It was short, as in the original Latin and Greek.
Now, faced with alternatives, the applied question arises: January 18th, at 5: Such as younger people starting to pronounce a vowel more fronted than older person… Or even shifting specific words within the same spelling but not others? In other words, not all at the same time? This is one of the main findings of modern sociolinguistics, that change takes place variously in relation to social class, gender, age… And Shakespeare knew this too.
March 5th, at 8: A place where I can ask a question of David Crystal himself. So the same thing has been bugging me. This is typologically implausible to say the least. This dialect of English already has a heavily crowded inventory of high mid vowels and rising diphthongs.
The suggestion is of an unrounded vowel for the -ove and -ull lexical sets on rhyme grounds. But there is a good deal of spelling-book evidence that the split of the vowel in bull, bush, full, put and cup, dull, cut, mud had not taken place in the south before about or so in southern English dialects. The earliest clear evidence for the split dates from the mid 17th century, and descriptions found in schoolbooks ca.
Even more plausible than that is that there was massive variation within London, and even within a single speaker. Much as the cot-caught merger may occur sporadically in a single speaker — such as myself. I find every reason to think that this lexical set had a good deal of variation of this kind. Variation to be sure. Assuming that the English underlying OP is to be seen as having lineal continuity with later london Englishes which, I know, is not a sure assumption by any means, but work with me here there is a question of how to account for this.
Would make sense, given its recent ancestry in Middle English. March 6th, at 5: These sets are both used quite extensively in the Sonnets, yet not routinely cross-rhymed there. It does happen of course. This all suggests to me that rhyming per se cannot be a sure guide to the vowel grid of any one version of English at play. But then, why would one expect it to be? This has been long known to scholars of the historical phonology of Chinese, where the writing system makes even getting on the ground floor of analysis far more difficult and therefore makes rhyme practice, as well as medieval Chinese rhyme-dictionaries, all the more precious as evidence.
Or they may avoid rhymes that exist in their dialect. As with much else in poetic language, the features which come into play to decide what is an acceptable rhyme in a poetic or lyric tradition even an oral one with illiterate practitioners are not reducible to, or abstractable from, the facts of any one dialect.
As like as not they depend on genre, on circumstance of delivery as much as anything else. The rhymes in modern pop music and rap are worth considering. But it occurred to me now to wonder: March 6th, at Many thanks for giving these aspects of my work such a detailed exploration.
Sure there are examples in Pope etc — the tea as tay one is well-known, and indeed it lasts, at least regionally, until well into the 18th century, or, for that matter, into the present-day. What is unclear is just how fast the merger went in regional accents and just how it spread across the lexicon. Sorry it has misled you. But hardly any actors have the kind of phonetic training that I would like to see routine.
I recognize the same point in my Dictionary p. The mixed evidence pushes you in the other direction, evidently. It would be good to hear versions of OP in performance where the rounded forms are the default. My choice, though, allows me to use rounded variants for certain characters eg Macmorris , and it would be interesting to hear how those character distinctions would be maintained in this other phonetic scenario. And re your fourth message, I discuss all this in more or less the same way in the introduction to the Dictionary.
Rhyme is only one of the factors, of course, and the evident inconsistencies provide the main challenge to anyone trying to reconstruct OP. There is a complete corpus of all the rhymes in the canon on the OUP website that accompanies the Dictionary , to help anyone do the kind of statistical analysis you mention.
All I claim for my reconstruction is that it is plausible — never authentic — and I welcome alternative versions that reach different conclusions on the basis of the very mixed evidence we have. So, given your detailed awareness of the historical trends, it would be really interesting to see your own reconstruction, and to try it out in performance.
I very much hope that such comparative phonological dramaturgy will develop, as time goes by. Here are two sonnets read by me. The first because it is rich in varied near-front and mid vowels, and the other because I like it. I just got out my phone and recorded this sitting at my desk without prep. So the delivery is unpolished and the sound somewhat short of studio quality. Nothing could be farther from the truth. On my own site, which is more about translation than reconstruction, I include links to my reading specimens of reconstructions in a few languages, including.
Alright this is becoming linkspam. But you take my meaning. I have not read all of your books. March 7th, at 9: A lovely reading, and very close to my own. I quite like the effect of added lip-rounding, on love etc. The beauty of OP, to my mind, is that it contains echoes of many modern accents but can be identified with none of them. BUt thank you for takign the trouble to respond to my suggestion: I think you are the first to have done so!
Your other points are well taken. As for reading my work, Pronouncing Shakespeare represents my first and looking back now pretty primitive attempt to get to grips with OP. The current evolution of my thinking, after doing a dozen plays, is represented in the Dictionary , and that will surely evolve further, as I restricted that to the First Folio plus the poems, so there are further variations that will need to be added in due course, as the database expands to include other texts and thus, rhymes etc.
For example, I give long and short vowel alternatives to increase , because there is a rhyme increasing and blessing. But there was no such rhyme for decrease , so I show only the long vowel there. But thank you for your interest, and for providing this fresh perspective — and for the links to other reconstructions too.
I had to do 16th-c French and Latin for Henry V , and your versions are hugely illuminating, and very plausible. March 7th, at 4: I can certainly get that. And after all, there is a whole range of things that presumably must have differed from Modern English es that I imagine will never be knowable or even surmisable.
What can be known of suprasegmental features, for instance, apart from the fact that secondary stress must have been strong enough not to result in as much vowel reduction? The purely monophthongal pronunciation of such words existed to be sure at least from the mid 16th c.
We also know other writers, including some in London, took exception to it. Given that almost anything one wishes to stigmatize may be and has been demeaned in such terms, this probably says little about who actually spoke this way. Which does at least suggest that some sort of perception of regional snootiness was involved. March 8th, at Re suprasgs… I have a chapter on these in Think on my Words. True, there are just intriguing fragments of comment.
But this would create even more problems for actors. And of course the more innovative pronunciation was at the very least present in some speech, particularly people my age. I think spelling pronunciations played an increasingly important role at that time, with everyone being very sensitive to the spelling reform issue. The character of Holofernes, probably satirising Richard Mulcaster, illustrates the way some people were thinking.
And orthoepists of course are perecisely the sort of people who would want pronunciation to reflect the spelling. So I tend to take what they say with a very large pinch of salt, just as I do with present-day pronunciation prescriptivists! March 8th, at 7: The Great Vowel Shift always sounded so epic to me. Like a summer blockbuster for nerds. I imagine Don LaFontaine saying in his booming preview voice: But can they survive in their new homes?
March 12th, at 7: That alone is reason to believe that such pronunciations existed in the s. I suppose spelling may have given license to such pronunciations. And people certainly justified such pronunciations in terms of spelling. But evidence for the merger seems to proceed from north to south. When the distinction becomes a live issue for orthoepists in the south, I assume that this means that the merger has now become a variable, something that they feel duty-bound to recommend against.
When it is a fait accompli and no longer a variable, they no longer have anything to gripe about. Even so, your way of dealing with the r-colorings is completely plausible in that there certainly would have been people who sounded like that in any case. But I would be interested in hearing what a version of this sounded like when staged. Looking through some of the plays, it know seems less rigid — that is, it seems like the actor could stretch the word out see Merchant example below or ellide.
I am Canadian, so in my parlance, there are only two syllables. January 8th, at 8: All -tion, -cian, -tian etc endings had alternative pronunciations, depending on the metre. I give both alternatives in the relevant entries in my Dictionary. In prose, I would expect the two-syllable form to be the default, as today.
I like your books. January 3rd, at Depending on regional accent more, I suspect. There are plenty of 15th-century spellings of have with an ai or ay , especially from the north of England. Big fan of yours. This raises my second question about gh. December 30th, at 4: December 22nd, at 6: I am studying the first part of Act 3 Scene 3 in Twelfth Night, and looking for puns, and have just come across all the work you have done with OP, which I find very exciting.
December 11th, at 5: Rakehell derives from rake , not the other way round. December 11th, at 8: December 12th, at In my thesis on Macbeth, I am examining the meter and rhyme of the first scene, and I was wondering if you could clarify something for me.
Thanks for any assistance you can provide! November 5th, at See the section in the introduction to my Dictionary of OSP on distinctive features for this view.
And renowned be thy grave! October 4th, at 9: There are eleven rhymes of grave with have see the Dictionary under grave for a listing ; but there are also ten rhymes with words like gave and slave.
Grave definitely had a short vowel in Old English, and that pronunciation stayed in some regional accents, such as Scottish where the spelling graff can be seen until at least the 18th century. One can never rule out the possibility that vowels near to each other in articulation were heard by the Elizabethans as rhyming, and I imagine that in the context of a song this would be more likely. So I suppose all pronunciation options are available!
November 29th, at November 30th, at 7: Same point as below, really. In Middle English there are many instances of crave rhyming with have. Mulcaster lists crauin along with bauin and rauin — the last two have always had a short vowel.
On the other hand, Middle English Scottish spellings in ai and ay suggest that it had become a closer and longer vowel like that in modern air in some regions, and the analogy of other words ending in — ave that had the long vowel save , wave etc evidently pulled it in their direction, leaving have as the only exception.
I give both a mid-open and an open vowel as variants in the Dictionary. So one option would be to rhyme crave with have. October 4th, at 8: Old English dialects were on the whole mutually intelligible, judging by the surviving manuscripts — there are relatively few differences — though one can never be sure how far Old English OP would have differed from place to place. I am a student of literature, with a particular interest in Shakespeare, and I think the OP production of Romeo and Juliet at the Globe a few years ago must have been very special.
Certainly the closest we can get to recreating the Elizabethan playgoing experience. I am also interested in how accessible and understandable the OP is. Brings a far more visceral edge to the language, and I think it is important to understand the plays in the way in which they were written to be spoken. I have not been fortunate enough to see an OP production, but I would absolutely love to, so please do keep me posted on any upcoming productions.
October 3rd, at 2: As for the understandability of OP… I used to go around the audiences during the intervals of productions and ask them. Nobody had any difficulty, and by the end of the first scene or two many said they were responding to the play as they would if it were presented in any other accent. September 20th, at 8: I assume midth century for this carol, by which time the spelling system had largely standardized and eye-rhymes had come into fashion.
So there would have been no rhyming identity. September 20th, at 6: Would this have been a full rhyme and, if so, would it rhyme with ear or air or somewhere in between? September 21st, at 9: The situation with alas , pass , and was is easier: Thank you very much for your reply to my one-king question I asked you last year.
Of course, the OP performances was staged faster than Modern Pronounciation ones, but exactly how short were they? Do you have information on the exact time allotted for the OP Romeo and Juliet performances in ? I am interested both in the amount of lines of the play text as well as how long those performances exactly lasted. Do you know what was the average speed of delivering lines in those performances? Do you have such information on other OP performances from around the world?
Thank you very much for your reply in advance. September 18th, at 7: The Romeo was a unique event — the only time a production was performed both in modern English and OP by the same cast. Both versions were video-recorded by the Globe as they do for all productions and are presumably still available to view by getting in touch with the archivist at the Globe and making an appointment to see them.
This is how I found out myself about the time difference. Here are some most striking examples: I hope you can shed some light on those issues. With best wishes, Jacek Tlaga. September 13th, at 6: Many thanks for these very interesting examples. This is the clearest case: I recommend mid-open in the dictionary. If singing, I imagine the more open variant would be likely. No reason to recommend this on the basis of the FF, but no grounds for disallowing it in other contexts.
Your examples show the need for a more comprehensive account of the phonology of the period, in which a much wider range of texts is taken into account. This is already being undertaken for other areas of language, and I hope phonology will get the same treatment in due course. The distinctive feature argument is always available as a fall-back, but I try not to use it unless I run out of other ideas! September 14th, at 3: September 22nd, at 8: The Scots spellings of alas do seem to suggest a closer pronunciation, in which case the rhyme with grace would be good, or nearly so.
September 27th, at 9: Besides that, I would like to thank you for your dictionary, it must have been a tremendous amount of work to produce such an invaluable resource!
Is there a better resource that I can find? August 30th, at 6: Keep an eye on this site, anyway. Now I would like to know if you have a grounded view how they at the Elizabethan age pronounced the name Edward. July 25th, at 8: June 15th, at 9: Dear David; Thank you for your extremely insightful work. Would I be right in saying that, in general, OP sounds in the early 17th century were longer than old RP? June 14th, at 6: And in the two cases where pure vowels have become diphthongs as in say and so , one might argue depending on how you view a diphthong that the length has increased.
Do move and love rhyme in O. June 12th, at 6: They do rhyme, with short vowels. There are dozens of examples of love rhyming with move, prove, and so on in the Sonnets, for example. You can see all the rhymes in the entry on love in my Dictionary. Several writers of the time state clearly that the vowel is short, but — as today think Elvis — there would have been some regional accents where it was long.
Either way, the rhyme was normal at the time. There are also some modern English accents where the vowel in move is short, such as in parts of Scotland. June 10th, at 9: Are there not going to be any more OP productions? Or if there are, where and when might they be? June 6th, at 8: Yes, I noticed this the other day when I transferred the forthcoming events which have now forthcome to the archive.
The first half of this year was very busy, OP-wise. Both Hamlet and Macbeth have been done in OP see Archive and I do have the flat audio recordings of both that I did for the companies involved, which are available via me davidcrystal1 icloud. In Romeo and Juliet Friar Lawrence delivers a monologue in which lies and qualities are supposed to rhyme. How would the last vowels of these words be pronounced in order for them to rhyme? May 31st, at 9: You can hear these words spoken in OP in the audio file that accompanies the Dictionary referred to in another post below.
A very common feature in the plays: When I was a lad, the older men in our area N. Serry is clearly a descendent of Sirrah which suggests an OP pronunciation of serray. The final a of words was spelt in the local parish registers with a variety of letters, Sarei, Barbaray etc which all suggest a long final vowel , as in the old folksong pronunciation of America as Americay, which I would presume to be more like the modern RP vowel on pair than in pay years ago. I guess that when er moved to ar in words such as starve and clerk, ir moved after to er in words such as bury birie in East Midland Middle English , merry and sirrah.
Are these kinds of pronunciations indicated in Elizabethan texts? May 31st, at There are no variant spellings in the First Folio: Important to use IPA as the basis for the discussion, though. June 1st, at 9: I also note my local pronunciation of daughter is dowter which must be from doughter as ought and aught are kept separate in my dialect.
I have found dofter though in 17th century a Warwickshire register. I note that OP has da: June 1st, at 3: An important hint about the OP pron is Lear 1. May 29th, at You should always use the online OED to answer questions about sense development: Whether there is a piece of wordplay here is not for me as a linguist to say: I am writing my dissertation on Macbeth and the interplay of order and caos in the play.
I was wondering if this is reflected on a phonetical level as well? The play ends with the couple:. In Modern English my thesis remains true as you would have to really bend over backwards to make one rhyme with Scone. I was wondering if this holds true in OP, or whether the rhyme actually works?
Could you perhaps shed some light on this issue? May 28th, at 7: Thank you so much for your speedy reply. One more quick thing, was Scone then normally pronounced as to rhyme with gone? May 25th, at 8: Passion in Practice has my flat ie nondramatic recordings of the plays done in OP so far, which include Macbeth.
I can send details of purchasing procedure if contacted davidcrystal1 icloud. And re your PS: May 11th, at 8: Dear David, could you please help me with the word suit?
Would it sound like modern soot, sweet, sue-it, or sweet? Are any of these correct? May 3rd, at 5: I give two pronunciations in my Dictionary: The word had a huge number of spelling variants.
May 3rd, at 8: Dear David, This is brilliant! Amazon appears to offer it as a pre-order item. I look forward to purchasing your Dictionary. May 4th, at 3: Thank you again, David.
I was able to find your book by looking through the Amazon. And thank you again for your help with this word and its satellites. Ever since I saw your video on the Globe and Original Pronunciation, I found that I had to examine it in greater detail. I took a class on Shakespeare this semester and tried to speak some of my ideas in light of OP much to the chagrin of my professor!
The earlier spelling went to the USA; the later one stayed in Britain. Dear David, first I want to thank you for your very well researched scholarship in OP, and the marvelous youtube with you and your son, Ben, giving examples. April 26th, at 6: Rhymes in the Sonnets are with decease 13 and excess. The verb to lease has OED spellings with leese and lesse , and also note modern English lessor , which has 16th-c spellings of lessour and leaser.
Is there any truth in this? April 22nd, at 8: If you mean, compared with Received Pronunciation, this is certainly true. But regional British accents show a similar range of contrasts as American accents. The interesting point is the way OP contains echoes of many modern accents, as well as features that no modern accent has.
April 19th, at Yes, the spelling evidence frooth , froath suggests that froth would have had a long vowel, as did moth rhyming with oath in Merchant — and note also clothes vs cloths these days earlier both long and spelled cloaths. Weymouth writes that most words spelled with ea differ in pronunciation from words spelled with e, ee or a-e, and that this difference was lost only after the middle of the seventeenth century, so that now words spelled with ea either sound like e death, breast , ee hear, beard, meat, etc.
Your dictionary of Shakespearean pronunciation lists many instances of words spelled with ea as having three pronunciations: Your dictionary may list two pronunciations occurring for a single word spelled with ea: April 6th, at 3: Many thanks for thoughtful comments. I shall keep a record of all suggestions. My grandmother spoke an older form of Appalachian dialect. April 6th, at 2: It would be of great help.
Indeed they would have rhymed. I understand that in OP words such as salvation have all of the syllables sounded out. Thank you for all of your great work. I am a huge fan of OP Shakespeare. I wish I could see an OP performance in Dallas, Texas, but no one seems to be doing it here as of yet. April 1st, at All -tion, -cian musician etc endings have this pronunciation. Later, these became -she-on, and eventually -shun, as today. Ben tells me that he is planning a Dallas visit later this year.
Keep an eye on the Passion in Practice website for details. Maybe the new director will build on its pioneering initiative. It seems to me easier for the vowel to shift toward the center or become raised than for it to move back or up.
March 31st, at 5: I try to get actors not to substitute schwa, which is the lazy way out! Some actors use this as a character option, e. Thanks again — Bruce. March 28th, at 8: Much appreciated — Bruce. Is the Globe still doing OP performances of Shakespeare? I see one of Marlowe, here, which is wonderful, but it would do a great deal for the perception of Shakespeare worldwide if the Globe adopted OP full-time, forever.
The Globe is committed to historical authenticity, why not always do OP? OP opened up a whole new way of perceiving Shakespeare to me. Perhaps sadly, I find myself less and less drawn to RP Shakespeare performances because of the class associations that the RP accent communicates. OP gives people who find RP distancing a fresh sense of owneership of the plays, as it is closer to the way they themselves speak. The Globe, unfortunately, lost interest when Dominic Dromgoole took over from Mark Rylance, and instead of building on its own initiative it foolishly in my view let other places get all the good publicity as the OP movement gathered momentum.
It would be good to have a main house OP production in the UK again, and to see the Globe regaining some of the kudos it received a decade ago. And what would this be phonetically, please? March 24th, at 9: It would be roughly ahr jeer , with the stress on the second syllable. A musical setting might motivate it.
All I can say is that, in everyday speech, it was probably two syllables. My choir is going to perform the Messiah and we would like to do it in OP. March 16th, at 9: In the hymn, Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me do these words rhyme — blood: March 14th, at 8: There are lots of them in the hymns of the periods you mention.
What are the intended OP pronunciations of the following words? March 1st, at All these values are illustrated in transcription and audio in my Oxford Dictionary of Original Shakespearean Pronunciation, out on 24 March. March 2nd, at March 2nd, at 9: Again, the short vowel is more open than in RP, and closer to the American version.
Sources vary on this one. I decided to locate it in the mid-close back area of the cardinal vowel diagram, as an unrounded equivalent of the northern British vowel. Some people think it would have been rounded, and that would indeed have been a regional variant then, as today. I kept away from that, in my transcription, and opted for the unrounded version, following Gimson, Kökeritz, and others.
This has the incidental advantage of making OP sound less modern, which is something I find directors appreciate. And HM Queen also. You can hear the changes in present-day RP, as the vowel has centralised in most speakers. I rarely hear that Cardinal 4-like vowel these days. Crystal, congratulations on this project. Would have any recommendations on how we should go about this?
The first obstacle seems to be how to access the original text OP. Is there a phonetic transcription or an audio version of the OP? Thank you advance for any reply. February 21st, at 6: The Romeo and Juliet one is based on the Arden text. It captures the atmosphere very well, but the sound quality is patchy. Was OP only spoken by a certain class of people? Was Cockney contemporary with OP? Which would Dee have spoken?
February 10th, at 5: OP is the sound system of Early Modern English, not an individual accent — just as today, we all speak Modern English in different accents.
So, I understand a Cockney speaker because we both share the same basic system, even though there are all sorts of phonetic differences between the way I speak and the way a Cockney speaks. It would have been the same in Everyone used the same sound system, or phonology, but regionally it would have varied in all sorts of subtle ways.
Unfortunately, those who wrote on pronunciation at the time say little about local variations, so all we can do is guess. We simply allowed them to speak in their own accent on top of the OP, and it worked fine. February 5th, at 9: There are many rhymes in OP separated by a single d.
It is quite important for my analysis and I did not find anything useful about pronunciation around so far. First, let me join the chorus singing praises to your work. Here I offer as an example timeline: December 27th, at 9: There is always an OP. All OP means is the original pronunciation of a particular period — so there is an OP of years ago, or 40 years ago, and so on. It would certainly have moved perceptibly more in the direction of modern English.
Information about general trends in pronunciation throughout the period can be found in the standard texts, such as Dobson and Barber. I so appreciate the work you and your son, Ben, do! My question for you is: Did they in fact rhyme in the late s, and if so, how were they pronounced?
December 13th, at 7: Flow in the First Folio rhymes with go , know , woe ; two with woo , you. Prove had long and short variants still, in the mid 16th century, and if you assume the long form here then you would have to deal with it as an eye-rhyme. My view, which I go into in more detail in the introduction to my forthcoming Dictionary, is that there was a greater tolerance of rhyme variation in the 16th century, compared to today, with people more ready to accept a single distinctive feature difference as not disturbing the perception of a rhyme.
December 14th, at I notice Gertrude as pronounced Gartrood. I look at many parish records and these reveal sound chances quite often as the spelling is so unorthodox. One regularity especially in place names is that as early as the first registers VrC and possibly CrV followed by a syllable containing r loses the first r though analogy can later add it back. This turns Chelmersford into Chelmsford, Barlborough into Balbrough, governor to govnor, etc and possibly Crambridge into Cambridge but would also change Gartrude into Gatrude.
I also note the u in such words as Gertrude and true is still pronounced iw in the East Midlands so that through and threw are not homophones and would therefore assume an EME pronunciation as Gatriwd. Your thoughts would be appreciated. November 22nd, at 1: Any references would be welcome. Proper names, of course, often do break the usual phonological rules. November 21st, at So, depending on the age of the folksong, a rhyme was perfectly normal.
We released an album earlier this year of mostly 16th century Scottish songs, and took a stab at the Scottish English OP.
We are using OP for our upcoming program as well mostly songs of Thomas Campion , and I am wondering if you might have any thoughts on singing OP. Would the letter r still be hard, or would it be flipped or rolled? November 19th, at 6: I use the retroflex variant in my OP recordings, unless there is a regional motivation for the other. I suspect that trilling was much more widespread in those days, but the evidence is lacking. So, either would be a plausible reading, it seems to me.
I suggest try both and see which comes across best. How were the letters of the alphabet as from a hornbook pronounced? November 7th, at No evidence in the FF for rhymes, apart from H with ache.
November 12th, at 3: I am not sure how he distinguishes Time and Tune. In quantitie, which is Time long or short. Example in me, se, agre, ye, she, in all, saving the Article, the. So presumably the higher and fronter the vowel, the sharper it would be. I have two questions: October 30th, at The director of the OP Julius Caesar in Houston last year did however use it, so there are differences of opinion here.
I am wondering whether, given the view that Q1 was likely to have been gathered from the memory of an actor and Q2 in part Act 1 at least seemingly referred to Q1, OP may throw up a hypothesis on the original word.
Which did Ben choose for his OP Hamlet, or was the decision made on a sense rather than a sound basis? October 18th, at 8: Some people think it may even have been rounded, in which case the similarity would have been even greater.
Probably it was the similarity in sound that led to the divergent lexical readings. I think I remember advising Ben, when he was playing Hamlet, simply to pronounce it as it was, and leave it to the audience to decide which interpretation to go for! October 28th, at 3: Dear David, thrilled to find this forum. I have two of your books on Shakespeare and have watched various YouTube videos featuring you and Ben.
I introduced OP to drama students in Brisbane last year and they were fascinated. Having never tried it to an audience before I was surprised at how invigorating it was to perform, how right it sounded, as if the language itself was directing me. My main question is this. When was the next significant shift in pronunciations?
Best wishes, Tim Keenan. I think the basic shape of this accent can be applied until the midth century, allowing for certain developments such as the musi-see-an type of word becoming musi-she-an. I think by the 18th century, the accent was very close to Modern English. Probably the RP that developed during his lifetime would seem very conservative by present-day standards. Passion in Practice might put one on in due course.
December 8th, at 8: Many thanks for your reply and apologies for the tardiness of mine. Good day to you, I recently watched your video on YouTube about the pronunciation of Op and I am really intrigued by your knowledge so I wonder if you could please help me?
I am auditioning for L. I chose the part of Hipolito when he is chastising Bellafront for being a lady of the night. I really want to perform this part to the best of my ability and want to pronounce every word as it should sound!
Could you please offer any advise? Truly Gratefully Nyhal Adams. October 7th, at 9: For the moment, all you can do is listen as much as possible to the recorded texts already available, either on this site or for example the British Library CD. While rehearsing last week the singer asked me about the pronunciation and the only thing I could say was that English pronunciation differs wildly around the globe and was certainly different in Elizabethan times.
This is the beginning song below Come away, come sweet love, the golden morning breaks All the Earth, all the ayre of love and pleasure speakes And my question is, should speaks rhyme with the modern pronunciation of breaks? I just downloaded a 12 page article you wrote on the subject, and I saw you and your son at the Globe talking on the rhymes and puns of Romeo and Juliet. Rhymes with cheek, break, and deck show that speak had a variety of pronunciations at the time, so yes, in this song I would go for the mid-open front vowel for both forms.
October 5th, at 3: This is too big a question to answer in a blog post. Can you be more specific? In the 19th century, Alexander J. September 15th, at 9: Oh yes, along with several other early enthusiasts, such as Daniel Jones.
Rhymes with words like pain and men show a double pronunciation — just as in modern English. Rhymes with words like seen and with sin suggest those two — much as in modern English. I noticed the link pages to the Transcriptions tab are inactive links the dreaded Room error! Are they available anywhere else? August 18th, at I myself am an admirer of Robert Herrick, who, though a little bit more modern, must share many OP peculiarities with Shakespeare.
July 8th, at 9: Heat must have had a more open vowel — it rhymes with get and sweat in Venus and Adonis , for example. The vowel in approve was described as short by contemporary writers, though some do recognize a longer variant regionally.
We will begin the evening with a quick introduction to the OP movement and its history, and each scene will be prefaced with a few OP tidbits e. I will be narrating the event as well as playing Rosalind. The rest of the cast is be composed of NYU alumni and faculty. If you know of anyone that might be interested in attending this event, please have them email me at jen2kam gmail. I have a question. If so, by what processes did they later re-differentiate in late modern English pronunciation?
Surely, subsequent sound shifts would have applied equally to them in the absence of other conditioning factors. Was there a process of renorming based on historical pronunciation as reflected in orthography, or was subsequent differentiation the result of countervailing dialect influence? June 3rd, at Yes, they were — hence the pun in the Romeo prologue.
Why the later developments? Spelling pronunciation probably pushed loins towards its modern form. Thanks so much for the help and guidance you gave us, and we are so appreciative that we were able to have come and work with our actors on perfecting the accent. People in the Baltimore area were extremely interested in hearing the accent.
We broke all our attendance records, and we had many people travel from beyond the Baltimore area to see the show. The actors in the production also loved speaking the OP and could not keep it out of their regular conversations, and it unlocked new meanings for our actors in all the ways you describe on your website.
In addition, we gathered a great deal of feedback from our audiences. We distributed comment cards to all audience members to fill out and we held talkbacks with the actors after each show. The feedback from the audiences was overwhelmingly positive.
We heard over and over that the accent actually helped them understand the play. It is very clear that audiences want more OP! For all the artistic directors out there, I cannot recommend doing an OP production highly enough.
May 30th, at 8: David, I was wondering if you had ever heard reference to the programme broadcast in the BBC National Programme at 10 pm on 6 December and billed as follows in the Radio Times:. Allen , and the author, Herbert Farjeon , the latter happened to mention that he had seen F.
It was decided to ask Mr. Blandford to do a scene for this broadcast, and he came up from Cambridge and took the rehearsals. It was one of the most effective things in London Calling, which conjectured what listeners might have heard had broadcasting been invented in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
Blandford gave at Cambridge. The producers believe that, spoken in this way, Shakespeare has a music and rhythm which Edith Evans, almost alone among actresses, gives it today. I have an article exploring these first explorations.
The one you mention was one o several. You can find it on my website, http: The British Library has some early recordings in its sound archive. David, you are truly amazing! I love soaking up all of your information about OP and other linguistic topics. I hope that I can have the privilege of one day seeing an OP production.
As a high school English teacher, this stuff makes me tingle with joy in hopes of being able to share it with my students and make Shakespeare come to life.
May 21st, at 7: Contact details in the Archive. I am a graduate student doing a close reading of a passage from The Merchant Of Venice, and I was wondering if you could clear up a couple of OP questions for me.
As far as I can tell from looking at your transcriptions they would be, but I wanted to make sure. Lots of punning possibilities, therefore — as long as the context motivates the pun, of course.
But to Elizabethan ears? May 21st, at 5: Dear David, Sorry to bother you when I know you must be very busy. I just wanted to ask a quick question about a specific feature of EME pronunciation.
Do you think this would be a plausible assumption, particularly given the speed generated by witty repartee in performance? So once again, thank you. April 28th, at 4: Occasional spelling variations suggest that mid consonants such as h, v, t have been dropped in English since the Middle Ages, and these are often shown by an apostrophe in Early Modern English. Orthoepists such as Puttenham do sometimes mention that some consonants are elided.
I decided when mounting a production of Hamlet for the Butterfly Creek Theatre Troupe here in Eastbourne, New Zealand Wellington region , that I would play Polonius using OP, for several reasons — the colour of OP would lend this character, often done a misjustice by simplification, greater resonance, and to set him a bit apart as well. He is, after all, qutie a powerful figure at the court of Denmark, a man capable of perfidy, snooping — and also paternal and national love.
In short, a complex Shakespearean personage. Having read your work, listened to the Shakespeare OP CD, and having sent you a recording of my attempts at OP and received your feedback, I feel I am reasonably approximating it. The reaction of my cast has been very positive, and now that we have opened, the response from the audience excellent. As you note there is a great deal of variety within OP, and I have attempted to take advantage of this.
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