The American accent

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MarcosTap
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The American accent

Postby MarcosTap » 2004-09-07, 4:08

Hi,

I'm new to UniLang. I'm Marcos Benítez from México.

My question is related to the development of the American accent. How did it come about? I have always thought that it developed because of the Irish English influence.

Any ideas?

Marcos

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Cécile
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Re: The American accent

Postby Cécile » 2004-09-07, 16:51

MarcosTap wrote: I have always thought that it developed because of the Irish English influence.
Marcos


And why?
"Aimer le vrai parce qu'il est vrai et non juger vrai ce que disent ceux que l'on aime."
George Steiner.
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Postby Guest » 2004-09-07, 21:09

Cécile,

Simply because of the sound, the rhythum and the expressions used. It's only a guess.

However, the Irish have had a big influence in popular culture in the US. To me, the way North Americans speak is similar in sound to Irish English.

I would like to know why the English of North America sounds so different than that of GB, Australia and New Zealand.

Marcos

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Postby DelBoy » 2004-09-07, 21:14

I would say there is definitely an Irish influence, but also an Italian, Polish, African, Asian, Hispanic, etc., etc., etc. influence too. It's the melting pot, isn't it?
The British Isles are awesome - I know, I live there - but Ireland is not a part of them. K thnx bai!

Labharfainn níos mó faoi, dá dtuigfinn an bhrí...

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Postby Cécile » 2004-09-07, 21:35

Anonymous wrote:Cécile,
Simply because of the sound, the rhythum and the expressions used. It's only a guess.
Marcos


Ok, thanks :) !
I was curious about your answer because I am absolutely unable to answer such a question as I'm far from being able to really understand when an American speaks (I saw Farenheit yesterday and I was very ashamed because without the subtitles I would have understood just a little of the dialogues but then I read that Darky had the same problem and I felt more comfortable :wink: :lol: )

So I can't answer but I find Delboy's answer pertinent...
"Aimer le vrai parce qu'il est vrai et non juger vrai ce que disent ceux que l'on aime."

George Steiner.

---

slevasseur

Postby slevasseur » 2004-09-09, 2:52

Don't forget Dutch ("even old New York was once New Amsterdam"), and the midwest accent such as Michael Moore speaks has a bit of scandinavian flavor.

MarcosTap
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Interesting

Postby MarcosTap » 2004-09-09, 5:23

All interesting replies.

Definitely can't forget the Dutch, or the Germans (a lot of Prussians fought in the Revolutionary War.)

And yes, many people from the midwest are of scandinavian descent and it can be heard in their speech.

My thinking is not simply a guess. My family is from both sides of the border so I do hear the various accents clearly in both countries. However, I still sincerely wonder about the develpment of the accent that is so different from that of the "Mother Country".

It seems that in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and in other countries the accent is more closely related to the English of GB. And these countries have had a substantial germanic influence. I have to admit that the Irish were and are present in these countries too.

But still... The US and Canada seem to be so similar in speech. I have noticed that in both of these countries the accent seems to vary a lot from west to east.

Funny thing. Once when I was on a plane in Southern Mexico a North American (from the US; yes, I know that we are all North Americans in Canada, the US, and Mexico) :D , the guy starts talking to me and asks if I'm Canadian. I asked him why and he replied, "um, because you talk good". It still makes me smile.

But my question still remains. Is there anyone out there who has some idea of the reason for the difference in accent between North America and the rest of the English speaking world?

Marcos

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Geist
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Postby Geist » 2004-09-09, 15:44

Perhaps because America has been free of British influence for so long, compared to Australia, India, etc.?
Das ganze Meer verändert sich, wenn ein Stein hineingeworfen wird.
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Re: Interesting

Postby schalke81 » 2004-09-09, 16:48

MarcosTap wrote:
Definitely can't forget the Dutch, or the Germans (a lot of Prussians
But my question still remains. Is there anyone out there who has some idea of the reason for the difference in accent between North America and the rest of the English speaking world?

Marcos


to be honest, i feel ,after ahving been exposed to englsih all my life. and living / working in 4 different englsih speaking countries that american englsih is as distinguishable from british english (which in itself is indistinguishable greatly) as it is from australian englsih and south african english.
maybe becasue you live in north america, and therfore exposed primarily to american english, and secondary british english, i assume there is limited contact with other "englishes" to which one could make a rational arguement about.

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Ariki
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Postby Ariki » 2004-10-02, 17:41

The reason is because that the English spoken in South Africa, Aotearoa and Australia has not developed as independently as much as the English dialects spoken in North America.

Most of the people who invaded Aotearoa and South Africa were free settlers while those who invaded Australia were convicts - hence, the Australian accent is the least clipped because the people who invaded spoke a form of English that wasn't sophisticated like in other places.

However, this has turned out beneficial for those learning how to speak the standard Australian dialect of English as it is definitely not as difficult as the English spoken elsewhere because people here tend to be more informative when they talk.

In Aotearoa, the accent is more clipped, with 'i' being pronounced as 'u' e.g. fish becomes 'fush'. Originally, amongst my people the Maori, the pronounciation used in English was plain and simple, and was not as difficult as the invaders form of English. My father speaks English with the Maori accent and he definately does not pronounce 'fish' as 'fush'.

It still makes me annoyed when US TV shows subtitle speakers of English from different areas. The different dialects are not foreign languages.

And would you believe it, all of our accents world wide have changed from 50 years ago.
Linguicide IS genocide. :)

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Postby Psi-Lord » 2004-10-02, 18:13

Let's also keep in mind that, as historical Linguistics point, American English has kept many traits and features of the English language that British English has dropped —which has also happened to most (if not all) languages that were taken to far away places in the past (e.g. Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese, Latin-American Spanish, etc.).

Needless to say the above does not mean American English hasn't followed a path of its own, though.

riki wrote:It still makes me annoyed when US TV shows subtitle speakers of English from different areas. The different dialects are not foreign languages.

It also annoys me that some Brazilian channels subtitle speakers from Portugal (though there seems to be less and less of those these days, unless I'm mistaken).
português do Brasil (pt-BR)British English (en-GB) galego (gl) português (pt) •• العربية (ar) български (bg) Cymraeg (cy) Deutsch (de)  r n km.t (egy) español rioplatense (es-AR) 日本語 (ja) 한국어 (ko) lingua Latina (la) ••• Esperanto (eo) (grc) français (fr) (hi) magyar (hu) italiano (it) polski (pl) Türkçe (tr) 普通話 (zh-CN)


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