U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-21-2014, 10:08 AM
 
2,096 posts, read 3,848,190 times
Reputation: 1214

Advertisements

By "American" I mean like one that's not heavily regionalized to the South, Northeast, California, Minnesota etc but more of a neutral kind of speech.

I notice Americans use the "uh" and "er" sounds a lot, "uh" being like the sound in "uh-huh" and "er" being like the second syllable in "Taylor". Which is why people stereotype us as pronouncing it "Amurica" even though that's an archaic pronunciation.

Also I've noticed, this might be a distinctly western US thing but my name "Michael" in American English is pronounced like "My-coal" while in other dialects it sounds softer and more like "My-kel". This pattern follows for words like "Barrel", "potential", etc. while in UK/Aussie/Canadian English it's said more like bare-rell. There's also the D/t flapping thing, like saying "budder" for "butter" instead of "buh-terr" or "buh-uh". Does US English basically sound like we are saying "uh" and "er" all the time?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-21-2014, 11:31 AM
 
5,368 posts, read 5,149,123 times
Reputation: 3308
Standard American English also stresses Rs more than most other English language accents. Courtesy of massive Irish immigration that occurred for 150 years.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2014, 12:22 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,705,729 times
Reputation: 9029
It sounds pretty nasal.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2014, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Auburn, New York
1,775 posts, read 2,510,289 times
Reputation: 2935
I feel like the song "Barbie Girl" by Aqua is a good example of a bad attempt of emulating an American accent, particularity the song's male vocalist.

Aqua - Barbie Girl - YouTube
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2014, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,704 posts, read 2,761,283 times
Reputation: 2335
Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
By "American" I mean like one that's not heavily regionalized to the South, Northeast, California, Minnesota etc but more of a neutral kind of speech.

I notice Americans use the "uh" and "er" sounds a lot, "uh" being like the sound in "uh-huh" and "er" being like the second syllable in "Taylor". Which is why people stereotype us as pronouncing it "Amurica" even though that's an archaic pronunciation.

Also I've noticed, this might be a distinctly western US thing but my name "Michael" in American English is pronounced like "My-coal" while in other dialects it sounds softer and more like "My-kel". This pattern follows for words like "Barrel", "potential", etc. while in UK/Aussie/Canadian English it's said more like bare-rell. There's also the D/t flapping thing, like saying "budder" for "butter" instead of "buh-terr" or "buh-uh". Does US English basically sound like we are saying "uh" and "er" all the time?
The "uh"/"er" sound you are referring to is called a schwa and it exists in every English accent, and every other language on earth (or close to every other language). All it is is an unstressed neutral vowel. I think you are mistaken about not hearing it in British/Australian/Canadian English in words like "barrel" and "potential."

One characteristic of General American English is called "rhoticity." An accent is said to be rhotic if speakers pronounce /r/ before a consonant/new word. This can happen at the end of words (like your suggestions "butter" and "Taylor") or in the middle of words (like "forty" and "cards"). General American is rhotic, whereas the RP accent in the UK is non-rhotic, as are the general Australian, Kiwi, South African, etc. accents.

However, there are many non-US accents of English that display rhoticity - Canadian, Irish, Scottish, many parts of England, Indian, and Pakistani. Additionally, several North American English accents & dialects are non-rhotic, including African-American Vernacular (AAVE), parts of the South and the Northeast, and parts of Atlantic Canada.

There are a surprising number of similarities between General American English and Irish English. Stick an American Southerner or a northern Minnesotan in the middle of Dublin and you might actually have trouble telling her apart from the locals for a moment if you're not paying attention. I've heard it said a few times that Irish English sounds more American to other British Islanders than other European English accents do.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2014, 05:45 PM
 
2,096 posts, read 3,848,190 times
Reputation: 1214
Quote:
Originally Posted by CravingMountains View Post
Standard American English also stresses Rs more than most other English language accents. Courtesy of massive Irish immigration that occurred for 150 years.
I don't think it's because of that but rather because when England colonized the US most of England still spoke rhotically. The Irish "r" actually sounds sort of different to me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-22-2014, 10:25 AM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
11,810 posts, read 18,792,885 times
Reputation: 11136
Regardless of the regional difference in American accents, the thing I always hear in common is that we pronounce our double "t's" like double "d's": butter, matter, letter, etc.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-03-2014, 05:33 PM
 
5,368 posts, read 5,149,123 times
Reputation: 3308
Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
I don't think it's because of that but rather because when England colonized the US most of England still spoke rhotically. The Irish "r" actually sounds sort of different to me.
Oh really?! So you were THERE!? Like, all those hundreds of years ago? And you know how English colonists to America spoke?! Omg please record some mimicry of their speech and put it up on youtube because I would love to listen.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-04-2014, 07:42 AM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,504 posts, read 17,720,777 times
Reputation: 30796
I think American Rhoticism sound more like Westcountry 'R' than Irish 'R' but I'll give you that some Irish accents sound pretty neutral to the American ear.

Southern Americans don't sound like Irish to me; they sound closer to Australian especially with the 'e' to 'i' shift (pronouncing 'pen' or 'ten' like 'pin' or 'tin'.)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-04-2014, 11:26 AM
 
5,368 posts, read 5,149,123 times
Reputation: 3308
Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
I think American Rhoticism sound more like Westcountry 'R' than Irish 'R' but I'll give you that some Irish accents sound pretty neutral to the American ear.

Southern Americans don't sound like Irish to me; they sound closer to Australian especially with the 'e' to 'i' shift (pronouncing 'pen' or 'ten' like 'pin' or 'tin'.)
What is "Westcountry 'R'" mean?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top