Wordcraft Home Page    Wordcraft Community Home Page    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Foreign Words    An amusing accent
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
An amusing accent Login/Join
 
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted
While in Malta with attendees from around 130 countries, we wore headphones a lot, but most of it was in English. Of course there were all sorts of accents. However, the Bahrain accent was the most interesting. This speaker, whom I heard twice, would raise her voice to the level of soprano singer with nearly every "the." She would say for example: We developed THE (long pause) project to improve health outcomes of THE (long pause) inhabitants of our country.

Have any of you ever seen that before? I surely hadn't, nor had others. I laud her for speaking English at an international conference as I could never present a paper in another language. On the other hand, I spent most of the time listening for her THEs, and not to the content of her talk.
 
Posts: 23286 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I've not observed that, but sometimes hear speakers raise their pitch at the end of a declarative sentence, not just an interrogative one.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
Posts: 4431 | Location: In a cornfield in central IndianaReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Yes, I heard lots of that as well.

I am hoping to post my photos from Malta this weekend.
 
Posts: 23286 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of BobHale
posted Hide Post
It's a well known feature of the some accents. You hear it a lot in Australian TV programs for example.
 
Posts: 7858 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
You mean the raising the pitch at the end of the sentence, right? Yes, that is done in the northern part of England and in Scotland, as well, isn't it?

But this was different. It occurred with one word "the," and only when it was pronounced "thee;" the speaker made a lengthy pause after saying it, as if it were the end of the sentence, but it wasn't.
 
Posts: 23286 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of BobHale
posted Hide Post
Not to the same extent, although I have heard it and I have had people say that I do it (though only American's have ever actually said that!)
 
Posts: 7858 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
If I were Mr. Strunk, I'd question that apostrophe, but far be it for me to be a grammar nitpicker. Wink

Bob, I think you'd have to hear this speaker before you'd say that. I have traveled a fair amount (nothing like you have!), and I have never heard anything like that before. Nor had any of my American colleagues.
 
Posts: 23286 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Perhaps the speaker had difficulty remembering English nouns, and needed to pause every time one came up?
 
Posts: 292 | Location: Bath, EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of BobHale
posted Hide Post
Sorry iof I was unclear. I was commenting on the use of question intonation for declaratives rather than your more interesting and unusual point.

Still mostly off topic, the most extraordinary English accent that I ever heard was on a trip to New Orleans where the waitress in a restaurant sounded positively bizarre. One minute it was as if she'd been at the helium and the next it was a deep masculine baritone. The rhythm of the words was also random with pauses and emphases in the most unlikely places.

The only comparable accent I ever heard wasn't in English, it was in Korean from the narrator at the DPRK State Symphony Hall where her descriptions of the pieces swooped and dived like a bird - covering at least four or five octaves. That, though, was a performance rather than her normal voice.
 
Posts: 7858 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I remember learning in school that the should be pronounced with a schwa sound (thə) unless it's being emphasized, in which case it's pronounced with a long vowel sound (thē). So you would say, "I'm going to thə party tonight," unless it was a special party that you wished to emphasize, then you would say "I'm going to thē party tonight." The stressed thē would often be a little higher in pitch with a slight pause after it.

The same with a. Schwa unstressed but long when stressed for emphasis.

I just read that the should be thē before a vowel sound. I don't remember ever learning that. Perhaps I was sleeping that day. My the before a vowel sound tends to be somewhere in between the two pronunciations.
 
Posts: 2767 | Location: Shoreline, WA, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Kalleh
posted Hide Post
Yes, I was familiar with thee before a vowel sound. However, I got so wound up about her high-pitched thee, followed by a dramatic pause, that I didn't notice if it was only before a vowel sound. It might have been as once in awhile she'd say the normally.

Bob, the southern accents in the U.S. are really hard to understand, though I haven't heard that particular one. I remember once a man with a southern accent was admiring my family's car and was asking my mother if we "could make a bed out of it." It took ages for us to figure out what he was saying. My mom kept thinking he was asking "if we could make a bet out of it." Big Grin
 
Posts: 23286 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

Wordcraft Home Page    Wordcraft Community Home Page    Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Foreign Words    An amusing accent

Copyright © 2002-12