I’ve been working through the Survey of English Dialects data over the past couple of weeks. As I’m looking at changes in the accent in Somerset, this means looking at the phonetic data associated with the responses the participants (who were predominantly older men) gave back in the 1950s.
Some of those responses haven’t changed too much, but some of them have. Many of the words, or ways of pronouncing the words haven’t changed a great deal, whereas others are words I haven’t seen before.
‘Want’, for example. In Somerset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset, this word is either the majority term, or is almost exclusively used by the participants. So, those counties that would be included in the South West. Other Southern and South-Eastern counties used only ‘mole’, and there was no sign of ‘want’ in there at all.
I’ve not heard of ‘wants’ or ‘want-heaps’ (mole-hills) before, but maybe you have….
Enjoyed this post, and interested in Somerset Dialect? Would you like to take part in my Somerset Speaks project, and perhaps even win a £50 Marks and Spencer voucher? Sign up to take part in an informal interview here!