This chapter summarises recent quantitative research on phonetic variation and change in Received Pronunciation (RP) as an elite sociolect, the vernacular of a multiplex socio-economically privileged group in the UK. The ‘elite sociolect’ is distinct from the ‘standard variety’, a term which should be reserved to refer to a socially generated mental ‘construct’, a set of expressed and tacit norms for ‘status-bearing’ language practice learned through the educational system and evident in the public domain. The chapter discusses variationist findings on word-final /t/, prevocalic /r/ and a range of vowel qualities. It also addresses evidence of sociolinguistic change, in the form of ongoing de-standardisation processes in the speech community of England, as well as the changing language-ideological and language-attitudinal place of RP in the sociolinguistic landscape.
|Title of host publication||Sociolinguistics in England|
|Editors||Natalie Braber, Sandra Jansen|
|Number of pages||31|
|Place of Publication||London|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
Fabricius, A. H. (2018). Social Change, Linguistic Change and Sociolinguistic Change in Received Pronunciation. In N. Braber, & S. Jansen (Eds.), Sociolinguistics in England (pp. 35-66). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-56288-3