Actor Clark Gregg (our beloved Agent Coulson) has a voice that I really enjoy. One feature I like a lot is the way he says R sounds, especially in the middle or ends of words. For an example, at around 0:35 in the trailer for Much Ado About Nothing (http://www.muchadothemovie.com/), it is especially apparent in the way he says "merry war" and "skirmish." (Also notable in the interrogation scene in "Thor" when he says "That's hurtful.") It's not a burred or rolled or flipped R, it's just sort of... liquid-sounding? I think it sounds really neat. In the past, I have noticed this in other actors and I always really like the way it sounds. My question: is this a feature of a certain kind of regional accent? Is there an official/proper term for the sound I mean? Or is it just an individual thing that certain people have that isn't tied to anything in particular? Linguists of MeFi, help me out!
in english, for the most part, it's vowel sounds that differ across regional accents. in other languages i've studied (italian, hungarian), consonant transpositions seem to be more common. what gives? or am i even drawing accurate conclusions? [more inside]
Is there a resource that demonstrates how to do foreign accents by re-spelling words in such a way that when read aloud by an American, will closely resemble the accent? For example, in "Australian", Down = Dan. [more inside]
LinguisticsFilter: There are a lot of resources explaining how to transcribe a language into IPA, but I don't have any that get into the nitty gritty of how one language pronounces a given consonant compared to another. Are there good resources on this front? Are there resources on how to speak in various foreign accents? [more inside]
Is it more difficult to learn two or more foreign languages at once than it is to learn one? Can the experience gained learning one foreign language be used to benefit the learning of the other? And on the subject of accents, those of you who can turn accents on and off at will, how did you achieve this talent?