Download Talking Proper: The Rise of Accent As Social Symbol by Lynda Mugglestone PDF

By Lynda Mugglestone

Speaking right is a background of the increase and fall of the English accessory as a badge of cultural, social, and sophistication id. Lynda Mugglestone strains the origins of the phenomenon in past due eighteenth-century London, follows its historical past during the 19th and 20th centuries, and charts its downfall throughout the period of latest exertions. this can be a witty, readable account of a desirable topic, liberally spiced with quotations from English speech and writing over the last 250 years.

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Jonathan Swift, whose Proposal for correcting the language in the eighteenth century had earlier been so influential, made it plain that, while grammar and lexis were properly to be subject to linguistic legislation, it seemed impossible to apply this to the domains of spoken English, and to accent in particular. He therefore describes with complete acceptance 'a country squire having only the provincial accent upon his tongue, which is neither a fault, nor in his power to remedy'. By the end of the eighteenth century, however, such 'remedy' was perhaps to seem within reach.

CHOICE, tshoife. f. The a£i of choofing, election; the power of choofing; care in choofing, curiofity of diftincYton; the thing chofen; the beft part of anything; feveral things propofed as objects of election. CHOICE, tshoife. a. Select, of extraordinary value; chary, frugal, careful. CHOICELESS, tshoife'les. a. to menace, to cut. into fmall pieces; to break into clunks. To CHOP, tshop. v. n. To do any tiling with a quick motion; to light or happen upon a thing. To CHOP, tshop. v. a. To purchafe, generally by way of truck; t<* put one thing in the place of another; t® bandy, to altercate.

England], that have not learned by experience the disadvantages which accompany their idiom and pronunciation', as Douglas continues. Notions of norm and deviation are prominent, concisely revealed by the The Rise of a Standard 39 metalanguage deployed with reference to Scottish against English; if the latter is 'classical' and 'pure', the former is surrounded by perceptions of a style of speech which is both 'vicious' and 'barbarous'—and thus markedly negative in the connotations it conveys. The prevalence of conceptions of this kind (further reinforced by the fact that many popular writers on 'proper' pronunciation such as Johnston, Kenrick, Smith, Buchanan, and Elphinston were themselves Scots) would undoubtedly have lent additional impetus to Boswell's own desire for 'improvement' in the accents which he himself, as a native of Ayrshire, had originally employed.

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