fine, but I was flummoxed by their accent, which did not remotely sound like English to me. Necessity forced me to request that ...
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1answer
157 views

What is this US accent found so often in instructional videos?

What is this accent or register? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0E4PX3e3RE It seems to me to include extensive creaky voice a broad range of pitch rising question intonation This question is not ...
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3answers
6k views

Website giving pronunciations of English words recorded in different dialects?

I'm aware that there are certain websites around that provide recorded examples of English words pronounced in different accents/dialects. Could anybody list some of them?
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2answers
1k views

In Jamaican English, why is there no θ sound?

For example, three is pronounced as "tree," and thing is pronounced as "ting." How come Jamaicans do not have a θ sound in their accents?
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3answers
732 views

Is there a term for speaking English with a foreign accent to make it easier for foreigners to understand?

I was just recalling Joey Barton's interview with the French media in which he speaks with a French accent, seemingly to make it easier for his audience to understand. As humourous as it may be, is ...