FW: dialect change?

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIOU.EDU
Fri Nov 1 20:03:20 UTC 2002

The classic article on early Brit imitation of American music, and esp. of
black singers more than Elvis, is Peter Trudgill's "Acts of Conflicting
Identity: The Sociolinguistics of British Pop-song Pronunciation," in his
book _On Dialect: Social and Geographical Perspectives_ (NYU Press,
1983).  They'd try to be r-ful, for example, and to use /AE/ in words where
"standard" Br Eng wouldn't, etc.  It wasn't so much the U.S. market though
as it was their idolizing of American pop singers, as I understand it.  But
yes, they became more "English" as time went on and they established their
own identity.

At 01:47 AM 11/1/2002 -0500, you wrote:
>What is said below re changes in one's speech sounds while singing occurs in
>rock singing, noticeably when Brit rock singers "lose" much of their
>"accent" when singing, largely, I believe, because the intonational aspect
>of the sound of their dialect is diminished.
>I noticed this with the early songs of the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, the
>Kinks, and the Animals (1964-5).  Part of this may be attributed to their
>trying NOT to sound British (sometimes even trying to sound like Elvis)-- as
>the US market was so important -- but part, too, is because singing seems to
>flatten or obscure many dialectal characteristics re the sound of vowels and
>intonation.  Later, when their fame was established, they were more willing
>to sing purely as Brits, but even then much of the "English accent" is
>Frank Abate
>On Thu, 31 Oct 2002 16:27:53 -0500 joshua <nerd_core at EXCITE.COM> writes:
> > when people sing, they pronounce words differently (they drop
> > consonants, substitute phonemes, etc.)  doing this isn't technically
> > a dialect change, so what would we call it?
>Not directly on point, but related.
>Back in the 50s and 60s, Fred Waring (actually it was probably Roy
>Ringwald, his arranger) developed a phonetic notation for lyrics for
>choral music. All the published Fred Waring sheet music had the regular
>lyrics, but printed below them was a phonetic version.
>Anyway, if it is a dialect, it has a formal written form.

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