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It has been said that Estuary English may eventually replace Received Pronunciation as our most influential and prestigious accent. How far do you agree with this view?

  • Essay length: 596 words
  • Submitted: 27/01/2004
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AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks

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It has been said that Estuary English may eventually replace Received Pronunciation as our most influential and prestigious accent. How far do you agree with this view?

"Estuary English" is a term coined in 1984 by British linguist, David Rosewarne. He defined it as a "variety of modified regional speech" it becomes "a mixture of non-regional and local south-eastern English pronunciation and intonation". Since then it has been described as "Cockney's educated counterpart" and "modified Cockney, utilising the glottal stop (omitting the t, and pronouncing l as t, so Gatwick becomes Ga'wick and tall becomes tauw)." It is called Estuary English as it originated at the Thames Estuary and has since spread through the country.

Received Pronunciation (abbreviated to RP) is the accent associated with the middle and upper classes, it has also been called The Queen's, BBC or Public School English. RP has for many years epitomised the "top end of the scale of British English and it is what English people have traditionally meant when the say that someone "hasn't got an accent". It remains that RP is often regarded as a neutral and often correct accent, as by listening to it, it is almost

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