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English Pronunciation in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
 
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English Pronunciation in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
16 Dec 2005
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£125.00
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9781403947239
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

This is the first fully comprehensive, detailed account in modern times of the pronunciation habits of English speakers in England and Scotland between 1700 and 1900.

There can be little doubt that speakers of modern English are subjected to social class and other evaluative judgements the minute they begin to speak. There is still a feeling that there is a 'proper' as against a 'vulgar' form of pronunciation, and there can be little doubt that one's social standing is assessed by the way one speaks as much as by the way one dresses. Such linguistic value judgements first appear in the history of the English speaking world in any serious way in the late eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth century, a period during which the notion that there was some kind of national 'standard' and 'proper' form of pronunciation (based usually on a Metropolitan upper class norm) was beginning to have wide currency. This book traces, among other things, the development of such prejudices, and it shows that in addition to social class factors, those of gender were equally (if not more) important. It stresses the point too, that the desirability of such a 'standardisation' of pronunciation was as much a characteristic of Scottish society in this period as it was in England, as we see the emergence of regional norms of pronunciation, quite different from and independent of those of the Metropolis.


Description

This is the first fully comprehensive, detailed account in modern times of the pronunciation habits of English speakers in England and Scotland between 1700 and 1900.

There can be little doubt that speakers of modern English are subjected to social class and other evaluative judgements the minute they begin to speak. There is still a feeling that there is a 'proper' as against a 'vulgar' form of pronunciation, and there can be little doubt that one's social standing is assessed by the way one speaks as much as by the way one dresses. Such linguistic value judgements first appear in the history of the English speaking world in any serious way in the late eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth century, a period during which the notion that there was some kind of national 'standard' and 'proper' form of pronunciation (based usually on a Metropolitan upper class norm) was beginning to have wide currency. This book traces, among other things, the development of such prejudices, and it shows that in addition to social class factors, those of gender were equally (if not more) important. It stresses the point too, that the desirability of such a 'standardisation' of pronunciation was as much a characteristic of Scottish society in this period as it was in England, as we see the emergence of regional norms of pronunciation, quite different from and independent of those of the Metropolis.


Reviews

'This volume relies on a wealth of primary sources, which the author investigates with great accuracy, thus giving a very detailed picture of how Late Modern English commentators approached phonological variation at the segmental level. The comments provided by the authors discussed shed considerable light on how speakers saw their usage and strove to change or maintain it. As a result, this valuable study sets itself at the crossroads between historical phonology, historical dialectology, and historical perceptual dialectology.' Professor Marina Dossena, Universita' degli Studi di Bergamo, Italy

'...it is an essential work of reference for any scholar with an interest in the history of English linguistics in this period.' - Joan C. Beal, Historiographia Linguistica


Contents

Preface
PART ONE: THE EARLY EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
Background
Sound/Symbol Representations: The Case for and Against Manipulation of the Orthography
The Sound System: Description and Classification
The Vowel Phonology
Non-Vowel Phonology
PART TWO: THE LATER EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
Background
Sound/Symbol Representations
The Sound System: Description and Classification
The Vowel Phonology
Non-Vowel Phonology
PART THREE: THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
Background
The Vowel Phonology
Non-Vowel Phonology
Bibliography
Index


Authors

CHARLES JONES is Emeritus Forbes Professor of English Language at the University of Edinburgh, UK where he served as Professor and Head of Department from 1990 to 2004. He has also held the Chair of English Language at the University of Durham (1978-1990) as well as several Visiting Professorships in the USA. He was awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship for 2001-2003. His main published works are Grammatical Gender in English 950-1250 (1989); A History of English Phonology (1989); A Language Suppressed: The Pronunciation of Scots in the Eighteenth Century (1975); and The Edinburgh History of the Scots Language (1997), which was awarded the National Library of Scotland Research Book of the Year Prize in 1998. He was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2000 and the Royal Society of Arts in 2003