Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Youw toorkin' a me?

Hmm, well, that's my shoddy representation of my current Estuary English accent, though as a linguistic chameleon I change it every time I move, and it's accents and dialects that are the hot topic in the media this week. I'm sure none of you can have missed this as just about every trainee journalist on every local TV or radio station has been sent out onto the mean cold streets with a microphone to interview local punters about their regional language use.

It all ties in with the BBC's major linguistic research project into the way people in Britain speak. This is very very cool. Go onto the BBC Voices website link below and you too can take part (if your English teacher hasn't already made you do so!!) in the national survey of dialect forms. This online data collection will be compiled and used to create a new dialect map of Britain, showing the forms most frequently used around the country. Dialect is dead? I don't think so!

This project is in itself tied into a new programme called "Word for Word" starting 9.00am on Radio 4 tomorrow, (Wednesday 19th January 2005) so check that out too - there is a link below to BBC radio's online "listen again" function in case you missed it.

What is additionally interesting is how the same story has been reported within the different regions of the country. Regional journalists have obviously tapped into their local readers' interests, drawing attention, especially, to issues related to their local language forms. Check 'em out and see for yourself. And do post other regional news article links in the comments box.

BBC Voices project

BBC Radio 4 "Word for Word" programme website

Radio 4 "listen again"

From Wales: We love our lilt but noone else does

From Scotland: Sean's voice the 'most pleasant' in Britain


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