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Re: Of accents & dialects

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  • Benct Philip Jonsson
    ... And that s what I meant with accent . The line noise between me and Lars was due to the fact that the Scandinavian languages lack a term for (regional or
    Message 1 of 23 , Oct 21, 2008
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      On 2008-10-20 R A Brown wrote:
      > Similarly, if we say someone is speaking with a
      > certain regional accent, we mean that the person
      > is speaking more or less standard English with a
      > phonology characteristic of that region.

      And that's what I meant with "accent". The line
      noise between me and Lars was due to the fact that
      the Scandinavian languages lack a term for '(regional
      or social) accent' and generally use _dialekt_ to
      cover that too, beside the same meaning which _dialect_
      has in English. There is a term _brytning_ (lit.
      'breaking') for 'foreign accent' but that word
      is **not** applied to native accents.

      Linguists
      and phoneticians of course have a term, viz.
      _regionaluttal_ ('regional pronunciation')
      but that has no currency at all in nonspecialist
      language, and of course nonspecialists are
      usually not aware that _dialekt_ actually
      **has** a double meaning, or how different
      traditional dialects actually are from
      standard language with regional pronunciation,
      unless they have some knowledge of a regional
      dialect which still is vital and which differs
      markedly from local standard Swedish -- though
      of course it is mainly those markedly
      different traditional dialects which are
      vital at all.

      I don't know if the situation
      in Norway is markedly different, although my
      hunch is that the slogan "speak dialect, write
      Nynorsk" if anything makes the situation even
      more confused; can a Southeasterner who writes
      and mostly reads only Bokmål tell the difference
      between someone speaking a Western or Northern
      traditional dialect and someone from those areas
      speaking standard Nynorsk?

      I don't know anything at all about the situation in Denmark
      either, bit it would seem that the status of traditional
      dialects there is even worse than in Sweden, and much
      worse than in Norway. I do know that a nortn Jutish
      traditional dialect is easier for me to follow than any
      accent of standard Danish because I have some knowledge
      of a traditional dialect from right across the
      Skagerrack, but OTOH I can't tell different accents
      of standard Danish apart.

      On 2008-10-21 R A Brown wrote:
      > In the colloquial English of West Sussex when i was a lad in the
      > 1940s & 50s, present tense was regularized in that all persons ended
      > in -(e)s, not just the 3rd singular, e.g. I goes, we goes, they goes
      > etc.

      Incidentally standard Swedish, Norwegian and Danish all
      have extended the old 3rd singular _-r_ ta all persons
      of both numbers, while some traditional dialects retain
      more or less of the old person-number endings. OTOH I once
      heard a wan speaking dialect-influenced standard Swedish
      use _-r_ in the imperative too, which sounded quaint to
      me. Unfortunately the situation wasn't such that I could
      ask which part of the country he came from, but he sounded
      like he came from the North, where traditional dialects have
      lost most or all unstressed final syllables, so it may have
      been a hypercorrection.



      /BP 8^)>
      --
      Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "C'est en vain que nos Josués littéraires crient
      à la langue de s'arrêter; les langues ni le soleil
      ne s'arrêtent plus. Le jour où elles se *fixent*,
      c'est qu'elles meurent." (Victor Hugo)
    • Lars Mathiesen
      ... Well, before the singular forms were extended to the plural in standard written Danish (about 100 years ago), the plural of the imperative ended in -r. Did
      Message 2 of 23 , Oct 21, 2008
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        2008/10/21 Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...>:
        > Incidentally standard Swedish, Norwegian and Danish all
        > have extended the old 3rd singular _-r_ ta all persons
        > of both numbers, while some traditional dialects retain
        > more or less of the old person-number endings. OTOH I once
        > heard a wan speaking dialect-influenced standard Swedish
        > use _-r_ in the imperative too, which sounded quaint to
        > me.

        Well, before the singular forms were extended to the plural in
        standard written Danish (about 100 years ago), the plural of the
        imperative ended in -r. Did any Swedish dialects have something
        similar?

        --
        Lars
      • Lars Finsen
        ... With northern it s very easy, but with the western ones you may have to listen a while to decide. I realise that dialects in Norway are stronger than in
        Message 3 of 23 , Oct 21, 2008
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          Den 21. okt. 2008 kl. 16.30 skreiv Benct Philip Jonsson:
          >
          > I don't know if the situation
          > in Norway is markedly different, although my
          > hunch is that the slogan "speak dialect, write
          > Nynorsk" if anything makes the situation even
          > more confused; can a Southeasterner who writes
          > and mostly reads only Bokmål tell the difference
          > between someone speaking a Western or Northern
          > traditional dialect and someone from those areas
          > speaking standard Nynorsk?

          With northern it's very easy, but with the western ones you may have
          to listen a while to decide.

          I realise that dialects in Norway are stronger than in most western
          countries. Even in the southeast they are so strong that it's
          possible to fight against standardisation. It's not going well, but
          at least I'm doing my bit.

          Even here, the viable dialects are influenced by the standard
          language, and traditional forms are being dropped by the dozens.
          Still I think the concept of the difference between a dialect and the
          standard language spoken with a regional accent is a little
          confusing. If a dialect loses all its distinct morphology, but keeps
          its phonology, will linguists stop calling it a dialect and begin to
          refer to it as a regional accent only? How much of the morphology
          needs to remain for the dialect to remain a dialect? And to what
          extent can you really separate morphology from phonology for this
          classification?

          LEF
        • Benct Philip Jonsson
          ... Yes. ... This can only be decided subjectively -- i.e. in terms of a standard-speakers perception of differentness. In the end it is a political decision.
          Message 4 of 23 , Oct 21, 2008
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            On 2008-10-21 Lars Finsen wrote:
            > Still I think the concept of the difference between a dialect and the
            > standard language spoken with a regional accent is a little
            > confusing. If a dialect loses all its distinct morphology, but keeps
            > its phonology, will linguists stop calling it a dialect and begin to
            > refer to it as a regional accent only?
            Yes.

            > How much of the morphology
            > needs to remain for the dialect to remain a dialect?

            This can only be decided subjectively -- i.e. in terms
            of a standard-speakers perception of differentness.
            In the end it is a political decision.

            > And to what
            > extent can you really separate morphology from phonology for this
            > classification?

            Because linguists have observed that phonology
            is much more resilient against standardization
            than morphology they have found it useful to
            make this decision. In the end this is also
            political: it happens to be the case that in
            English morphology and vocabulary are pretty
            rigidly standardized, while phonological
            standardization is much more fluid, changeable
            over time, geographically variable and
            subjective. Before sound recording and
            phonetic script it was literally harder to
            codify pronunciation. Even if you had the ideal that
            each letter or di-(/tri-/...)graph of the orthography
            corresponded to a phoneme -- which they hardly had
            in English-speaking counries -- it was hard to
            put on paper how the phonemes should be realized.

            /BP 8^)>
            --
            Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~__
            A h-ammen ledin i phith! \ \
            __ ____ ____ _____________ ____ __ __ __ / /
            \ \/___ \\__ \ /___ _____/\ \\__ \\ \ \ \\ \ / /
            / / / / / \ / /Melroch\ \_/ // / / // / / /
            / /___/ /_ / /\ \ / /Roccondil\_ // /__/ // /__/ /
            /_________//_/ \_\/ /Eowine __ / / \___/\_\\___/\_\
            Gwaedhvenn Angeliniel\ \______/ /a/ /_h-adar Merthol naun
            ~~~~~~~~~Kuinondil~~~\________/~~\__/~~~Noolendur~~~~~~
            || Lenda lenda pellalenda pellatellenda kuivie aiya! ||
          • R A Brown
            Lars Finsen wrote: [snip] ... Not really. Those parts of Britain where dialect is still spoken are AFAIK in the north of england, particularly the north-east,
            Message 5 of 23 , Oct 21, 2008
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              Lars Finsen wrote:
              [snip]
              >
              > Even here, the viable dialects are influenced by the standard language,
              > and traditional forms are being dropped by the dozens. Still I think the
              > concept of the difference between a dialect and the standard language
              > spoken with a regional accent is a little confusing.

              Not really. Those parts of Britain where dialect is still spoken are
              AFAIK in the north of england, particularly the north-east, and the
              Lowlands of Scotland. If people from those regions speak (more or less)
              standard English in with a regional accent, I, as a southerner, have
              some chance of understanding them; but if they speak in dialect, then
              I'm quite lost and want subtitles ;)

              > If a dialect loses
              > all its distinct morphology,

              ...don't forget the distinctive vocabulary also.

              > but keeps its phonology, will linguists
              > stop calling it a dialect and begin to refer to it as a regional accent
              > only?

              Not just linguists, but ordinary folk do so also in our country.

              > How much of the morphology needs to remain for the dialect to
              > remain a dialect?

              If its morphology differs in a consistent way from the standard language
              and there are also vocabulary differences, then clearly you have more
              than just a regional accent - you have a dialect.

              > And to what extent can you really separate morphology
              > from phonology for this classification?

              In Britain, at least, regional pronunciations (i.e. regional accents)
              have lived on (and show no signs of dying) long after distinctive
              dialect has disappeared.

              There are also, I understand, there are regional variations in American
              pronunciation.

              =================================================

              Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
              > On 2008-10-21 Lars Finsen wrote:
              [snip]
              >
              >> How much of the morphology needs to remain for the dialect to remain a
              >> dialect?
              >
              > This can only be decided subjectively -- i.e. in terms
              > of a standard-speakers perception of differentness.
              > In the end it is a political decision.

              I fail to see why it's political. I am certainly not aware of any
              politics entering into it in the British scene (maybe in Scandinavia
              things are different - I don't know).

              >> And to what extent can you really separate morphology from phonology
              >> for this classification?
              >
              > Because linguists have observed that phonology
              > is much more resilient against standardization
              > than morphology they have found it useful to
              > make this decision. In the end this is also
              > political: it happens to be the case that in
              > English morphology and vocabulary are pretty
              > rigidly standardized,

              Yep.

              > while phonological
              > standardization is much more fluid, changeable
              > over time,

              Well, there ain't none. In the earlier part of the last century RP was
              sort of promoted as 'standard' - but that idea gradually disappeared in
              the second half of the century. Today, most of us Brits accept
              Australian, New Zealand, South African and even 'Merkan as acceptable
              forms. ;)

              We've also come to accept regional British accents - tho some are
              socially more acceptable than others, e.g. a Highland Scots or a West
              Country accent is generally considered more acceptable than, say,
              Cockney - but that's nothing to do with politics, just subjective social
              perception.

              > geographically variable and
              > subjective. Before sound recording and
              > phonetic script it was literally harder to
              > codify pronunciation.

              The French managed it fairly well - much better than the proponents of
              RP ever did in Britain. But, of course, they had their Académie
              Française to lay down the law on such things - English has never had any
              comparably authoritative body.

              --
              Ray
              ==================================
              http://www.carolandray.plus.com
              ==================================
              Frustra fit per plura quod potest
              fieri per pauciora.
              [William of Ockham]
            • Benct Philip Jonsson
              ... Just to clear up misunderstandings: I consider subjective social perception a political thing, tho I may take political in a wider meaning than what is
              Message 6 of 23 , Oct 21, 2008
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                On 2008-10-21 R A Brown wrote:
                > a Highland Scots or a West Country accent is generally considered
                > more acceptable than, say, Cockney - but that's nothing to do with
                > politics, just subjective social perception.

                Just to clear up misunderstandings: I consider "subjective
                social perception" a political thing, tho I may take
                'political' in a wider meaning than what is now usual:
                social groups, their interactions, agreements,
                disagreements, inner and outer pressures is what
                politics is all about, although the word has come to
                be used mostly to refer to the formal rituals established
                to deal with those forces. If you think of it the
                overlap between politics in this restricted sense
                and diplomacy is rather great too.

                /BP
              • Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets
                ... Well, you have to realise that the French government had to do much more than that to get the will of the Académie become law. And most of what was done
                Message 7 of 23 , Oct 23, 2008
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                  Selon R A Brown <ray@...>:

                  >
                  > > geographically variable and
                  > > subjective. Before sound recording and
                  > > phonetic script it was literally harder to
                  > > codify pronunciation.
                  >
                  > The French managed it fairly well - much better than the proponents of
                  > RP ever did in Britain. But, of course, they had their Acad�mie
                  > Fran�aise to lay down the law on such things - English has never had any
                  > comparably authoritative body.
                  >

                  Well, you have to realise that the French government had to do much more than
                  that to get the will of the Acad�mie become law. And most of what was done was
                  basically state persecution of minorities (in the name of Equality. Bah!).

                  First, teachers were trained in universities tightly controlled by the ministry
                  of Education (mostly in Paris). Every teacher had to get their diploma from
                  there, even private school teachers (controls were, and still are, quite severe
                  in private schools).

                  Second, school teachers were for a long time unable to choose where they would
                  teach. The ministry of Education basically chose a location for them, and they
                  just had to obey and go there. By ensuring that rural areas only got teachers
                  coming from urban areas usually from the other side of France, they ensured that
                  children would get a teacher that wouldn't know their native dialect.

                  Third, a whole culture of denigration of local dialects was engineered from
                  Paris, mostly by simply denying their existence. There were no dialects, only
                  ill-spoken forms of the Holy French language that could only be mocked. If you
                  spoke a dialect, it was simply because you were too stupid to speak the correct
                  French language. Adults found themselves unable to get anything done by the
                  omnipresent French administration if they weren't able to write letters in
                  Academic French (French civil servants were instructed to not help people who
                  couldn't express themselves in "proper" French). Children were taught that the
                  language their parents spoke was primitive and incorrect, and were severely
                  punished if they ever spoke it at school (bodily punishments were considered
                  very normal at that time).

                  By maintaining a tight centralised control on education, and continuing this
                  policy of persecuting speakers of non-standard French for more than a century
                  and a half, France managed to destroy all French dialects, and nearly managed to
                  do the same with the other languages spoken in France. Only at the very borders
                  of the country some dialectical variations and separate languages managed to
                  survive, and in areas of strong regional identity that wouldn't let themselves
                  be subdued by Paris (like Brittany and Corsica, although even there the central
                  government managed to impose standard French as the main spoken language).

                  Even today, the position of the French government on regional languages is
                  ambiguous. They don't dare to move explicitly to destroy them any longer, but
                  they refuse to give them the status and protection that the European Union asks
                  member states to give them.

                  So you see, it's not that easy to destroy the dialectical variation within a
                  language. One needs serious human right breaking to achieve it. And even then,
                  France hasn't managed to get rid of all regional accents, although those only
                  survive in very rural areas and border regions, especially in the South.
                  --
                  Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets.

                  http://christophoronomicon.blogspot.com
                  http://www.christophoronomicon.nl

                  It takes a straight mind to create a twisted conlang.
                • R A Brown
                  ... I know - tho it must surely have made the French government s task easier in that there was an authoritative body to lay down what is and is not correct
                  Message 8 of 23 , Oct 24, 2008
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                    Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets wrote:
                    > Selon R A Brown <ray@...>:
                    >
                    >> > geographically variable and
                    >> > subjective. Before sound recording and
                    >> > phonetic script it was literally harder to
                    >> > codify pronunciation.
                    >>
                    >> The French managed it fairly well - much better than the proponents of
                    >> RP ever did in Britain. But, of course, they had their Acad�mie
                    >> Fran�aise to lay down the law on such things - English has never had any
                    >> comparably authoritative body.
                    >>
                    >
                    > Well, you have to realise that the French government had to do much more than
                    > that to get the will of the Acad�mie become law. And most of what was done was
                    > basically state persecution of minorities (in the name of Equality. Bah!).

                    I know - tho it must surely have made the French government's task
                    easier in that there was an authoritative body to lay down what is and
                    is not 'correct' French.

                    But things were no better in Britain till the last century. It is well
                    known that Gaelic was ruthlessly suppressed in both Ireland & Scotland.
                    Irish Gaelic gained its freedom, so to speak, when Ireland (except for
                    the 6 counties of the north) were given independence in the 1920s.

                    I'm not sure when things became less oppressive for Scots Gaelic, but I
                    guess by the end of the 19th century it was no longer felt that the
                    Highlanders were likely to push for reinstatement of the Stuart monarchs!

                    Welsh was severely repressed in Welsh schools in the 19th century. Any
                    child caught speaking Welsh had to wear the "Welsh Knot" - a piece of
                    wood hung around the neck. Persistence in speaking the language would be
                    dealt with by corporal punishment. I guess having David Lloyd George, a
                    Welsh-speaking Prime Minister, did much to promote a more enlightened
                    outlook.

                    But it wasn't until the last century that Britain started taking a more
                    enlightened attitude to minorities; this became very much more marked in
                    the second half of the century.

                    [snip]
                    >
                    > Even today, the position of the French government on regional languages is
                    > ambiguous. They don't dare to move explicitly to destroy them any longer, but
                    > they refuse to give them the status and protection that the European Union asks
                    > member states to give them.

                    Let's hope more enlightened attitudes will eventually prevail.

                    > So you see, it's not that easy to destroy the dialectical variation within a
                    > language. One needs serious human right breaking to achieve it. And even then,
                    > France hasn't managed to get rid of all regional accents, although those only
                    > survive in very rural areas and border regions, especially in the South.

                    I know - Vive le Midi!

                    --
                    Ray
                    ==================================
                    http://www.carolandray.plus.com
                    ==================================
                    Frustra fit per plura quod potest
                    fieri per pauciora.
                    [William of Ockham]
                  • Lars Mathiesen
                    ... As a data point, when taking the scenic route from Nice to Digne last summer, we saw signs giving village names in French and Occitan at the entrance to
                    Message 9 of 23 , Oct 24, 2008
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                      2008/10/24 R A Brown <ray@...>:
                      > Christophe Grandsire-Koevoets wrote:
                      >> Even today, the position of the French government on regional languages is
                      >> ambiguous. They don't dare to move explicitly to destroy them any longer, but
                      >> they refuse to give them the status and protection that the European Union asks
                      >> member states to give them.
                      >
                      > Let's hope more enlightened attitudes will eventually prevail.

                      As a data point, when taking the scenic route from Nice to Digne last
                      summer, we saw signs giving village names in French and Occitan at the
                      entrance to two or three of the little villages.

                      Not on road signs, though.

                      --
                      Lars
                    • Eldin Raigmore
                      I ve noticed that British actors playing American characters in American shows usually have quite good American accents; but British actors playing American
                      Message 10 of 23 , Oct 29, 2008
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                        I've noticed that British actors playing American characters in American shows
                        usually have quite good American accents; but British actors playing American
                        characters in British shows frequently have very bad "American" accents.

                        From what I've read, American actors playing British characters in American
                        shows frequently have very bad "British" accents.

                        Do American actors playing British characters in British shows, usually have
                        good British accents? Or is this situation asymmetrical?
                      • Chris Peters
                        Don t know of a direct answer to this question. But I recall listening to an audiobook recently (I received it as a promotional copy from the publisher -- the
                        Message 11 of 23 , Oct 29, 2008
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                          Don't know of a direct answer to this question. But I recall listening to an audiobook recently (I received it as a promotional copy from the publisher -- the title escapes me right now.) The story took place in San Diego, and most of the characters were male. Yet, the voice-actor was a British female. For the most part, she didn't even *try* to imitate an American accent when speaking the dialogue. And when she did, what came through sounded like an attempt to fake a Southern drawl, which is out of place for California.

                          For the gender question, her voice was slowed down on the recording to lower the pitch so that she sounded more male. But that was even more obvious than the faked accents -- very distracting.
                          > Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2008 14:30:42 -0400> From: eldin_raigmore@...> Subject: Re: Of accents & dialects> To: CONLANG@...> > I've noticed that British actors playing American characters in American shows > usually have quite good American accents; but British actors playing American > characters in British shows frequently have very bad "American" accents.> > From what I've read, American actors playing British characters in American > shows frequently have very bad "British" accents.> > Do American actors playing British characters in British shows, usually have > good British accents? Or is this situation asymmetrical?
                          _________________________________________________________________
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                        • Daniel Prohaska
                          The only transatlantic person I know would be Christopher Plummer, he s Canadian, and he spoke RP. Dan ... From: Eldin Raigmore Sent: Wednesday, October 29,
                          Message 12 of 23 , Oct 29, 2008
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                            The only transatlantic person I know would be Christopher Plummer, he's
                            Canadian, and he spoke RP.

                            Dan



                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Eldin Raigmore
                            Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 7:31 PM



                            "I've noticed that British actors playing American characters in American
                            shows usually have quite good American accents; but British actors playing
                            American characters in British shows frequently have very bad "American"
                            accents.



                            From what I've read, American actors playing British characters in American
                            shows frequently have very bad "British" accents.



                            Do American actors playing British characters in British shows, usually have
                            good British accents? Or is this situation asymmetrical?"
                          • Elliott Lash
                            I have no idea what the answer to this question might be but i thought that i d register my great amusement at having read it. This is well posed. -E ... From:
                            Message 13 of 23 , Oct 29, 2008
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                              I have no idea what the answer to this question might be but i thought that i'd register my great amusement at having read it. This is well posed.

                              -E



                              ----- Original Message ----
                              From: Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...>
                              To: CONLANG@...
                              Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 2:30:42 PM
                              Subject: Re: Of accents & dialects

                              I've noticed that British actors playing American characters in American shows
                              usually have quite good American accents; but British actors playing American
                              characters in British shows frequently have very bad "American" accents.

                              From what I've read, American actors playing British characters in American
                              shows frequently have very bad "British" accents.

                              Do American actors playing British characters in British shows, usually have
                              good British accents? Or is this situation asymmetrical?
                            • Gary Shannon
                              I watched a movie years ago, I wish I could remember the name, where the lead was a Brit actor (a fact I didn t know at the beginning of the movie). He had a
                              Message 14 of 23 , Oct 29, 2008
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                                I watched a movie years ago, I wish I could remember the name, where the lead was a Brit actor (a fact I didn't know at the beginning of the movie). He had a flawless American accent UNTIL he said the name of a church, "St. Thomas", rendering it "Sen Thomas". I immediately knew he was a Brit, because Americans, regardless of regional dialect, never drop the "t" at the end of "saint" in a name, and would never render "saint" to rhyme with "zen".

                                --gary

                                --- On Wed, 10/29/08, Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...> wrote:

                                > From: Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...>
                                > Subject: Re: Of accents & dialects
                                > To: CONLANG@...
                                > Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 11:30 AM
                                > I've noticed that British actors playing American
                                > characters in American shows
                                > usually have quite good American accents; but British
                                > actors playing American
                                > characters in British shows frequently have very bad
                                > "American" accents.
                                >
                                > From what I've read, American actors playing British
                                > characters in American
                                > shows frequently have very bad "British" accents.
                                >
                                > Do American actors playing British characters in British
                                > shows, usually have
                                > good British accents? Or is this situation asymmetrical?
                              • And Rosta
                                Sally Caves told me that the only giveaway of Hugh Laurie s Englishness in House (MD) was that he pronounced respiratory as respiratory , as the English
                                Message 15 of 23 , Oct 30, 2008
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                                  Sally Caves told me that the only giveaway of Hugh Laurie's Englishness in "House (MD)" was that he pronounced "respiratory" as "respiratory", as the English do, rather than as "respitory" as the Americans do. (The English pronunc is /'respIr@tri/ or /r@'spIr@tri/; I don't know which one Hugh said.)

                                  Fans of the Wire -- which surely includes everybody who's ever been fortunate enough to see it -- will have been impressed not only by Dominic West's American accent but also by his superbly crap British accent in the episode in Season 2 where he pretends to be a Brit to infiltrate the Russian bordello.

                                  In answer to Eldin's question, it used to be very rare for American actors to play English people in British films, and formerly the prime example of such a case would have been the notorious, heroically dreadful case of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. But latterly we have had Gwyneth Paltrow, Renee Zellweger, Gillian Anderson & perhaps others acquit themselves admirably doing English accents in British films.

                                  --And.

                                  Gary Shannon, On 29/10/2008 22:40:
                                  > I watched a movie years ago, I wish I could remember the name, where the lead was a Brit actor (a fact I didn't know at the beginning of the movie). He had a flawless American accent UNTIL he said the name of a church, "St. Thomas", rendering it "Sen Thomas". I immediately knew he was a Brit, because Americans, regardless of regional dialect, never drop the "t" at the end of "saint" in a name, and would never render "saint" to rhyme with "zen".
                                  >
                                  > --gary
                                  >
                                  > --- On Wed, 10/29/08, Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >> From: Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...>
                                  >> Subject: Re: Of accents & dialects
                                  >> To: CONLANG@...
                                  >> Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 11:30 AM
                                  >> I've noticed that British actors playing American
                                  >> characters in American shows
                                  >> usually have quite good American accents; but British
                                  >> actors playing American
                                  >> characters in British shows frequently have very bad
                                  >> "American" accents.
                                  >>
                                  >> From what I've read, American actors playing British
                                  >> characters in American
                                  >> shows frequently have very bad "British" accents.
                                  >>
                                  >> Do American actors playing British characters in British
                                  >> shows, usually have
                                  >> good British accents? Or is this situation asymmetrical?
                                  >
                                • Mark J. Reed
                                  IME, rapid American respiratory drops a syllable, but not an r , so respitory is inaccurate. More like respritory or respertory . Laurie s accent is
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Oct 30, 2008
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                                    IME, rapid American "respiratory" drops a syllable, but not an 'r', so
                                    "respitory" is inaccurate. More like "respritory" or "respertory".
                                    Laurie's accent is phenomenal.



                                    On 10/30/08, And Rosta <and.rosta@...> wrote:
                                    > Sally Caves told me that the only giveaway of Hugh Laurie's Englishness in
                                    > "House (MD)" was that he pronounced "respiratory" as "respiratory", as the
                                    > English do, rather than as "respitory" as the Americans do. (The English
                                    > pronunc is /'respIr@tri/ or /r@'spIr@tri/; I don't know which one Hugh
                                    > said.)
                                    >
                                    > Fans of the Wire -- which surely includes everybody who's ever been
                                    > fortunate enough to see it -- will have been impressed not only by Dominic
                                    > West's American accent but also by his superbly crap British accent in the
                                    > episode in Season 2 where he pretends to be a Brit to infiltrate the Russian
                                    > bordello.
                                    >
                                    > In answer to Eldin's question, it used to be very rare for American actors
                                    > to play English people in British films, and formerly the prime example of
                                    > such a case would have been the notorious, heroically dreadful case of Dick
                                    > Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. But latterly we have had Gwyneth Paltrow, Renee
                                    > Zellweger, Gillian Anderson & perhaps others acquit themselves admirably
                                    > doing English accents in British films.
                                    >
                                    > --And.
                                    >
                                    > Gary Shannon, On 29/10/2008 22:40:
                                    >> I watched a movie years ago, I wish I could remember the name, where the
                                    >> lead was a Brit actor (a fact I didn't know at the beginning of the
                                    >> movie). He had a flawless American accent UNTIL he said the name of a
                                    >> church, "St. Thomas", rendering it "Sen Thomas". I immediately knew he was
                                    >> a Brit, because Americans, regardless of regional dialect, never drop the
                                    >> "t" at the end of "saint" in a name, and would never render "saint" to
                                    >> rhyme with "zen".
                                    >>
                                    >> --gary
                                    >>
                                    >> --- On Wed, 10/29/08, Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...> wrote:
                                    >>
                                    >>> From: Eldin Raigmore <eldin_raigmore@...>
                                    >>> Subject: Re: Of accents & dialects
                                    >>> To: CONLANG@...
                                    >>> Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2008, 11:30 AM
                                    >>> I've noticed that British actors playing American
                                    >>> characters in American shows
                                    >>> usually have quite good American accents; but British
                                    >>> actors playing American
                                    >>> characters in British shows frequently have very bad
                                    >>> "American" accents.
                                    >>>
                                    >>> From what I've read, American actors playing British
                                    >>> characters in American
                                    >>> shows frequently have very bad "British" accents.
                                    >>>
                                    >>> Do American actors playing British characters in British
                                    >>> shows, usually have
                                    >>> good British accents? Or is this situation asymmetrical?
                                    >>
                                    >

                                    --
                                    Sent from Gmail for mobile | mobile.google.com

                                    Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
                                  • And Rosta
                                    ... That s my nonrhotic ears mishearing, then. /respr tori/ -- that does make more sense. r e sp i r a t o ri US r e sp % r % t o ri UK1 r e sp % r % t % ri
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Oct 30, 2008
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                                      Mark J. Reed, On 30/10/2008 15:57:
                                      > IME, rapid American "respiratory" drops a syllable, but not an 'r', so
                                      > "respitory" is inaccurate. More like "respritory" or "respertory".
                                      > Laurie's accent is phenomenal.

                                      That's my nonrhotic ears mishearing, then. /respr'tori/ -- that does make more sense.

                                      r e sp i r a t o ri
                                      US r e sp % r % t o ri
                                      UK1 r e sp % r % t % ri
                                      UK2 r % sp i r % t % ri

                                      where '%' = zero or a very weak vowel. The change from UK1 to UK2 is a change that occurs in many words, to avoid sequences of 3 % in a row.

                                      --And.

                                      > On 10/30/08, And Rosta <and.rosta@...> wrote:
                                      >> Sally Caves told me that the only giveaway of Hugh Laurie's Englishness in
                                      >> "House (MD)" was that he pronounced "respiratory" as "respiratory", as the
                                      >> English do, rather than as "respitory" as the Americans do. (The English
                                      >> pronunc is /'respIr@tri/ or /r@'spIr@tri/; I don't know which one Hugh
                                      >> said.)
                                    • Michael Poxon
                                      But the lovely Gillian is British, and an Essex girl to boot. Born in Crouch End! Mike But latterly we have had Gwyneth Paltrow, Renee Zellweger, Gillian
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Oct 30, 2008
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                                        But the lovely Gillian is British, and an Essex girl to boot. Born in Crouch
                                        End!
                                        Mike
                                        But latterly we have had Gwyneth Paltrow, Renee Zellweger, Gillian Anderson
                                        & perhaps others acquit themselves admirably doing English accents in
                                        British films.
                                        >
                                      • And Rosta
                                        To honour the gods of pedantry, as is our wont, I shall reply firstly that I had actually already consulted Gillian Anderson s Wikipedia entry, which says is
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Oct 31, 2008
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                                          To honour the gods of pedantry, as is our wont, I shall reply firstly that I had actually already consulted Gillian Anderson's Wikipedia entry, which says "is an American actress ... born in Chicago", and secondly that if Gillian were indeed born in Crouch End (as I in fact was, a year and a bit earlier) she'd be not an Essex girl but a Middlesex girl....

                                          Michael Poxon, On 30/10/2008 17:46:
                                          > But the lovely Gillian is British, and an Essex girl to boot. Born in
                                          > Crouch End!
                                          > Mike
                                          > But latterly we have had Gwyneth Paltrow, Renee Zellweger, Gillian
                                          > Anderson & perhaps others acquit themselves admirably doing English
                                          > accents in British films.
                                          >>
                                          >
                                        • deinx nxtxr
                                          ... I m still wondering why foreigners tend to sound like Texans when they try to imitate an American accent. I m from California myself, and remember once a
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Oct 31, 2008
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                                            > [mailto:CONLANG@...] On Behalf Of Chris Peters

                                            > Don't know of a direct answer to this question. But I recall
                                            > listening to an audiobook recently (I received it as a
                                            > promotional copy from the publisher -- the title escapes me
                                            > right now.) The story took place in San Diego, and most of
                                            > the characters were male. Yet, the voice-actor was a British
                                            > female. For the most part, she didn't even *try* to imitate
                                            > an American accent when speaking the dialogue. And when she
                                            > did, what came through sounded like an attempt to fake a
                                            > Southern drawl, which is out of place for California.

                                            I'm still wondering why foreigners tend to sound like Texans when
                                            they try to imitate an American accent. I'm from California myself,
                                            and remember once a Swedish girls trying to imitate my speech only
                                            to sound more like something from the South, which is about as far
                                            removed from Californian as it gets.
                                          • Michael Poxon
                                            Whoops! Sorry - I know exactly how this came about, but you won t want to hear the sorry tale. Of course you re right. Mea Culpa... and I have family in
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Nov 1, 2008
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                                              Whoops! Sorry - I know exactly how this came about, but you won't want to
                                              hear the sorry tale. Of course you're right. Mea Culpa... and I have family
                                              in Muswell Hill, too... as well as being a Spurs fan!
                                              ----- Original Message -----
                                              From: "And Rosta" <and.rosta@...>
                                              To: <CONLANG@...>
                                              Sent: Friday, October 31, 2008 11:29 AM
                                              Subject: Re: Of accents & dialects


                                              > To honour the gods of pedantry, as is our wont, I shall reply firstly that
                                              > I had actually already consulted Gillian Anderson's Wikipedia entry, which
                                              > says "is an American actress ... born in Chicago", and secondly that if
                                              > Gillian were indeed born in Crouch End (as I in fact was, a year and a bit
                                              > earlier) she'd be not an Essex girl but a Middlesex girl....
                                              >
                                              > Michael Poxon, On 30/10/2008 17:46:
                                              >> But the lovely Gillian is British, and an Essex girl to boot. Born in
                                              >> Crouch End!
                                              >> Mike
                                              >> But latterly we have had Gwyneth Paltrow, Renee Zellweger, Gillian
                                              >> Anderson & perhaps others acquit themselves admirably doing English
                                              >> accents in British films.
                                              >>>
                                              >>
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > --
                                              > No virus found in this incoming message.
                                              > Checked by AVG. Version: 7.5.549 / Virus Database: 270.8.5/1757 - Release
                                              > Date: 30/10/2008 14:35
                                              >
                                              >
                                            • Wesley Parish
                                              ... Technically a hermaphrodite ... ;) ... -- Clinersterton beademung, with all of love - RIP James Blish ... Gaul is quartered into three halves. Things
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Nov 2, 2008
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                                                On Saturday 01 November 2008 00:29, And Rosta wrote:
                                                > To honour the gods of pedantry, as is our wont, I shall reply firstly that
                                                > I had actually already consulted Gillian Anderson's Wikipedia entry, which
                                                > says "is an American actress ... born in Chicago", and secondly that if
                                                > Gillian were indeed born in Crouch End (as I in fact was, a year and a bit
                                                > earlier) she'd be not an Essex girl but a Middlesex girl....

                                                Technically a hermaphrodite ... ;)
                                                >
                                                > Michael Poxon, On 30/10/2008 17:46:
                                                > > But the lovely Gillian is British, and an Essex girl to boot. Born in
                                                > > Crouch End!
                                                > > Mike
                                                > > But latterly we have had Gwyneth Paltrow, Renee Zellweger, Gillian
                                                > > Anderson & perhaps others acquit themselves admirably doing English
                                                > > accents in British films.

                                                --
                                                Clinersterton beademung, with all of love - RIP James Blish
                                                -----
                                                Gaul is quartered into three halves. Things which are
                                                impossible are equal to each other. Guerrilla
                                                warfare means up to their monkey tricks.
                                                Extracts from "Schoolboy Howlers" - the collective wisdom
                                                of the foolish.
                                                -----
                                                Mau e ki, he aha te mea nui?
                                                You ask, what is the most important thing?
                                                Maku e ki, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
                                                I reply, it is people, it is people, it is people.
                                              • Ina van der Vegt
                                                ... Hermaphrodite is an outdated term, rarely used by the medical community anymore. The correct term would be intersexed person. +Ina
                                                Message 23 of 23 , Nov 2, 2008
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                                                  2008/11/2 Wesley Parish <wes.parish@...>:
                                                  > On Saturday 01 November 2008 00:29, And Rosta wrote:
                                                  >> To honour the gods of pedantry, as is our wont, I shall reply firstly that
                                                  >> I had actually already consulted Gillian Anderson's Wikipedia entry, which
                                                  >> says "is an American actress ... born in Chicago", and secondly that if
                                                  >> Gillian were indeed born in Crouch End (as I in fact was, a year and a bit
                                                  >> earlier) she'd be not an Essex girl but a Middlesex girl....
                                                  >
                                                  > Technically a hermaphrodite ... ;)

                                                  Hermaphrodite is an outdated term, rarely used by the medical
                                                  community anymore. The correct term would be intersexed person.

                                                  +Ina
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