The Rise (and Fall?) of Received Pronunciation
This chapter examines ‘received pronunciation’, which became a major focus of that attention which had so insistently been paid to issues of accent over the late 18th and 19th centuries. Non-localized, betraying little (if anything) of the speaker's place of birth, ‘received pronunciation’ and approximations met the desire for a geographically neutral accent which Sheridan and Walker had earnestly proclaimed. Even in the late 18th century, notions of the ‘received’ had been prominent in the phonetic ideals advanced; ‘those sounds — which are the most generally received among the learned and polite, as well as the bulk of speakers, are the most legitimate’, as John Walker averred in 1791.
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