Stereotypes of British Accents in Movies : A Speech Analysis of Character Types in Movies with British Accents

University essay from Högskolan i Halmstad/Akademin för lärande, humaniora och samhälle

Abstract: This essay deals with the use of linguistic stereotypes in three different movies with British accents, namely Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, with a main focus on phonology. It investigates whether attitudes towards British accents found in studies about ideological beliefs about accent variation are reflected in the selected movies and discusses the notion of linguistic identity. The essay analyses how studies of perceived prestige and attractiveness of accents correlates to the character types males, females, main heroes, villains, comic relief and mentors in the selected movies. The essay finds a correlation between Received Pronunciation and every character type. It also finds that accents rated high on the discussed lists most often correlate to the character types mentor, villain and hero, while accents lower down on the list correlates with the character types comic relief and villains. The use of accents in these movies is probably intentional and not coincidental.

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