BBC Voices

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

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

  • Interviewees

    Clayton, Dorothy, 1948 Aug. 26- (speaker, female, health service worker), Johnson, Andrew, 1966 Sept. 19- (speaker, male, community centre manager), Morrison, Keith, 1949 March 13- (speaker, male, publican), Senior, Sonia, 1963 Jan. 28- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Davy, Kate, 1968 March 02- (speaker, female)

  • Producers

    Radio Leeds

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves, describe their own accents. Discussion about changing speech/accent depending on who they are talking to/their geographical location/their mood. Comment that swearing sounds better/sweet in Jamaican, origin of Jamaican swear words.[00:07:12] Discussion about use of and attitudes towards patwa, speaking correct English, connection between language and identity. Anecdote about being reprimanded by grandparents for speaking patwa in house in Jamaica as child; using Jamaican greeting to find out if man in bar was Jamaican. Description of how their children speak, the future of patwa in United Kingdom, use of patwa by mixed race children, speaking posh Jamaican.[00:22:09] Discussion about attitudes towards different accents/dialects. Comment that different regions of the Caribbean have their own patwa.[00:26:39] Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Comment that the intonation of her voice can communicate her annoyance; words used to describe weather are all English because English people talk about the weather so much.[00:35:51] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Comment that patwa is a spoken rather than written language. Mention different meanings of patwa word rass.[00:43:15] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Discussion about attitudes towards swearing and use of swear words.[00:58:31] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Comment that all weather words they use are English. Description of uses of different rooms in house.[01:05:40] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS.[01:14:51] Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. Comment that when he goes to Jamaica he hears words that hes forgotten and hasnt heard for years, anecdote about man calling his wallet a thread bag.[01:17:58] Discussion about their favourite words. Comment that Jamaicans can make any word sound sweet and their swearing is exceptional; the meaning of patwa can get lost in translation. Discussion about using patwa to tell stories. Anecdote about hearing old men telling comical story in patwa in Jamaica. Description of a Jamaican set-up (wake). Comical anecdote about going to Jamaican funeral; comical anecdote about his parents being funny without realising it.

  • 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 four interviewees are all Huddersfield residents who have roots in Jamaica.

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