BBC Voices

Conversation in Berwick-upon-Tweed about accent, dialect and attitudes to language.

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  • Is part of (Collection)

    BBC Voices Recordings

  • Recording locations

    Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland

  • Interviewees

    Chappell, Ian, 1950 March 25- (speaker, male), Dixon, Arthur, 1947 March 27- (speaker, male), Stewart, Janet, 1944 Feb. 08- (speaker, female), Walker, Emma, 1933 Oct. 28- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    White, Claire, 1978 Jan. 29- (speaker, female)

  • Producers

    Radio Scotland

  • Abstract

    [00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves, mention how long they have lived in Berwick-upon-Tweed. Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Amusing anecdote about niece from County Durham using Berwick slang. Mention that lots of Romani, Scottish and Pit Yacker (Northumbrian mining dialect) words are used in Berwick. Discussion about Berwick accent, changing accent to be understood, speaking Queens English. Comment that his children use different slang words to the ones he used when he was young. Mention consciously avoiding using local slang when working outside of Berwick, how his speech changes in different situations, how a persons language evolves over time. Anecdote about actions of rootie-tootie roarie local man. Mention things speaker did when drunk.[00:16:54] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Mention different dialects that influence the way people speak in Berwick. Arthur describes his speech and the speech of others in his family, Ian mentions word used by 22 year old daughter that he didnt use when young.[00:24:22] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Comment that when he talks to his friends his wife cant always follow the conversation because of the language they use together.[00:35:35] Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING.[00:36:58] Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Mention various meanings of paggered.[00:41:33] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Mention words local to Berwick, some of which are thought to be Egyptian. Speakers re-introduce themselves.

  • 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 invited to contribute shortly before the interview. They had not met previously.

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