What is a Trans-Atlantic Accent?

Justin   Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:07 pm GMT
Recently I learned this new term, which seems to indicate a hybrid of RP and General American. But I wonder what this accent is like because I've never heard such accents before.

Could anyone please help me explain it? What are the main features of this accent?
Adrian   Sun Jul 16, 2006 2:12 pm GMT
I'm not exactly sure, but I think it sounds overall like an American accent, but it is a bit more articulated--all the t's are pronounced, and the vowels are pronounced like they are in RP: e.g. bahth, ahnt, dahnce, etc, and it's usually non-rhotic. So, to most Americans it will sound almost exactly like RP, and to most British people it sounds just like General American.
Uriel   Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:49 am GMT
I doubt that it's a single accent, but more likely describes what happens when Americans pick up a little bit of the English accent, and vice-versa. So it probably varies by individual.
Guest   Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:51 am GMT
Isn't the Boston accent similar?
Uriel   Mon Jul 17, 2006 3:41 am GMT
Gabriel   Thu Jul 20, 2006 4:20 pm GMT
If the accent in question, as Adrian says, is non-rhotic and has broad [A] in bath, dance, aunt (the major British innovations since the split from General American) and does not have a voiced [t] (the major American innovation since the split), how does it sound American at all?
Tiffany   Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:28 pm GMT
I'm sorry, the first thing I thought: "They must be talking about Madonna"
Guest   Fri Jul 21, 2006 4:10 am GMT
>> I'm sorry, the first thing I thought: "They must be talking about Madonna" <<

Well that's interesting! Could you tell me more about how she speaks?
I don't know much about Madonna since I'm not American and not very into music.
Tiffany   Fri Jul 21, 2006 5:32 am GMT
She's adopted a fake British accent since going to live in England with her husband Guy Ritchie. She doesn't sound American, she doesn't sound British - Trans-Atlantic then?
Uriel   Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:45 am GMT
Or an unholy hybrid? Just kidding -- I've never heard her talk since she moved, so I don't know what she sounds like now.
abcdef   Sat Jul 22, 2006 2:59 pm GMT
<<<and does not have a voiced [t] (the major American innovation since the split), >>>


How does voice "t" and voiceless "t" sound to you ? Never heard of that...
Gabriel   Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:41 pm GMT

How does voice "t" and voiceless "t" sound to you ? Never heard of that...>>

Some people speak of "t-voicing" when referring to the phonetic quality of /t/ in certain environments in North American English. So "better" could be phonemically /"bEt.@r/ but phonetically it's usually ["bE4.@']. I think that what Adrian meant when he said that in trans-atlantic English "all the t's are pronounced" is that "better" would always have [t] or [t_h] but never [4] in this accent, if it exists as an entity at all.
Presley.   Sat Jul 22, 2006 8:18 pm GMT
Wouldn't the voiced version of "t" be a "d"?
Travis   Sat Jul 22, 2006 8:23 pm GMT
>>Wouldn't the voiced version of "t" be a "d"?<<

Using the term "voiced" here is not exactly accurate - what was really meant here was "flapped", and the alveolar flap, resulting from the flapping of /t/, is [4].
Dave Pritchard   Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:18 pm GMT
Did it ever occur to either of you that there are thousands of us that have moved around quite a lot in our lives? We adopt and absorb linguistic & phonetic structures from many of the places that we have been. This can be dependant on our length of stay, but not always. Growing up, I lived in Italy, Demark, America and England. I speak English, but with no recognizable accent. I have found that people generally hate this and incessantly try to pin me down to a particular part of America or the UK. I can shift dialects at will, which is even more confusing. I do not claim to be intellectually superior to anyone and do not believe that one culture is more superior to the next. What I do hear and read often is how people habitually make value judgements about others based solely on the way their voice sounds. They also immediately assign and connect the other person to an idiotic preconceived notion of class, race, nationality or some kind of religious/political ideology. Accents are not necessarily connected to ethnicity, the country of ones birth, where one has lived or where one is currently abiding. When I'm in Italy and they hear me speak English, they say to me that, “I sound British”. If I go to the US, they say that, “I sound English” or that I have an "Italian-American" accent. When I lived in Demark; I was always an “American” no matter what was said or did. Trans-Atlantic accents are real and those who speak with them, are real people. Many of us are not faking anything whatsoever; we have simply lived many places and have absorbed many things. It seems to be a peculiar aspect of certain people here that if you make an honest attempt to sound more "British" and less "American" by using a regional vernacular vocabulary, that somehow you are being dishonest, or are a fake or even worse, mawkish. What do you expect someone to do, keep saying "trash can" instead of "bin" after living here for ten years? Or should I use the Italian or Danish words for "bin" would that make you feel more comfortable? “General American” what is this? There is no such thing!