The intent of this undertaking is to place if the Queen speaks with the same polished Received Pronunciation ( RP ) speech pattern today as she did 50 old ages ago and whether there have been any generational fluctuations to the RP spoken within the Royal Family.

First this undertaking will present the topic of sociolinguistics with a focal point on the differences between speech patterns and idioms and the history and regulations refering to RP. Second, current sentiments and attitudes will be discussed along with recent research that has been carried out analyzing the diminution of RP. Lastly it will analyze findings from my ain comparings of three Royal Family duologues.

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Sociolinguisticss is the survey of the relationship between linguistic communication and society, and how society influences or affects the manner in which linguistic communication is used by persons or groups ( Crystal, 2008 ) . When a individual negotiations it is easy to recognize regional differences in their address as everyone has an speech pattern or idiom and this can frequently take to premises about their background, instruction and even their topographic point in society.

It is of import to understand the difference between an speech pattern and a idiom as they are two really different facets of address. An accent refers to the differences in pronunciation merely ( Crystal, 2008 ) , for illustration, a talker with a southern speech pattern would articulate /a/ utilizing long vowel /a: / whereas a talker with a northern speech pattern would articulate /a/ with a short vowel /?/ :

Long vowel, Southern

Short vowel, Northern


/bE‘ : I?/



/gra: s/



/di: mom: nd/

/di: m?nd/

A dialect nevertheless refers to the characteristics of pronunciation along with grammar and vocabulary such as sentence construction and usage of verbs. For illustration:

Standard English

Regional Dialect

She is a good miss

She ‘s a cagey young girl ( Geordie/Newcastle )

How are you?

Ow bist old butt? ( Forest of Dean )

He is frightened

He ‘s experiencing frit ( Lincolnshire )

I ‘ll see in the Autumn

I ‘ll see in the autumn ( American English )

An speech pattern and a idiom can both give an indicant as to the talker ‘s geographical beginning ( Crystal, 2008 ) . Due the turning assortment of speech patterns and idioms in the UK, a ‘Standard English ‘ ( SE ) has emerged that is taught in schools and used in print and broadcast medium. It is besides the criterion taught to talkers of foreign linguistic communications.

The phrase Received Pronunciation was ab initio coined in 1869 by the linguist A J Ellis but the phonetician, Daniel Jones, was the first individual to follow it to depict the speech pattern of the societal elite ( British Library ) .

Received Pronunciation ( RP ) is an speech pattern that is associated with being typically British and is besides known as ‘The Queens English ‘ or ‘BBC English ‘ as it is seen as a prestigiousness speech pattern ( Graddol, Leith & A ; Swann, 1996 ) . No specific authorization gave the speech pattern its particular position but as RP is spoken chiefly in the south E it is by and large associated with that country but it is found all over the state. It is a non specific speech pattern as it gives no indicant of a talker ‘s geographical beginning nevertheless it does uncover information about their societal and educational background.

It was established over 400 old ages ago as the speech pattern of the tribunals and the upper categories and was shortly associated with a individual holding a respectable societal standing along with a superior instruction, as during the nineteenth century, RP was the accent taught in public schools and universities such as Eton and Oxford and still remains today ( Ember, 2001 ) . It rapidly became the speech pattern preferred by the British Army and Civil Service and was seen as a voice of authorization and power. The BBC besides adopted RP when it began radio broadcast medium in the 1920s because it was believed to be a impersonal speech pattern that could be widely recognised and understood. The BBC set up the Advisory Committee on Spoken English in 1926 in order to rede it ‘s presenters on pronunciation. It wanted to extinguish regional speech patterns in favor of RP. They even published a book called Broadcast English which gave counsel and illustrations of how certain words should be pronounced ( British Library ) .

With the development of the mass media, divisions between societal categories have begun to breakdown and as a consequence RP is no longer the preserve of the societal elite ( Crystal, 2008 ) . Although it was more widely used 50 old ages ago, it remains the Standard English of the Royal Family, Parliament, the Church of England and the High Courts but in entire there are less than 3 per cent of British talkers utilizing it in a pure signifier in the present twenty-four hours.

The vowel sounds of RP are given in the tabular array below:






E?A A A A I:





E™A A A A E? :

E” :




E’A A A A E‘ :



RP is considered as an overdone and old fashioned speech pattern by most people, with a strong ‘posh ‘ speech pattern pulling ridicule and sarcasm. In order to pass on efficaciously and come across as ‘normal ‘ , many former public school pupils retain a regional speech pattern or prefer to talk a signifier of Estuary English ( REF ) .

One major separating characteristic is the pronunciation of certain sounds. The Scots and Irish pronounce the /r/ consonant in all places, whereas in RP /r/ is dropped before a consonant and in some idioms /h/ at the beginning of a word is frequently dropped ( Changing Language ) . In England we can separate Northern, Midlands and South Western dialects.A

Different speech patterns mark societal category, talker ‘s life and calling, and can bespeak a talker ‘s community values which could take to less societal credence. Therefore RP talkers are perceived as being more polite, good educated or ambitious. Dublin Irish and Edinburgh ranked following in societal credence, and the tabular array descends through Newcastle, Yorkshire, Cockney, Liverpool Scouse, Birmingham and Glaswegian speech patterns ( Giles & A ; Bourhis, 1976 ) . The Liverpool Scouse speech pattern uses a really different signifier of modulation to RP. A autumn is on a regular basis preceded by a preliminary rise and a rise by a preliminary autumn, which makes the linguistic communication sound uneven. With RP there is no important difference.

In Britain, there are besides some differences in the linguistic communication of categories in looks for the same state of affairs. For illustration, when doing an apology to person, upper category people tend to state, “ Excuse me ” . On the other manus, working category people tend to state “ Pardon. ” . Likewise when inquiring a talker to reiterate something, upper category people say “ what? “ ; working category people say, “ Excuse me ” .

These differences in the linguistic communication between the categories have had an influence on mundane life. Generally, people have two types of reaction to that state of affairs: seeking to conceal their linguistic communication, or maintain talking their ain linguistic communication. Many regional talkers feel embarrassed by their speech patterns. It seems that much societal force per unit area is felt by and large because of the long-standing prestigiousness given to RP. Surely to linguists, RP is merely one of many speech patterns, although its particular individuality as a category speech pattern is apparent.

The significance of speech patterns and their cultural and societal associations is good represented in movies and on telecasting in Britain. The critically acclaimed 1964 movie My Fair Lady based on George Bernard Shaw ‘s 1912 drama Pygmalion, is frequently referenced in lingual treatments as a great illustration of how societal category and speech pattern were, and still are, inextricably linked in Britain. George Bernard Shaw modelled his prima character on Henry Sweet who claimed: ‘The English have no regard for their linguistic communication and will non learn their kids to talk it aˆ¦ it is impossible for an Englishman to open his oral cavity without doing some other adult male despise him ‘ . This extract illustrates exactly the societal crisis concerned with idioms now and so. Over the past old ages, legion telecasting series have besides provided viewing audiences with a glance of the lives and speech patterns of the Cockney population of London, such as the popular long running telecasting series EastEnders.

RP does hold societal associations. While it is non sole to any peculiar category, it is, however, typical of the upper and the upper-middle categories. In sociolinguistic surveies it has become clear that RP is the dominant norm in pronunciation for most of the in-between category. But few people who move up in society “ modify ” their speech pattern in the way of RP, thereby assisting to keep the bing relationship between category and speech pattern. This is why RP compared to other speech patterns, has more prestigiousness and is seen as more pleasant sounding, and its talker is viewed as more ambitious and competent and as such, better suited for high position occupations. Although this address manner still carries impressions of prestigiousness, regional assortments of English are geting position equal to RP.A


I have chosen to analyze three pieces of duologue of the Royal Family as they are perceived as the archetypical talkers of RP. To get down with I am traveling to analyze the Queens foremost televised Christmas address which was broadcast in 1957 and I am traveling to compare it with her 2007 Christmas speech broadcast 50 old ages subsequently. This comparing will demo if the Queen still talks with a polished RP speech pattern or if there have been any fluctuations due to modern influences. The 3rd duologue I am traveling to analyze is of an interview Prince William gave in 2010 during the World Cup command. By comparing how a younger member of the Royal Family speaks with an older member will demo how fluctuations of RP within the Royal Family have changed through the coevalss.

I will take several sentences from each duologue and phonetically transcribe the words in order to transport out the comparing and I am traveling to specifically look at fluctuations in vowel sounds.


Analysis of the Queen ‘s Christmas Broadcasts shows that even the Queen has adopted a more modern version of RP over clip.



Old ages




/E” : fE?n/



/vi?‰ri: /

/veri: /





A really distinguishable characteristic of RP is the pronunciation of the consonant /o/ – /E’/ as /E” : / . In Her Majesty ‘s first televised Christmas broadcast in 1957 the Queen pronounced the word /often/ as /E” : fE?n/ . However in her more recent broadcast in 2007 she was articulating it as /i‚?fi‚«n/ .

Transcript of Prince William ‘s first sentence when being interviewed by Tim Lovejoy for FATV


Are you excited?

Prince William ‘s Answer:

Very aroused. Um cant delay for the first game, um, evidently gon na um travel through the group games truly quicklyaˆ¦

Phonetic Transcription:

/veri: / /ekE?aE?tE?d/ /E?m/ /cE‘E?nE”/ /weE?E”/ /fE”E?/ /A°/ /fE?E?E?E”/ /geE?m/ /E?m/ /E’bvi: E?sli: / /gE?nE™/ /gaES/ /I?ru: / /A°/ /gru: p/ /geE?mE?/ /ri: Li: / /kwE?kli: /

Prince William has a modern RP speech pattern. This is shown in the manner he pronounces /very/ . Using pure RP it would be pronounced /vi?‰ri: / where as Prince William pronounces it as /veri: / . He besides uses a glottal halt when pronouncing words that end with the harmonic /t/ : /cE‘E?nE”/ /weE?E”/ and /fE?E?E?E”/ .

Interestingly Prince William uses the blend word / gon na / /gE?nE™/ alternatively of stating /going to/ /gaESA‹ tu: / as it would be said in Standard English.

When comparing the Queen ‘s RP speech pattern with Prince William ‘s the consequences show that the Queen ‘s 2007 speech pattern is more similar to Prince William ‘s than her 1957 speech pattern.


Although the RP speech pattern remains to transport impressions of prestigiousness, regional assortments of English are geting position equal to it.A

This research shows that even the Queen herself, the archetypical talker of RP, can non retain the RP speech pattern as there has been a impetus in her speech pattern towards one that is characteristic of the younger members of the Royal Family.