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05/12/06
The Queen Lowers the Tone of the Neighbourhood
- Poshness ain't what it used to be, says accent guru

The Queen Lowers the Tone of the NeighbourhoodTHE QUEEN has adopted a more and more common accent over the years, according to new research by Professor of Phonetics at the University of Munich, Jonathan Harrington.

"The Queen has altered her way of speaking in line with her host community in south-east England," said Harrington.

"In 1952 she would have been heard referring to 'thet men in the bleck het'. Now it would be 'that man in the black hat'."

"Similarly, she would have spoken of the 'citay' and 'dutay', rather than 'citee' and 'dutee', and 'hame' rather than 'home'. In the 1950s she would have been 'lorst', but by the 1970s 'lost'."

Harrington arrived at his conclusion after listening to recordings going back to 1952 of the Queen's traditional Christmas Day speech to the nation.

"We chose the broadcasts because it is very rare indeed to find high-quality recordings of a person's voice stretching back over such a long period," he said.

Harrington says that the Queen now speaks in an accent 'BBC' or
'Standard' English - still recognisably posh when compared to most of her subjects, but nothing like as cut-glass as before.

It is thought likely the change in the Queen's accent has encouraged other members of the upper classes to follow suit over the same time period.



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