Category Archives: Pronunciation

Received pronunciation

Traditionally, Received Pronunciation is seen as the accent of authority, with a long line of RP-speaking prime ministers through much of the 20th century such as Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill, Attlee, Eden, MacMillan. But that’s not a watertight definition, there have … Continue reading

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Sound change in 19th century RP: MOUTH

Seven speakers of RP born in the latter half of the 19th century are examined for signs of any sound changes in RP MOUTH. They are described here. Data is presented for five of the seven informants (there was no … Continue reading

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Sound change in 20th century RP: monophthongs 1901-1930

Postscript 27 Aug 2018: Added RP09. Eight examples of 20th century RP (born 1901-1930) are examined for signs of some reported sound changes to RP monophthongs. This post follows on from the similar study for 19th century RP. All the … Continue reading

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Sound change in 19th century RP: FACE and GOAT

This post follows on from Sound change in 19th century RP: Monophthongs and deals with the diphthongs FACE and GOAT. Earlier RP FACE was [eː] or [ei]. Jones (1932) described [ei], noting that diphthongs starting with cardinal [ɛ] were regional. … Continue reading

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Sound change in 19th century RP: Monophthongs

Seven examples of 19th century RP (the RP accent of people born in the 19th century) are examined for signs of some reported sound changes. This first post considers monophthongs. The examples, ordered by birth year, are: RP12: Robert Baden-Powel … Continue reading

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New article

A spectrographic study of sound changes in nineteenth century Kent. 2017. In Tsudzuki, Masaki & Masaki Taniguchi (eds), A Festschrift for Jack Windsor Lewis on the occasion of his 90th Birthday 215-246, Journal of the English Phonetic Society of Japan … Continue reading

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19th century sound change in Kent: LOT

The distribution of LOT pronunciations by the seven informants. Most still had [a~ɑ]-like earlier pronunciations (O). Only two had as yet acquired the new pronunciation [ɔ] (N). The earlier 19th century popular pronunciation in Kent for LOT was [a~ɑ]. The … Continue reading

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19th century sound change in Kent: MOUTH

The distribution of MOUTH pronunciations by the eight informants. Four informants had acquired the new pronunciation [æɒ], [æ:] (N) or the partially new form [æʉ] (P). Four informants still had the earlier pronunciation [ɛʉ] (O). Alexander Ellis (1889, On Early … Continue reading

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19th century sound change in Kent: rhoticity

The distribution of rhoticity by the eight informants: four had the earlier fully rhotic pronunciation (O), one was partially rhotic (P), while three had acquired the new non-rhotic pronunciation (N). The map shows that four informants still had the older … Continue reading

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19th century sound change in Kent: THOUGHT

The distribution of  THOUGHT by the eight informants: three had the earlier (O) pronunciation, while five had the new (N) pronunciation. THOUGHT subsumes NORTH and FORCE. The map shows that three informants still had the older [ɔ:]-like pronunciation, while five … Continue reading

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