quinta-feira, 8 de setembro de 2011

"Queen’s" English

Background of "Queen’s" English:

The notion of the "Queen’s" English or "King’s" English, depending on who is the ruler of the time, can be traced back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries where the idea that the monarch’s usage of the language should be a model in speech and writing (Wales, 1994). During these times there was a development of a prestigious speech associated with the court and aristocracy. Wales, (1994) also points out that the phrase "The King’s English" was first used during the reign of James I.

The British Royal Family would generally be considered to be speakers of the standard English, RP, discussed in the Received Pronunciation section. However, Wales, (1994) differentiates between the way the older "royals" speak and the changes that can be seen in the younger members of the royal family.

Sociolinguistic Issues of "Queen’s" English:

The accents of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret (the Queen’s sister) reflect the conservative RP as epitomized by the old British films and Pathe newsreels of the first part of the century. The younger members of the royal family such as Prince Edward, Prince Andrew and the in-laws of the family, the Duchess of York (Fergie) as well as the late Princess of Wales (Diana), all speak an RP closer to "advanced" RP than to the conservative, more traditional accent.

The distance between the Royal Family and the "subjects" of the country was seen to be enhanced by the traditional speech of the royals. As the younger members of the Royal Family attempt to close the gap between the two, their speech reflects the changes. Wales, (1994) also cites examples of linguistic features traditionally associated with Cockney being found in the speech of this younger generation. Word-final glottal stops (there’s a lo’ of I’ about’) have been heard in the speech of Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Edward, the queen’s youngest son.

Features of "Queen’s" English:

General pronunciation

The Queen and Older Royals might pronounce the following words as noted.

house = hice [ ]
off = orf [ ]
tower = tar [ ]
refined = refained [ ]

Younger royals might exhibit the following types of pronunciations:

really = rairly [ ]
milk = miuk [ ]
yes = yah [ ]
St. Paul’s = St. Pauw’s [ ]

The "Royal ONE"

Wales, (1994) discusses the pronominal usage of "one" that is not only stereotypically associated with the upper classes, and especially the Royal Family, but that is also used frequently in their real life. There are a number of ways that the word "one" used in place of "I" and it has also been seen to be commonly used in those people connected with the Royal Family. Friends of the family as well as household help like the Queen’s dresser or an ex-cook have been heard to use the phrase "one" in place of "I."

"One says to oneself: "Oh God, there’s one’s daughter"
(Father of the Duchess of York – quoted from The Star, July 1986)

"One hesitates to use such a trite word as delighted, but of course one IS delighted"
(The Queen’s dresser – quoted on receiving his knighthood – The Guardian, June 1989)

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