Chart of English Language Accents

Major English Accents: Standard American, Southern American, New York American, British RP, Australian

Use this list to see how a few key sounds can cause major pronunciation changes. This list shows the most common and most diverse English language accents (or dialects). Note: the point of resonance is a linguistic term. This means the place where the sound appears to be reverberating in the mouth. Some languages, for instance, use more throaty sounds, others nasal sounds, others the front of the mouth, others the back of the mouth, and so on. Visualizing and speaking from the point of resonance can be key in mastering an accent. Once you see all of these differences, you may be interested in the free Learn by Language classes.

Note also: Standard American and British RP are the accents used for national communication.

Standard American
Point of ResonanceMiddle of the mouth
Letter A 3 sounds, Short A in cat,” “ah” in “all,” and Long A in “late”

Letter O 3 sounds: short O as in “hot,” long O as in “boat,” reduced “u” sound when unstressed as in “compute.”
O in “to” reduces as in “t’day.”
Letter I 2 sounds: short I in “sit,” long I in “sight.” Sometimes “E” is from other languages
Letter RNot thrilled, always pronounced whether first, middle, or last letter
Letter T5 sounds: regular T in table, T = D between vowel sounds (water), silent T after N (internet), Stopped T before N (written), T has stopped sound when the last letter, as in “hot.”
Other Features Americans generally emphasize vowel sounds, with consonants pronounced clearly, but smoothly. Lips move with ease, in a relaxed way.
Copyright:, a branch of I.E. Tutoring
Southern American
Point of ResonanceForward- middle of the mouth
Letter A Short A has a major lilt, almost sounds like Y follows A, “cat” =  “ca(y)ut.”
Letter O Short O is held out longer than standard, relaxed “oo” as in “book” and “could” has lilt
Letter I Long I is combination of “ah” and Long I, short I has lilt, “sit” = “si-ut.”
Letter RMiddle and final R are dropped in some regions, not all (not when R is between vowels)
Letter TSame as standard American
Other Features “lilt” on vowels, meaning sound moves up or down as vowel is pronounced, often “uh” sound at the end, “ing” is usually “in’” as in laughin’
Copyright:, a branch of I.E. Tutoring
New York American
Point of ResonanceFront lower part of the mouth
Letter A “aw,” “al,” and “au” (also some O spellings) are pronounced broadly as a diphthong (double vowel)that ends on “uh.” Awful sounds like “o’a-ful.” Short A is often reduced.
Letter O O is the same as the standard, except lips are not rounded
Letter I Changes from IPA “ai” to “ia” in many words,  “dime” = “diam”
Letter RMiddle and Final Rs are often dropped with the pitch moving down (not when R is between vowels), in very heavy accents, middle “er” sounds like “oi,” “perfect” = “poifect.”
Letter TSame as standard American
Other Features The jaw is moved a lot when speaking
Copyright:, a branch of I.E. Tutoring
Standard British
Point of ResonanceFront of the mouth, the mouth is more closed than in American speech
Letter A A is generally “ah” as in “after,” for Long A as in “late,” the A sound is not literally long as in American., some words use short A as in “that.” This short A is also not as emphasized as the American short A.
Letter O O in “to” reduces as in “t’day,” Long O  is relaxed “oo” often with a short “e” sound first, “progress” and “process” are pronounced with Long O (Americans pronounce with Short O).
Letter I “ile” reduces in American and not in British. Americans say short I in “mobil” for “mobile phone” and British say a Long I.
Letter RDrop the final R sound and the R sound before a consonant (as in “work”)
Letter TT does not reduce to a D sound between vowels; stopped T when T is the final letter can be more emphasized. Stopped T’s are used in some dialects when T is in the middle, as in “bottle.”
Other Features British L is stronger than American L (tongue is pressed more); British English emphasizes consonants.
Copyright:, a branch of I.E. Tutoring
Point of ResonanceBack of the mouth, lips are fairly closed
Letter A “A” is often the British “ah,” but also sometimes the American short A, especially when N follows. Australians combine British, and American A sounds.
Letter O Long O becomes diphthong “ow/ou” as in “ouch,” “ow” becomes short A
Letter I “ay” becomes Long I, Long I becomes “oy”
Letter RSame as Britsh
Letter TT and D combine when in the middle, as in “better.”
Other Features L is often dropped in the middle of a word; first, H is often dropped.
Copyright:, a branch of I.E. Tutoring
More Accent Facts

Learn the American Accent
What is Standard American?
Prepare to Speak: Warm-up
Articulation: Speak Clearly
Student Questions

More Accent Facts

How to Change Your Speech
Pronunciation Facts
Choosing Your Voice
Milestones in Pronunciation
About Speak Method

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