Received Pronunciation


What is Received Pronunciation?

-The accent associated with middle and upper-class speakers of the language.

-Also known as 'BBC English', 'Public School English', or 'Oxford English'.

-It is a REIGONLESS accent because it doesn't indicate a speakers reigonal origin.

-However, it doesn't suggest the social class to which he or she is likely to belong.

-RP changes over time.

-RP is a socially prestigious accent associated with high social status.

-Mainly from the South of England and the East Midlands.

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Origins of Received Pronunciation

-RP is thought to have evolved from an accent spoken at the Royal Court and by members of the aristocracy in the late Middle Ages.

-This accent was associated with London and the South-East and came to be regarded as superior to the accents spoken in other parts of the country and by members of other social classes.

-It was the accent favoured in public schools.

-When Britains political power was at its height, it was known as the 'Voice of Empire.'

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Received Pronunciation Today

-It has been estimated that only about 3% of the population now speak pure RP.

-However, many more speak what is known as Modified RP.

-Modified RP is and RP accents with regional features, and it's spoken by people whose reigonal accent has shifted closer to RP.

-Social attitudes have changed, and people in positions of power and influence are no longer expected to have pure RP accents.

-On National TV and radio, a wider variety of accents is now heard, though newsreaders still usually have RP or modified RP accents.

-Example: The speech of the conservative politician William Hague has obvious elements of a Yorkshire accent.

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