Accent variation in the BBC Voices Project
Resources: BBC Voices recordings
Focusing on 2-3 selected pronunciation features (e.g. glottal stop, TH-fronting, bath, strut, face vowels, etc.), listen to and analyse a selection of BBC Voices clips (minimum 10). You can select the geographical region from the drop-down list. Your report should include at least the following: (i) a summary of what you observed in the clips, e.g. a table of which speakers do or do not have a certain feature; (ii) if applicable, a discussion of whether the results of your study correspond to what the Trudgill reading and the course textbook describe; (iii) a discussion of which social features (age, gender, etc) seem to relate to the use of certain pronunciation features. You might find that there is no difference across, e.g., genders, but this is fine (and you should report that you found no difference). You may want to pay attention to more than one ‘token’ per speaker for a given feature, as individuals do vary.
In an appendix at the end, provide a full list of which clips you listened to (minimum 10).
Question 2: Lexical variation in British English
Resources: BBC Voices lexical maps
The BBC Voices page, and the Manchester University dialect maps, provide you with statistics on lexical variation according to region (BBC voices also has age and gender data). Conduct a brief survey of people, ideally from different regions or age groups or genders, that includes some BBC Voices lexical items as well as some that you have selected yourself. Your report should include at least the following: (i) a summary of the BBC Voices/Manchester Dialect maps results that you based your survey on; (ii) a short description of how you went about designing your own survey; (iii) a summary of your own findings, presented in a table or list as on the BBC Voices website; (iv) a discussion of your results, including how they relate to the BBC Voices/Manchester Dialect maps results.
Attach one blank copy of your survey at the end of the report (collect a minimum of 15 responses).
Question 3: Grammatical variation in British English
Resources: Lectures, sample surveys discussed in class, Chapter 4 of our course textbook.
Conduct a brief survey of grammatical variation in British English. You may choose to focus on traditional dialectal forms, newer urban forms, or a combination, but bear in mind the population you wish to study (e.g. don’t examine an obscure Northern Eastern construction among East Londoners!). Explore whether responses relate to age, gender, ethnicity, region, education (select just 2-3 factors to focus on; control for the rest). Your report should include at least the following: (i) a short description of how you went about designing your own survey; (ii) a summary of your own findings; (iii) an analysis of your results, optionally in comparison to survey results discussed in class or in readings.
Attach one blank copy of your survey at the end of the report (collect minimum 15 responses).