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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:11 pm 
Sumerul
Sumerul

Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 12:47 pm
Posts: 3581
Location: Milwaukee, US
At my work I work with quite a few Indian and Chinese individuals, who while often having significant foreign accents (which took me a while to get used to - I had significant trouble understanding many of them at first), are otherwise fluent in Standard English, while at the same time having less familiarity with dialectal NAE than the average native English-speaker from here. This has resulted in a natural experiment with regard to how much distance there is between Standard English and dialectal NAE which would not otherwise be possible. In particular, I have found that they have no problem with the NCVS or with l-vocalization, but get readily confused as soon as one starts eliding consonants that are not normally elided in Standard English. (I find myself repeating myself, and them still being confused, and then remembering that I need to add back in certain consonants, after which they understand me without a problem.) And I know that this is a dialectal rather than idiolectal feature because the native English-speakers around here have no problem whatsoever with such elisions and will have them themselves, if not necessarily as frequently as myself. So this makes it clear that non-standard consonantal elisions are a feature that reduce intelligibility vis-a-vis speakers of (albeit accented) Standard English who are unfamiliar with the local dialect. So this makes me wonder whether anyone else here is aware of any similar natural experiments that elucidate the distance between dialect and standard language in one's area.

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Dibotahamdn duthma jallni agaynni ra hgitn lakrhmi.
Amuhawr jalla vowa vta hlakrhi hdm duthmi xaja.
Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:23 am 
Boardlord
Boardlord

Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2002 8:26 pm
Posts: 3376
Location: In the den
If you marry a foreigner, you'll get lots of data. :)

My wife is from Peru; she's been here for decades now, but accents can still be difficult for her.

It works in reverse too. Talking with Spanish speakers, some are very easy to understand, some are terrible. Certainly the more standard the speech the better, but it also varies weirdly within her family. (E.g., her parents and one of her aunts I understand fine; her brothers and another of her aunts are difficult.)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:44 am 
Sanno
Sanno
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Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2002 9:00 am
Posts: 3687
Location: Rogers Park/Evanston
Speaking of Spanish accents, I find a similar pattern to what Travis has identified: I have no trouble with lack of distinción or yeísmo, both of which involve the merger of segments. But aspiration of /s/ presents more of a challenge and the hardest dialects of all are Caribbean dialects with widespread and thoroughgoing elision (e.g. "¿Cómo está Usted?" > "¿Có 'tá Uté?").


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:38 pm 
Avisaru
Avisaru
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Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 11:11 pm
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Location: Łódź
I'm currently taking part in an exchange programme with one of Kievan schools and I was a host for my Ukrainian friend for a week just before our Easter. He's a native speaker of Russian and his vocabulary didn't differ anything from what I've worked with before, but his and his schoolmates' speech was unusually fast for Russian, much faster than how the Kazan' teenagers I met in Malta spoke, so he had to switch to a typical, slow melody of Russian for me to understand him. I also had to start speaking more TV-like register, to sound anything close to the Polish language he learned from a private teacher. This was a funny experience, but I was exhausted after seven days of speaking the way I wouldn't normally.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:21 pm 
Lebom
Lebom

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:21 pm
Posts: 92
Location: Taipeium, Respublica Sinarum
Just watched this clip on NCVS and I must say that I can't really nail the accent. The congresswoman's speech especially sounds no different from the broadcaster English to my ears.
Is the Rochester girl's (the 2nd speaker) "dancing" an example of NCVS? That's the only one that sounds clearly "wrong" to me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3noS_0IdrRo

And about l-vocalization: In accents without it, is the tongue supposed to touch the alveolar ridge at the end of words like "ale", "steel" and the name of the letter "L"? Or is that not what it's about?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:37 pm 
Sumerul
Sumerul

Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 12:47 pm
Posts: 3581
Location: Milwaukee, US
M Mira wrote:
Just watched this clip on NCVS and I must say that I can't really nail the accent. The congresswoman's speech especially sounds no different from the broadcaster English to my ears.
Is the Rochester girl's (the 2nd speaker) "dancing" an example of NCVS? That's the only one that sounds clearly "wrong" to me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3noS_0IdrRo

For the longest time I did not notice the NCVS, because I am so used to everyone having it in the area where I live, while at the same time not really noticing GA either, from hearing it so much in media content. It is only relatively recently that I have learned to really tell the two apart, particularly based upon the realization of /æ/ and /ɑ/.

M Mira wrote:
And about l-vocalization: In accents without it, is the tongue supposed to touch the alveolar ridge at the end of words like "ale", "steel" and the name of the letter "L"? Or is that not what it's about?

Or at least be close to the alveolar ridge, as opposed to with vocalization, where it may range from [w] to some unrounded back glide.

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Dibotahamdn duthma jallni agaynni ra hgitn lakrhmi.
Amuhawr jalla vowa vta hlakrhi hdm duthmi xaja.
Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro. Irdro.


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