Chapter published in:Late Modern English: Novel encounters
Edited by Merja Kytö and Erik Smitterberg
[Studies in Language Companion Series 214] 2020
► pp. 21–41
“A received pronunciation”
Eighteenth-century pronouncing dictionaries and the precursors of RP
This chapter examines the codification of English pronunciation prior to the emergence and recognition of RP. I analyse early citations of “received pronunciation” and contrast these with later uses of “Received Pronunciation”. Drawing on Haugen (1966) and Milroy & Milroy (1999), I identify the processes of standardisation and distinguish standardisation from levelling before outlining the history of standardisation in English. I then discuss why the need for a standard pronunciation arose in the eighteenth century and the criteria used to select and codify pronunciations. I conclude that authors such as Walker and Sheridan did not succeed in implementing a standard pronunciation, but their attempts at codification laid the ground for the emergence of RP in the nineteenth century.
- 1.“Received pronunciation” or “a received pronunciation”?
- 2.Standardisation: Theoretical issues
- 3.Standardisation in the history of English: An overview
- 4.Standardisation and the pronunciation of English
- 5.Defining a standard pronunciation
- 6.Codification in action: Choosing between variants
- 7.Eighteenth-century codification: RP or not RP?
Published online: 18 March 2020
Beal, Joan C.
Collins, Beverly & Mees, Inger
Gimson, Alan C.
Macaulay, Ronald K. S.
Nevalainen, Terttu & Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Ingrid
Schwyter, Jürg R.
ECEP:Eighteenth-Century English Phonology Database
Sheffield: Digital Humanities Institute. http://www.dhi.ac.uk/ecep
. Oxford University Press, December 2018 <www.oed.com
Cited by 2 other publications
BEAL, JOAN C., RANJAN SEN, NURIA YÁÑEZ-BOUZA & CHRISTINE WALLIS
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