Date: Fri, 1 Mar 1996 10:13:29 -0400

From: Paul Fallon pfallon[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]S850.MWC.EDU

Subject: Query: Accent diagnostics

I was wondering if the readers of this list could point me to some

references concerning accent placement. I'm thinking of something along

the lines of James Hartman's essay in DARE vol. 1 where he says on p.

xlix 'For example, if the first feature in a set of full articulation of

postvocalic /r/, the possible area is very large, excluding only parts of

the East Coast and the South. If a fronted pronciation of /aU/ as [aeU]

is added, the likely area has been reduced to the South Midland, the

western part of the Midwest, adn much of the Southwest. If a lack of a

contrast between /a/ and /O/ is added and the speaker is middle-aged or

old, the area is further reduced to part of the high Plains and Rocky

Mountain states...'

I am familiar with some of the basic textbooks like Wolfram's _Dialects

and American English_ and Davis' _English dialectology_ but they are not

particularly helpful in placing someone's accent. Millward, in her

_Biography of the English language_ gives a list which is somewhat

helpful. JC Wells' _Accents of English_ is rather detailed, though he

perpetuates the notion of General American, and his tape is somewhat

disappointing. I'm just wondering if there's something that gives a

systematic overview but does not go into all of the detail of the primary

Linguistic Atlas materials. And if there's a tape that might be helpful

for ear training, so much the better. Something like _Americans Speaking_

but with more detailed commentary accompanied by transcription. Or am I

just dreaming?

Thanks for any input you can give.

Paul Fallon