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Old 11-29-2013, 09:32 PM   #31
k3lt01
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Originally Posted by 273 View Post
I do know people who pronounce poor "poo-er"* but they also pronounce door "doo-er"* and it's the same with with "floor" also. I think it's a Lancashire thing though I seem to recall there's somewhere else that does the same.

*Or thereabouts, I think those who've heard it will know what I mean and those who haven't will get the idea.
My Nana, originally from Glasgow and could also speak Scottish Gaelic, used to call people "Soo-wer doo-ks" which was of course "sour ducks" but her pronunciation was due to her Glaswegian (the gorbels district) accent. English was not her mother tongue nor was it her 1st language although she never spoke Gaelic with me. Her pronunciation regardless of what word was said always followed correct pronunciation for her "ear". Many people from NESB backgrounds cannot hear differences in sounds in English (likewise English speakers don't hear differences in sounds in other languages) so they do not learn to pronounce things as a native speaker would but that does not mean their pronunciation is incorrect. Studies have been done with regards to a persons "ear" (or how they hear sounds and then repeat them) and the older a person is when they start to learn sounds from various languages the harder it is for them to mirror them even though they "hear" them the same way.

Just as an aside, I had a speech to text message on my phone the other day. It was really quite difficult to understand what was written until I realised the number in the message was wrong (the conversion was just way off) and I called them back. The message had a segment that said "dis is darla gee unit" which was actually "this is the allergy unit". I could understand the individual when she spoke up, very quiet voice didn't help much, but the speech to text conversion screwed it up totally. People who have little or no interaction with speakers will always have difficulty understanding them even if they do know the language. I often had to "translate" what my father said to people who had never dealt with him before because they just couldn't get past the accent yet he spoke in English.
 
Old 11-29-2013, 09:44 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k3lt01 View Post
Many people from NESB backgrounds cannot hear differences in sounds in English (likewise English speakers don't hear differences in sounds in other languages) so they do not learn to pronounce things as a native speaker would but that does not mean their pronunciation is incorrect.
I would disagree with this. As a native you can "get away with" being incorrect (take my "butter" example or my contrasting ways of saying the 'a' in "master" and "faster") but it doesn't make it correct. I'd also like to add that native speakers get used to native accents and can adapt accordingly, but if you inconsistently make mispronunciations you won't be understood. I give myself as an example: I've tried to learn Norwegian and despite taking classes and learning some vocabulary and how to pronounce the letters my sentences were so inconsistently German/Danish/English sounding that nobody could understand me.
I also recall a Canadian friend who moved in with a guy from where I am "up North" and how disconcerting her pronouncing "mum" and "loft" with a Northern English dialect was -- as somebody with that dialect it still caused me problems due to "code switching" in the middle of her sentences.
 
Old 11-29-2013, 10:25 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by 273 View Post
I would disagree with this. As a native you can "get away with" being incorrect (take my "butter" example or my contrasting ways of saying the 'a' in "master" and "faster") but it doesn't make it correct. I'd also like to add that native speakers get used to native accents and can adapt accordingly, but if you inconsistently make mispronunciations you won't be understood. I give myself as an example: I've tried to learn Norwegian and despite taking classes and learning some vocabulary and how to pronounce the letters my sentences were so inconsistently German/Danish/English sounding that nobody could understand me.
You disagree yet your example of your own learning backs up what I say! If I understood you correctly then what you are saying with your Norwegian sounds correct to you but not to native speakers. In other words your accent is the problem and your "ear" compared to a native Norwegain's "ear" is totally different. If, on the other hand, youa re saying it even sounds wrong to you then you haven't learned to say it.

Languages evolve with the people using them, as an example Ebonics (Afro-American English) is a valid dialect of English yet I bet you wouldn't understand a word of it nor could you even pronounce words as a native Ebonics speaker would but as a version of English it is not incorrect. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/4558


Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
I also recall a Canadian friend who moved in with a guy from where I am "up North" and how disconcerting her pronouncing "mum" and "loft" with a Northern English dialect was -- as somebody with that dialect it still caused me problems due to "code switching" in the middle of her sentences.
Again your comment actually backs up what I said. You had problems because your "ear" couldn't grasp what was being said yet what was being said was not incorrect, the words were still valid they just didn't sound as you would expect them to sound.
 
Old 11-29-2013, 10:48 PM   #34
273
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Originally Posted by k3lt01 View Post
Many people from NESB backgrounds cannot hear differences in sounds in English (likewise English speakers don't hear differences in sounds in other languages) so they do not learn to pronounce things as a native speaker would but that does not mean their pronunciation is incorrect.
I disagree in that I think it does make their pronunciation incorrect.
I agree about how we hear and interpret. I know I must "turn down" my very mild accent in order to be understood by English speakers with different accents than mine or those for whom English is a second language. However, were I to speak "received pronunciation" there would be no need to modulate my accent. Thus I conclude that, whilst I disagree with RP on logical and other grounds, it is correct English.
Edit: I'm probably going of topic and sharing too much but I was about 13 before people in the town of my birth didn't take me for an outsider due to my "posh" accent.

Last edited by 273; 11-29-2013 at 10:50 PM.
 
Old 11-29-2013, 11:28 PM   #35
k3lt01
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RP and BBC English are language constructs, meaning they were invented not evolved. Correct English is dependant on the speaker not the hearer. My Nana was never going to communicate in RP or BBC English, my father simply because of his accent was never going to communicate in RP or BBC English. Myself and 22 million Australians, 1.2 Billion Indians, a couple million New Zealanders, South Africans, 300 + million Americans, Canadians, Kenyans' etc etc etc, are never going to communicate in RP or BBC English. Just because someone cannot pronounce words in RP or BBC English does not mean they are pronouncing them incorrectly.
 
  


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