Questions tagged [received-pronunciation]

Received Pronunciation (RP) is the prestigious and non-regional variety of British English often considered to be Standard British English.

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4 answers
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Do any speakers have contrastive vowel qualities for the NURSE and lettER sets?

John Wells’ lexical sets are usually useful classifications for determining differences in the realizations of vowels across English accents. Two of the sets are the NURSE set, referring to a stressed ...
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Which phoneme/sound is unpronounced in ”prompt”?

https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/prompt_1?q=prompt Is the British pronunciation artificial, or is it really how people in England speak on a daily basis? The three ...
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12 votes
3 answers
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Is /ʌ/ really a stressed schwa, appearing only in stressed syllables?

If /ʌ/ occurs only in stressed syllables, why does punctilious /pʌŋkˈtɪliəs/ have it in an unstressed syllable? Same with upbraid /ʌpˈbreɪd/.
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2 answers
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How is "of " pronounced?

I was wondering why we pronounce the word of as ä in the phrase "piece of cake" and as ov in the phrase "part of life". What I've tried: After searching on the internet, I've ...
3 votes
2 answers
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How can “Harold” and “Herald” ever sound the same?

I was reading a book¹ recently where the main protagonist is fixated on homonyms and has rules that proper nouns are not homonyms and gives Harold and herald as an example of words that sound the same ...
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2 answers
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Is /ɜː/ realized as schwa [ə] in British English?

I have noticed that the vowel /ɜː/ (as in the RP pronunciation of "BIRD") sounds the same as the schwa [ə] (as in the pronunciation of "BUTTER" in RP). I assume the BIRD vowel is ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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"autistic" vs "artistic" in RP

How well do common variants of Received Pronunciation distinguish between "autistic" versus "artistic"? Wiktionary gives the distinction that the former uses for the leading ...
6 votes
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Why do they use "received" in "received pronunciation" instead of "official pronunciation"?

I’ve just learned the expression received pronunciation: the official standard queen style or accent! I'm not native speaker, but why use the word received here instead of standard or officially ...
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What does the term "liaison" amount to in the English language as regards the particular accent called Received Pronunciation?

In my study of the pronunciation of English (RP), the sources that I happened to use, means of information of a moment and forgotten or permanent ones such as the Longman Pronunciation dictionary (JC ...
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2 votes
1 answer
429 views

How common is yod-coalescence in modern RP?

I am an non native English speaker in where the some pronunciations taught have been obsolete in British English . Recently, I've got some time to do my research and discovered something called yod-...
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Pronunciation of "intermediate" as /ɪntə(ɹ)ˈmiːdʒɪt/?

I've heard both "intermediate" and "immediate" pronounced /ɪntə(ɹ)ˈmiːdʒɪt/ and /ɪˈmiːdʒɪt/ respectively in Indian English. Wiktionary has /ɪˈmiːdʒɪt/ as an alternative pronunciation for immediate for ...
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Do the DRESS vowel (/e/) and SQUARE vowel (/ɛː/) have the same vowel quality in contemporary RP?

I understand that the SQUARE vowel is now often realized as the long monophthong /ɛː/ instead of the traditional diphthong /eə/ in contemporary RP. Do /e/ from the DRESS vowel and /ɛː/ from the modern ...
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Shall I compare "thee" to "thuh"? [duplicate]

This may sound silly, but I keep hearing people saying "thuh" instead of "thee" for "the" in front of adjectives or nouns starting with a vowel or a diphthong. Like, "thuh' old people, "thuh" other ...
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Lateral Release

I am a EFL learner who focuses on RP. I have a question about lateral release of plosives t and d. I know that the release of t and d can be done by lowering the side of the tongue when t and d are ...
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What is the most common allophone of r after θ in British English, like in [θri:]?

I ask because post-alveolar r could not be used after dental θ. My intuition tells me that it should be alveolar r, but I have not found on the Internet any confirmation for it.
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1 answer
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Silent/linking 'r' before vowels in British English

Here is an example where r occurs before vowels: The shelter of your arms, Mother Earth I'm referring to this service for transcription. British transcription shows that none of them are silent: ...
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Clarification on the rules for pronouncing R in British English [duplicate]

Some rules have been given here, but I am seeking for a particular clarification. According to the cited answer, R wouldn't be pronounced in WHERE and ARE (because the final E is unvoiced, so the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What type of English accent is this?

I came across these adverts: EPO 2013 EPO 2014 on TV a few years back and was curious as to what type of accent the speaker has. I've been told by a linguistic professor who is English that it is a '...
5 votes
1 answer
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pronouncing "l" as a vowel

I am a native English speaker with a British accent. When I say words like: lion, liver, below etc. - there is definite contact between my tongue and teeth/roof of the mouth. When I say words like: ...
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3 answers
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Received Pronunciation and ambiguity (users vs uses)

Let us consider the following two sentences: These users of our app allowed us to find a few new uses for it. and These uses of our app allowed us to find a few new users for it. Both of them ...
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4 answers
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British politicians pronouncing "hear, hear" oddly

I'm an American living in California. I was recently watching a C-SPAN broadcast of a British Parliamentary debate about Mr. Trump (I assumed it's Parliament). A lot of men and women with tousled hair ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Why is "Theresa" pronounced with the plosive /t/?

Judging from the spelling I always thought Theresa was pronounced with an interdental fricative. On the German news I often heard it pronounced with a /t/ as initial consonant. I thought this was due ...
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Is there a rule for when to pronounce "ah" instead of "ae" in RP versus GA? [duplicate]

I would like to know if there is a rule when to pronounce ah in RP versus ae in GA. Is it a question of vocabulary or is there a rule for that? Examples: dance- in RP is pronounced ah but in GA it ...
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1 answer
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BrE: monophthong in here, clear, mere, etc

Usually in BrE words like clear, fere, clear, mere, etc are pronounced with a diphthong comprising an open high front vowel followed by something resembling a schwa. However, they are sometimes ...
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Pronouncing -ed when it comes after a voiced final consonant

When I teach -ed endings I tell the students that there are three ways to pronounce it: /t/ (when the preceding sound is unvoiced, e.g. matched) /d/ (when the preceding sound is voiced, e.g. played) /...
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1 answer
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Can vs that ( /kæn/ vs /ðæt/ )

I’ve finally decided to take a look at my English pronunciation and it is being an awesome new world. I am focused on Received Pronunciation (British Standard) and one question comes to mind for which ...
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2 answers
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Did the modern British accent originate from a speech impediment? [closed]

I have heard a theory that the modern British pronunciation (as compared, for example, to American pronunciation) started when somebody in the monarchy had a speech impediment (perhaps rhotacism) and, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Using long "e" when pronouncing "the" [duplicate]

I have noticed a regrettable trend toward using the short "e" when pronouncing "the" before words beginning with a vowel: "thuh Earth"; thuh older one". This used to be a cultural symbol (e.g., old ...
2 votes
4 answers
25k views

Ma'am: Is it as in "ham" solely for the Queen, whilst it remains spoken "ma"+"um" (less any glotal stop) for all others?

It's become conventional wisdom that, when addressing the Queen after introduction, one must be sure to address her as "ma'am" as if it were to rhyme with "ham". Only "ma'am" and "ham" don't rhyme. ...
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1 answer
631 views

Should British r be spoken out in liaison?

For example, the r in "better" is not pronounced in British English. How about the "r" in "a better idea"?
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5 answers
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Does English really have triphthongs?

Does English really have triphthongs? EDIT/TDLR: It appears that quite a few people have misunderstood this question. In a nutshell, it is asking why many sources, even scholarly ones, claim that the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Pronunciation of "again"

What is the Standard British English1 pronunciation of "again"? I looked in Wiktionary and it gives two UK pronunciations, /əˈɡeɪn/, and /əˈɡɛn/. 1 I mean Standard British English as in the tag ...
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1 answer
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/u/ and /uː/ in pronunciation

What is the regularity of appearance of /uː/ and /u/ (or /ʊ/ in RP)? How can I be most sure deducing from spelling alone, that, say, "ooze" is pronounced /uːz/ and "wool" as /wul/? I know that English ...
30 votes
5 answers
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Why is the 'w' silent in "sword"?

In RP English, the 'w' in "sword" is silent. Wiktionary suggests /sɔːd/ and /soʊrd/. Why? Are there other words like this? The 'w' is pronounced in words like "swollen", "swoop", "sworn" and "swore".
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5 votes
3 answers
797 views

Does "fathers" in RP exclude R and unvoice the S?

In received pronunciation, the word "father" ends in /ə/. I haven't found an IPA transcription of the plural form, and am wondering: RP being non-rhotic, is the "r" here excluded? Is the S voiced (/z/...
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9 votes
6 answers
3k views

What is the name of the phoneme produced in an upper-class Briton's pronunciation of the word "Duke"? What's different in the articulation?

When someone with a Received Pronunciation accent pronounces the word duke, as in The Duke of York, he doesn't pronounce it with a "hard" 'd', as one might pronounce the word duh, but a softer type 'd'...
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15 votes
8 answers
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Is a schwa ever stressed?

Is there a word in RP (Received Pronunciation) where the stressed vowel sound is a schwa?
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27 votes
4 answers
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Do accents still play a role in British class distinctions to the present day? How have things changed since the 1960s and Received Pronunciation?

An Englishman's way of speaking absolutely classifies him. The moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him. If you spoke as she does, sir, Instead of the way you do, Why, you might be ...
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