Tag Archives: Northern English accents

The Accents of Transplants 2: Adolescents

Recently, the Daily Show‘s fearless Aasif Mandvi made headlines when a satirical interview he conducted with Republican precinct chairman Don Yelton led to the man resigning from his post. I get the sense, from watching the cringe-inducing video of the … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , | 14 Comments

The Teesside Controversy

Some British school administrators recently sought to “improve” their students’ Teesside dialect by urging parents to correct their children’ speech. The letter prompted outcry, for reasons well-summarized by Stan Carey of Sentence First. This photo of the note in question has … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged | 36 Comments

Different Kinds of “Ah”

In linguist Tom Roeper’s excellent book on language acquisition, The Prism of Grammar, he makes this observation about Boston accents: In Boston, there are two forms of r-lessness, heard in two ways of saying ‘Harvard:’ ‘Hahvid’ and ‘Haavid.’ The first … Continue reading

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Posted in Miscellaneous Accents and Dialects | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Has North Wales “Gone Scouse?”

Many feel that accents in North Wales have begun to resemble those of Liverpool. Unlike similar notions, this one has evidence behind it, as I’ll discuss later. But first, let’s hear for ourselves. Below is a snippet of the speech … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Whatever Happened to the Northumbrian /r/?

As I’ve previously discussed, English accents exhibit various types of /r/ sounds. Yet few are as peculiar as the /r/ once typical of an accent known as the Northumbrian burr, spoken in rural areas of Northeast England. The burr was notorious … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , | 9 Comments

The Englishness of H-Dropping

Longtime readers may notice that I rarely discuss h-dropping. Novices might remember this accent feature from some unfortunate community theatre production of ‘My Fair Lady‘ in which the actress playing Eliza Doolittle bleats ”enry ‘iggins!’ Systematic h-droppers drop the letter ‘h’ at … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , , | 37 Comments

The Accents in Downton Abbey

I am apparently the last person in the English-speaking world to watch Downton Abbey, but got a chance to see the first series over the past two evenings.  For the unfamiliar, the show takes place in an English country estate … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , , , | 100 Comments

Leeds or Manchester?

Turning back to the world of accent minutiae, a reader emailed me with a conundrum regarding the difference between Leeds and Manchester accents. This concerns ‘punk poet’ John Cooper Clarke, from Salford in Greater Manchester: I like to think of … Continue reading

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Posted in British English, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 30 Comments

Why Geordie is Hard to Understand

Of the many wonderful sections of the British Library site, one of my favorites is this fabulous dissection of the Geordie dialect of English (i.e. the dialect spoken in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne).  It presents, in immaculate detail, all of the salient phonological … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , | 24 Comments

Anne Hathaway’s Accent in ‘One Day’

In news of the dialect work of movie stars, the romantic comedy One Day opens soon. As I did with Mel Gibson’s accent in The Beaver, I’d like to briefly examine Anne Hathaway‘s “Yorkshire accent” in this adaptation of the popular … Continue reading

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Posted in British English | Tagged , , | 37 Comments