MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Suit the Accent to the Word

MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Shakespeare-OP

The British Library Board has released some online samples illustrating recent theories about the kind of pronunciation that would have been current in Shakespeare’s time. And it’s a far cry from the Very Serious Accent that sounds so at home among the aristos at Downton Abbey.

David Crystal, a British linguist who has also written about the social impact of texting, is a prominent expert in the field known as “original pronunciation.” OP is about putting the theory of how Shakespeare and his colleagues would have pronounced the Bard’s words into practice. You might think of it as a sort of linguistic equivalent to the historically informed performance practice movement familiar from early music. OP has been going strong for about a decade, starting with landmark productions of Romeo and Juliet and Troilus and Cressida at the Globe Theatre in London.

davidcrystal2
(David Crystal)

On his website devoted to information…

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