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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: May ::
Re: Pronunciation
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0473  Monday, 18 May 1998.

[1]     From:   Julie Blumenthal <
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        Date:   Friday, 15 May 1998 16:23:43 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0471  Pronunciation

[2]     From:   Jonathan Hope <
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        Date:   Monday, 18 May 1998 13:30:52 +0000 (GMT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0471  Pronunciation


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Julie Blumenthal <
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Date:           Friday, 15 May 1998 16:23:43 EDT
Subject: 9.0471  Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0471  Pronunciation

I think we may have discussed this once (or many) times before, but
there's a neat little section in Barton's _Playing Shakespeare_ on
pronunciation.  The tapes, if you can lay hands on them, give a better
sense of it as the actors play around with speaking in "original"
accents; however, the phonetic account in the book is fun as it forces
you to try your own hand at it in order to hear it, and speaking the
accent itself is enlightening.

Not an in-depth study, but it's a rough idea, and it's fun.

Pronouncedly,
Julie Blumenthal

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jonathan Hope <
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Date:           Monday, 18 May 1998 13:30:52 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: 9.0471  Pronunciation
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0471  Pronunciation

> I've been trying for years, on an off, to find an update to Fausto
> Cercignani's 1981 book about the original pronunciation of Shakespeare's
> language in the plays. So far I've not heard of anyone doing new work.
> The Globe in Southwark wants to develop this kind of study, or at least
> try some fresh experiments in the sound of the language. Is anyone out
> there working on this, or knows anybody else who is?

The whole field of historical phonology works on this, though, for
various reasons, not specifically on 'the original pronunciation of
Shakespeare's language in the plays'.  I've gone on about this before
here, so won't again.  Charles Barber's revised *Early Modern English*
(Edinburgh UP, 1997) has a good chapter on phonology, with comments on
the problems with Cercignani, and advice to continue using Dobson.

I hoped the rumours of 'original' pronunciation at the Globe were just
that, and I'm sorry to hear they're not.  I have a lot of time for the
Globe, but this really would be Disneyland.

Jonathan Hope
Middlesex University
 

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