The TUULS project aims to investigate variation in accents across North East England, with a focus on the speech of the cities of Newcastle, Sunderland, and Middlesbrough.
The project seeks to identify the specific features that distinguish these accents from each other, and those which cause them to be identified as distinct from other accents of northern Britain. To achieve this, the project will record working-class speech from each location, as these varieties contain the localised forms which allows listeners to assign speakers to different groups, examining linguistic differences among speakers by age, gender, and geographic mobility.
Another aim of the project is to examine speech variation at the level of the individual rather than the group or community. This is particularly relevant in the forensic domain, wherein individual identity is crucial. By recording speakers across the North-East in a variety of different contexts, a corpus of speech will be gathered for the purposes of improving automatic speaker recognition software. Findings emerging from this two-stranded project will therefore benefit the relevant academic communities as well as having significant applied utility in the field of forensic speech science.
ESRC Grant Number ES/M010783/1
You may also be interested in our ongoing 'Geordie'? 'Mackem'? 'Smoggie'?: Dialect Differences in the North East of England (GMS) project.
Banner image compiled from photos of: Newcastle Quayside at Night by Ian Britton (FreeFoto.com)
Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge by Ian Britton (FreeFoto.com)
Wearmouth Bridge by David Allan (07934 368 132)
*Llamas, C. (2019). Proximity and distance: variation and change in bordering localities. Keynote address at Sheffield Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics, University of Sheffield, June 2019.
*Watt, D. (2019). The best TUULS for the job: How much does regional accent matter in Automatic Speaker Recognition? Keynote speaker at Phonology of Contemporary English (PAC) 2019, Aix-Marseille University, France, June 2019.
Braun, A., Watt, D., Llamas, C., French, P. & Robertson, D. (2019). Sub-regional ˈother-accentˈ effects in a forensic phonetic speaker identification experiment. Paper presented at the Germanic Society for Forensic Linguistics (GSFL) Roundtable Meeting, University of Graz, Austria.
Llamas, C., Watt, D., French, P., Braun, A. & Robertson, D. (2019). Assessing listener sensitivity to spatially highly localised accent features using the Geographical Association Test (GAT). Paper presented at Experimental Approaches to Perception and Production of Language Variation 4, University of Münster, Germany.
Watt, D., Llamas, C., French, P., Braun, A. & Robertson, D. (2019). Listener sensitivity to localized accent features using the Geographical Association Test (GAT), UK Language Variation and Change (UKLVC) 12, Queen Mary University of London.
Watt, D., Llamas, C., French, P., Braun, A., Robertson, D. & Kendall, T. (2019). Correspondences between vowel phoneme boundary locations in production and perception in dialects of North-East England, paper presented at the International Conference on Language Variation in Europe 10, Fryske Academy, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.
*Llamas, C. (2018). Borders, boundaries and distance. Keynote address at Language and Borders: Rethinking Mobility, Migration and Space, University of Bristol, March 2018.
*Watt, D. (2018). Does accent matter, if a vocal tract is a vocal tract? Testing the effects of pooling reference databases in automatic forensic voice comparison. Invited speaker, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, June 2018.
*Watt, D. (2018). The push to pool: Testing the effects of matched and mismatched reference populations in forensic voice comparison. Invited speaker, University of Cambridge, UK, November 2018.
French, P., Harrison, P., Hughes, V., Watt, D., Llamas, C., Braun, A. & Robertson, D. (2018). Comparing apples with apples, apples with oranges, and apples with apples and oranges: The effects of (mis)matching reference population accents in ASR speaker comparisons. Paper presented at the International Association for Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics (IAFPA) conference, University of Huddersfield.
Watt, D., Llamas, C., French, P., Braun, A. & Robertson, D. (2018). TUULS of the forensics trade: Assessing the viability of pooling heterogeneous accent corpora for automatic speaker comparison purposes. Paper presented at the Colloquium of the British Association of Academic Phoneticians (BAAP), University of Kent.
Watt, D., Llamas, C., French, P., Braun, A. & Robertson, D. (2018). A new corpus of Northern Englishes: Building the TUULS database for sociolinguistic and forensic research on phonetic variation in the Northeast of England. Paper presented at the 8th Northern Englishes Workshop (NEW), Newcastle University.
Watt, D., Llamas, C., French, P., Braun, A., Robertson, D. & Kendall, T. (2018). Sociophonetic factors predict phoneme boundary location in production and perception among speakers of three varieties of British English. Poster presented at Laboratory Phonology (LabPhon) 16, University of Lisbon, Portugal.
Llamas, C., Watt, D., French, P., Braun, A. & Robertson, D. (2017). Routinised mobility and vowel change in the North East of England. Paper presented at the 9th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE), University of Málaga, Spain.
Llamas, C., Watt, D., French, P., Braun, A. & Robertson, D. (2017). Routinised mobility and vowel change at the individual and community level in the North East of England. Paper presented at the 4th International Workshop on Sound Change (WSC4), University of Edinburgh.
Llamas, C., Watt, D., French, P., Braun, A. & Robertson, D. (2017). The effects of assimilation and host community structure in historical dialect contact contexts. Paper presented at Historical Sociolinguistics Network (HiSoN) Conference 2017: Examining the Social in Historical Sociolinguistics - Methods and Theory, New York University/CUNY Graduate Center, USA.
*Watt, D. (2016). Testing accents: Challenges posed by Northeast English for forensic science and speech technology. Invited speaker, North-East Language and Linguistics (NELLi) Research Awayday, University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, May 2016.
Watt, D., Llamas, C., French, P., Braun, A. & Robertson, D. (2016). Forensic aspects of spectral and durational variability in English schwa at the individual, community and regional levels. Poster presented at International Association of Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics Annual Conference, University of York.
* denotes keynote conference speaker or invited talk.