BBC Voices

Conversation in Codford about accent, dialect and attitudes to language.

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  • Recording date


  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Codford, Wiltshire

  • Interviewees

    Beagley, Colin, 1964 June 21- (speaker, male, farmworker), Cole, Maurice, (speaker, male, farmer), Johnstone, Karen, 1936 Feb. 20- (speaker, female, retired), Wyeth, John, 1949 Aug. 29- (speaker, male, police officer), Wyeth, Romy, 1945 May 26- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Hughes, Gerry, 1955 Sept. 06- (speaker, male)

  • Producers

    Radio Wiltshire

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Interviewer introduces Colin Beagley: mention words used to mean to play truant/childs soft shoes worn for physical education. Discussion about words/phrases used in farming, description of Wiltshire gate also known locally as Hosier gate, use of a milking bale, different ways to collect straw/hay. Description of serving apprenticeship on steam threshing outfit. Mention very Wiltshire farm worker who used one word to indicate many meanings depending on the pronunciation.[00:08:05] Interviewer introduces Karen Johnstone: discussion about words used in theatre, different types of curtains. Discussion about words used to mean hot/pleased/friend/to throw/cold/to rain lightly/to rain heavily/unwell/mother/baby/young person in cheap trendy clothes and jewellery. Mention use and meaning of bling.[00:15:29] Discussion about language used by police, comment that they try to use the language of the people theyre dealing with/of the community theyre working in. Mention abbreviations that vary between different police forces. Use of copper chopper to mean air ambulance, jam sandwiches used to describe squad cars. Discussion about words used to describe going to particular local places, comment that these are conditioned by local geography. Mention words used to mean narrow walkway between or alongside buildings. Discussion about words used to describe different types of livestock.[00:23:11] Discussion about local skew bridges, reasons for this name, comment that other people dont always understand this term; mention agricultural use of skew.[00:25:48] Anecdote about not understanding use of epicyclic steering in interview she carried out when researching book about local area, discussion about epicyclic steering. Story about American tourists thinking she was referring to medieval whorehouse instead of medieval hall-house when working as tour guide. Use of Americanisms, slipping into American accent because she spent a lot of time with Americans aged 18 to 28.[00:32:52] Discussion about influence of film/television on language, how language has changed over time. Mention words used to mean word for something whose name youve forgotten/left-handed/rich/insane.[00:38:50] Discussion about Wiltshire words/phrases, anecdotes about use of Wiltshire dialect.[00:42:22] Discussion about attitudes towards regional accents today, acceptability of regional accents on radio/television, future of regional accents, importance of recording current accents and words for posterity. How speech varies across Wiltshire, possible reasons for this; similarities between Wiltshire accent and other regional accents. Discussion about their accent changing depending on how they feel/who theyre talking to, how different people perceive accents differently. Use of Wiltshire dialect, modern use of yes on end of statements/questions. Anecdote about being upset at Irish person thinking she spoke poshly.[00:49:43] Discussion about impact of many members of her family being actors on her speech, how they spoke, reasons why they spoke using received English. How speech in Swindon differs from rest of Wiltshire, reasons for this.[00:52:50] Discussion of words used to mean pregnant/drunk/kit of tools/clothes/trousers. Comment that they understand different words for trousers despite only using trousers. Mention words used to mean grandmother/grandfather. Ways of differentiating between maternal/paternal grandparents. Mention use of nicknames for family members. Local words used for different animals, use of emmets/grockles to mean tourists in Cornwall. Anecdote about man using atheists instead of aphids. Mention use of nammet/nammet time by old farm workers to mean lunch break and nammet bags to refer to their bags.

  • Description

    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 five interviewees are all Codford Parish Councillors.

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