A Quick Read: Understanding Your Accent
There is a common misconception that certain people don’t have accents. The fact is, everyone has an accent. It is what makes us unique and how we identify our given origins. As I want to make this a quick read, I will not delve deep into theory. Awareness is the first step to understanding your accent.
Awareness simply refers to understanding the physical mechanics and methods of your mouth. Physical markers like your tongue, teeth, lips, and many more regional muscles all play a pivotal role in making your unique sound production. Next, I would like you to observe the method with which you produce sound. Notice things like continuous flow of air, stopping of air, and combinations of these processes. Lastly feel vibration coming from your throat, and observe when it occurs and when it does not occur.
Think about a few key Standard American English Sounds:
TH: think vs. that
T/D: bet vs. bed
R/L: rarely vs. rally
B/V: bat vs. vat
TH/F: thought vs. fought
Vowels: bet vs. bat
What did you notice?