Discussion:
Identify this English accent
(too old to reply)
Tristan Miller
2005-02-18 07:40:01 UTC
Permalink
Greetings.

I am listening to the audio book _Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix_ read by Stephen Fry. In it, he voices a character named
Nymphadora Tonks. The accent he uses for Tonks is one I'm not able to
place. Perhaps someone here can help.

The features of the accent which most distinguish it from received
pronunciation (RP) are as follows. (I use SAMPA IPA transcriptions here.)

(1) /V/ becomes /U/ and /U/ becomes /u/, as in Scouse

(2) All <r>s are rhotic.

(3) Word-terminal /i:/ becomes /I/

(4) /eI/, /U@/, /@U/ and other "long" vowels are noticeably less
diphthongized, sounding more like /e:/, /u:/, and /o:/.

All in all, it sounds rather Liverpudlian to me except for the very
distinct rhotic /r/ everywhere.

Regards,
Tristan
--
_
_V.-o Tristan Miller [en,(fr,de,ia)] >< Space is limited
/ |`-' -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= <> In a haiku, so it's hard
(7_\\ http://www.nothingisreal.com/ >< To finish what you
Matti Lamprhey
2005-02-18 10:40:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tristan Miller
Greetings.
I am listening to the audio book _Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix_ read by Stephen Fry. In it, he voices a character named
Nymphadora Tonks. The accent he uses for Tonks is one I'm not able to
place. Perhaps someone here can help. [...]
I've got that audio book, so if you can give me a good chapter number
I'll have a listen.

Matti
Tristan Miller
2005-02-18 12:35:54 UTC
Permalink
Greetings.
Post by Matti Lamprhey
Post by Tristan Miller
Greetings.
I am listening to the audio book _Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix_ read by Stephen Fry. In it, he voices a character named
Nymphadora Tonks. The accent he uses for Tonks is one I'm not able to
place. Perhaps someone here can help. [...]
I've got that audio book, so if you can give me a good chapter number
I'll have a listen.
It's Chapter 2, on CD 2. You can hear the Tonks character speak at the
following times (where the beginning of the CD is 00:00):

24:31 to 24:50
26:11 to 26:24
27:11 to 27:16
28:22 to 28:43
29:25 to 33:19

I'll post a link to a clip of that last section if I can figure out how.

Regards,
Tristan
--
_
_V.-o Tristan Miller [en,(fr,de,ia)] >< Space is limited
/ |`-' -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= <> In a haiku, so it's hard
(7_\\ http://www.nothingisreal.com/ >< To finish what you
Matti Lamprhey
2005-02-18 16:33:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tristan Miller
Post by Matti Lamprhey
Post by Tristan Miller
I am listening to the audio book _Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix_ read by Stephen Fry. In it, he voices a character named
Nymphadora Tonks. The accent he uses for Tonks is one I'm not able
to place. Perhaps someone here can help. [...]
I've got that audio book, so if you can give me a good chapter
number I'll have a listen.
It's Chapter 2, on CD 2. You can hear the Tonks character speak at
24:31 to 24:50
26:11 to 26:24
27:11 to 27:16
28:22 to 28:43
29:25 to 33:19
It's actually Chapter 3, and I've now listened to most of the Tonks
utterances. They started off as Rochdale, then wandered off around
Bolton and Bury for a while. Then we crossed the Pennines for some
Giggleswick, and the unexpected rhoticism of Dorset set in. Later on
there were some distinctly southern vowels -- short "broom", for
example. So it's one of Fry's peripatetic accents, with nods to Gracie
Fields, Fred Dibnah, Alan Bennett and the Wurzels. No Liverpudlians
were injured, however.

Matti
Post by Tristan Miller
I'll post a link to a clip of that last section if I can figure out how.
Harlan Messinger
2005-02-18 16:52:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matti Lamprhey
It's actually Chapter 3, and I've now listened to most of the Tonks
utterances. They started off as Rochdale, then wandered off around
Bolton and Bury for a while. Then we crossed the Pennines for some
Giggleswick, and the unexpected rhoticism of Dorset set in. Later on
there were some distinctly southern vowels -- short "broom", for
example. So it's one of Fry's peripatetic accents, with nods to Gracie
Fields, Fred Dibnah, Alan Bennett and the Wurzels. No Liverpudlians
were injured, however.
In other words, it's as genuine as Martin Short's accent in "Father of
the Bride".
--
I believe in traditional marriage. It'll cost you five talents of gold
and a camel to marry my daughter.
the Omrud
2005-02-18 18:08:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matti Lamprhey
Post by Tristan Miller
Post by Matti Lamprhey
Post by Tristan Miller
I am listening to the audio book _Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix_ read by Stephen Fry. In it, he voices a character named
Nymphadora Tonks. The accent he uses for Tonks is one I'm not able
to place. Perhaps someone here can help. [...]
I've got that audio book, so if you can give me a good chapter
number I'll have a listen.
It's Chapter 2, on CD 2. You can hear the Tonks character speak at
24:31 to 24:50
26:11 to 26:24
27:11 to 27:16
28:22 to 28:43
29:25 to 33:19
It's actually Chapter 3, and I've now listened to most of the Tonks
utterances. They started off as Rochdale, then wandered off around
Bolton and Bury for a while. Then we crossed the Pennines for some
Giggleswick, and the unexpected rhoticism of Dorset set in. Later on
there were some distinctly southern vowels -- short "broom", for
example. So it's one of Fry's peripatetic accents, with nods to Gracie
Fields, Fred Dibnah, Alan Bennett and the Wurzels. No Liverpudlians
were injured, however.
Having listened to the clip, I am convinced that the wandering accent
must be intentional - it travels too far to remain unnoticed by the
director. I note that the character is a Metamorph and can change
her appearance at will. Perhaps the variable accent is an audio
representation of this.

Matti is right - there is no Scouse at all.
--
David
=====
replace usenet with the
Jonathan Jordan
2005-02-18 11:17:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tristan Miller
Greetings.
I am listening to the audio book _Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix_ read by Stephen Fry. In it, he voices a character named
Nymphadora Tonks. The accent he uses for Tonks is one I'm not able to
place. Perhaps someone here can help.
I don't know how good Stephen Fry is at accents, but I'll assume that
the accent is authentic.
Post by Tristan Miller
The features of the accent which most distinguish it from received
pronunciation (RP) are as follows. (I use SAMPA IPA transcriptions here.)
(1) /V/ becomes /U/ and /U/ becomes /u/, as in Scouse
RP /U/ only becomes Scouse /u/ in <ook> words, e.g. "book" (which is
usually something like [bu":x] in a strong Scouse accent). This can
occur elsewhere in northern England too, though not usually with an
[x].
Post by Tristan Miller
(2) All <r>s are rhotic.
(3) Word-terminal /i:/ becomes /I/
diphthongized, sounding more like /e:/, /u:/, and /o:/.
All in all, it sounds rather Liverpudlian to me except for the very
distinct rhotic /r/ everywhere.
(3) and (4) are not really features of Scouse, though they are common
elsewhere in the north of England. Scouse tends to use [i] for final
<y> (e.g. "happy"), and has surprisingly RP-like diphthongs in "gate"
and "goat".

(1), (3) and (4) all tend to suggest northern England. So I'd suggest
a rhotic pocket somewhere in the North, such as Accrington in
Lancashire, but I don't know why such an accent would be used in this
context.

Presumably words like "bath" have a short [a] and not the long [A:] of
RP; if not that would rule out anything from northern England.

Jonathan
Tristan Miller
2005-02-18 14:35:15 UTC
Permalink
Greetings.
Post by Tristan Miller
I am listening to the audio book _Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix_ read by Stephen Fry. In it, he voices a character named
Nymphadora Tonks. The accent he uses for Tonks is one I'm not able to
place. Perhaps someone here can help.
I've put a short clip of the audio book in question up at the following
URL. It's about four minutes long and contains most of the Tonks
dialogue.

<http://www.dfki.uni-kl.de/~miller/tmp/potter.ogg>

Regards,
Tristan
--
_
_V.-o Tristan Miller [en,(fr,de,ia)] >< Space is limited
/ |`-' -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= <> In a haiku, so it's hard
(7_\\ http://www.nothingisreal.com/ >< To finish what you
Aidan Kehoe
2005-02-18 14:53:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tristan Miller
Post by Tristan Miller
I am listening to the audio book _Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix_ read by Stephen Fry. In it, he voices a character named
Nymphadora Tonks. The accent he uses for Tonks is one I'm not able to
place. Perhaps someone here can help.
I've put a short clip of the audio book in question up at the following
URL. It's about four minutes long and contains most of the Tonks
dialogue.
<http://www.dfki.uni-kl.de/~miller/tmp/potter.ogg>
Nothing I’ve ever heard before, and I’d be surprised if he was aiming for
an existing accent. Someone else’s “pocket-of-rhoticism-in-the-north-of
England” comment about describes where I _would_ place it, if I did believe
it were an existing accent.
--
“Ah come on now Ted, a Volkswagen with a mind of its own, driving all over
the place and going mad, if that’s not scary I don’t know what is.”
Tristan Miller
2005-02-18 16:35:45 UTC
Permalink
Greetings.
Post by Aidan Kehoe
Post by Tristan Miller
Post by Tristan Miller
I am listening to the audio book _Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix_ read by Stephen Fry. In it, he voices a character named
Nymphadora Tonks. The accent he uses for Tonks is one I'm not able to
place. Perhaps someone here can help.
I've put a short clip of the audio book in question up at the following
URL. It's about four minutes long and contains most of the Tonks
dialogue.
<http://www.dfki.uni-kl.de/~miller/tmp/potter.ogg>
Nothing I’ve ever heard before, and I’d be surprised if he was aiming for
an existing accent.
Well, he voices other characters with passable approximations of existing
accents, so I was assuming that he isn't making this one up. If it
weren't for the Scousey vowel shifts, I might have thought he was trying
to impersonate an American.

Could the accent be from somewhere in Lancashire? IIRC some of their
accents are rhotic, and their proximity to Merseyside might explain the
vowel treatment.

Regards,
Tristan
--
_
_V.-o Tristan Miller [en,(fr,de,ia)] >< Space is limited
/ |`-' -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= <> In a haiku, so it's hard
(7_\\ http://www.nothingisreal.com/ >< To finish what you
JNugent
2005-02-20 10:49:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tristan Miller
Greetings.
Post by Tristan Miller
Post by Tristan Miller
I am listening to the audio book _Harry Potter and the Order of the
Phoenix_ read by Stephen Fry. In it, he voices a character named
Nymphadora Tonks. The accent he uses for Tonks is one I'm not able to
place. Perhaps someone here can help.
I've put a short clip of the audio book in question up at the following
URL. It's about four minutes long and contains most of the Tonks
dialogue.
<http://www.dfki.uni-kl.de/~miller/tmp/potter.ogg>
Nothing I've ever heard before, and I'd be surprised if he was aiming
for
Post by Tristan Miller
an existing accent.
Well, he voices other characters with passable approximations of existing
accents, so I was assuming that he isn't making this one up. If it
weren't for the Scousey vowel shifts, I might have thought he was trying
to impersonate an American.
Could the accent be from somewhere in Lancashire? IIRC some of their
accents are rhotic, and their proximity to Merseyside might explain the
vowel treatment.
I'm not able to decipher *.ogg files, so haven't heard the clip referred to.
However, I'd like to chip in with an observation that there is very little
geographical accent diffusion effect from the City of Liverpool other than
in contiguous areas such as the Merseyside boroughs of Wirral, Knowsley and
Sefton, and in the "new towns" of Skelmersdale, Runcorn and Winsford, to
which thousands of Liverpudlians have been "decanted". In particular, the St
Helens area, although nominally politically tied to Liverpool in some
senses, displays very little of the Scouse accent (except, of course, in the
cases of Liverpudlians who have bought houses there - a category which once
included myself).

The former "Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley" is a good case in point.
Formed from all or parts of the former local government units of
Huyton-with-Roby, Kirkby, Prescot and Whiston, most of it (especially Huyton
and Kirkby and the Halewood area of the former Rural District of Whiston)
are Liverpudlian in all but name.

The people of those settlements are Scousers (much as it may pain a few of
them to admit it). They have not acquired their accents by mere propinquity
to Liverpool. They are Liverpudlians, either by birth and upbringing, or by
being the offspring of people in that group. But, in the central belt of
Knowsley (an odd-shaped crescent of a borough, clearly designed to prevent
Liverpool proper from being enlarged), the settlements of Prescot (the town
on top of the hill) and Whiston (the actual place, not the whole of the
former Rural District to which it gave its name), the inhabitants speak with
a broader Lancashire accent which owes little, if anything, to Liverpool.
The demarcation between those accents is as stark as one can find on land -
with well under than a mile between the easternmost extremity of built-up
Huyton and the western edge of Prescot. No diffusion or proximity effect
there.
Jacqui
2005-02-20 11:12:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by JNugent
Post by Tristan Miller
Post by Tristan Miller
Post by Tristan Miller
I am listening to the audio book _Harry Potter and the
Order of the Phoenix_ read by Stephen Fry. In it, he
voices a character named Nymphadora Tonks. The accent he
uses for Tonks is one I'm not able to
place. (snip)
<http://www.dfki.uni-kl.de/~miller/tmp/potter.ogg>
Could the accent be from somewhere in Lancashire? IIRC some of
their accents are rhotic, and their proximity to Merseyside might
explain the vowel treatment.
DH thinks it's Lancashire via Norfolk (Fry's home county). I can hear
generic 'countryfolk' (any of the several counties heard on The
Archers) tones in there too.
Post by JNugent
I'm not able to decipher *.ogg files, so haven't heard the clip referred to.
http://www.quinnware.com/downloads.php - Windows player.
https://player.helixcommunity.org/ Linux/Solaris/etc
Offhand don't know any Mac players but there will be one.


Jac
brugnospamsia
2005-02-20 15:18:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jacqui
Post by JNugent
Post by Tristan Miller
Post by Tristan Miller
Post by Tristan Miller
I am listening to the audio book _Harry Potter and the
Order of the Phoenix_ read by Stephen Fry. In it, he
voices a character named Nymphadora Tonks. The accent he
uses for Tonks is one I'm not able to
place. (snip)
<http://www.dfki.uni-kl.de/~miller/tmp/potter.ogg>
Could the accent be from somewhere in Lancashire? IIRC some of
their accents are rhotic, and their proximity to Merseyside might
explain the vowel treatment.
DH thinks it's Lancashire via Norfolk (Fry's home county). I can hear
generic 'countryfolk' (any of the several counties heard on The
Archers) tones in there too.
.. in the style of Peter Tinniswood of "Uncle Mort" fame ...
Post by Jacqui
Post by JNugent
I'm not able to decipher *.ogg files, so haven't heard the clip referred to.
http://www.quinnware.com/downloads.php - Windows player.
https://player.helixcommunity.org/ Linux/Solaris/etc
Offhand don't know any Mac players but there will be one.
Jac
the Omrud
2005-02-20 16:08:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by JNugent
I'm not able to decipher *.ogg files,
The staggeringly good dbPowerAmp will convert ogg to any other form
of audio you choose. That's how I listened to it - I converted the
file to wma.
--
David
=====
replace usenet with the
brugnospamsia
2005-02-20 16:29:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by the Omrud
Post by JNugent
I'm not able to decipher *.ogg files,
The staggeringly good dbPowerAmp will convert ogg to any other form
of audio you choose. That's how I listened to it - I converted the
file to wma.
--
Winamp did it for me.

I don't suppose you know a reliable way to queue up real audio streams ?

For my day job as Language school techie I record a lot of radio programmes
from the 'net - mostly BBC and it would be handy to be able to stream
several hours' worth into Cool Edit and cut them up at my leisure ...

Winamp has nice playlist facilities, but is unreliable as a real audio
player.
None of the "juke box" programs I've tried work with real audio streams

Jeremy
the Omrud
2005-02-20 17:36:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by brugnospamsia
Post by the Omrud
Post by JNugent
I'm not able to decipher *.ogg files,
The staggeringly good dbPowerAmp will convert ogg to any other form
of audio you choose. That's how I listened to it - I converted the
file to wma.
Winamp did it for me.
I don't suppose you know a reliable way to queue up real audio streams ?
For my day job as Language school techie I record a lot of radio programmes
from the 'net - mostly BBC and it would be handy to be able to stream
several hours' worth into Cool Edit and cut them up at my leisure ...
Winamp has nice playlist facilities, but is unreliable as a real audio
player.
None of the "juke box" programs I've tried work with real audio streams
Net Transport downloads the whole of an audio stream and saves it to
disk. Be careful as it likes to run permanently in the background,
and it likes to grab every type of download for itself, but it's
reasonably easy to configure. It's free to use, although it asks for
donations. I've never tried it with live radio though.

http://www.xi-soft.com/default.htm

And I use Real Alternative instead of the horrible Real.
--
David
=====
replace usenet with the
brugnospamsia
2005-02-20 18:52:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by the Omrud
Post by brugnospamsia
Post by the Omrud
Post by JNugent
I'm not able to decipher *.ogg files,
The staggeringly good dbPowerAmp will convert ogg to any other form
of audio you choose. That's how I listened to it - I converted the
file to wma.
Winamp did it for me.
I don't suppose you know a reliable way to queue up real audio streams ?
For my day job as Language school techie I record a lot of radio programmes
from the 'net - mostly BBC and it would be handy to be able to stream
several hours' worth into Cool Edit and cut them up at my leisure ...
Winamp has nice playlist facilities, but is unreliable as a real audio
player.
None of the "juke box" programs I've tried work with real audio streams
Net Transport downloads the whole of an audio stream and saves it to
disk. Be careful as it likes to run permanently in the background,
and it likes to grab every type of download for itself, but it's
reasonably easy to configure. It's free to use, although it asks for
donations. I've never tried it with live radio though.
http://www.xi-soft.com/default.htm
And I use Real Alternative instead of the horrible Real.
Ooh ! - lots of new toys to play with :-)

thanks !

Jeremy
the

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