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    #11

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    What attributes will you assign to your so called "Neutral Accent"?

    Do you think a neutral accent can be acquired?

    What is the difference between neutral accent and neutralized accent?
    I would agree with the other posts in this thread -- maybe not the comment about the Australian accent. I don't know if Americans find it grating, but it certainly is distinctive.

    In Biology, the taxonomists look for the "central" species -- what is called the "type species." In the genus Acer (the maple tree) for example, there are thousands of non-interbreeding species: Acer saccharum (the sugar maple), Acer palmatum (the Japanese maple), and so on.

    All these species are more or less far out along the spokes of a wheel, depending on how specialized their adaptations have become. But the species that is at the hub of the wheel is the "type" species of this genus -- the most typical, least extreme, least idiosyncratic species. The type species of the genus is Acer pseudoplatanuse (the sycamore maple.)

    This is the same for a "neutral" accent. It is the one that is the least specialized, the least idiosyncratic of the accents. In the US, it is the accent that the television news broadcasters speak. They take special classes to learn this "type accent" or "most typical" accent in broadcasting schools. It is the standard neutral American accent.

    I think the other poster was right by saying it's a Midwestern accent, but I think it is even more neutralized than that. It is heard by almost everyone (when it is being broadcast) as "accent-less." (I think people in Boston would hear it as an accent if we were speaking to the broadcaster live and in person.)
    ---------------------------

    I think the term "accent neutralization" refers to diminishing a foreign accent, but maybe that's not the way you mean to use the term?

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    #12

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    I would agree with the other posts in this thread -- maybe not the comment about the Australian accent. I don't know if Americans find it grating, but it certainly is distinctive.

    In Biology, the taxonomists look for the "central" species -- what is called the "type species." In the genus Acer (the maple tree) for example, there are thousands of non-interbreeding species: Acer saccharum (the sugar maple), Acer palmatum (the Japanese maple), and so on.

    All these species are more or less far out along the spokes of a wheel, depending on how specialized their adaptations have become. But the species that is at the hub of the wheel is the "type" species of this genus -- the most typical, least extreme, least idiosyncratic species. The type species of the genus is Acer pseudoplatanuse (the sycamore maple.)

    This is the same for a "neutral" accent. It is the one that is the least specialized, the least idiosyncratic of the accents. In the US, it is the accent that the television news broadcasters speak. They take special classes to learn this "type accent" or "most typical" accent in broadcasting schools. It is the standard neutral American accent.

    I think the other poster was right by saying it's a Midwestern accent, but I think it is even more neutralized than that. It is heard by almost everyone (when it is being broadcast) as "accent-less." (I think people in Boston would hear it as an accent if we were speaking to the broadcaster live and in person.)
    ---------------------------

    I think the term "accent neutralization" refers to diminishing a foreign accent, but maybe that's not the way you mean to use the term?
    Out here in Indian BPO Industry where the agents have to interact with Americans, Brittons and Australians, the terms Neutralized Accent and Neutral Accent are very common.

    Agents are advised to speak in a Neutral Accent, which should neither sound American (dont roll your "R"s, dont use flapped T, dont use the american "ae" sound), nor British (dont clip your "R"s), nor Australian.

    I have even heard Trainers advising not to aspirate the consonants /p/ and /t/ sounds (though articulating them properly).

    Neutralized accent is an Indian accent which has been removed of any Indian influence (eliminating the Mother Toungue Influence) and which neither sounds american, nor british nor australian.

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    #13

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    I fail to understand how can a person remove any trace of accent from his or her English Pronunciation?

    How can a person not sound American or British or Australian or Indian or etc...?


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    #14

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    I fail to understand how can a person remove any trace of accent from his or her English Pronunciation?

    How can a person not sound American or British or Australian or Indian or etc...?
    I think a person who was trained to speak in a neutral "broadcaster-quality" American accent would sound American all right -- but he wouldn't sound Southern, or New England, or Texan. He would sound "accent-less" in the sense of "not having any trace of any of the American regional accents."

    Some of these accents are quite distinctive: A Boston accent, a Bronx accent, a Tupelo accent, a Cajun accent, a Maine accent, a Dallas accent ... anyone would be able to place those immediately.

    Emerson College here in Boston
    The Program for Speech Improvement
    has classes for the elimination of US regional accents. One of my students had been a student there. She had an unusually fine way of speaking, and when I asked her about her "accent" (her NON-accent!), she told me she spent hours with long lists of words like "dot hot hat cat" learning to hit the "t" exactly right, and to keep that "t" when the words were in sentences. (and so on, to learn this special way of speaking and to remove her own Boston accent.)

    American listeners want to hear an American voice without the distractions (and comedy) of a regional accent. Presidents with regional accents are somewhat hard to listen to -- partly because the listener is distracted by hearing a Southern drawl or a JFK Harvard accent, and partly because it's a little irritating after a long time.

    A Boston accent sounds absolutely neutral to me -- until I hear it broadcast. Then it sounds kind of comical. The "accent-less" news cupcake might interview a jake from the hood, for example, and her neutral accent contrasts strangely with his strong Dorchester accent. Yet in person, I would not have noticed a thing.

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    #15

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Correct me if I am wrong...

    Us will have a different Neutral Accent, UK will have a different neutral accent and Aus will have a different neutral accent.

    The neutral accents or US, UK, Aus, Ind will differ from each other?

    So there is no accent or pronunciation which can be regarded as Neutral Globally..??


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    #16

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong...

    Us will have a different Neutral Accent, UK will have a different neutral accent and Aus will have a different neutral accent.

    The neutral accents or US, UK, Aus, Ind will differ from each other?

    So there is no accent or pronunciation which can be regarded as Neutral Globally..??
    That is the case.

    To my ears, American television news broadcasters have "no" accent.

    But I think the "accent-less" BBC broadcasters have a strong British accent, and I can place it instantly.

    What "neutral" means is "not regional," but it doesn't mean "not national."

    I was interested in your idea that you hoped to speak a non-national accent. I don't know if that is possible.

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    #17

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    That is the case.

    To my ears, American television news broadcasters have "no" accent.

    But I think the "accent-less" BBC broadcasters have a strong British accent, and I can place it instantly.

    What "neutral" means is "not regional," but it doesn't mean "not national."

    I was interested in your idea that you hoped to speak a non-national accent. I don't know if that is possible.
    Hmmm, thats a new term coined by Prof Ann "Non-National Accent"
    Now thats what is propogated by Voice and Accent Training Departments of Indian BPOs as Neutral Accent.

    I think attaining a non national neutral accent is next to impossible.

    You can attain Global Intelligebility but Non-National Neutral Accent.. Naah

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    #18

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Still there are attributes of various neutral accents that might together constitute a goal toward which you can aim; our broadcast standard English, along with BBC English, shares /i/, /eI/ and/e/ vowels that "strong" accents do differently, for example. If you watch Coronation Street, you hear that Mancunians pronounce "me" something like we say "may"; "day" is pronounced the same in our broadcast English and BBC English, as is "today" and "way"; in Cockney and Australian English they might sound like "die" and "to die," which strikes others as a strong "twang." Pronouncing the /h/ in words such as help and he is also characteristic of virtually all "neutral" accents.

    So there may be characteristics one could describe as sounding neutral all around the world.

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    #19

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    That is the case.

    To my ears, American television news broadcasters have "no" accent.

    But I think the "accent-less" BBC broadcasters have a strong British accent, and I can place it instantly.

    What "neutral" means is "not regional," but it doesn't mean "not national."

    I was interested in your idea that you hoped to speak a non-national accent. I don't know if that is possible.
    Some Discussion on Neutral Accent

    What is neutral accent and what is correct english diction? | Antimoon Forum
    Neutral accent
    what is neutral accent? | Teaching English | British Council | BBC
    Speaking With A Neutral AccentPersonal Etiquettes Tips, Free Personal Etiquettes tips, Personal Etiquettes Guides, Home Tips, Market Tips, Trading Tips, Mobile Tips - Maxabout.com

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    #20

    Re: What is Neutral Accent?

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Still there are attributes of various neutral accents that might together constitute a goal toward which you can aim; our broadcast standard English, along with BBC English, shares /i/, /eI/ and/e/ vowels that "strong" accents do differently, for example. If you watch Coronation Street, you hear that Mancunians pronounce "me" something like we say "may"; "day" is pronounced the same in our broadcast English and BBC English, as is "today" and "way"; in Cockney and Australian English they might sound like "die" and "to die," which strikes others as a strong "twang." Pronouncing the /h/ in words such as help and he is also characteristic of virtually all "neutral" accents.

    So there may be characteristics one could describe as sounding neutral all around the world.
    Thus are we looking at some form of English Pronunciation which is an amalgam of all the accents, which is spoken by nobody however can be acquired..?

    An interesting Discussion

    Neutral accent

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