accent and identity on the Scottish~English border
The Scottish linguist A.J. Aitken once wrote that nowhere else in the world are such different kinds of English spoken so close together as on the Scottish/English border. But in fact, little research has been done on the speech patterns of southern Scotland and far northern England. The AISEB project will change this, by studying language variation on both sides - and at both ends - of this national border.
At the eastern end of the border lies the town of Berwick upon Tweed. Berwick has officially been part of England for several centuries, but, as revealed by a recent study carried out by sociologists at the University of Edinburgh (Kiely et al. 2000), national identity among the town's inhabitants is still strangely complex and fluid. Many consider themselves to be unproblematically English, others think of themselves as Scots, and others consider themselves to be both Scottish and English. Some prefer not to opt for any of these labels, and just call themselves Berwickers. Language plays a central role in how Berwickers mark their identities, but it is still unclear which features of pronunciation mark 'Scottishness' and 'Englishness', and which ones are thought of as being specific to Berwick.
The AISEB project will find out what these features are, which groups tend to use them most, and whether they are changing. This will be done by recording and analysing the speech of local residents in detail, and also by measuring how people perceive different linguistic variants. In the same interviews, we will investigate people's identities and atttitudes about nation and language.
We will conduct interviews in Berwick and Carlisle on the English side of the border, and Eyemouth and Gretna on the Scottish side. Our sample, of 40 people in each place, will be balanced between males and females, older and younger people, and members of different social groups.
The AISEB project will advance the field of variationist sociophonetics: the study of pronunciation differences in their social context. At the same time, our work will make connections to related fields, including the study of language and identity, and linguistic border studies.
This research is supported by a grant from the UK Economic and Social Research Council (RES-062-23-0525).
|Carmen Llamas (York)|
|Dominic Watt (York)|
|Jen Nycz (York)|
|Damien Hall (was York; now Kent)|
|Gerry Docherty (Newcastle)|
|Outputs to date|
|Journal articles and book chapters (most recent first)|
|Docherty, G.J., Watt, D., Llamas, C., Hall, D. & Nycz, J. (2011). Variation in Voice Onset Time along the Scottish-English border. Proceedings of the 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Hong Kong, August 2011, pp. 591-594. [available here]|
|Llamas, C., Watt, D. & Johnson, D.E. (2009). Linguistic accommodation and the salience of national identity markers in a border town. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 28(4): 381-407. [available here]|
|Llamas, C. (2010). Convergence and divergence across a national border. In Llamas, C. & Watt, D. (eds.). Language and Identities. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 227-236. [see further here]|
|Watt, D., Llamas, C. & Johnson, D.E. (2010). Levels of linguistic accommodation across a national border. Journal of English Linguistics 38(3): 270-289. [available here]|
|Conference presentations and invited talks|
|Llamas, C., Johnson, D. & Watt, D. (2008). Rhoticity in four Scottish/English border localities. Sociolinguistics Symposium 17, Amsterdam, Netherlands, April 2008.|
|Llamas, C., Watt, D., Johnson, D.E. & Pichler, H. (2008). The salience of national identity markers in a border town: insights from linguistic accommodation. 11th International Conference on Language and Social Psychology, Tucson, Arizona, July 2008.|
|Llamas, C., Johnson, D.E., Watt, D. & Hall, D. (2008). Variable /r/ use along the Scottish-English border. NWAV (New Ways of Analyzing Variation) 37, Houston, Texas, November 2008 (poster).|
Llamas, C., Watt, D., Docherty, G.J., Hall, D. & Nycz, J. (2009). The Scottish/English borderland: phonological production, perception and attitude. International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE) 5, Copenhagen, Denmark, June 2009.
|Redinger, D. & Llamas, C. (2009). Innovations in the measurement and analysis of language attitudes. Production, Perception, Attitude Workshop, Leuven, Belgium, April 2009 (poster).|
|Watt, D., Llamas, C., Docherty, G.J. & Hall, D. (2009). Phonological productions, perceptions and attitudes in the Scottish/English borderland. Production, Perception, Attitude Workshop, Leuven, Belgium, April 2009.|
|Llamas, C., Watt, D., Docherty, G.J., Hall, D. & Nycz, J. (2009). Variation and change in /r/ in the Scottish/English borderland. 7th UK Language Variation and Change Conference (UKLVC7), Newcastle upon Tyne, September 2009.|
|Watt, D. (2009). Rethinking the role of speaker agency. 7th UK Language Variation and Change Conference (UKLVC7), Newcastle upon Tyne, September 2009 (keynote paper).|
|Docherty, G.J., Hall, D., Llamas, C., Nycz, J. & Watt, D. (2010). Accent and identity on the Scottish/English border. Borders and Identities Conference (BIC2010), Newcastle upon Tyne, January 2010.|
|Llamas, C. & Watt, D. (2010). Invited talk, Cardiff University, October 2010.|
|Llamas, C. & Watt, D. (2010). Just a line on a map? Accent and identities on the Scottish/English border. Roland Bibby Memorial Lecture, Northumbrian Language Society, Morpeth, October 2010.|
|Hall, D. (2010). Just a line on a map? Accent and identities on the Scottish/English border. Carlisle and District University of the Third Age, Carlisle, October 2010. [invited speaker]|
|Llamas, C., Watt, D., Docherty, G.J., Hall, D. & Nycz, J. (2010). Linguistic variation and identity: sound change along a national border. Workshop on Sound Change, Barcelona, October 2010.|
|Watt, D., Llamas, C., Docherty, G.J., Hall, D. & Nycz, J. (2010). The effects of a border: a detailed examination of production, attitude and perception. New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) 39, San Antonio, Texas, November 2010.|
|Docherty, G.J. (2010). Contact, change and conundrums: a case study of phonological variation along the English-Scottish border. Sociophonetics at the Crossroads of Speech Variation, Processing and Communication. Pisa, Italy, December 2010. [invited speaker]|
|Llamas, C. & Watt, D. (2011). English, Scottish, British? Phonological variation and national identity groupings on the Scottish-English border. University of Lancaster, February 2011. [invited speakers]|
|Docherty, G.J. (2011). Variation and speech processing: the challenge of sociophonetic variation. Variation and Language Processing (VaLP) 2011, Chester, April 2011. [invited speaker]|
|Docherty, G.J., Llamas, C., Watt, D., Hall, D. & Nycz, J. (2011). Perspectives on the perceptual evaluation of sociophonetic variation. 6th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 6), June 2011.|
|Docherty, G.J., Watt, D., Llamas, C., Hall, D. & Nycz, J. (2011). Variation in Voice Onset Time along the Scottish-English border. 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, Hong Kong, China, August 2011. [proceedings article available here]|
|Watt, D. (2011). 'A "dialect island"? Phonological variation, social attitudes and perceptions of (r) on the Scottish/ English border. Copenhagen Sociolinguistics Circle, November 2011. [invited speaker]|
|Docherty, G.J. (2011). Discussion paper (following Francis Nolan, Phonetic degrees of freedom: an argument for native speakers in LADO). ESRC LADO (Language Analysis for Determination of Origin) seminar, University of Essex, November 2011. [invited speaker]|
|Llamas C., Watt, D. & Docherty, G.J. (2011). The socioindexical properties of (r) in the Scottish-English border region. r'-atics-3, Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, December 2011.|
|Hall, D. Radio interview on BBC Radio Cumbria, 21st October 2010.|
|Aitken, A.J. (1992). Scots. In McArthur, T. (ed.). The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 893-899.|
|Borders and Identities Conference (BIC2010), 8-9 January 2010, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK [link]|
|Border Discourse: Changing Identities, Changing Nations, Changing Stories in European Border Communities [final report PDF]|
|Centre for International Borders Research, Queen's University Belfast [link]|
|Nijmegen Centre for Border Research [link]|
|Department of Border Region Studies, University of Southern Denmark [link]|
Searching for Neighbours (SeFoNe), University of Southampton [link]
International Boundaries Research Unit, Durham University [link]
Page maintained by Dom Watt
Last updated: 12th December 2011