AAllan at AOL.COM
AAllan at AOL.COM
Sun Jan 30 16:04:05 UTC 2000
Please reply directly to the inquirer, as well as to the list, if you list. -
. . . . I was reminded of a
question that's been on my mind for some time, not about American
accents, but about the British accents we often hear from BBC
reporters affiliated with NPR and CNN.
I've noticed that many American broadcast journalists try their best
to pronounce names of foreign places and people as much like the
native speakers as possible, rolling their r's and so on, sometimes
In contrast, I've also noticed that many (though of course not all)
of the British correspondents make no such attempt whatsoever: a
certain Central American capital is "Mannaggwer" while Earth's
largest continent is "Aysher." But even more striking to my ears has
been the fact that many of these reporters stress foreign names in a
manner opposite from every other voice on the air: Bel-GRADE, East Ti-
MOR. And the Prime Minister of Israel is BAR-rack, just like the
buildings where soldiers live but without the final s.
When I started noticing that many of the British correspondents end
their sentences with an unusual (to my ears) change in pitch and
tempo I was fairly certain that I'd seen Monty Python skits where
Python "newscasters" used this seemingly unnatural cadence for comic
effect. I began to wonder how much of the speech characteristics of
the British broadcasters were learned conventions (like the
Transatlantic English mentioned on the show) and no more a natural
part of British speech than my own.
Obviously, this is not a question of earth-shattering importance, but
if you are able to offer any insights it would be greatly appreciated.
purplechez at moose-mail.com
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