Topics: English language, International Phonetic Alphabet, India Pages: 16 (5502 words) Published: March 15, 2013
Indian accents vary greatly. Some Indians speak English with an accent very close to a Standard British (Received Pronunciation) accent (though not the same); others lean toward a more 'vernacular', native-tinted, accent for their English speech. [edit] Vowels

In general, Indian English has fewer peculiarities in its vowel sounds than the consonants, especially as spoken by native speakers of languages like Hindi, the vowel phoneme system having some similarities with that of English. Among the distinctive features of the vowel-sounds employed by some Indian English speakers: * Many Indian English speakers do not make a clear distinction between /ɒ/ and /ɔː/. (See cot–caught merger.) * Unlike British, but like some American English, some Indian speakers don't pronounce the rounded /ɒ/ or /ɔː/, and substitute /a/ instead. This makes not sound as [nat]. The phoneme /ɔː/, if used, is only semi-rounded at the lips.[citation needed]. Similarly in South India coffee will be pronounced kaafi, copy will be kaapi etc. * Words such as class, staff and last would be pronounced with a back /a/ as in Northern British dialects but unlike Southern British dialects and standard American English, i.e., [klɑːs], [stɑːf], and [lɑːst] rather than American [klæːs], [stæːf], and [læːst]. * Most Indians have the trap–bath split of Received Pronunciation. Not using the trap–bath split is often popularly construed as attempting to imitate an American. [edit] Consonants

Among the most distinctive features of consonants in Indian English are: * Most pronunciations of Indian English are rhotic, but many speakers with higher education are non-rhotic. * Standard Hindi and most other vernaculars (except Punjabi, Marathi & Bengali) do not differentiate between /v/ (voiced labiodental fricative) and /w/ (voiced labiovelar approximant). Instead, many Indians use a frictionless labio-dental approximant [ʋ] for words with either sound, possibly in free variation with [v] and/or [w]. Thus, wet and vet are homophones.[7] * Because of the previous characteristic many Indians pronounce words such as <flower> as [flaː(r)] instead of [flaʊə(r)], and <our> as [aː(r)] instead of [aʊə(r)]. * The voiceless plosives /p/, /t/, /k/ are always unaspirated in Indian English, whereas in RP, General American and most other English accents they are aspirated in word-initial or stressed syllables. Thus "pin" is pronounced [pɪn] in Indian English but [pʰɪn] in most other accents. In native Indian languages (except Tamil), the distinction between aspirated and unaspirated plosives is phonemic, and the English stops are equated with the unaspirated rather than the aspirated phonemes of the local languages.[8] The same is true of the voiceless postalveolar afficate /tʃ/. * The alveolar stops English /d/, /t/ are often retroflex [ɖ], [ʈ], especially in the South of India.[9] In Indian languages there are two entirely distinct sets of coronal plosives: one dental and the other retroflex. To the Indian ears, the English alveolar plosives sound more retroflex than dental. In the Devanagari script of Hindi, all alveolar plosives of English are transcribed as their retroflex counterparts. One good reason for this is that unlike most other native Indian languages, Hindi does not have true retroflex plosives (Tiwari, [1955] 2001). The so-called retroflexes in Hindi are actually articulated as apical post-alveolar plosives, sometimes even with a tendency to come down to the alveolar region. So a Hindi speaker normally cannot distinguish the difference between their own apical post-alveolar plosives and English's alveolar plosives. However, languages such as Tamil have true retroflex plosives, wherein the articulation is done with the tongue curved upwards and backwards at the roof of the mouth. This also causes (in parts of Uttar Pradesh and bihar) the /s/ preceding alveolar /t/ to allophonically change to [ ʃ ] (<stop>...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Feature Writing Essay
  • Feature article conventions Essay
  • Tattoo You Feature Article Essay
  • Write Feature Story Essay
  • Automatic Emotion Recognition from Speech Using Reduced Feature Set & Different Classifiers Essay
  • Feature article Essay
  • Feature Film and Tribal Voice Research Paper
  • Feature Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free