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Which North American accent is the most neutral sounding?

Posted: 2005-10-23, 16:49
by Rom
In your opinion, which of these five speakers has the most neutral sounding accent? You can hear the recordings by clicking here. Now, I know that there is no such thing as a completely "neutral" accent, but I just wanted to know if people perceive the same accent as sounding the most neutral compared to other accents.

Posted: 2005-10-23, 17:37
by Stan
#4

Definitely not #1 :lol: :roll: :shock:

Posted: 2005-10-23, 21:03
by jonathan
#4

Posted: 2005-10-23, 21:52
by Kirk
Listening to those all once I would say speaker 4 sounded most "neutral" to my ears. Also, I must say I've heard that nonsensical and dull text so many times from so many different speakers on that site that I almost can't take it anymore (!). While I realize it's trying to get as many different sounds and phonemes as possible into a small space, I found it'll sound weird if anyone says it just because it's so unnatural anyway. You can hear some of the people hesitating when they read it, which is probably because it's so ridiculous that they're trying to make sure they're reading it right. Just my two cents on the text...

I did another recording of myself reading off a text (not the Stella one!) from this article on cnn.com today. This isn't an example of my spontaneous speech (which can be found here) but it does represent my so-called "reading voice"). I'm curious as to what others think how "neutral" my reading voice sounds. I know my natural speech tends to give away that I'm a Californian but I believe my reading voice tends to be a bit more conservative phonologically. Of course, no one is really ever "neutral" because everyone came from somewhere and everyone has an accent and a dialect (and I'm definitely not trying to become a newsanchor or anything) but this is just for fun :)