An Analysis Of Cockney Accent As Being Accused Of A Working Class Accent Of Londoners

Topics: English language, Dialect, Social class Pages: 24 (7332 words) Published: March 11, 2015
Atik Choirun Nisa
Muhammadiyah University of Surakarta

This research is intended to explain why the Cockney accent is considered as a working class accent in London. The type of the study is descriptive qualitative. There are three techniques of collecting data, namely: observation, interview, and analyzing document. Methods of analyzing data are discussion, display data and conclusion. The techniques of analyzing data are discussion, display data and drawing conclusion or verification. The result of the study is that Cockney accent is being accused as a working class accent is: 1) Amounts of uneducated people who work in a trade or buildings that speak with a Cockney accent. 2) Cockney is characterized by its own development of "Cockney rhyming slang”. 3) Cockney people do not pronounce the letter “T” which is massively different from Received Pronunciation accent (upper class accent). Key Words: Cockney accent, the working class, uneducated people, different, Received Pronunciation, the upper class.

A. Background of the study
The United Kingdom is considered to be the most dialect-obsessed nation in the world. With countless accents that exist in the United Kingdom are historically shaped by thousands of years of history. Even in such a small space or region of the United Kingdom, there are varieties of accents that the people actually hold. One of them is named “Cockney”. The term “Cockney” refers to both the accent and the people that speak it. One explanation is that "Cockney" literally means cock's egg, a misshapen egg such as sometimes laid by young hens. The etymology of Cockney has long been discussed and disputed. Cockney, geographically and culturally, refers to the working classes in London, particularly people from the East End or from South East London (Wikipedia). Linguistically, it is the name given to the type of English spoken by those people. In the United Kingdom, in fact, accents still play a massive role in British class distinctions. Such as Received Pronunciation (RP) accent, people who speak with a Received Pronunciation (RP) accent are commonly perceived to be more authoritative, wealthy and intelligent rather than local accents which are considered not as nice or trustworthy as people who speak with a Received Pronunciation accent (upper class dialect). The Cockney accent has been used for decades to assign stigma to a working class person from the East End of London. Why is Cockney accent which is generally accused of a working or lower class accent of Londoners important to analyze? When it comes to accents, we are talking about culture which we should highly appreciate and preserve instead of classifying distinctive people into different kinds of social strata. This sort of thing leads to a discrimination as well as prejudice. People who speak with a Cockney accent are unexpectedly considered to be less-educated people. People who speak with a Received Pronunciation or Standard British accent, as the surveys reveal; have never spoken with a Cockney accent. This is genuinely Linguistics discrimination and also called Linguicism and Languagism. It is the unfair treatment of an individual based solely on their use of language. This use of language may also include the individual’s native language or other characteristics of the person’s speech, such as dialects and accents. Based on difference in use of language, a person may automatically form judgments about another person’s wealth, education, social status, characters, and other traits. These perceived judgments may then lead to the unjustifiable treatment of the individual (Wikipedia). This is actually what happens to Cockney accent and the people. It is so unfair by classifying people only by their accents which eventually leads to awful accent discrimination. Anyway, due to the fact...

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Prof. Ley, David. 2011. “How to use a proper British accent. (accessed on June 14th 2014 at 1:56pm)
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