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Old 11-06-2012, 10:27 AM
 
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Indeed, it's hard to *hear* General American because it's so all-pervasive in the media, it kind of sounds like nothing.

But, nonetheless, I'd argue it has a very distinctive sound. Some of the prevailing features I would say are:

*Number one would be the rhoticity. Words like 'hard' are pronounced like they're spelled in American and Canadian English, while in UK and Australian English it would be pronounced 'hahd'. UK/Aussie accents also add r's in places that don't exist, where Americans and Canadians do not.

*T's are often pronounced much like d's or even totally dropped. For example, twenny, thirdy, fourdy, sevendy, eighty, ninedy. Or words like matter (madder), better (bedder), etc.

*Some words and phrases are shortened. For example, gonna for 'going to', interesting is pronounced 'in-trist-ing', Oregon is pronounced 'Orgin'.

*E is often pronounced like i, though this varies on the speaker. Some examples would be 'happin' for happen, 'incyclopedia', 'lissin' for listen. But it's not always the case.

*O and a sounds often tend to be less rounded compared to other dialects of English. For example, the first syllable in the word 'happen' in Estuary English sounds like how an American would say 'hop'


Can anyone think of anything else?
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:42 AM
 
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Saying the word "like" every other word seems to be a feature of the American accent (i.e. It was like so cold this morning that I had to put on like 3 layers).
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeBoyDJ View Post
Saying the word "like" every other word seems to be a feature of the American accent (i.e. It was like so cold this morning that I had to put on like 3 layers).
Oh yeah, kind of a recent (1980s-present) thing, but yeah.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Saying skedule instead of shedule.
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:29 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
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I've always said that the first thing that an American can do to start sounding more British is to pronounce the double T properly. The OP nailed that one for sure.
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnc2mbfl View Post
I've always said that the first thing that an American can do to start sounding more British is to pronounce the double T properly. The OP nailed that one for sure.
Yeah, for sure. In the US it's 'boddle', in the UK it's 'bot-ol' though many young speakers increasingly use a glottal stop 'bo'ol'.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeBoyDJ View Post
Saying the word "like" every other word seems to be a feature of the American accent (i.e. It was like so cold this morning that I had to put on like 3 layers).
The topic is General American accent though, not just how Americans speak.

General American - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 11-11-2012, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Both coasts
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not necessarily "technical features" of the accent, but:

- an overall more draggy-sounding (not necessarily drawl) cadence. this is not just in the South or midwest, but an overall American thing. if you compare it to the Canadian/ UK accents.

- no lilt in speech. If you hear Brits, Australians or Canadians speak, there is often a lilt or rise in the end of statements. Americans are much less likely to do this, even when asking questions. In fact, asking questions in the US accents often sound like making statements compared to other English-language accents. Hard to explain, but US speech patterns end with a "down note" whereas the other accents often have the lilt.

-"A" is pronounced differently. Hear an American say "at" or "cat" and it sounds different from how other English-speakers pronounce it. As previously mentioned, other vowels too.

- use of "ya" for "you" or "gonna" for "going to"...or dropping the "g" in some words like "sayin'"- doesnt sound proper, but it's an American thing too. You do NOT hear this in the UK.

-"where's he AT" or "where you AT?" That is a total American thing, to add the "at" at the end of sentence. Also the use of "aint" as in "he aint doin' that"- you only hear this in American speech.

Last edited by f1000; 11-11-2012 at 09:26 AM..
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
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This might help: General American - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:48 PM
 
Location: NY
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Accents are how we sound/pronunciation, not the words we use.

Why do people get this confused?
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