Manchester Voices

Posted on: July 13th, 2022 by mlpAdmin

Dr Rob Drummond explores the accents, dialects and identities of Greater Manchester.

Dr Rob Drummond is the man behind ‘Manchester Voices’, the largest sociolinguistics project to examine the spoken language of Greater Manchester.

His talk tackles intriguing questions such as: Does the way we speak relate to who we are? How different are accents and dialects across Greater Manchester? Do our voices suggest older loyalties to Lancashire and Cheshire? He’ll also explain why understanding how language works is valuable to everyone.

Rob’s research team used online research and Geographic Information System software to examine archive recordings of local people born around 1900. At the same time, they collected and investigated current linguistic data in the Accent Van, their mobile recording booth.

The findings reveal a deep, complex relationship between spoken language and a sense of identity. They offer new insights into how acutely aware many people are of how they use language. And they show that accent diversity is alive and well across the region. Although sadly, some cherished dialect terms are beginning to fade.

Rob’s research was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.