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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: May ::
Regional Accents
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0472  Monday, 22 May 2006

[1] 	From: 	David Crystal <
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 	Date: 	Wednesday, 17 May 2006 15:07:08 +0000 GMT
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0455 Regional Accents

[2] 	From: 	Tony Burton <
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 	Date: 	Wednesday, 17 May 2006 12:48:13 -0400
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0455 Regional Accents

[3] 	From: 	Kevin De Ornellas <
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 	Date: 	Wednesday, 17 May 2006 18:03:23 +0100
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0455 Regional Accents

[4] 	From: 	William Godshalk <
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 	Date: 	Wednesday, 17 May 2006 14:20:49 -0400
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0455 Regional Accents

[5] 	From: 	Martin Green <
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 	Date: 	Thursday, 18 May 2006 22:51:31 +0000
 	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0455 Regional Accents


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Crystal <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 17 May 2006 15:07:08 +0000 GMT
Subject: 17.0455 Regional Accents
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0455 Regional Accents

I have a fairly extensive discussion of these issues in my Pronouncing 
Shakespeare (CUP 2005), based on what we did at the Globe for the 
'original pronunciation' production of RJ that year, and also in the 
middle chapters of The Stories of English (Penguin 2004 / Overlook Press 
in the US), which I hope would help.

David Crystal

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Tony Burton <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 17 May 2006 12:48:13 -0400
Subject: 17.0455 Regional Accents
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0455 Regional Accents

For what it's worth, I happen to be engaged in an exchange with Roger 
Lass, one of the pre-eminent elder students of English pronunciation and 
the development of the language generally, in which he remarked that

>"Of course there were dialect differences throughout England (we don't 
even
>know for sure whether Shakespeare spoke one of the many incipient London
>standards -- there was no 'standard' pronunciation at his time, but a lot 
of
>competing varieties)."

Note that he distinguishes varieties in London only, as a different realm 
of problems from that of regional dialects.  I imagine it safe to assume 
(or at least, unsafe to discount) that, among the competing London 
varieties alone, each speaker might have understood within his or her own 
system and phonology what sounded "educated," "rustic," Welsh," "French," 
"pretentious," "refined," or anything else; but at the same time, have 
begun from a different phonetic base and probably applied different 
definitions and value judgments to each category.  Consider "liberal" in 
the United States today, or the history of "egghead" in the fifties.  Dare 
I speak French in Walmart?

G'dye, mites,
Tony

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Kevin De Ornellas <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 17 May 2006 18:03:23 +0100
Subject: 17.0455 Regional Accents
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0455 Regional Accents

John Briggs writes: "I would suggest that Don Bloom first reads: E.J. 
Dobson, English Pronunciation, 1500-1700 (Clarendon Press, 1957/1968)."

And for a more accessible, introductory guide, see David Crystal, 
"Pronouncing Shakespeare: The Globe Experiment" (Cambridge University 
Press, 2005), especially pp. 43-95.

Kevin De Ornellas
University of Ulster

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		William Godshalk <
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Date: 		Wednesday, 17 May 2006 14:20:49 -0400
Subject: 17.0455 Regional Accents
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0455 Regional Accents

Terry Hawkes writes: "Donald Bloom wonders if readers have noted 'any 
regional accents beyond a few Welshmen . . .' A touch quaint. How about 
Henry V for a start?"

And for another, The Merry Wives of Windsor, which showcases regional 
dialects -- including Welsh, of course.

Bill

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Martin Green <
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Date: 		Thursday, 18 May 2006 22:51:31 +0000
Subject: 17.0455 Regional Accents
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0455 Regional Accents

John Drakakis writes that "I think I'm right in saying that there was no 
such thing in the late 16th or early 17th centuries as  'received 
pronunciation', not even for aristocrats." And he probably is right. 
Nevertheless, it is clear that at about the same time, school masters and 
others interested in spoken and written English, believed that certain 
pronunciations were to be preferred over others, and that care should be 
taken that spelling reflect the "correct," or preferred,  pronunciations. 
Richard Hodges, who described himself as a "school-Master, dwelling in 
Southwark" (Shakespeare's old stomping grounds), in 1643 published a book 
entitled "A Special Help to Orthographie, or, The-Writing of English. 
Consisting of such words as are alike in sound, and unlike both in their 
significance and Writing: As also, of such Words which are so near alike 
in sound, that they are sometimes taken for each other." Hodges gave 
numerous examples of words which were pronounced alike, but which should 
be spelled - - and, in fact, by necessary implication, pronounced 
differently.  Two of many examples are "His bile brake, when the pot did 
boyl," and "It doth imply as much, that he sought to imploy himself well." 
As all readers of 16th, 17th and 18th century English poetry know, these 
distinctions in spelling were generally adhered to (the poets being, 
usually, well educated), but the pronunciations were not (suggesting a 
regional or dialect pronunciation by these educated poets) -- as for 
example, Pope's famous couplet, "Good nature and good sense must ever 
join,/To err is human, to forgive divine."  So far as I can find, 
Shakespeare did this only once, in Venus and Adonis:  "And nuzzling in his 
flank, the loving swine/, Sheath'd unaware the tusk in his soft groin." I 
suspect that this does not reflect Shakespeare's pronunciation, but is 
merely his appropriation of the lines "For an orped Swine/ Smit him in the 
groyne," from "The Sheepherds Song of Venus and Adonis," published in 
England's Helicon in 1600, but written, I believe, prior to Shakespeare's 
poem, published in 1593.

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