Date: Fri, 6 Sep 1996 17:35:01 -0400
From: "M. Lynne Murphy" 104LYN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MUSE.ARTS.WITS.AC.ZA
Subject: Re: American accent: nasal
So it seems as if there's some quality in at least some American vowels
that speakers of other languages (maybe even including British English)
perceive as nasalization.
lack of roundness seems to be what is being perceived as
nasalization. the examples that peter mcgraw brought up (bob and
mcgraw) are both less (or un-)rounded in many/most american dialects.
perhaps the perception as nasalization comes from there being more
space for the sound to resonate in the vocal tract in both the
low unrounded and nasal vowels (albeit rather different spaces).
or, maybe when we unround our velums (vela?) drop a bit (but not as
much as our imitators suggest).
as long as i'm on the line here, let me give a cumulative thanks for
everyone's help this week on my various questions. your stories and
recollections all made it (pending editing) to the radio show, though
it will be 1.5 weeks before i know how idiotic i sound (not because
of your stories but just because i'm an inarticulate american). so,
your influence is felt around the world. thank you thank you.