Conversation in Bradford-on-Avon about accent, dialect and attitudes to language.
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Baines, Josef, (speaker, male, sixth-form student), Finneran, Doran, (speaker, male, Froud, Vicki, (speaker, female, Zoe, 1987 July 08- (speaker, female
Harrison, James, 1965 Feb. 09- (speaker, male)
[00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves. Discussion of words used to mean to play truant. Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Anecdote about grandmother misunderstanding meaning of wicked used to mean good, mention parents making fun of their use of cool.[00:11:16] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Mention how language spreads to different areas. Discussion about words used to mean young person in cheap trendy clothes and jewellery, description of a Trev, comment that wherever you go theres a word for that type of person. Use of knobs and gudgeons to describe people from Trowbridge and Bradford-on-Avon respectively. Discussion about judging people by their appearance, labelling groups of people, prejudice involved in use of Trev, being intimidated by different types of people based on their choice of clothing.[00:23:19] Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. Discussion about using retro phrases. Description of different types of footwear and names for them.[00:28:20] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Connotations of toff used to describe someone who is rich, words used to describe person who has earned their money rather than inherited it. Discussion about folklore surrounding left-handedness. Remark at their use of pissed in multiple contexts.[00:43:09] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Mention words used to mean father, ways to distinguish between maternal/paternal grandparents.[00:52:38] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Mention where they were born/have lived. Discussion about class connotations of words used to mean main room of house/long soft seat in main room.[01:03:42] Discussion about use of swear words and attitudes towards swearing, acceptability of swearing in different situations, acceptability of different swear words, swearing in front of/to their parents, with friends. Anecdote about parents reaction to sister learning swear words at middle school. Discussion about swearing at school, anecdote about teacher using swear words in English class discussion about swearing. How attitudes towards swearing have changed over time. Swear words they like/dislike, use of swear words towards men/women.[01:11:55] Discussion about what influences their use of language: parents/television/friends. Anecdote about asking teacher meaning of shag when at primary school. Mention older children being superior because they know meaning of words, amusement at young childrens incorrect use of swear words. Anecdote about younger children at school being shocked to hear her swearing. Hierarchy of swear words.[01:16:21] Discussion about their own accents, how others in their family speak, what has influenced them, attitudes towards their accent. Discussion about Wiltshire accent, how people speak locally. Mention cousins who picked up American accent after moving to America at young age but aunt/uncle stayed sounding English. Being bullied at school for being posh when lived in Midlands, connotations of posh accent.[01:22:29] Discussion about how their speech might affect job prospects, use of regional accents on national media, attitudes towards regional accents. Anecdote about being popular for being in English minority within group in Scotland.[01:24:50] Discussion about their speech being corrected by their parents, being told they overuse like, reasons for using it, where it comes from, pronouncing sentences like theyre a question. Being corrected by mother for slipping into Wiltshire accent, not wanting Wiltshire accent because hes not from Wiltshire, bath accent. Discussion about attitudes towards Wiltshire accent, Queens accent.[01:29:21] Discussion about regional accents they like/dislike, connotations of regional accents. Comment that comprehensibility of an accent is important. Anecdotes about being unable to understand various regional British accents. Discussion about interviewers Received Pronunciation accent, how he speaks when on radio, establishment voice more common on radio in past.[01:36:08] Discussion about future of regional accents/language, advantages/disadvantages of disappearance of regional accents, language and identity. Comment that they dont want to see regional accents disappear but wouldnt want to have one themselves. Mention which regional accent they would have if they had to have one.
BBC warning: this interview contains strong or offensive language. Recording made for BBC Voices project of a conversation guided by a BBC interviewer. The conversation follows a loose structure based on eliciting opinions about accents, dialects, the words we use and people's attitude to language. The four interviewees are all 'A' level English students at St. Laurence School, Bradford-on-Avon.