Lord of the accent

I’m reading The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker, linguist at MIT, and a damn good writer. He talks about how the English language has changed on both sides of the Atlantic, and how some aspects of American English resemble English spoken in the British Isles at the time of American colonization (Chapter 8). So I wonder what Shakespeare’s accent was like. And why do the characters in the Lord of the Rings movies have British accents? Sure, the human realm resembles current notions of English Feudalism (without the tiny detail of life’s being nasty, brutish, and short), but what kind of accents did jousting knights-in-armor have anyway? Surely I can find this information. To Google, away!! OK, maybe not right away.


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