BBC Voices

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

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Belper, Derbyshire

  • Interviewees

    Hitchcock, John, 1943 Aug. 16- (speaker, male, retired), Hitchcock, Stephanie, (speaker, female, Smedley, Mary, (speaker, female, semi-retired manager of North Mill Visitor Centre), Williams, David, 1950 May 27- (speaker, male, teacher)

  • Interviewers

    Ramroop, Marsha, 1976 May 16- (speaker, female)

  • Producers

    Radio Derby

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves. Discussion about their accents, local area, changing accent in different situations/when talking to different people, Derbyshire dialect, relationship between dialect and class, influence of television on speech. Mention how his childrens speech changed after going to university. Discussion about attitudes towards regional accents, importance of intelligibility of speech, Belper accent, how your accent changes depending on what you do in your life.[00:12:05] Discussion about their family backgrounds, anecdotes about people changing speech depending on who they are talking to. Discussion about Belper, how river divides town. Belper accent, accents and class associations, how attitudes towards regional accents have changed over time, people self-consciously over-correcting their own speech, how his attitude towards his own speech has changed as he has got older.[00:13:43] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Mention words used to mean father, way to differentiate between maternal/paternal grandmothers. Comment that only one woman in Belper wore make-up when he was young. Remark that in north Derbyshire moggie means mouse rather than cat. Mention use of causey to mean pavement. Discussion about local pronunciation of certain words.[00:23:04] Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Comment that his speech has changed since he moved away from local area. Mention features of local speech. Anecdote about being unable to understand local mans accent. Comment that their pronunciation of some words dont match with their spelling. Remark on multiple meanings of some words used locally.[00:33:44] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Description of games played as children.[00:42:10] Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. Description of 86 year old mothers life.[00:47:30] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Mention advantages of being left-handed in certain practical professions. Description of kaylie: type of sweet eaten as children.[00:59:43] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Description of rooms in various houses in past, watching television in past. Discussion about use of swear words and attitudes towards swearing, pit language. Comment that rude expressions are modern because people didnt use them in past. Anecdote about mother being furious at brother for swearing.[01:26:12] Discussion about use and meaning of various local words, local pit language used by coal miners underground. Anecdote about his wife being able to understand spoken Danish because of its similarity to broad Cumbrian English. Speakers re-introduce themselves.

  • Description

    All four interviewees are passionate about being from Derbyshire. 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.

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