What does ACCENT mean in American English?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Sep 14 14:47:48 UTC 2001

At 10:36 PM -0400 9/14/01, RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
>Doug Wilson's suggestion that the student might have been reacting to the
>difficulties of understanding a foreign accent strikes me as pragmatically
>very plausible--a reading that neither I nor Larry (nor the original poster)
>thought of.

I agree completely that Doug's reading is plausible, but speaking for
myself, that WAS within the range of meanings I had in mind; we get
comments like that from our students (yes, even at Yale) about
non-native instructors and TAs.  "I don't like her accent" could
express a distaste for, or a complaint against the difficulty or
'foreignness' of, any way of pronouncing English other than the
student's own.  I still don't get the "content" reading.


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