ISBN-10:
0615461506
ISBN-13:
9780615461502
Pub. Date:
06/01/2011
Publisher:
Meier, Paul Dialect Services
Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen / Edition 21

Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen / Edition 21

by Paul MeierPaul Meier
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Overview

Paul Meier is a leading dialect coach for theatre and films. This is his best-selling stage-dialects manual for actors. With 350 pages and 12 accompanying CDs, this teaches the following: Afrikaans (South Africa), American Deep South (Mississippi/Georgia/Alabama), American Southern (Kentucky/Tennessee), Australian, Cockney, "Downeast" New England, French, General American, German, Hampshire, Indian, Irish, Italian, Liverpool, New York, Northern Ireland, Russian, Scottish, South Boston, Spanish (Castilian & Colonial "Spanishes"), Standard British English (Received Pronunciation), Welsh, Yiddish, and Yorkshire. Coaching many famous actors (Tobey Maguire, Tom Wilkinson, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, etc.), Meier has also taught dialects at RADA, LAMDA, Webber-Douglas, the North Carolina School of the Arts, and other famous schools. In addition to his easy-to-follow practice material, for each dialect Paul coaches you in two monologues (one male and one female) from a well-known play or film, and links you to the hundreds of online recordings of native dialect speakers on his International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA). Further enhancing the value of the book are his interactive IPA phonetics charts, unique "show-specific" dialect CDs for hundreds of plays and musicals, custom CD-recording, and phone-coaching services. Easy enough for the beginner, rigorous enough for the experienced professional.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615461502
Publisher: Meier, Paul Dialect Services
Publication date: 06/01/2011
Edition description: PAUL MEIER DBA PAUL MEIER DIALECT S
Pages: 354
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Paul Meier is a leading dialect coach for theatre and films. This is his best-selling stage-dialects manual for actors. With 350 pages and 12 accompanying CDs, this teaches the following: Afrikaans (South Africa), American Deep South (Mississippi/Georgia/Alabama), American Southern (Kentucky/Tennessee), Australian, Cockney, "Downeast" New England, French, General American, German, Hampshire, Indian, Irish, Italian, Liverpool, New York, Northern Ireland, Russian, Scottish, South Boston, Spanish (Castilian & Colonial "Spanishes"), Standard British English (Received Pronunciation), Welsh, Yiddish, and Yorkshire. Coaching many famous actors (Tobey Maguire, Tom Wilkinson, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, etc.), Meier has also taught dialects at RADA, LAMDA, Webber-Douglas, the North Carolina School of the Arts, and other famous schools. In addition to his easy-to-follow practice material, for each dialect Paul coaches you in two monologues (one male and one female) from a well-known play or film, and links you to the hundreds of online recordings of native dialect speakers on his International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA). Further enhancing the value of the book are his interactive IPA phonetics charts, unique "show-specific" dialect CDs for hundreds of plays and musicals, custom CD-recording, and phone-coaching services. Easy enough for the beginner, rigorous enough for the experienced professional.

Read an Excerpt

ACTING IN A DIALECT OR AN ACCENT

For actors, their chief delight and most solemn duty is to "disappear" inside their character's story, and to take on the character's behaviors, value system, fears, and dreams. By this act of mimesis, actors hope to penetrate a truth not their own, and to reveal that truth to an audience. A hard job!

To see one's own culture as one among many, and to don another as a cloak, is an immensely difficult, but hugely rewarding task. Adopting the linguistic peculiarities of that culture is perhaps the biggest challenge. For the way characters speak reveals much: where they are from, where they have been, and who they want to be. And their speech changes moment-to-moment too (linguists call it code switching) depending on who they are talking to, the mode of the moment, and so forth. When two sisters, although sharing almost identical backgrounds, sound quite different from each other, we learn that each of us has an idiolect—a personal way of speaking.

Does every role that actors play require them to modify their dialect/accent/idiolect, then? Perhaps so.

A word about terms: the terms accent and dialect are almost interchangeable; in popular parlance they mean much the same thing. But some distinctions may be useful. In its scholarly sense, a dialect is a legitimate variant of a language, telling us about the regional and caste/class origins of the speaker and more. We refer to the Lancashire dialect of English, or the Parisian dialect of French. A dialect has its own vocabulary and grammar, as well as its own distinctivepronunciation. We are all dialect speakers, then, even if we happen to use the prestige "standard" dialect of our own language. For it, too, is a dialect. An accent, on the other hand, is simply a feature or attribute of dialect or language, referring to its pronunciation.

Although the distinction quickly breaks down, I and my North American dialect coach colleagues find it useful to talk about English language dialects in contrast with foreign language accents. Though my British colleagues and the linguistic community use the terms differently, we find it useful to emphasize the difference between native speakers speaking their dialect, and people for whom English is not their first language speaking it in the accent of their first. It is useful to consider the dynamic and unstable process of improving pronunciation and language usage. This process creates a different psychological state, I maintain, and should be conceptualized differently by the actor.

Though a dialect may have subtle, idiosyncratic variations in each speaker, it is generally more consistent and predictable than an accent. Accents may involve mispronunciations, hyper-corrections, and mistakes in stress, rhythm, etc.; and, of course, when we speak a language not our own, we may, at first, make all kinds of other mistakes too—in vocabulary, grammar, etc. But whether we call it acting in an accent or a dialect, doing it accurately, credibly, and without ostentation is partly a science, partly an art, and wholly challenging. I hope you enjoy investigating this fascinating process with me.

Table of Contents

Hampshire
FOREWORD5
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS6
I. BEFORE WE BEGIN
 
Acting in a dialect or an accent9
International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)10
International Dialects of English Archive 12
Standard lexical sets13
Comma Gets a Cure, special diagnostic passage15
Paul Meier Dialect Services16
For Instructors17
The 7-step method18
Glossary of terms19
II. BRITISH AND IRISH DIALECTS
 
Cockney27
39
Irish49
Liverpool61
Northern Ireland73
Scottish85
Standard British English (Received Pronunciation)97
Welsh111
Yorkshire123
III. DIALECTS OF THE USA
 
American Southern (Kentucky/Tennessee)137
Deep South (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi)149
Downeast New England165
General American175
New York191
South Boston 203
IV. OTHER ENGLISH LANGUAGE DIALECTS
 
Australian219
Indian231
V. FOREIGN LANGUAGE ACCENTS
 
Afrikaans245
French261
German275
Italian289
Russian303
Spanish317
Yiddish331
VI. WORKS CITED
 
Works cited347

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