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  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #11

    Re: What accent do they speak with?

    There is really no such thing as a standard accent these days. The pronunciation of certain words can mark people as being from certain parts of the UK but within different regions there are lots of different voices/accents.

    In the south-east of England, where I'm from, you'll hear people speak with everything from old-fashioned RP to what used to be called "common" or "council estate" English. In some cases, you can hazard a guess as to their level of education but frequently it is no indicator of educational level at all.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #12

    Re: What accent do they speak with?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    She has a southern British (English) fairly educated English accent.
    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    That woman's accent is fairly typical of many reasonably educated people in southern England. I hasten to add that many reasonably educated people from southern England do not speak with that accent these days.
    I'm really not sure what point you may be trying to make here. There is no connection between somebody's 'degree of education' (whatever that means) and the way they pronounce words.

    If you are thinking about the type of school that a person has attended (i.e. a public school), I do think that these institutions can reinforce in a student a pre-existing accent that is much more to do with social class than anything else. It is statistically likely that students enrolled at expensive public schools are from middle or upper class families. Furthermore, it is not accurate to claim that public school attendees are 'more educated' than anyone else, even if you believe that the general level of education is of a higher quality.

    If, by 'educated', you are talking about experience of tertiary education (university level), I certainly don't think this has any bearing on shaping a person's accent either, not least because one's accent is likely to be fixed by the age of entry.

    Also, if the woman in the video speaks with a 'fairly/reasonably educated' accent, are you suggesting that there are those who are 'more' educated than her, who speak differently? Or that there are those who speak with a 'more educated accent' than her?

    I'm sure you mean no offence, but I find this use of 'educated' slightly worrying. It seems to me that it has sometimes historically been used euphemistically and derogatorily by the upper/middle classes as a means of class identification, for whatever end.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 12-May-2019 at 19:34.

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    #13

    Re: What accent do they speak with?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    There is no connection between somebody's 'degree of education' (whatever that means) and the way they pronounce words.
    Until well into the 1960s there was a a fairly close connection between one's degree of education and/or one's social class and one's accent, whether that accent was acquired from one's parents or at school/university.

    Furthermore, it is not accurate to claim that public school attendees are 'more educated' than anyone else, even if you believe that the general level of education is of a higher quality.
    I did not claim that.

    Also, if the woman in the video speaks with a 'fairly/reasonably educated' accent, are you suggesting that there are those who are 'more' educated than her, who speak differently? Or that there are those who speak with a 'more educated accent' than her?
    It was my not very specific way of making my point. I meant, roughly speaking that a person who speaks as she does is unlikely, to have left school at sixteen. 'Accent' was the wrong word - I was thinking of her manner of delivery, sentence structure, vocabulary and accent.

    I find this use of 'educated' slightly worrying. It seems to me that it has sometimes historically been used euphemistically and derogatorily by the upper/middle classes as a means of class identification, for whatever end.
    I'm sure it has. If you can think of a better term, please share it.

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    #14

    Re: What accent do they speak with?

    Her accent - or utterance - is neat. I like it, despite the fact that it sounds a tad sophisticated. But I have seen people on Youtube teaching English whose pronunciation is deliberately exaggerated, snobbish - yet, they receive accolades all around.

  5. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #15

    Re: What accent do they speak with?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Until well into the 1960s there was a a fairly close connection between one's degree of education and/or one's social class and one's accent
    I hope I haven't misunderstood. What do you mean here by 'degree of education'?

    I meant, roughly speaking that a person who speaks as she does is unlikely, to have left school at sixteen.
    I'm not entirely sure I follow the thought. Why do you think somebody who speaks like her is unlikely to have left school at sixteen? Because people of her class were likely to have been encouraged to go to university?

    Are you attributing the possibility of her having gone to university as in some way playing a causal role in the development of her accent/manner of speech? This may be where I've misunderstood. If the connection between somebody's having gone to university and their accent or manner of speech is merely statistical (i.e. non-causal), in what way is it relevant?

    'Accent' was the wrong word - I was thinking of her manner of delivery, sentence structure, vocabulary and accent.
    All of which you mean are signs of being 'fairly educated'? Again, it's not clear to me in what sense you're using the word 'educated'. Do you mean in the sense of having been taught how to speak and act in a certain way that might be identified as normative to her social class?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    It seems to me that it has sometimes historically been used euphemistically and derogatorily by the upper/middle classes as a means of class identification, for whatever end.
    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I'm sure it has. If you can think of a better term, please share it.
    Like I've said, I suspect you may in fact be alluding to signs of class rather than to education. The fact that up until the 1960s people of a higher social class are more likely to have gone to university is not relevant, even if the case remains today. It strikes me that the reason she speaks like that is likely to have very much to do with her social background, and very little, if anything at all, to do with her education.

    I wouldn't rule out, however, the possibility that since she is an actress by profession, she may have undergone some training in how to speak in such a way. Still, I don't think that would count as what people would generally understand by the word 'educated'.
    Last edited by jutfrank; 13-May-2019 at 00:04.

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    #16

    Re: What accent do they speak with?

    I wouldn't rule out, however, the possibility that since she is an actress by profession, she may have undergone some training in how to speak in such a way. Still, I don't think that would count as what people would generally understand by the word 'educated'.

    I wouldn't rule out the possibility that most people do not understand 'educated' at all - just pretence at education.

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    #17

    Re: What accent do they speak with?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    I hope I haven't misunderstood. What do you mean here by 'degree of education'?
    Jutfrank, I was trying to give a brief, helpful response to a question about accent, not write a peer-reviewed article on the sociological implications of class and accent. By 'degree of education' I meant the length of time spent in formal education/training and the academic and/or vocational qualifications studied or (GCSE, A Level, university degree, NVQ,etc)
    Why do you think somebody who speaks like her is unlikely to have left school at sixteen?
    In my experience of life, people who left school at sixteen are less likely to speak with a version of 'RP (Longman Pronunciation Dictionary) or 'BBC English' (English Pronouncing Dictionary) than those who stay on a in education longer. The sociological reasons for this are not particularly relevant to alexpen's question.
    Are you attributing the possibility of her having gone to university as in some way playing a causal role in the development of her accent/manner of speech?
    No.
    If the connection between somebody's having gone to university and their accent or manner of speech is merely statistical (i.e. non-causal), in what way is it relevant?
    I haven't suggested it's relevant. It is not having more than eleven or twelve years in education that is relevan.
    I suspect you may in fact be alluding to signs of class rather than to education. The fact that up until the 1960s people of a higher social class are more likely to have gone to university is not relevant, even if the case remains today. It strikes me that the reason she speaks like that is likely to have very much to do with her social background, and very little, if anything at all, to do with her education.
    I did not say that the accent was a result of the education. You are trying to read far too much into my rather crude correlation of amount of time spent in education (which may well have something to do with social class) and manner of speaking.

    I am not alone in using education in this way. John Wells (Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, 3rd edition.2008.xix) writes:

    It [the modernized version of RP that serves as the model for the dictionary] is widely regarded as a model for correct pronunciation, particularly for educated formal speech. [...]

    It is to be heard in all parts of the country from those with the appropriate social or educational background.


    I wouldn't rule out, however, the possibility that since she is an actress by profession, she may have undergone some training in how to speak in such a way. Still, I don't think that would count as what people would generally understand by the word 'educated'.
    Fine.

    I suggest that if you have any more to say/ask on this point, you start a thread in the General Language Discussion Forum. I don't think our sidetrack here is of much help dealing with alexpen's question.

  8. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #18

    Re: What accent do they speak with?

    Piscean—Okay, I'll leave it there.

    I understand my sidetracking was irrelevant to the thread. I hope you understand my point.

    Thanks for answering.

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