Regional accents in UK thriving, according to new research from Aston

It has long been thought that the modern-day increase in social mobility would lead to a flattening and, ultimately, the death of regional accents. A research team at Aston University, led by Dr Urszula Clark, has found just the opposite: When people move away, they tend to maintain their familiar accent to show allegiance to where they come from.

In their project West Midlands English: Speech and Society, the researchers “investigate and describe the range of accents and dialects of the West Midlands today” by looking at how performers use accent as a way of identifying with a specific place. Their findings indicate that “drawing upon linguistic features of a particular variety, such as Black Country English, cuts across ethnicity, gender and class boundaries”.

To learn more about this project, read the full article in the Daily Mail or visit the project website.

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