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
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe.
I eat prescriptivists for breakfast.
maɪ nemz kʰɜ˞kʰ n̩ aɪ laɪk̚ fɨˈnɛ̞ɾɪ̞ks