Just after I got back from the cruise I fielded a phone call from a journalist working for the Economist magazine, who wanted to discuss with me whether English accents are changing, and if so how fast. After ten minutes’ chat I told her she ought to talk to Paul Kerswill, and that’s just what she did.
The results duly appeared in the current issue of the magazine.
One of the tiresome things that our funding masters require of academics in this country these days is that we are supposed to try and generate results that show “impact” on the wider community. Paul writes
More impact (in UK govt parlance). Here's what an evening spent with an old Corel Photo House programme and a bit of pure speculation can produce. I take full responsibility for any inaccuracies of course, but don't get back to me until 2030!He was referring to the maps you see above (click to enlarge).
Two days later, the Sunday Times took up the story.
It's the silly season again, despite all the crises in the world. This year's accents story continues in today's Sunday Times ... no point in giving the url because you've got to pay. So I've made my own links here [and here] ...
It’s not over yet. Today it’s the Daily Mail that has taken it up.
Paul’s Facebook comment:
and so it goes on. Better run away for a bit. I don't do Geordie, honest.
Ed Aveyard dug up an older article on the same topic,
in which the demise of regional accents is predicted and "Academics at Lancaster University" are referenced. Perhaps Paul Kerswill has been used to justify both the strengthening and weakening of regional accents at different times in the same newspaper.Ed comments further
One amusing mistake I've noticed on the 2030 map is that Scouse appears to be lost in Liverpool and confined to the Wirral!Ouch.