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Received Pronunciation



Commonly attributed to Alexander John Ellis[1] but already used earlier.[2] In the current form popularized by British phonetician Daniel Jones.[3]

Proper nounEdit

Received Pronunciation

  1. The form of pronunciation of the English language traditionally spoken by the educated classes of the south-east of England, considered to be a standard (see received) and used as such in the pronunciation schemes of most British dictionaries. Abbreviation: RP
    Synonyms: BBC English, King's English, Queen's English, RP


Further readingEdit


  1. ^ Alexander John Ellis (1869) On Early English Pronunciation, New York: Greenwood Press, published 1968, page 23:
    In the present day we may, however, recognize a received pronunciation all over the country, not widely differing in any particular locality, and admitting a certain degree of variety. It may be especially considered as the educated pronunciation of the metropolis, of the court, the pulpit, and the bar.
  2. ^ John Walker (1791) Critical Pronouncing Dictionary and Expositor of the English Language, published 1824, page xii:
    [] for though the pronunciation of London is certainly erroneous in many words, [] it is undoubtedly the best [] that is, not only the best by courtesy, and because it happens to be the pronunciation of the capital, but the best by a better title, that of being more generally received; []
  3. ^ Daniel Jones (1924) An English Pronouncing Dictionary, London: J.M. Dent, published 1944, page x:
    Nevertheless the fact remains that people in every important centre often have opportunities of hearing the above-mentioned pronunciation either from residents who have had a public school education, or through the constant intercommunication with London, or through the school teachers, or last, but not least, through broadcasting. For these reasons I think it probable that this form of speech is more widely understood with ease in Great Britain than any other form would be. In what follows I call it ‘Received Pronunciation’ (abbreviation RP), for want of a better term.


Proper nounEdit

Received Pronunciation f

  1. Received Pronunciation (English pronunciation used by the educated classes southeastern England)