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This chapter examines correlations between phonetic measures and performance year, thereby identifying the progress of sound change in General North American English across eight decades. It also presents the phonetic qualities of modern General North American English and traces the evolution of those qualities in the speech of four Californian actors from the early and late periods.
Drawing on data from well-known actors in popular films and TV shows, this reference guide surveys the representation of accent in North American film and TV over eight decades. It analyzes the speech of 180 film and television performances from the 1930s to today, looking at how that speech has changed; how it reflects the regional backgrounds, gender, and ethnic ancestry of the actors; and how phonetic variation and change in the 'real world' have been both portrayed in, and possibly influenced by, film and television speech. It also clearly explains the technical concepts necessary for understanding the phonetic analysis of accents. Providing new insights into the role of language in the expression of North American cultural identity, this is essential reading for researchers and advanced students in linguistics, film, television and media studies, and North American studies, as well as the larger community interested in film and television.
This chapter presents basic information for a wide readership on how accents differ and how those differences are analyzed, then lays out the sample of performances to be studied, the phonemes and word classes to be analyzed, and the methods of phonetic, quantitative, and statistical analysis to be followed.