Date: Wed, 4 Sep 1996 09:58:31 -0700


Subject: Re: American accent (was: Kimmelweck)

On Wed, 4 Sep 1996, Mark Mandel wrote:

Jason Wilke asks:

I just moved back from Europe. Until I went, I never noticed it, but when

I was in Europe, I could distinctly tell an American accent anywhere...

HOW do you describe an Ami accent? The only word I can find that's

close is twangy. We do have regional accents, but there is also a

common accent...

I'd put our retroflexed or humped /r/ at or near the top of the list. In any

European language it stands out like a mule in a ballroom.

Well, not quite "any," since it is right at home in Dutch. However, an

American speaking Dutch would still stand out if he or she used it

indiscriminately, since in Dutch it is restricted to certain environments.

Peter McGraw

Linfield College

McMinnville, OR

Mark A. Mandel : mark[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Dragon Systems, Inc. : speech recognition : +1 617 965-5200

320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02160, USA :