Project Title: Pronouncing Early Modern English and Scots: Reassessing the evidence for ‘non-standard’ speech in Early Modern Britain
School: School of Critical Studies
About Molly’s Research
As sixteenth- and seventeenth-century scholars turned their attention to the state of the English language, they quickly began to favour the pronunciation of English used by educated Londoners. These orthoepists set this form of English as an ideal for speakers to aim at, and as the very earliest stages of a ‘standard’ English, it has been the main focus of scholarship for some time. My PhD project aims to move away from the ‘standard’ form of pronunciation, and to examine the evidence provided by these orthoepists for speech outside of London. Focusing on features found in Welsh English, Northern English, and Scots in these two centuries, I aim to demonstrate some of the variation to be found in Early Modern speech.
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