'Bastard' in a Scottish accent

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blachand

New Member
Korean
“Please stop talking like that."
“Like what?"
“Like a poorly acted James Bond."
Bastard," he muttered in a perfect Scottish accent.

- from Where things come back by John Corey Whaley


How do you pronounce 'Bastard' in a perfect Scottish accent?
What are the differences from American english?
 
  • Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    There is no single Scottish accent nor is there only one American accent. Sean Connery's (Mr. Bond) 'Scottish acccent' is somewhat atypical, I'd say.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    What are the differences from American english?
    I agree with Beryl. Thinking generally about American accents and Scottish accents, I would say that the main difference is in the vowel of the first syllable. The American vowel is generally higher and the Scottish one is lower. It's also different from the Southern English vowel - which would be longer and further back.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Both would contain an /r/ sound, but the Scottish one would be a flap, whereas the American one would be a retroflex continuant, if those terms mean anything to you. The difference would be noticeable, but both would still be similar to each other compared to the pronunciation in London or Australia or South Africa.
     

    Peter94

    Member
    Abcdefgh
    Scottish /r/ can also be an alveolar approximant, and it can also be vocalized like in many English English accents. See this document, especially pages 8 and 11.

    /t/ /d/ (and also /n/) are also often laminal denti-alveolar, which is very rare in USA.

    I also suspect that /d/ can be fully devoiced to fortis [t] for some speakers in Scotland. That's also rare in American English, because even when /d/ is devoiced word-finally (that's what I'm talking about here) it more often than not stays lenis.

    I think of James Bond as having (if anything) a comparatively refined Edinburgh or East Coast accent, rather than broad Glasgow or rural Shetland, interesting as those are phonetically. :)
    I didn't notice the "James Bond" part in the original post.
     
    Last edited:

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I think of James Bond as having (if anything) a comparatively refined Edinburgh or East Coast accent, rather than broad Glasgow or rural Shetland, interesting as those are phonetically. :)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Clearly, we're thinking of Sean Connery as the exemplar of James-Bond-speak! ;)

    I just wanted to say that not all Scottish accents are necessarily rhotic. Here, an author quotes a study in 1978 in Edinburgh by Romaine:
    The main difference between the boys and the girls, she concludes, is that “girls are almost always rhotic and most frequently use [ɹ] [the alveolar approximant], while boys are less frequently rhotic and tend to use [ɾ] [the alveolar flap]. Clearly in Edinburgh, there is social stratification of both quality of /r/ and use of any kind of /r/.
    I lived in Edinburgh for a while, and that certainly squares with what I recollect. I don't think Sean Connery pronounces his post-vocalic r's all the time.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I thought Sean Connery used (the Sean Connery version of) English English when playing James Bond. (NB: I haven't seen a Connery-Bond film for at least 15 years.)
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    It's hard for me to hear the presence or absence of /r/ in the unstressed syllable.
    I would agree with natkretep,
    I would say that the main difference is in the vowel of the first syllable.
    But I would describe the vowels differently.
    I would describe the typical American vowel as a low front vowel, [æ].
    I imagine (rather than, say, hear every day) the Scottish vowel as a low back vowel.
    For the latter, I can't find the IPA symbol in my Character Map, but I would compare it to the /a/ of Italian or Spanish.
     

    Peter94

    Member
    Abcdefgh
    Italian and Spanish /a/'s are open central unrounded. That's what you're looking for, Cenzontle. I'd say it may be higher than that and more front, that is near-open near-front [æ̈] or [ɐ̟], at least that's what the vowel chart on Wikipedia (and indeed the document I posted a link to today) show. They're one and the same though, because the Wikipedia one is based on the Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews one.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I thought Sean Connery used (the Sean Connery version of) English English when playing James Bond. (NB: I haven't seen a Connery-Bond film for at least 15 years.)
    I have refreshed my memory, ewie, by listening to some of Sean Connery's James Bond. :)

    Yes, he modifies it towards a more English accent, but he still has some Scottish vowels and occasional Scottish r's. (You can't tell they're Scottish with some actors like David Tennant, but Sean Connery's Scottishness comes through.)
     
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