Speaking With An Accent

Do you speak American-English with an accent? Do you know why? What is an accent?  

People will use the same phonetic and prosodic habits that they learned from their own language to pronounce letters and words in a new language. When they do, their phonetic pronunciation and their use of word stress, intonation, pause, and rhythm sound different.

If pronunciation were music, then phonetics would teach you how to make individual musical notes.

If pronunciation were music, then prosody would teach you how to use stress, rhythm, intonation, and pause to put the notes together into a song that everyone else recognizes and accepts.

Recognition and acceptance: that is what you want for the words and sentences that you pronounce. You want others to recognize and accept your pronunciation.

Your grammar might be correct, but the "music" that you make when you speak a new language is different. You are pronouncing a song that not many have heard before.

                                                              Next: Accent: Page 2

                             Program content & web design by Chris Opall © 2011   Last Updated   May 5, 2012

 

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  Your Accent

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