By Joan C. Beal
Thomas Spence's Grand Repository differs from the various English saying dictionaries produced within the past due eighteenth century first of all in that it used to be meant basically for the reduce sessions, and secondly in that it used a very 'phonetic' script within the feel of 1 sound = one image. during this particular account, Joan Beal will pay recognition to the particular pronunciations so one can reconstructing what used to be felt to be 'correct' pronunciation in eighteenth-century Britain.
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Additional info for English pronunciation in the eighteenth century : Thomas Spence's Grand repository of the English language
His extracts are not always reliable'. Sweet (1888) is not only highly reliant on Ellis, but uses as his `phonetic authorities' for what he terms the `third modern period' (1700± 1800) a small and eclectic set of works: The Expert Orthographist (1704); A Short and Easy Way for the Palatines to Learn English (1710); Thomas Dyche's Guide to the English Tongue (1710); Thomas Lediard's Grammatica Anglicana Critica, oder Versuch zu einer vollkommenen Grammatic der Englischen Sprache (1725); James Buchanan's Essay Towards Establishing a Standard (1766); Benjamin Franklin's Scheme for a New Alphabet (1768); and Thomas Sheridan's General Dictionary of the English Language (1780).
Shields recognizes the complexity of the distribution of variant pronunciations at this time. Her comment on the distribution of [u:] and [ju:] variants is particularly perceptive: There are other areas in which opinion was divided at this period, and although Spence may dier in detail from any one orthoepist, say Sheridan, the distribution of one sound as opposed to another in certain groups of words seems to be, as Jespersen described it (1909 p. 381) `seemingly without any principle'. This is particularly true of */u://ju:/.
It would appear that the historical phonologist has only to study these works in order to reconstruct the pronunciation of ENE but, of course, it is not so simple. Even the strongest advocates of `direct' evidence admit that the early orthoepists and grammarians vary in terms of accuracy and reliability. Jones (1989: 197) asks his readers to resign themselves to the fact that, `despite the detail and variety of the evidence left to us . . we shall remain confused and perplexed over many important matters of fact and interpretation'.