Date: Fri, 2 Jan 1998 14:48:02 -0600 From: Greg Pulliam Subject: Re: British actors in US As someone who's done some of this sort of thing--"accents/dialects"--on-air in radio and on television, I must say that the descriptions of both British and American English as "adding" or "dropping" sounds, or being more or less "muscular," seem to be based on native-speaker assumptions, not on observable, categorical phenomena. When I imitated the RP-dialect of the royal family on "morning-zoo" radio, was I dropping my r's (and by one acccount therefore doing something easy) or was I fronting (and therefore adding a feature)? These kinds of descriptions seem to me to be "coaching" strategies--things coaches tell players/actors to convince them that something is doable. Nothing in the American/Australian/English/Scottish/Irish/Welsh/etc. accents/dialects make any one of them easier or harder. "Doing" an accent/dialect well would seem to me to be a function of similarity between native and target accents/dialects as well as the individual's ear for such things, AND economics. I will have to second Popik's point about Hollywood's call for American accents/dialects--to me, this is (forgive me) paramount. As they say at Lake Superior, "Show me the money!" Greg