The Queen’s English is now sounding less upper-class, a scientific study of the Queen’s Christmas broadcasts had found. Researchers have studied each of her messages to the Commonwealth countries since 1952 to find out the change in her pronunciation from the noble Upper Received to the Standard Received.
Jonathan Harrington, a professor at Germany’s University of Munich, wanted to discover whether accent (口音) changers recorded over the past half century would take place within one person. “As far as I know, there just is nobody else for whom there is this sort of broadcast records,” he said.
He said the noble way of pronouncing vowels (元音) had gradually lost ground as the noble upper-class accent over the past years. “Her accent sounds slightly less noble than it did 50 years ago. But these are very, very small and slow changes that we don’t notice from year to year. ”
“We may be able to relate it to changes in the social classes,” he told The Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper. “In 1952 she would have been heard saying ‘thet men in the bleck het’. Now it would be ‘that man in the black hat’. And ‘hame’ rather than ‘home’. In the 1950s she would have been ‘lorst’, but by the 1970s ‘lost’. ”
The Queen’s broadcast is a personal message to the Commonwealth countries. Each Christmas, the 10-minute broadcast is put on TV at 3 pm in Britain as many families are recovering from their traditional turkey lunch. (传统火鸡午餐).
The results were published (发表) in the Journal of Phonetics.
1. The Queen’s broadcasts were chosen for the study mainly because ______.
A. she has been Queen for many years
B. she has a less upper-class accent now
C. her speeches are familiar to many people
D. her speeches have been recorded for 50 years
2. Which of the following is an example of a less noble accent in English?
A. “duaty” B. “citee” C. “hame” D. “lorst”
3. We may infer from the text that the Journal of Phonetics is a magazine on _________.
A. speech sounds B. Christmas customs
C. TV broadcasting D. personal messages
4. What is the text mainly about?
A. The relationship between accents and social classes.
B. The Queen’s Christmas speeches on TV.
C. The changes in a person’s accent.
D. The recent development of the English language.
Britain’s oldest man made his first visit to London yesterday at the age of 101. Mr. John Evans had never found the time or money to make the trip from his home in Forest Fach, near Swansea. But, when British Rail offered him an all-expenses-paid birthday trip to the capital he just could not refuse.
He arrived at Paddington Station and smartly turned out in his best suit, favorite Panama hat and a red rose in his buttonhole. “It’s very exciting. There’s no doubt about it,” he said.
Until yesterday he had never been far from home, except for one trip to Aberdeen. “But I’ve been on the seas to that faraway land called Ilfracombe 21 miles from home,” he joked.
Mr Evans, who spent 60 years working as a miner in South Wales, almost made the journey to London once before, at the turn of the century. “There was a trip to the White City but it was ten shillings return from Swansea — too much I thought. All my money went to the family then,” he said.