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Accommodation and Identity British Pop Music
Speakers change their speech to be more like the addressee. Speakers change to be evaluated favorably by the addressee. Travel Agents change pronunciation to be like clients in New Zealand. The variable is pronouncing intervocalic /t/ as /d/. “better”[b d r] Accommodation
British Pop-song Pronunciation • Popular singers use different accents while singing • 1960’s pop-style had unique combination of features • Not found in any single regional dialect • Intervocalic /t/ as [d] instead of [t] or [ʔ] • (Americans use [t] or [d]) • /æ/ as [æ] instead of [a] • (Americans use [æ]) • Non-prevocalic /r/ as [r] instead of deletion • (Most regions of America use [r]) • Monophthongization of /ay/ as [aˑ] • (American Southerners use [aˑ]) • Love and done: mid central vowel • (Americans also do) • Body and top: unrounded • (Americans also do) • Popular singers are not accommodating any British audience
Non prevocalic /r/ • Nonprevocalic /r/ is the same /r/ that is not pronounced in U.S. Southern Dialect and New York Vernacular, AAVE, Boston Vernacular etc. • Neither London nor Liverpool pronounce it.
Interpretations Based on Theory • Singers are being appropriate to context by altering pronunciation. • American pronunciation is appropriate to British singing. • LePage’s theory is that speakers seek to identify with groups by pronunciation. • Not only accent but vocabulary is American. • Guy, call • Accommodation theory would have to be extended to cover British pop singing.
British Pop Style Has a Contrast with U.S. Pop Style • U.S. Pop style does not pronounce nonprevocalic /r/ • Elvis Presley (using native Southern dialect) • Bob Dylan (adopting Southern accent for singing). • British Pop Singers imitate /r/ of U.S. speech but U.S. pop singers don’t pronounce it. • British singers would sound more American if they dropped /r/ as in their ordinary speech • Apparently British singers couldn’t distinguish between American singing and speaking styles
U.S. South and AAVE Features found in American Popular Singing Style • American singers don’t pronounce nonprevocalic /r/ • American singers monophthongize /ay/ to [a:] • /I/ is pronounced [æ] in “thing” [θæŋ] imitating Southern and AAVE merger of /e/ and /I/ before /n/ (pin and pen are homonyms)
“sitting” [sIdIn] [sItIn] “poor” [por] “for” [for] “little” [lIdIl] “sure” [šor] Pronounce nonprevocalic /r/ Voice intervocalic /t/ “Matchbox”(1964)
“I” [a:] “compare” [kʌmpær] “there” [ðɛr] “her” [hɛr] “another” [ʌnʌðIr] “heart” [ha:t] “other” [ʌðIr] “before” [bIyfor] Nonprevocalic /r/ Monophthongization Voice intervocalic /t/ “I Saw Her Standing There” (1963)
“can’t” [kæant] “love” [lʌv] “I” [a:] “care” [kær] “for” [for] “everybody” [ɛvrIybʌdIy] “I’ll” [a:ll] “satisfied” [sædIsfayd] Mid-Central vowel in “love” Digraph in “can’t” Central vowel in “body” Monophthongization Voice intervocalic /t/ Nonprevocalic /r/ “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1964)
Omit nonprevocalic /r/ Monophthongization Voice intervocalic /t/ “morning” [mo:nIn] “I” [a:] “letter” [lɛdʌ] “my” [ma:] “time” [ta:m] “Dust My Broom” 1959 Beatles express admiration for Elmore James on “For You Blue” I'm gettin' up soon in the mornin' I believe I'll dust my broom … I quit the best girl I'm lovin', now my friends can get in my room I'm gonna write a letter, telephone every town I know … If I don't find her in Mississippi, she be in East Monroe I know And I don't want no woman, wants every downtown man she meets … Man, she's a no good doney they shouldn't allow her on the street, yeah I believe, I believe my time ain't long … I ain't gonna leave my baby, and break up my happy home
Pronounce nonprevocalic /r/ Voice intervocalic /t/ “Lord” [lo:d] # “turnip” [tIrnIp] “girl” [girʌl] “pork” [pork] “citified” [sIdIfayd] “every” [eva:] “fiberglass” [faybIrglæs] “you’re” [yo:]# #-Unlike British Pop style “Down Home Girl” 1965
British Pop Singers Changed • The First Two Beatles and Rolling Stones Records had 36% of /r/ (1963-65) • Four Pop albums of 1978-79 had 4% /r/ • Dire Straits, Supertramp, Clash, Sham ‘69
Decline of /r/ • Beatles and Rolling Stones had similar declines • Trudgill claims that 47% was the best they could do.
Decline of /r/ and /t/ for Beatles and Rolling Stones • Voiced intervocalic /t/ scores high • Rolling Stones decreased /t/ from 100-46% • “Some Girls” 46% • “Pretty” effect lowered score.
Beatles eventually reverted to [a:] • Use of [æ] was consistent until 1965 • Sargeant Pepper and White Album alternated [æ] and [a:] • Abbey Road used all [a:] • They reverted to Liverpool speech.
British Desire to Sound American Decreased • British pronunciations were not introduced until punk music. • Punk is loud, fast and aggressive • Songs about violence underpriveledge, alienation, rejection • Urban working class youth
Punk uses Low Prestige Speech of Southern England • Way of speaking is intended to be aggressive • Associated with Working Class • Punk uses some American features • Intermittent Monophthongization
Pop Trends in 1979 • Most British Pop is /r/ less • Most British Pop groups use /t/ and /æ/ • Even Punk:Stranglers, Clash, Sham ’69 • Only Punk and Dury use [ʔ]
“I’m So Bored with the U.S.A.” (1979) American • Digraph British • wide diphthong • dipthong • /r/less • /t/ unvoiced
Yankee soldier He wanna shoot some skag He met it in Cambodia But now he can't afford a bag Yankee dollar talk To the dictators of the world In fact it's giving orders An' they can't afford to miss a word I'm so bored with the U...S...A... But what can I do? Yankee detectives Are always on the TV 'Cos killers in America Work seven days a week Never mind the stars and stripes Let's print the Watergate Tapes I'll salute the New Wave And I hope nobody escapes I'm so bored with the U...S...A... But what can I do? Move up Starsky For the C.I.A. Suck on Kojak For the USA “soldier” [solǰʌ] “can’t” [kænt] “afford” [afo:d] “dictators” [dikteytor] “bored” [bo:d] “A…” [æI] “killers” [kIlɛ:z] “Watergate” wɔtʌgæIt] “Tapes” x [tæIps] “mind” [maInd] “I” [aI] “I’m So Bored with the U.S.A.”(1977)
Dury lacks American pronunciation Glottal stop for intervocalic or final /t/ “quiet” [kwayɛt] 9 “quiet” [kwayɛʔ] 11 “Quiet!” (1979) (1990)