I got an email the other day from a fella named Alejandro, who is interested in seeing if anyone can translate a short poem, The Blind Hermit, into Somerset Dialect. So I thought I’d throw it open to the masses and see what we came up with. Alejandro tells me that he has been gathering […]Read More Who can translate The Blind Hermit?
In which I get all phonetic discussing the vowel sounds that cause confusion between that small city up the road, and that country across the big bridge!Read More The Wells/Wales merger in Bridgwater
This is less a post about words specific to Somerset, and more a gentle reminder to myself that even dialectologists don’t know everything about dialects all the time! I spent a wonderful weekend on Exmoor over the UK August Bank Holiday, and stayed in Porlock Wier for the night. In the morning, I took a […]Read More Smoove Oane
What has Emma’s recent outburst at Jennifer Aldridge got to do with language change? Well, I’ll tell you. Sit back, put on your nearest copy of ‘Barwick Green’ (or simply hum ‘dum-tee-dum-tee-dum-tee-dum’ to yourself), and I’ll begin…Read More How Emma Grundy is (partly) the story of language change
Life for a PhD researcher is, almost by definition, hard work. For those who have to use data derived from human participants, it is extremely challenging, because you have to find participants who are willing to give you their time in order for you to have any data. The equivalent for a chemist, for example, […]Read More Recruiting for participants
As you probably know, this blog is part of the Somerset Speaks project I’ve been running, which is looking at language change across Somerset. To identify that change, I’m interviewing as many people as I can before the end of 2017. And I’ve made a video to explain a little more…..Read More Be a part of Linguistic History!
This post popped into my Twitter-Feed the other day: Anonymous hard right accounts attacking my accent again saying l am thick etc, l will reiterate l am proud of my accent and will not change! — Angela Rayner MP (@AngelaRayner) July 9, 2017 It’s deeply distressing that in this day and age someone should be […]Read More Accentuating prejudice
I have to confess, this one is a new one on me. I have Emma Tett, a reader of this blog (and published author), to thank for this one! Despite having grown up in Somerset, I have never heard ‘Billy Baker’ as the name for woodlice. I’ve heard ‘Pill-bug’, I’ve heard ‘Doodlebug’ (although that one […]Read More Billy-Bakers
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 […]Read More Want for nothing
Oh Calloo Callay, it’s Somerset Day! To honour this year’s celebrations, I was going to write a lazy listicle about ’10 Somerset words’ or something, but then remembered that there is a wealth of less well-trodden examples out there that you might find a little more interesting….Read More Older ‘Somerset Speak’ in honour of Somerset Day