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  1. #1
    LordJenkins is offline Newbie
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    Default Questions about intonation and mouth shapes

    Hi guys, i have been reducing my accent gradually over the last year or so, and I am almost there! Just a few things I need to iron out, which im finding tricky.


    1. Intonation - My accent is pretty much RP, but, I am quite worried about my intonation being from the North of England, we dont have any rythm at all in our speech, so it is proving tricky to sound authentic with my old innate intonation patterns. I love correctly spoken English, and the man I love listening too the most is Freddie Mercury. He had such a nice accent and intonation pattern. So I am wondering if i could pick up a simular speaking pattern? and how?

    Freddie interivew example (also, what type of RP does he speak?)
    Freddie Mercury Interview Musical Prostitute part 1 - YouTube



    2. Mouth shapes - Ive noticed that the less you move your mouth the clearer ones speech is...Why is this? My mouth used to move all over the place, so did my lips, but I have found that restrictiing the mouth makes the vowels sound more authentic, and somehow clear. So should my mouth move less or not?



    Thanks for your support.

  2. #2
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Questions about intonation and mouth shapes

    This is a very personal thing. Some people move their lower jaw, lips and tongue more than others and, in general, I think that the average speaker of English makes less pronounced movements of these than speakers of some other languages. I don't think that "the less you move your mouth the clearer one's speech is" can be taken as true for many speakers.
    Last edited by 5jj; 10-Oct-2011 at 12:37. Reason: typo

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Questions about intonation and mouth shapes

    If you can get authentic sounds with less movement, then I would go with that- the tendency in speech is to make things as easy as possible. However, I would agree with Fivejedjon that this is not a rule or key to universal pronunciation.

  4. #4
    LordJenkins is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Questions about intonation and mouth shapes

    Thanks for your replies guys. I asked because it seems every video I have watched of someone speaking RP their mouths hardly seem to move much at all...

  5. #5
    raindoctor is offline Member
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    Default Re: Questions about intonation and mouth shapes

    In dialect and voice over circles, there is a notion of articulatory setting for every dialect. Some call it a point of resonance (for instance, David Alan Stern in his tapes); others, voice quality. In "Compehrensive articulatory phonetics" 2/e, the last chapter is dedicated to this: jaw, tongue, and lip settings for every dialect.

    You can investigate this along these lines.

  6. #6
    LordJenkins is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Questions about intonation and mouth shapes

    Quote Originally Posted by raindoctor View Post
    In dialect and voice over circles, there is a notion of articulatory setting for every dialect. Some call it a point of resonance (for instance, David Alan Stern in his tapes); others, voice quality. In "Compehrensive articulatory phonetics" 2/e, the last chapter is dedicated to this: jaw, tongue, and lip settings for every dialect.

    You can investigate this along these lines.
    This is just what I was looking for! Thanks so much raindoctor!

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