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British Council

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by

Helen Ashton

on 14 May 2013

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Transcript of British Council

It's not what you say,
it's the way that you say it. DO YOU
HAVE AN
ACCENT? WHAT IS AN ACCENT? “It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him” George Bernard Shaw (1912) The words you use are your dialect, the way you pronounce them is your accent. A
C
C
E
N
T
muscle
habits geography
age
background Geordie Cockney Bristolian Cardiff Mancunian Belfast Glaswegian Brummie Essex Scouse Yorkshire valleys Manx Estuary Norfolk Cornish Highlands
Scottish Dublin East
Midlands
R.P.? imagine you'd grown up in a world that sounded like this...


There's nothing inherently
beautiful/ powerful/ educated
about RP

Its power lives in the myth we
continue to perpetuate But even RP is constantly evolving
The RP of the 1920s is different from the RP that's spoken now. The poor people were caught in a trap The poo-uh people were caught in a trep The paw peopu were caught in a chrap By definition, language evolves, like a living organism.
RP may be a 'standard', but it's actually a spectrum of different accents. The many
shades
of RP Old School RP Heightened
(period) RP The Sloane Rangers The Actors Noel Coward plays
Early BBC broadcasts A.A. Gill
Brian Sewell David Cameron
Boris Johnson
Tamara Beckwith
Hugh Grant The made in chelsea set Prince Harry
Emma Watson Kenneth Brannagh
Kate Winslet
Carey Mulligan
Benedict Cumberbatch Estuary
borders Daniel Radcliffe
Keira Knightley
Jude Law The Queen & David Cameron Dr Johnson's
Dictionary (1757) Thomas Sheridan
'Course of Lectures on Elocution'
(1762) 1869- A. J. Ellis coins the phrase
'Received Pronunciation' Awright mate? Good evening,
could I speak to
Miss Greene
please? Itesh Sachdev with Elmufti, N. & Collins, P. (1989). "Teacher biases in GCSE Oral Assessments". small child / wee bairn better / be'eR
popularised by
Daniel Jones 'English Pronouncing Dictionary' (1924) convergence
becoming more similar

divergence
highlighting differences BBC VOICES SURVEY
2004/5 HIGH PRESTIGE &
ATTRACTIVENESS SOME MIXED
RESULTS... URBAN ACCENTS
SCORE LOW Low Attractivess &
Low Prestige Standard English Accents
'similar to my own' Asian Accented English
Birmingham
Black Country (except Edinburgh!) Prestige
Social Attractiveness The car was unattractive to look at, but the environmentally friendly engine meant it could go for miles on just a few litres of petrol. The car was unattractive to look at, but the environmentally friendly engine meant it could go for miles on just a few litres of petrol. The car was unattractive to look at, but the environmentally friendly engine meant it could go for miles on just a few litres of petrol. The car was unattractive to look at, but the environmentally friendly engine meant it could go for miles on just a few litres of petrol. GENERAL SCOTS LONDON GENERAL AMERICAN HEIGHTENED R.P.
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