Headword
Received Pronunciation (RP)
Level
SG/HS, AH
Language
English
Topic
Phonetics, Language in Society
Definition
One accent which is purely a social accent is RP, short for Received Pronunciation, referring to a ‘socially acceptable’ accent. It is not possible to identify the regional background of people who speak English with this accent. RP has its origins in the public schools of the 19th century, and is spoken today by a tiny percentage of the population (3%), including the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Notes
RP tends to be the accent of English which is taught as a model for foreigners learning English. It is also the accent of English which is described in most textbooks on phonetics. See MacMahon, Basic Phonetics, p. 3.
Compare
Different accents of English
Concept
Pronunciation
See also
Accent