Survey of English Dialects

Survey of English Dialects

The Survey of English Dialects was undertaken between 1950 and 1961 under the direction of Professor Harold Orton of the English department of the University of Leeds. It aimed to collect the full range of speech in England and Wales before local differences were to disappear. ["Eighty-eight ways of saying left-handed", The Times, September 8, 1970] Standardisation of the English language was expected with the post-war increase in social mobility and the spread of the mass media. The project originated in discussions between Professor Orton and Professor Eugen Dieth of the University of Zurich about the desirability of producing a linguistic atlas of England in 1946, and a questionnaire containing 1,300 questions was devised between 1947 and 1952. ["Where a snack is nummick - 16-year survey of dialect", The Times, November 1, 1962]

313 localities were selected from across of England, the Isle of Man and some areas of Wales close to the English border. Priority was given to rural areas with a history of a stable population. When selecting speakers, priority was given to men, to the elderly and to those who worked in the main industry of the area, for these were all seen as traits that were connected to use of local dialect. One field worker gathering material claimed they had to dress in old clothes to gain the confidence of elderly villagers."Dialect survey needs cash", The Times, September 17, 1969] Most of the recordings see locals discussing their local industry, but one of the richest dialects found in the survery, that at [http://www.collectbritain.co.uk/personalisation/object.cfm?uid=021SED00C908S48U00001C01 Skelmanthorpe in West Yorkshire] , discussed a sighting of a ghost.

The literature usually refers to the "four urban sites" of Hackney, Leeds, Sheffield and York. The survey does seem to have been generally more urban-focused in West Yorkshire. The sites Carlton, Thornhill and Wibsey were within the then boundaries of Pontefract, Dewsbury and Bradford respectively. Also, Ecclesfield and Golcar were urban districts in the West Riding. Outside of London and West Yorkshire, nowhere near to a large city was examined.

404,000 items of information were gathered, and these were published as thirteen volumes of "basic material" beginning in 1962. The process took many years, and was prone to funding difficulties on more than one occasion. ["Is it nessy to make a donkey out of that lovely nirrup?", The Times, October 7, 1972]

The basic material had been written using specialised phonetic shorthand unintelligible to the general reader: in 1975 a more accessible book, "A Word Geography of England" was published. ["Saving gibble-fisted mawkin from extinction", The Times, January 6, 1975] Harold Orton died soon after in March, 1975. [Obituary of Harold Orton, the Times, March 14, 1975]

"The Linguistic Atlas of England" was published in 1978, edited by Orton, John Widdowson and Clive Upton [Review of "The Linguistic Atlas of England", The Times, September 6, 1978] Two further publications have been produced from the survey's material, "Survey of English Dialect: The Dictionary and Grammar" (1993) and "An Atlas of English Dialects" (1996), both co-authored by Upton and Widdowson. [ [http://www.leeds.ac.uk/english/staff/pages/publics/uptpubs.htm Recent publications by Clive Upton (School of English, University of Leeds)] ]

A large amount of "incidental material" from the survey was not published. This is preserved at the Leeds Archive of Vernacular Culture, part of the School of English of the University of Leeds. [ [http://www.leeds.ac.uk/english/activities/lavc/IMdocs.htm Incidental Material Documents (Leeds Archive of Vernacular Culture)] ] An entire book was written based in part on the findings at Egton in the North Riding of Yorkshire, which had such an isolated dialect that it was akin to a separate language. [Tidholm, H. (1979) The dialect of Egton in North Yorkshire, Göteburg, Bokmaskinen]

Bibliography (selection)

* McDavid, Raven I., Jr. (1981). "Review of The Linguistic Atlas of England, by Harold Orton, Stewart Sanderson and John Widdowson." "American Speech" 56, 219–234.
* Fischer, Andreas and Daniel Ammann (1991). "An Index to Dialect Maps of Great Britain." Varieties of English Around the World. General Series 10. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
* Kolb, Eduard (1966). "Phonological Atlas of the Northern Region: The Six Northern Counties, North Lincolnshire and the Isle of Man." Bern: Francke.
* Meier, Hans Heinrich (1964). "Review of Introduction by Harold Orton and The Basic Material, Volume I by Harold Orton and Wilfrid J. Halliday." "English Studies" 45, 240–245.
* Orton, Harold (1971). "Editorial Problems of an English Dialect Atlas." In: Burghardt, Lorraine H. (ed.): "Dialectology: Problems and Perspectives." Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee, 79-115.
* Orton, Harold and Eugen Dieth (1952). "A Questionnaire for a Linguistic Atlas of England." Leeds: Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society.
* Orton, Harold and Nathalia Wright (1974). "A Word Geography of England." New York: Seminar Press.
* Orton, Harold et al. (1962-71). "Survey of English Dialects: Basic Materials." Introduction and 4 vols. (each in 3 parts). Leeds: E. J. Arnold & Son.
* Upton, Clive, David Parry and J. D. A. Widdowson (1994). "Survey of English Dialects: The Dictionary and Grammar." London and New York: Routledge.
* Upton, Clive and J. D. A. Widdowson (2006). "An Atlas of English Dialects." 2nd ed. London and New York: Routledge.
* Viereck, Wolfgang (1990). "The Computer Developed Linguistic Atlas of England." Tübingen: Niemeyer.
* Viereck,Wolfgang and Heinrich Ramisch (1997). "The Computer Developed Linguistic Atlas of England 2." Tübingen: Niemeyer.

ites for the survey

During the survey, each locality was given an identifying abbreviation, which is given in brackets.

Wales

Flintshire

*Hanmer (Ch6)

Monmouthshire

*Llanellen (Mon2)
*Llanfrechfa (Mon5)
*Newport (Mon7)
*Raglan, Monmouthshire (Mon3)
*Crosskeys (Mon4)
*Shirenewton (Mon6)
*Skenfrith (Mon1)

Isle of Man

*Andreas (Man1)
*Ronague (Man2)

Bedfordshire

*Great Barford (Bd2)
*Harlington (Bd3)
*Turvey (Bd1)

Berkshire

*Buckland (Brk1)
*Inkpen (Brk4)
*Swallowfield (Brk5)
*Uffington (Brk2)
*West Ilsley (Brk3)

Buckinghamshire

*Buckland (Bk4)
*Coleshill (Bk5)
*Horton (Bk6)
*Long Crendon (Bk3)
*Stewkley (Bk2)
*Tingewick (Bk1)

Cambridgeshire

*Little Downham (C1)
*Elsworth (C2)

Cheshire

*Audlem (Ch5)
*Farndon (Ch4)
*Kingsley (Ch1)
*Rainow (Ch2)
*Swettenham (Ch3)

Cornwall

*Altarnun (Co2)
*Egloshayle (Co3)
*Gwinear (Co5)
*Kilkhampton (Co1)
*Mullion (Co7)
*St Buryan (Co6)
*St Ewe (Co4)

Cumberland

*Abbeytown (Cu2)
*Brigham (Cu3)
*Gosforth (Cu6)
*Hunsonby (Cu5)
*Longtown (Cu1)
*Threlkeld (Cu4)

Derbyshire

*Bamford (Db2)
*Burbage (Db3)
*Charlesworth (near Glossop, Db1)
*Kniveton (near Ashbourne, Db6)
*Stonebroom (Db5)
*Sutton on the Hill (west of Derby, Db7)
*Youlgreave (Db4)

Devon

*Blackawton (D11)
*Chawleigh (D4)
*Cornwood (D10)
*Gittisham (D5)
*Kennford (D7)
*Parracombe (D1)
*Peter Tavy (D8)
*South Zeal (D6)
*Swimbridge (D2)
*Weare Giffard (D3)
*Widecombe in the Moor (D9)

Dorset

*Ansty, Dorset (Do2)
*Kingston (Do5)
*Portesham (Do4)
*Sixpenny Handley (Do1)
*Whitchurch Canonicorum (Do3)

Durham

*Bishop Middleham (Du5)
*Ebchester (Du2)
*Eggleston (Du6)
*Washington (Du1)
*Wearhead (Du3)
*Witton-le-Wear (Du4)

Essex

*Belchamp Walter (Ess2)
*Canewdon (Ess15)
*Cornish Hall End (Ess3)
*Doddinghurst (Ess14)
*East Mersea (Ess10)
*Great Chesterford (Ess1)
*Henham (Ess4)
*High Easter (Ess8)
*Little Baddow (Ess12)
*Tiptree (Ess9)
*Tillingham (Ess13)
*Little Bentley (Ess7)
*Netteswell (Ess11)
*Stisted (Ess5)
*West Bergholt (Ess6)

Gloucestershire

*Bream (Gl3)
*Deerhurst (Gl1)
*Gretton (Gl2)
*Latteridge (Gl7)
*Sherborne (Gl5)
*Slimbridge (Gl6)
*Whiteshill (Gl4)

Hampshire

*Burley (Ha6)
*Hambledon (Ha5)
*Hatherden (Ha1)
*King's Somborne (Ha3)
*New Alresford (Ha4)
*Oakley (Ha2)

Herefordshire

*Brimfield (He1)
*Checkley (He4)
*Cradley (He3)
*Longtown (He5)
*Lyonshall (He7)
*Weobley (He2)
*Whitchurch (He6)

Hertfordshire

*Codicote (Hrt2)
*Therfield (Hrt1)
*Wheathampstead (Hrt3)

Huntingdonshire

*Warboys (Hu1)
*Kimbolton (Hu2)

Isle of Wight

*Whitwell (Ha7)

Kent

*Appledore, Kent (K7)
*Denton (K5)
*Farningham (K2)
*Goudhurst (K6)
*Staple (K3)
*Stoke (K1)
*Warren Street (K4)

Lancashire

*Bickerstaffe (La13)
*Cartmel (La2)
*Coniston (La1)
*Dolphinholme (La4)
*Eccleston (La11)
*Fleetwood (La5)
*Halewood (Liverpool, La14)
*Harwood (La12)
*Marshside (La10)
*Pilling (La6)
*Read (La9)
*Ribchester (La8)
*Thistleton (La7)
*Yealand (La3)

Leicestershire

*Carlton Curlieu (Lei9)
*Goadby (Lei8)
*Great Dalby (Lei6)
*Harby (Lei1)
*Hathern (Lei2)
*Markfield (Lei5)
*Packington (Lei4)
*Seagrave (Lei3)
*Sheepy Magna (Lei7)
*Ullesthorpe (Lei10)

Lincolnshire

*Beckingham (L10)
*Crowland (L15)
*Eastoft (L1)
*Fulbeck (L11)
*Keelby (L3)
*Lutton (L14)
*Old Bolingbroke (L8)
*Saxby All Saints (L2)
*Scopwick (L9)
*Sutterton (L12)
*Swaby (L7)
*Swinstead (L13)
*Tealby (L5)
*Willoughton (L4)
*Wragby (L6)

Middlesex

*Hackney (MxL2)
*Harmondsworth (MxL1)

Norfolk

*Ashwellthorpe (Nf10)
*Blickling (Nf3)
*Docking (Nf1)
*Garboldisham (Nf13)
*Gooderstone (Nf8)
*Great Snoring (Nf2)
*Grimston (NF4)
*Ludham (Nf6)
*North Elmham (Nf5)
*Outwell (Nf7)
*Pulham St Mary (Nf12)
*Reedham (Nf11)
*Shipdham (Nf9)

Northamptonshire

*Kislingbury (Nth4)
*Little Harrowden (Nth3)
*Sulgrave (Nth5)
*Warmington (Nth1)
*Welford (Nth2)

Northumberland

*Allendale (Nb9)
*Earsdon (Nb6)
*Ellington (Nb4)
*Embleton (Nb2)
*Haltwhistle (Nb7)
*Heddon-on-the-Wall (Nb8)
*Lowick (Nb1)
*Thropton (Nb3)
*Wark on Tyne (Nb5)

Nottinghamshire

*Cuckney (Nt2)
*North Wheatley (Nt1)
*Oxton (Nt4)
*South Clifton (Nt3)

Oxfordshire

*Binfield Heath (O6)
*Cuxham (O5)
*Eynsham (O4)
*Islip (O3)
*Kingham (O1)
*Steeple Aston (O2)

Rutland

*Empingham (R1)
*Lyddington (R2)

hropshire

*All Stretton (Sa7)
*Chirbury (Sa6)
*Clun (Sa9)
*Diddlebury (Sa10)
*Hilton (Sa8)
*Kinlet (Sa11)
*Kynnersley (Sa5)
*Llanymynech (Sa3)
*Montford (Sa4)
*Prees (Sa2)
*Weston Rhyn (Sa1)

omerset

*Blagdon (So1)
*Brompton Regis (So9)
*Coleford (So4)
*Horsington (So11)
*Merriott (So13)
*Pitminster (So12)
*Stogumber (So7)
*Stogursey (So6)
*Stoke St Gregory (So10)
*Wedmore (So3)
*Weston (So1)
*Withypool (So8)
*Wootton Courtenay (So5)

taffordshire

*Alton (St3)
*Barlaston (St4)
*Edingale (St9)
*Ellenhall (St5)
*Himley (St11)
*Hoar Cross (St6)
*Lapley (St8)
*Mavesyn Ridware (St7)
*Mow Cop (St2)
*Warslow (St1)
*Wigginton (St10)

uffolk

*Kedington (Sf4)
*Kersey (Sf5)
*Mendlesham (Sf2)
*Tuddenham (Sf1)
*Yoxford (Sf3)

urrey

*Coldharbour (Sr3)
*East Clandon (Sr2)
*Outwood (Sr4)
*Thursley (Sr5)
*Walton on the Hill (Sr1)

ussex

*East Harting (Sx2)
*Firle (Sx6)
*Fletching (Sx4)
*Horam (Sx5)
*Sutton (Sx3)
*Warnham (Sx1)

Warwickshire

*Aston Cantlow (Wa5)
*Hockley Heath (Wa2)
*Lighthorne (Wa6)
*Napton on the Hill (Wa4)
*Nether Whitacre (Wa1)
*Shipston-on-Stour (Wa7)
*Stoneleigh (Wa3)

Westmorland

*Great Strickland (We1)
*Patterdale (We2)
*Soulby (We3)
*Staveley-in-Kendal (We4)

Wiltshire

*Ashton Keynes (W1)
*Avebury (W3)
*Burbage (W4)
*Fovant (W8)
*Netheravon (W6)
*Steeple Ashton (W5)
*Sutton Benger (W2)
*Sutton Veny (W7)
*Whiteparish (W9)

Worcestershire

*Bretforton (Wo7)
*Clifton upon Teme (Wo4)
*Earl's Croome (Wo5)
*Hanbury (Wo3)
*Hartlebury (Wo2)
*Offenham (Wo6)
*Romsley (Wo1)

Yorkshire

City of York

*York (19)

East Riding

*Nafferton (Y20)
*Newbald (Y25)
*Rillington (near Norton-on-Derwent) (Y11)
*Welwick (Y28)

North Riding

*Askrigg (Y7)
*Bedale (Y8)
*Borrowby (Y9)
*Easingwold (Y16)
*Egton (Y4)
*Helmsley (Y10)
*Melsonby (Y1)
*Muker (Y6)
*Skelton (Y3)
*Stokesley (Y2)

West Riding

*Burton-in-Lonsdale (Y12)
*Carleton (Y27)
*Cawood (Y24)
*Dent (Y5)
*Ecclesfield (Y32)
*Gargrave (Y17)
*Golcar (Y29)
*Grassington (Y14)
*Heptonstall (Y21)
*Holmbridge (near Holmfirth, Y30)
*Horton in Ribblesdale (Y13)
*Leeds (Y23)
*Pateley Bridge (Y15)
*Skelmanthorpe (Y31)
*Sheffield (Y34)
*Spofforth (Y18)
*Thornhill (Y26)
*Tickhill (Y33)
*Wibsey (Y22)

Voices survey 2007-2010

Following the last Survey of English Dialects, the University of Leeds has started work on a new project. In May 2007 the Arts and Humanities Research Council awarded a grant to a team led by Sally Johnson, Professor of Linguistics and Phonetics at Leeds University to study British regional dialects. [ [http://www.personal.leeds.ac.uk/~smlsaj/ Professor Sally Johnson] biography on the Leeds University website] [http://reporter.leeds.ac.uk/press_releases/current/voices.htm Mapping the English language – from cockney to Orkney] , Leeds University website, 25 May 2007.]

Johnson's team are sifting through a large collection of examples of regional slang words and phrases turned up by the "Voices project" run by the BBC, in which the BBC invited the public to send in examples of English still spoken throughout the country. The BBC Voices project also collected hundreds of news articles about how the British speak English from swearing through to items on language schools. This information will also be collated and analysied by the Johnson's team both for content and where it was reported. "Perhaps the most remarkable finding in the Voices study is that the English language is as diverse as ever, despite our increased mobility and constant exposure to other accents and dialects through TV and radio." Work by the team on is project not expected to end before 2010.

ee also

*Survey of Anglo-Welsh Dialects
*Cockney
*Cumbrian dialect
*East Anglian English
*East Midlands English
*Pitmatic
*Welsh English
*West Country dialects
*West Midlands English
*Yorkshire dialect and accent

References

Further reading

* [http://www.bl.uk/soundsfamiliar Sounds Familiar?] ndash Listen to examples of regional accents and dialects from across the UK on the British Library's 'Sounds Familiar' website
* [http://www.leeds.ac.uk/english/activities/lavc/PDFs/SEDIM.pdf The Survey of English Dialects (University of Leeds)]
* [http://www.yorksj.ac.uk/dialect/SED.htm The Survey of English Dialects (Yorkshire Dialect Society)]
* [http://www.collectbritain.co.uk/collections/dialects/ Extracts from the survey (British Library)]
* McSmith, Andy. [http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article2600486.ece Dialect researchers given a 'canny load of chink' to sort 'pikeys' from 'chavs' in regional accents] , The Independent, 1 June, 2007, Page 20. Includes a list of regional wordsand expressions from the BBC Voices project which is currently being studied by the Leeds University team(2007-2020).


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