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The end of English dialects?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Jenny Chalmers.

Language is a topic close to everyone’s heart: we are all acutely aware of how we speak, how those around us speak, and what the differences reveal about our social and geographical backgrounds. Yet shrinking humanities funding has meant that mapping how speech varies across whole countries has been practically impossible for several decades. In 2016, a team at the Universities of Cambridge, Bern and Zurich released the ‘English Dialect App’, a mobile app for iOS and Android that offers a new way to investigate the way people speak. In this paper, I’ll present some results from the over 40k respondents who have downloaded and used the app and show how dialect is changing in the UK today.

This talk is part of the Pembroke Papers series.

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