A Sample of Northern English Dialect

The following examples come from a recording a formers student once provided me with as part of an undergraduate assignment in phonetics. Unfortunately, I cannot acknowledge the speaker properly here, as I have no background information on her. The samples are supposed to be illustrating a Blackburn accent, one of the few remaining rhotic accents in the North of England.

Apart from being fun to listen to and to be able to identify distinct phonological (and dialect) features of Northern English, the transliterations also illustrate what the difficulties are in representing the features of a non-standard accent using the basic means of orthography available for the standard language, to what extent an attempt to represent the accent may be based on phonetic reality, and which types of non-standard orthography people may use to represent non-standard accents in their attempts to signal the differences to standard language.

  1. Go through the sample expressions below and listen to the recordings, trying to identify which pholological features this particular accent exhibits.
  2. Transcribe the examples orthographically & phonetically in order to get some more transcription practice, paying particular attention to whether the symbols you’ve learnt for representing RP allow you to accurately represent the accent.
  3. In addition, try to identify what other dialectal differences (i.e. grammatical ones) to standard British English there may be.

List of Transliterated Sample Expressions

  1. Intitot
  2. Summatsupoereer
  3. Gerritetten
  4. Wotsupwithee
  5. Wotsamarrerweim
  6. Iyantgorrit
  7. ImgerrinAhtonit
  8. Azeeginityer
  9. Ontopothill
  10. Eezgooinooam
  11. Astergorritreit
  12. Astergorritwithee
  13. Purritineer
  14. Iyanteardonnit
  15. Thalaftagerranewun
  16. Eesezitintburraberitis
  17. Lerrusgerrusanswesht
  18. Wivgorragerrusimbux
  19. Summonumalatergerroff
  20. Thammungeritlernt
  21. Aberritinters
  22. Eeznowtburrababbi
  23. Weerzegaffer
  24. Comforrusatarpastateintmornin
  25. Nathenwotstadoin
  26. Asterseenimontelly
  27. Itduntmarrer
  28. Letsguttapichers
  29. Astergorrafag
  30. Eenozenowtabahtit