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 voice & speech source

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voice & speech: speech and dialects: received pronunciation

Received Pronunciation (RP)

by Eric Armstrong

Here is the PDF file of the handout from class of the Lexical Set changes, RP Features. The audio for the handout is available here.

The complete collection can be downloaded as a zip file, or you can click individual files below.

  1. fleece
  2. happy
  3. dress
  4. trap
  5. bath
  6. lot cloth
  7. thought
  8. goose
  9. duke music
  10. strut
  11. comma letter
  12. nurse
  13. face
  14. price
  15. choice
  16. mouth
  17. goat
  18. near
  19. square
  20. start
  21. north force
  22. orange
  23. oral
  24. cure
  25. fire
  26. tower
  27. hw
  28. dark L
  29. initial R
  30. medial R
  31. linking R
  32. Intrusive R
  33. Initial T
  34. medial T
  35. final T
  36. Lateral Release TL
  37. Nasal Plosion TN
  38. Plosive Epenthesis
  39. Yod Coalescence
  40. Placement, Articulation, Resonance, Pitch

Here are some example phrases for the lexical sets that I feel are most important for Received Pronunciation - you might call them "Signature Sounds," as Paul Meier does.

The links below will pop up in a new window. If you resize that window so that you can see it and this page, you should be able to go back and forth between them fairly easily.


Sample 1:THOUGHT

Paul talked to his naughty daughter

Sample 2:GOAT

Oh no, don't go!

Sample 3:NURSE

The Colonel's murder occurred in the church

Sample 4:STRUT

The mother came undone when she heard of the blood money

Sample 5:PRICE

The writer's flight arrived in Cyprus

Sample 6:MOUTH

The count never wore trousers around the house


They couldn't restore the notorious Lord George when they found him sleeping with a whore

Sample 8:SQUARE

I don't care that the mayor from there said a prayer

Sample 9:CURE

The furious gourmet swore the cured ham tasted like manure

Sample 10:BATH

I'd rather pass the last basket

Sample 11: PALM

After we crossed the Sahara we found a bar in the bazaar

Sample 12: NEAR

Here is where the fierce monster dove into the dreary mere

Sample 13: LOT

Stop Tom from robbing that yacht



Here are some samples of native RP speakers. These samples come from the International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA).

Sample 1

England 1

Sample 2

England 2

Sample 3

England 7




Links to RP resources

Contemporary RP sample/transcription (Flash)

Finally, a sample that has been broken into chunks and transcribed. You'll need the ubiquitous Flash plugin to play this stuff. Listen for elements that make this contemporary RP rather than traditional.