English Pronunciation in the Eighteenth Century: Thomas Spence's Grand Repository of the English Language
Thomas Spence (1750-1814) was a native of Newcastle upon Tyne who is best known for his political writings, and more particularly for his radical 'Plan' for social reform involving common ownership of the land. One hitherto neglected aspect of Spence's Plan was his proposal to extend thebenefits of reading and of 'correct' pronunciation to the lower classes by means of a phonetic script of his own devising, first set out and used in Spence's Grand Repository of the English Language (1775).The Grand Repository was one of many English pronouncing dictionaries produced in the late eighteenth-century to satisfy the growing demands for a clear guide to 'correct' pronunciation. It differs from its contemporaries firstly in that it was intended primarily for the lower classes, and secondlyin that it is the only eighteenth-century pronouncing dictionary of English to use a truly 'phonetic' script in the sense of one sound being represented by one symbol.In this fascinating and unique account, Beal pays particular attention to the actual pronunciations advocated by Spence and his contemporaries with a view to reconstructing what was felt to be 'correct' pronunciation in eighteenth-century Britain. With broad appeal to linguists and historians alike,this study highlights the importance of pronouncing dictionaries as a resource for the historical phonologist, and provides a valuable addition to the limited body of knowledge on eighteenth-century pronunciation.
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The Cinderella of English
Spences Grand Repository of the English Language
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accents ae ae ae analogy appear Appendix Burn's Charles Jones consonant correct Critical Pronouncing Dictionary CSED described dialect diphthong distribution Dobson earlier eighteenth century eighteenth-century orthoepists eighteenth-century pronouncing dictionaries Elphinston English Language environment evidence example followed gives Grammar h-dropping hypercorrection indicate initial h instance Jespersen Johnston Kenrick keywords Labov lengthening letter lexical diffusion lexical set ligatured linguistic London long long long long vowel Nares Neogrammarian Newcastle northern occurs orthoepists orthography palatal consonants palatalization phonetic phoneticians phonology preconsonantal present-day RP quoted reflexes represented rhoticity rhymes rounded vowel rule Scots seventeenth century Sheldon short long long short short long short short short short vowel shows sixteenth sound change sources speakers speech spelling pronunciation Spence Spence's Grand Repository Spence's system stressed suggests symbol tju:r tjju:r traditional orthography unrounded unstressed syllables unstressed vowels usage variation vocalization Vowel Shift vulgar Walker Sheridan Burn weakening Wells's whilst word final writes Wyld yod-dropping