Received Pronunciation (RP) (sometimes known as a 'posh' accent) is the standard accent of Standard English in England, with a relationship to regional accents similar to the relationship in other European languages between their standard varieties and their regional forms. RP is defined in the Concise Oxford Dictionary as "the standard accent of English as spoken in the south of England", although it can be heard from native speakers throughout England and Wales. Peter Trudgill estimated in 1974 that 3% of British people were RP speakers.
Although there is nothing intrinsic about RP that marks it as superior to any other variety, sociolinguistic factors have given Received Pronunciation particular prestige in parts of Britain. It has thus been the accent of those with power, money and influence since the early to mid 20th century, though it has more recently been criticised as a symbol of undeserved privilege. However, since the 1960s, a greater permissiveness towards allowing regional English varieties has taken hold in education and the media in Britain; in some contexts conservative RP is now perceived negatively.
It is important not to confuse the notion of Received Pronunciation, as a standard accent, with the standard variety of the English language used in England that is given names such as "Standard English", "the Queen's English", "Oxford English" or "BBC English". The study of RP is concerned exclusively with pronunciation, while study of the standard language is also concerned with matters such as grammar, vocabulary and style.
Famous quotes containing the word received:
“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.”
—Bible: New Testament, Luke 6:24-26.