The Use and Utility of Localised Speech Forms in Determining Identity (TUULS): Forensic and sociophonetic perspectives

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


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.


We are currently seeking participants from Newcastle, Middlesbrough, and Sunderland. For more information, please see our Call for Participants here.

ESRC Grant Number ES/M010783/1

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)