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Talking ProperThe Rise of Accent as Social Symbol$
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Lynda Mugglestone

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250622

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199250622.001.0001

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Ladylike Accents and the Feminine Proprieties of Speech

Ladylike Accents and the Feminine Proprieties of Speech

(p.135) 5 Ladylike Accents and the Feminine Proprieties of Speech
Talking Proper

Lynda Mugglestone (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores how the ‘lady’, and her masculine counterpart in social status, the ‘gentleman’, exerted a profound influence on notions of propriety, behaviour, and ‘correctness’ throughout the late 18th and 19th centuries. Gender was firmly embedded in the attitudes and expectations which surrounded language in use. Stereotypes of gender and identity were not discarded easily and their effects can still be perceptible in language behaviour (and language attitudes) in line, in many ways, with those prescriptions set out with such explicitness in the 19th century.

Keywords:   English language, speech, accent, lady, gentleman, social status, gender

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