Thu, Dec 14, 2006 - Page 17 News List

Is the queen still so posh? 英國女王尊貴不再?

The Queen of England, Elizabeth II, visits an art class in southern England.
伊莉莎白女王二世參觀英格蘭南部的藝術班。 (照片:法新社)

PHOTO: AFP

Queen Elizabeth II's famous cut-glass accent, the Queen's English, is now sounding less upper-class, a scientific analysis of her famous Christmas broadcasts found Monday.

Researchers analysed each of her messages to the Commonwealth since 1952 using digital technology to track the shift in her pronunciation from the aristocratic Upper Received to the less plummy Standard Received.

Jonathan Harrington, professor of phonetics at Germany's University of Munich, wanted to discover whether dialect changes 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 archive," he said.

He said the aristocratic way of pronouncing vowels had gradually ceased to be a class apart over the decades.

"Her accent sounds slightly less aristocratic than it did 50 years ago. But these are very, very subtle and slow changes that we don't notice from year to year," he explained.

"We may be able to relate it to changes in the class structure."

He told The Daily Telegraph newspaper: "In 1952 she would have been heard referring to 'thet men in the bleck het'. Now it would be 'that man in the black hat'.

"Similarly, she would have spoken of 'the citay' and 'dutay', rather than 'citee' and 'dutee', and 'hame' rather than home. In the 1950s she would have been 'lorst', but by the 1970s 'lost.'"

The queen's annual broadcast is a personal message to the Commonwealth.

A Christmas institution, the 10-minute broadcast is televised at 3pm in Britain as many families are recovering from their traditional turkey lunch.

The results were published in the Journal of Phonetics quarterly magazine. (AFP)

Today's Words 今天單字

1. analysis n.

分析 (fen1 xi1)

例: Please make a careful analysis of all the data before making a decision.

(下決定時,請仔細分析所有數據。)

2. aristocratic adj.

貴族的 (gui4 zu2 de5)

例: The palace had an aristocratic air.

(這座皇宮充滿貴族氣息。)

3. dialect n.

方言 (fan1 yan2),個人用語特徵 (ge4 ren2 yong4 yu3 te4 zheng1)

例: Taiwanese is a dialect of Southern Min.

(台語是閩南方言之一。)

4. cease v.i. /v.t.

停止 (ting2 zhi3)

例: The regulation will cease to apply in January.

(這項規定將於一月終止實施。)


分析伊麗莎白女王二世知名聖誕感言的科學研究上週一發現,女王著名的金雕玉琢英國腔現在稍稍少了貴族味。

研究人員利用數位科技分析一九五二年以來女王對大英國協發表的感言,追蹤她從上流貴族音到稍稍無貴族味的標準口音之轉變。

德國慕尼黑大學的語音學教授喬納森.海靈頓希望能找出半世紀內個人口音是否可能轉變。

他說︰「據我所知,沒有別人有這種談話紀錄了。」

他說數十年來,母音的貴族式發音已逐漸失去階級差別。

他解釋︰「她的口音較五十年前稍稍無貴族音,但改變地相當細微、緩慢,所以我們並未逐年注意。」

「我們或許能把它與階級結構的轉變相連。」

他告訴每日電訊報︰「一九五二年人們可能會誤以為她說『thet men in the bleck het』,現在大概就知道她是指『戴黑帽的男子』。」

「同樣地,她以前可能說『the citay』與『dutay』,而不是『citee』與『dutee』;會說『hame』而非『home』。她一九五○年代可能說『lorst』,一九七○年代就說『lost 』了。」

女王每年都會對大英國協發表個人感言。

女王十分鐘的感言是耶誕節一項習俗,當英國許多家庭從傳統火雞午餐歇口氣時,於下午三點轉播。

研究結果已發表於《語音》季刊。            (法新社╱翻譯︰賴美君)

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