Attitudes towards Received Pronunciation (RP)

  • Created by: Chessie
  • Created on: 10-05-19 11:58

David Crystal's views on Standard English

1. It's not regionally based.

2. It has distinctive feautres of grammar, vocabulary and orthography but not pronunciation- Standard English can be spoken in any accent.

3. It's the most prestigious variety of English.

4. It's the most widely understood.

5. It's commonly used in printed texts.

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Other attitudes towards Standard English

  • Many people see it as a 'correct' form of English.
  • Sloppy or incorrect usage of the English language usually is based on the benchmark that Standard English sets.
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Statistics about Accent:

  • Only 3% of the British Population now speak pure RP.
  • 28% of Brits feel discriminated against because of how they sound (their accent).
  • 8% of Brits have made themselves sound more posh in favour of upwards convergence.
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Attitudes to the RP accent

Evidence:

  • RP speakers are viewed as less attractive than regional accents.
  • RP speakers are also seen to be deadpan/unfunny, insincere and unfriendly.
  • Rural accents are viewed more positively.

Causes

  • RP is widely associated with authority- it is used by the upper class and those who do not feel as though they belong feel socially distant from it.
  • Most people have a positive view towards the countryside and respond favourably to rural accents.
  • The media enforces stereotypes of this (e.g - Countrylife butter adverts always feature rural farmers - apart from the time Johnny Rotten was on there)
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Estuary English

Origins:

  • The Second World War: the London population moved around Britain and this made some places 'under attack' (in terms of their regional accent), which has led to their accent being replaced with Estuary English.

Features:

  • Glottal stops (e.g. - omission of the 't' sound in heartache/heartbreak)
  • L-vocalisation (e.g.- 'faw' opposed to 'fall')

Aims of its speakers:

  • Speakers of Estuary English aim for a 'classless profile'.
  • Due to this, an increase of Estuary English speakers could lead to dialect levelling
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Covert and Overt Prestige

Covert Prestige: used to go against societal norms (e.g.- downwards convergence) 

  • Devon accent is covertly prestigious

Overt Prestige: used to conform to respectable, socially desired behaviours (e.g.- upwards convergence)

  • RP accent is overtly prestigious
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7: Examples of Cockney Rhyming Slang

To include in a possible opinion article:

  • 'Adam and Eve' - 'believe'
  • 'Bees and honey' - 'money'
  • 'Brahms & Liszt' - 'drunk'
  • 'Butcher's hook' - 'look'
  • 'Dog & bone' - 'phone'
  • 'Trouble & strife' - 'wife'
  • 'Whistle & flute' - 'suit'
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