Sociolinguistic Analysis Essay Example


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Sociolinguistic Analysis of Movie Characters with British Accents

Sociolinguistic Analysis Essay: Introduction

The way that people pronounce words can also be as relevant as what is written. One prefers to distinguish people based on emphasis and intonation, and, very only, differences in Pronunciation can be lethal. The accents are alien to some, and people establish a linguistic heritage to give the world (Berglund 12). This paper takes paramount importance to distinguish apart from others because of language usage, as the language identity can be seen on TV or film. The media offer big fora for everyday lives while revealing the accurate portrayal of daily lives: how society communicates. Presumably, the most crucial reason for the development and distribution of language norms was the propagation of advertising through television, music, movies, and the Internet. This article deals with these assumptions, particularly with many British accents heard in films. This would also investigate how these assumptions vary in different movie plays.

This essay aims to examine findings from numerous surveys of attitudes to familiar British accents and collect knowledge about their phonology and distinct dialects. The article contrasts the results with character expression in two films featuring several British speakers. The findings are then compared with this detail. One should discuss how vocabulary and phrases in the film are used and the applications of variations of British speech (Berglund 22). This research would help to see that accents and the information about their roles in the casting process for various films are taken into account. It is also to decide if the option is compatible with offering a particular character to a specific use of the vocabulary, such as comic relief, hero, villain, etc. The purpose of this study is to address the following question: To what degree British accent stereotypes in the films are examined? What significance does this matter to the characters?

Stereotypes of Characters

The stereotyping of character isn't just an item for the movie world. This can also be found in textbooks and to an even grander scale. Vladimir Propp was a prolific reader of fairy tales. After reviewing all of them, he found that each story was created with seven essential recurring character roles: the hero, the antagonist, the sender/dispatcher, the helping (often magical), the father, the donor, and the sender/donor. The functions are merged with specific elements to form a conventional plot, but must not be taken literally (Berglund 36). Because narration in the different media outlets is identical, films likely have similar positions.

The British Accent

There are several language variants in the British Isles. English has a very long tradition and has provided the basis for the way accents are presented today, and the discrimination still associated with certain accents and dialects in Great Britain. Many Northern accents bear the heritage of the Old English of the Kingdom of Northumbria, the Germanic languages of the Vikings and the English.

Journalist and author Andrew Taylor reflect on the frequently proposed and obscure facts in his book, A plum in your mouth, that tourists from Norway and Sweden are more likely than the more traditional southeastern language to grasp these dialects distinctive vowel sounds. The Norman invasion of 1066 impacted the northern less of the south, which contributed to much of the accents in England being influenced by the Scottish language (Berglund 45). In the middle of the 19th century, Irish potato famine forced Irish people to travel to Liverpool extensively.

Meanwhile, other North Wales and Scottish immigrants arrived in the area. Both three of those languages have influenced the dialect of Liverpool, combined with the traditional Lancashire Dialect. Received Pronunciation was introduced to simplify and standardize vocabulary for the entire country when the first BBC radio station launched. Generally, all of Britain's national languages have a history (Berglund 17). These are not blurred in each other's versions and tend to be ignored while people are condemning each other for their expressions.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The central team, Harry, Hermione, and Ron, speak in Southern English accents along with the sinister villain Draco Malfoy. But while Harry, Hermione, and Draco all speak with the high school accent, Ron spoke more with the Estuary accent. All these accents refer to the history of the actors in the IMDB. The Received Pronunciation voice is also keen on Professor Severus Snape (Lundervold n.p.). According to IMDB, the actor portraying Snape, Alan Rickman, was taught more than he can be heard in his voice in the Harry Potter films in a working-class setting.

This indicates that he is a victim of the above-mentioned "accommodation" element, which has changed his way of thinking and schooling. Harry's godfather Sirius Black, retired professor Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks (wizarding police) also speak in a kind of RP. Headmaster Dumbledore is Welsh, and Professor McGonagall has the focus Scottish (Lundervold n.p.). Such examples are interesting as the actors themselves (Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon) come from Southern England and speak RP and the working class in London.

Table 1. Character accents in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Characters Accents
Males Ron, Harry, Draco, Snape, Sirius, Lupin, Dumbledore, Neville, Mr. Weasley, Fred, and George, Hagrid, Mr. Malfoy, Voldemort RP, Irish, Leeds, Worcester, Birmingham, West Country
Females Hermione, Tonks, McGonagall, Luna, Cho, Mrs. Weasley, Bellatrix, Umbridge RP, Scottish, Irish, Birmingham, Cockney

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Within LOTR, the four hobbits speak with separate languages, as though the characters are all from the same place. Pippin is Scottish in style. The stereotypical dialect on West Country is Merry and Samwise, while Frodo's voice is more RP (Andersson 7). The actor's Sam and Frodo play are both American. They use voice coaches to produce accents that represent the origin of the characters somewhere in the center earth, which, according to Tolkien, is essentially the Midlands of England.

The actor for Gandalf character, Sir Ian McKellen, comes from Lancashire, while Gandalf, like elf Galadriel and Boromir (Sean Bean), speaks RP. The protagonist Aragorn, played by Danish actor Viggo Mortensen, has a voice coach quoted on his website saying, "In Rivendell, Aragorn was born by Elves secretly. Hence, he is well acquainted with all the Middle Earth languages (Andersson 22). We have chosen to create a speech demonstrating these characteristics, choosing RP vowels, an Irish R, and unusual rhythm. "

This article states, for the convenience, that its focus is mainly RP. Gimli has a rather broad Scottish focus as both Legolas and Saruman speak only RP. America's playwright Liv Tyler had to switch to an English center and even tried to create the RP sound (Andersson 35). The Orcs in the film speak loosely in a cockney accent.

Table 2. Character accents in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Characters Accents
Males Frodo, Sam, Aragorn, Boromir, Gandalf, Legolas, Saruman, Orcs and Uruk-Hais, Merry, Pippin, Gimli, Orcs RP, West Country, Scottish, Leeds, Cockney
Females Galadriel, Arwen RP

Sociolingustic Analysis Essay: Conclusion

In brief, the use of RP and supportive characters, meaning people, teachers, and, to a degree, protagonists in the films analyzed appears to converge. It can also be said that comic characters in terms of different and collective voices are the most diversified. The several different accentuations also demonstrate that actors have the right to speak in whichever accent they choose. In the more roughening characters, as is seen by the Orcs (LOTR), the use of the cockney emphasis often appear intentional.

While it is unclear what the debate is between males and females, this article may not be adequately told as to whether there are strong prejudices in both groups. The outcome can be different if you use a higher number of films to evaluate. The result of this review reveals that in movies with mostly or mostly British accents, there are significant misconceptions of vocabulary. Based on the tests, the use of voice coaching in certain films, and the film industry's credibility for the thought behind any feature, it is inferred that the accent assumptions found are intentional. This raises more significant concerns about the entertainment industry and whether such myths should be torn down. This might be worth studying this subject more carefully and addressing its relevance in today's culture because the media are so prominent in the modern world.


Andersson, Niklas. "Stereotypes of English in Hollywood Movies: A Case Study of the Use of Different Varieties of English in Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings and Transformers." (2010).

Berglund, Hanna. "Stereotypes of British Accents in Movies: A Speech Analysis of Character Types in Movies with British Accents." (2017).

Lundervold, Lene. Harry Potter and the different accents. A sociolinguistic study of language attitudes in Harry. MS thesis. The University of Bergen, 2013.

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