King Richard III may have had a brummie accent: experts

Richard

King Richard III, the 15th-century English monarch made famous by Shakespeare for his lines "a horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse", probably had a brummie accent, spoken by natives of Birmingham in England,

claim language experts.

The finding, which examined two letters penned by the monarch, came just days after DNA tests confirmed that the skeleton found under a Leicester car park was that of Richard, the last king of Plantagenet dynasty, which ruled England for

over three hundred years, from 1154 to 1485.

Despite being the patriarch of the House of York, Richard likely spoke with an accent associated with West Midlands rather than northern England, according to language expert Philip Shaw, from the University of Leicester's School of

English.

"That's an accent you might well see in London," Shaw said.

Birmingham has a large Indian population and Indians from Birmingham often mystify their relatives in India with their strange accent.

"Unlike today, individuals were more likely to spell words in ways that reflected their local dialect. Therefore, by looking at Richard's writing, I was able to pinpoint spellings that may provide some clues to his accent," Shaw said.

For example, elongated vowels are a distinctive aspect of Richard's speech patterns, Discovery News reported.

"There are interesting differences with words like 'say' and 'pray' and 'fail' where we have this 'a' sound which is what we call a diphthong - a glide from one sound to another," Shaw said.

He noted that Richard may well have used a pure vowel in

his speech something like 'saa' or 'praa' rather than "say" and "pray".

According to Shaw, the two postscripts show at least one spelling that may suggest a West Midlands accent.

"There's nothing to suggest a Yorkshire accent in the way that he writes, I'm sorry to say for anyone who associates him with Yorkshire," Shaw said.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.