BBC Voices

Conversation on Rathlin Island about accent, dialect and attitudes to language.

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Rathlin Island, County Antrim

  • Interviewees

    Henderson, Ann, 1965 Dec. 05- (speaker, female, artist), McFaul, James, 1949 April 25- (speaker, male, Rathlin ferry service and part-time farmer), McQuilkin, Loughlin, 1923 Sept. 09- (speaker, male), McQuilkin, Margaret, 1956 Oct. 30- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Garrett, Conor, 1972 May 08- (speaker, male)

  • Producers

    Radio Ulster

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves. Discussion about Rathlin Island, what they like about it, why they moved there/have stayed there, why people leave the island. Description of Rathlin Island, how many people live there, facilities/employment for islanders, ferry service, fishing. [00:10:24] Continuation of discussion about Rathlin Island, working as an artist there, sense of community on the island, work of the community association. Type of people who live on Rathlin Island, pride in island, other people’s attitudes towards it. How people socialise, having more time than when living on the mainland, importance of the art of conversation/story-telling on Rathlin Island. Discussion about what ‘local’ means to them, Rathlin Island community, rivalry between two different parts of the community in the past. [00:21:22] Discussion about the way people speak on Rathlin Island, how people in Ballycastle on the mainland can distinguish people who come from Rathlin Island. How speech varies within Rathlin Island, possible reasons for this. Language that relates to the geography of the island, for example the sea/weather/nautical language. [00:30:12] Discussion about use of Irish and Scottish Gaelic on Rathlin Island in the past, speech on Rathlin Island, explanation of local words/phrases. Description of their own speech, Rathlin accent, influence of Scottish speech, what their speech says about them, how other people react to their accent. Discussion about changing their speech in different situations/when talking to different people, pride in their accent, more local words. [00:42:34] Discussion about words they overuse, words they don’t like, words used locally. Multiple meanings of ‘dead on’, more words with multiple meanings. Mention words/phrases used to greet people. Discussion about local superstitions including nautical superstitions. [00:50:59] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Use and meaning of various local words. Mention words used to mean ‘father’. [00:57:51] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Mention words used to mean ‘kitchen’. [01:03:03] Mention words used to mean ‘clothes/jumper/annoyed’. [01:05:03] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. [01:05:37] Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. [01:06:22] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES.

  • 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 were all born on Rathlin Island and still live there.

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