A special edition of Acting with an Accent (80 minutes of systematic audio lessons and an instruction/drill manual) teaching the resonance (placement), intonation/rhythm, and pronunciation of the American non-regional accent to Canadian Anglophones.
WHAT WILL YOU DOWNLOAD?
The download contains eighty (80) minutes of systematic instruction in MP3 sound files. You’ll also get a printable PDF of the instruction manual. It contains summaries of the audio lessons and full transcripts of the drill words, phrases, and passages.
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?
You’ll learn the resonance (voice placement), inflections, and pronunciation of the “General American” or “American Non-Regional” accent. You’ll use a program Dr. Stern developed specifically for actors who speak with the general Canadian Anglophone accent.
- Lesson 1 introduces expressive, American-style pitch changes and inflections. This is particularly useful for those Canadians who speak with increasingly common upward inflections at phrase and sentence endings.
- Lesson 2 teaches you the resonance or voice placement of the GenAm accent. In other words, you’ll learn to move and shape your mouth to create the accent’s voice placement.
- Lesson 3 gives the unique General American vowel pronunciations. You’ll work on many of the vowels as extensions of the mouth posture learned in the previous lesson. It will surprise some that American and Canadian standard differ in more vowels than the one in HOUSE and ABOUT.
- Lesson 4 first teaches you special pronunciations of words that don’t follow earlier rules. Secondly, it puts it all together with several drill passages. It reminds you about the voice placement. Further, it walks you through the pronunciation phrase by phrase before leading you to a normal speaking rate.
IS THERE ONE STANDARD (NON-REGIONAL) AMERICAN ACCENT?
Folks often ask me exactly where in the USA people speak American English “without an accent.” WELL! Pretty much all Americans grow up speaking a local accent. It’s just that we call some of those variations “no accent” or “non-regional accents.” So, for better or worse, here’s what I mean by that term.
I define “Non-Regional American Accent” as oral English that identifies its speakers as native-born Americans. But, at the same time, it does not give most listeners clues that speakers are from specific cities or regions. I don’t believe, however, that there is one absolute standard for “a correct non-regional accent.” Some vowel pronunciations can vary a bit without creating the impression of an accent change.
I unofficially identify two (WELL—maybe three) “brands” of non-regional speech that differ slightly in vowel pronunciations. For example, in my “Eastern Non-Regional” version, there is a rounded vowel in THOUGHT and an unrounded vowel in LOT. In my “Western Non-Regional” version, both words have slightly rounded vowels. In some “non-regional” areas, LOT rounds and THOUGHT does not. But these specific vowel shifts alone usually don’t signal regional changes to most listeners. However, some other vowel differences, especially accompanied by intonation, rhythm, or resonance changes, can read as regional-accent signs to many.