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  1. #31
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    Default Re: what is neutral accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post

    while I would agree that there is no accent that can be defined as "neutral" --- none at all --- this does not mean we cannot reach relative conclusions about which X are more or less neutral.
    Your line of argument seems to suggest that you should add the word phonemes where I have placed the X.

    If you actually mean accents here, then I am not comfortable with the idea of more or less neutral if I don't have a neutral base for comparison.

    And we still seem to be playing with the same difference of opinion about definition of terms. For me, average, generally accepted, generally accepted as neutral, etc do not mean neutral.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: what is neutral accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Your line of argument seems to suggest that you should add the word phonemes where I have placed the X.

    If you actually mean accents here, then I am not comfortable with the idea of more or less neutral if I don't have a neutral base for comparison.

    And we still seem to be playing with the same difference of opinion about definition of terms. For me, average, generally accepted, generally accepted as neutral, etc do not mean neutral.
    I mean geolects. Please revise your own answers, not mine.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: what is neutral accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I mean geolects. Please revise your own answers, not mine.
    Sorry if you interpreted that as an attempt to revise your answer. I was attempting to clarify my own understanding of what you wrote.

    Now that you have clarified it, fine.

    It still appears to me that you have made a jump from phonemes to geolect. Suppose we found (and this is a purely hypothetical idea) that you and Ray pronounced the diphthongs in both die and day differently. Suppose further that 99% of people surveyed thought that your pronunciation of die was 'close' to theirs, but that Ray's pronunciation of day was 'close' to theirs.

    Are you suggesting that a 'neutral' accent would have in its bank of phonemes your /aI/ and Ray's /eI/?

  4. #34
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    Default Re: what is neutral accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Sorry if you interpreted that as an attempt to revise your answer. I was attempting to clarify my own understanding of what you wrote.

    Now that you have clarified it, fine.

    It still appears to me that you have made a jump from phonemes to geolect. Suppose we found (and this is a purely hypothetical idea) that you and Ray pronounced the diphthongs in both die and day differently. Suppose further that 99% of people surveyed thought that your pronunciation of die was 'close' to theirs, but that Ray's pronunciation of day was 'close' to theirs.

    Are you suggesting that a 'neutral' accent would have in its bank of phonemes your /aI/ and Ray's /eI/?
    No, I don't think we can create a Frankenstein geolect. But we can characterize some as generally atypical in pronunciation. Each geolect has its distinct phonemes. Some sets, as a whole, are more misleading than other sets, as wholes, from the point of view of a third party.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: what is neutral accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    No, I don't think we can create a Frankenstein geolect. But we can characterize some as generally atypical in pronunciation. Each geolect has its distinct phonemes. Some sets, as a whole, are more misleading than other sets, as wholes, from the point of view of a third party.
    Surely it depends on the third party?

  6. #36
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    Default Re: what is neutral accent?

    Surely. But there are many of them, and when one is honest, one finds there are a few favourites people prefer to hear. The Black Country on the outskirts of Birmingham, for instance, is so hard to understand by non-Brummies I feel sure few would select it from a list as an accent they found neutral, standard, easy, elegant, useful, etc.

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