Reducing a Boston Accent
WHAT WILL YOU DOWNLOAD?
The download contains seventy-nine (79) 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 those who speak with the accent of Boston or other Eastern New England regions. Here’s the program’s sequence of instruction.
- The 1st Lesson teaches the mouth posture and movement style that generate the mid-mouth non-regional resonance.
- Lesson 2 helps you generate non-New England vowel pronunciations directly out of the new mouth movements and posture.
- The 3rd Lesson drills the non-regional lilt and inflection pattern that avoids the occasional pharse-ending Boston “drop lilts” – especially on diphthongs.
- Lesson 4 teaches the non-regional R sound when it comes after vowels. This is in direct contrast to the Boston accent’s non-rhotic or dropped R’s.
- The Final Lesson puts the non-regional accent together in several drill passages. The coached drill first reminds you about the resonance. Then, it walks you through target pronunciations phrase by phrase before leading you toward a normal speaking pace.
IS THERE ONE STANDARD NON-REGIONAL 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.