13
   

How do you define a Neutral accent?

 
 
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 05:22 am
How do you define a Neutral accent?
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 05:46 am
That's a silly question. There are hundreds of millions of native English speakers in the world. For each region in which English is a dominant language, the people of that region will feel that they speak English properly, and that all other English speakers speak with an accent.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 06:58 am
@sasikumz,
This seems to come up quite a bit in reference to call centres.

As I recall it, the definition of neutral accent means that someone is speaking in a way that all other speakers of the same language can understand it.

interesting discussion of how to teach neutral accent english at a British forum.

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/forum-topic/what-neutral-accent

the BBC still has my favourite forums for discussions of learning/teaching English. They also have tremendous teaching resources available.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learning/subjects/english.shtml
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 07:25 am
@sasikumz,
It depends on where you are..

In the US, a midwestern to west coast accent would be considered neutral.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_American

In Britian, RP would be considered neutral.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Received_Pronunciation



The accent preferred by and taught to TV announcers would most likely be the neutral accent.
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 08:19 am
I remember reading a few years ago, the most unrecognizable accent in N. America belong to the people in the Canadian prairies more specifically, Manitoba. This is why, back in the early days of Call Centres, Winnipeg was chosen by many companies as a call centre Mecca. Of course, companies soon gave up on that idea in favour of bigger profits and then moved the call centres to India and the Philippines, where the accent is anything but neutral...
I've been told many times I have a soft accent, which I think means the same thing. Except in India, where I was told I they couldn't understand me because I spoke too quickly.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 08:23 am
@sasikumz,
I have a neutral accent (or should I say "the neutral accent").

Everyone who doesn't speak like me has an accent.

That is the way I define it, in fact I can't think of a better definition.



0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 08:25 am
To provide an example. This guy has a neutral accent.

0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 09:08 am
@sasikumz,
sasikumz wrote:
How do you define a Neutral accent?

In my opinion, "neutral" is a matter of degree. Your accent is "neutral" to the extent that it focuses your listeners' attention on what you say, not how you say it.To find the most neutral accent for your target audience, I recommend that you listen to the news on the TV or radio wherever your target audience lives. (If that's not where you're living right now, try internet streaming.)
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  3  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 09:19 am
@parados,
Quote:
In Britian, RP would be considered neutral.
i should certainly hope so...
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 09:26 am
@Region Philbis,
That was a typo, Boss . . . what he meant to say was that RP would be considered neural . . .
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 09:29 am
@Setanta,

(don't go there...)
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 09:32 am
@parados,
parados wrote:
In the US, a midwestern to west coast accent would be considered neutral.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_American

Where did "west coast" slip in? Your Wikipedia link describes "General American" as a general Midwestern accent. It doesn't mention the west coast. I think that's correct. On my road trips through America, I have found that Americans between Pittsburgh and Chicago speak accents that are very similar to news anchors. But west-coast people don't. For example, the west-coast pronunciation of the word "totally" is very different from how a news anchor would pronounce it.
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 09:34 am
@Thomas,
I'd have to agree. A Californian accent is very recognizable.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 09:37 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
For example, the west-coast pronunciation of the word "totally" is very different from how a news anchor would pronounce it.


Toadalee, Dude . . .
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 11:53 am
@Setanta,
It's Dewd, not Dude. Are you from the midwest?
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 12:00 pm
@Ceili,
I remember it from the latest star trek series...I gave up on the series mainly because of the accent...
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 12:06 pm
@Thomas,
You wanna take this outside, Kraut?
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 02:04 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Depends on which series, but Kirk's a Cunuck.
However,
We

don't

all

talk

with

a

stilted

tongue.....
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 03:51 pm
@Thomas,
I don't know if you are right or not, so I'm not really arguing. I do have two friends who became fairly high up there among those employed as news anchors, but neither of them were on national newscasts. One got emmys for her documentaries, and so on. She is a Latina who spoke on the air the same way she did in person, was on main local channels in Arizona and Los Angeles. I suppose she speaks 'west coast'. Her spanish only showed up when she was speaking spanish. The main descriptive I'd use is 'gracious and smart'. Which tells you nothing about her "accent". The other friend is originally from Oklahoma, and sounded like it. After she moved to a northern midwest state, she worked her way up in newscasting and newspaper editing. Anyway, she sent me a tape of one of her shows and it..was..a..totally..different..person..talking. It bowled me over that she could switch her speech like that.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 04:00 pm
@Ceili,
But, but... a lot of californians are from elsewhere.
I was born there and lived there almost five decades. I met some a2k friends in New York, and they said I had some eastern sounds to my voice, namely Boston, where my mother was from, though I don't detect that myself. I think I also may have some Chicago in my voice (lived there five years as a kid.) I also lived in the Bronx for a year, and doubt that I have any Bronx in my voice. Anyway, Californians don't sound alike to me.. but this has got me curious about what you folks are calling California accents.

Meantime, my husband the playwright used to straighten me out that accent wasn't the right word, that what I meant was dialect. (I still think he's wrong about that, but he's the one who took all the speech and rhetoric classes).
0 Replies
 
 

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