Talk:Accent reduction

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Foreign accent[edit]

It is generally known that when a foreign accent is spoken an unfortunate phenomenon comes into being, which has an unsuitable name - accent.

This problem, affecting practically everybody, has fallen into oblivion. The press is mute. In special literature this theme is avoided as far as possible or it is limited with some vague sentences. In Estonian Wikipedia this subject is represented through age-old standpoints of subconscious habits of the mother language. This has been probably dug out somewhere by archaeologists. In 1968 this point of view was abandoned by Moscow phoneticians (Jelena Bryzgunova).

The right positions of the articulatory basis is not yet correct pronunciation. This becomes evident in works of phoneticians (Beatrice Honikman), but they do not know how to proceed.

The real cause of the accent formation is lasting changes in the articulatory basis taking place in early youth at the time of the speaking process. These changes are different for every language. This is the place to look for foreign accent, not believing stories about somebody somewhere who managed to master foreign pronunciation so well that he succeeded as a spy.

Wake up, phoneticians! We are already in the third millenium, there is no place for theories based on rumours.

Leonhard Klaar[edit]

2006-04-15

The wretchedness of phoneticians


I have been trying to highlight the problem of the origin of accents for 39 years, but no one seems to want to even try to understand it.

Anyone who does not learn a foreign language during early childhood will speak it with the sounds of their mother tongue, because adults can no sooner produce new sounds through ordinary practice than they can grow themselves a new set of teeth. Phoneticians fail to grasp this elementary truth and they are behaving like the officials in the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Emperor’s New Clothes (and I am the one who says that the Emperor is naked).

I would like to ask you all one fundamental question: does a speaking process that lasts months and years leave its mark on the impressionable tissue of a child’s articulatory base or not? I call it the ‘nest of articulation’, but phoneticians see no changes here at all.

Phoneticians are short of words when in question is this problem. Is it possible to ask them how many adult learners have received help from the current theory of accent´s formation?

This question is examined in more detail on the Internet at www.hot.ee/lklaar Silence around the accent.


Leonhard Klaar

You are wrong. There is no reason why adults shouldn't be able to learn new sounds. My opinion is that the problem is in the learning process. Usual way is to start with some basic phrases, then move to some more complex grammar and learning more words. Finally, after people get some fluency, they move to removing the accent. But this process is exactly opposite of how we learn the language as children. At first several hours, no words, no basic phrases should be learned. Just phonology. People should learn to distinguish all the vowels and consonants of the language and then they should learn to pronounce them. If you skip this important phase and you start to learn new words, brain will automatically assign the closest sounding phonemes from your mother language. And this is very hard to overcome after few years of learning.

"No" accent?[edit]

There's a phrase in this article that says that people can be trained to have 'no' accent. This is meaningless since there's no such thing as having 'no' accent. The Accent article says so too. A more accurate wording would be 'a closer accent to those around them.' Or something. --Eamonnca1 (talk) 23:26, 27 November 2007 (UTC)


Spot on. This must be changed. The article is misleading in its current form. It should be titled "accent modification" and completely overhauled. - Plasticbadge (talk) 23:41, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Declaration[edit]

I am declaring an interest in this page. Reason: ESL Prof Esller (talk) 03:26, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

I would also like to declare interest and intent to research and edit this article. In interest of full disclosure I feel it is relevant to say that I did a class project with the Accent Reduction Institute. However, if I do add any links or references to them, it will only be after I do significant research and they will NOT be the only company I link to. If there is any doubt as to my neutrality, I'll be a good Wikipedian and discuss it with folks. I also admit I am a relative newbie but will try to follow guidelines - it can just be a bit daunting to try to get everything right. LizBlankenship (talk) 00:01, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Relevance of examples[edit]

I would suggest that the article should either include examples of practioners/online/software resources or not include them at all. I refrained from undoing changes by Essler, however, I feel that this article should either include a COMPREHENSIVE LIST of practioners and online/software resources or not include examples at all.

Vandalism[edit]

Regarding OutSide Spamming Links[edit]

Regarding:Relevance of examples by User 99.238.106.6

WikiProject Spam as Vandalism: "At one end of the spectrum are professional spammers seeking to drive traffic to commercial sites. .....Wikipedia is not a link repository for outside links." Free commercial websites or not. This subject has already been addressed via spamming intentions of User talk:99.238.106.6 .

Esller (talk) 17:42, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Spamming[edit]

Vandalism[edit]

User_talk:99.238.106.6 Vandalism & Spam Intentions. Spamming for Accentschool.com - reported vandalised & 1st warning for Dec 10 Edits. This Talk was deleted by USER 99.238.106.6 . This TALK reinstated due to further Vandalism & Spam Intentions by USER 99.238.106.6 .

Esller Esller (talk) 19:11, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism/COI by Toronto based AccentSchool.com Association[edit]

Undid Vandalism/COI of deletion by 76.64.192.84. Association with Accentschool.com or York University. 1st Warning. Esller (talk) 01:12, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Vandalism/COI by Toronto based AccentSchool.com Association[edit]

Vandalism/COI by Toronto based AccentSchool.com Association[edit]

Undid Vandalism/COI of deletion by 76.64.192.84. Association with Accentschool.com or York University. 2nd Warning. Esller (talk) 04:58, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

76.64.192.84 COI[edit]

No advertising in current edit. Deletion and IMHO by 76.64.192.84 unfounded as a COI exists with 76.64.192.84. No Spaming in article as claimed by 76.64.192.84. An investigation of 76.64.192.84 shows a competing professional or personal interest in regard to Accent Reduction. Such competing interests can make it difficult to fulfill edits impartially. 99.238.106.6, 207.75.157.26 and 76.64.192.84 shows similarities in exact locations/user associations besides similarities in exact Discussions, Talk and COI, Vandalism and Spamming intent revisions. Esller (talk) 08:45, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Continued COI of 76.64.192.84 and inability to follow Wikipedia Guidelines.[edit]

76.64.192.84 of - All Deletions and COI will be Undone due to associations with AccentSchool.com and inability to follow Wikipedia guidelines. 76.64.192.84 has a known COI in regard to this article. 76.64.192.84 last deletion regarding advertising had no claim or basis as found by senior Admin. Esller (talk) 20:27, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Factually misleading statement[edit]

In the previous statement about allegations of vandalism 76.64.192.84, Essler made an assertion that the edits had no claim or basis as found by a senior Admin. This statement is misleading, because Wikipedia Admin enochlau made the following statement in regards to the state of this article (which is contrary to the assertion made by Essler above):

"Sorry for taking so long to reply back. I think the article is progressing ok - there are some citations now. I would suggest that you add some web links so that interested users can find the relevant article/web pages immediately. I don't know much about it, but one thing that seems missing is any kind of fundamental theory behind accent reduction - what are the basic techniques, why do they work, are they effective? The article needs to present both sides if there is a genuine controversy in the field, and reference appropriate. Regarding Ms Dunn, I don't see why she deserves special mention. If there's something uniquely special about her, then provide some references to back that up, otherwise it does seem out of place in a general encyclopedia to specifically pinpoint the work of one particular person. enochlau (talk) 13:07, 18 December 2007 (UTC)"

This statement was made on the talk page of Essler though was later vandalized by (blanked out) by *72.87.179.230 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · filter log · WHOIS · RDNS · RBLs · http · block user · block log). Additionally, the talk page of Essler was previously vandalized by 99.238.106.6 who removed a large part of the talk page of Essler , which seemed to explain intentions of the editors accused by Essler of spamming.

Intentions of Accentschool.com not appropriate. See Wikipedia guidelines.[edit]

to 83.98.156.215 (unsigned of course) The intentions of spamming of AccentSchool.com are very clear and are very much spamming. The vandalism of any talk page or any article is not appropriate behavior. Also, the purpose of AccentSchool.com was to really push their Canadian therapists and falsely claimed software (Really an Adobe Flash movie in which 2/3's of the .swf advertises their company). Research in Wikipedia is the key. Vandalism or COI actions seems an attempt to sway a separate interest. Thank you though for your attention to this. Esller (talk) 19:40, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Clarifications of edits made by 99.238.106.6[edit]

To 83.98.156.215: the part I removed from Essler's talk page was a comment made by me before I read Wikipedia guidelines. As you may notice I removed the comment within minutes of putting it up, having acquainted myself with the relevant guidelines. I will undo your change to Essler's talk page (to roll back changes by 99.238.106.6) as it was my original intention to remove my comment that you put back.

To Essler: I became aware of accentschool.com as a result of attending a conference late in Nov 2007, where they have made a presentation. I thought it was a useful resource for students. At the time I thought of building this article as a repository of links to various accent reduction sites, so it would be of value ot students. Hence, I not only fixed accentschool.com reference but also added references to pronunciationpatterns.com and the like. However, as you correctly pointed out, creating a repository of links is not inline with wikipedia guidelines. Hence, I fully agree with you about the removal of the outside links and the refernces to various products and practioners. Spamming was not an intention of mine.

In regards to your comment about merits of Accentschool.com software -- personally I did not perceive it as being full of advertisement for the company -- the site does not seem to sell anything. I recommend the site to my students as an introduction to accent reduction. However, this is a moot point, as referencing specific examples in the absense of clear evidence of notability is not acceptable in a general encyclopedia article, as you correctly pointed out.

Steps to further development[edit]

To Essler: I would be interested in cooperating with you in developing this article further as to include more material about the fundamental theories of accent reduction as well as different approaches utilized in tackling various student problems (without mentioning any specific examples in the absence of clear evidence of notability). Do you have any suggestions? Perhaps it would be of value to discuss the article on this talk page before making edits.

COI of 99.238.106.6 (previously unsigned talks)[edit]

RE:COI of 99.238.106.6 (previously unsigned talks) Clearly Rebecca's COI of Accent Reduction is not in the best interest of Wikipedia. You state above that you became aware of AccentSchool.com as a result of attending a conference late in Nov 2007 but in your discussion page User_talk:99.238.106.6 Vandalism & Spam Intentions; you clearly state "P.S. I am not AccentSchool employee, just someone who found the site helpful, when I saw them put the site up they had a broken link" this you also Blanked out along with most of Wikipedia’s discussion page on you. Your location puts you within blocks of the facility Accentschool.com. Your approach to the Accent Reduction article in Wikipedia is clearly contrary to Wikipedia guidelines. My suggestion is first to read Wikipedia guidelines prior to any edits, additions, blanking, and vandalism. And again the false advertising of Accentschool.com and your desire for FREE service promotions is clearly not a neutral POV. The claims of Accentschool.com that their .SWF (Flash) is an original software are on the fringe of Trademark and copyright infringement of an Adobe product (Flash). You might want to pass that on to your contacts at Accentschool.com. Wikipedia articles are not your personal website nor for your personal viewpoints.

Regarding "the site does not seem to sell anything", since you are asociated with them you fully know they do sell services. I do not want to go into this futher as attempts to advertise this site is not in my interest. Your truthfullness are far from honest and any association with you is not in my or Wikipedia's best interest.

Esller (talk) 02:41, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Reworking the article from the top down[edit]

I feel that the current beginning of this article could use some work and want to discuss some suggestions rather than jumping in and editing away.

My proposed revision, followed by some of my reasoning:

Accent reduction, also known as accent modification, is a systematic approach used to learn or adopt a new accent. It is the process of learning the sound system (or phonology) of a language or dialect. The methodology involves several steps, which include identifying deviations in the person's current speech from the desired accent (such as pronunciation, speech patterns, and speech habits), changing the way you use your mouth, teeth, and tongue to form vowel and consonant sounds, modifying your intonation and stress patterns, and changing your rhythm. Using this method, individuals such as those mastering a second language may alter their speech to more closely resemble the accent of a certain group of people, and thus enhance the clarity of their communication with those people.

First, I believe "reducing or eliminating a foreign accent" carries some of the negative connotations and misperceptions carried with the term accent reduction... I would like to change it to "learn or adopt a new accent."

Similarly, "trouble spots" may have negative connotation. If we keep "trouble spots," I suggest we more clearly say that they are spots where the individual has difficulty mastering parts of the new accent. Maybe I'm overanalyzing, but in any case, I have revised to avoid that wording.

I felt the last sentence to be somewhat redundant other than bringing in the new vocabulary, prosody, which I don't think is necessary in understanding the idea of this article.

I added a new last sentence, talking about how this approach may be used for people with second languages who want to be better understood.

I also feel that a section on controversy over accent reduction is a must for this article. People get angry and claim their accent is their identity and there are plenty of quotes or articles we can dig up to try to talk about this to present both sides of the issue.

Thoughts? I'll go ahead with it if there are no objection, but surely someone has an opinion. I'm also looking into good sources for backing up some of the rest of the article or rewriting it. Also, what is with the Klaar stuff up at the top of the talk page?

LizBlankenship (talk) 00:21, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Narrowness of this article[edit]

I'm disturbed by the tacit emphasis which this article gives on reduction of a foreign accent in speakers of English as a second language. I would like to see discussion of the issue of changing between dialects/accents of a single language — e.g., replacing a distinctive regional dialect/accent with a "standard" version of the same language — such as what people in the mass media are often compelled to do in order to succeed in their profession. At the same time, though, the article needs to emphasize that there is no such thing as "accent-free" speech, since everyone (by definition) speaks with some "accent"; rather, it's a question of changing one's accent to match (or, at least, more closely approximate) the speech of a different region or social group. Richwales (talk) 08:15, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Genetic factor?[edit]

There may be some genetic causative relationship. My father, e.g., is a natural linguist, easily picking up foreign tongues when he travels. I didn't inherit that trait, but I have no trouble learning and using foreign accents and even the grammar/rythym differences. I grew up in an ordinary English-speaking environment, so it isn't that. So changing one's accent (on some permanent basis) could be easier for some (and conversely, impossible for others) due to a genetic factor. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.48.16.201 (talk) 10:26, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

English speakers are dumb[edit]

The narrow mindedness of this article is appalling — Preceding unsigned comment added by 31.221.57.38 (talk) 08:43, 13 October 2015 (UTC)