18 October 2004

English Accent Recordings

The British Library has deposited online a selection of recordings of English Accents and Dialects collected during the 1950s. Turn up your speaker volume and try out this one, by Miss Dibnah, b. 1890, from Welwick, Yorkshire, recorded in 1955, about 'how to make white bread, brown bread and spice bread'. Here are the grammar notes for this one.

adjective as adverb (I kneaded it real well; if you don't knead it real well; I kneads it real well; then it's real brown)

zero definite article (if you don’t put it in front of _ fire; I puts it in front of _ fire again; I puts it into _ oven; I leaves it in _ oven; I pokes _ fire up; I shoves _ damper in; put it into _ oven)

past participle gotten (when it had gotten risen; we'd gotten egg in)

verbal inflection with I (I takes; I kneads; I puts; I leaves; I pokes; I shoves; (I) stands it); verbal inflection with plural noun (some folks puts whole brown flour in)

non-standard plural marker (if they are big loafs; today they were big loafs)

first person singular has (then I has a look at it)

second person be + negative particle (if you ain't)

zero for + time phrase (I leaves it _ another twenty minutes; it has to bake _ two hours)

use of thou (thou means spice bread)

word order with infinitive phrase (you have it to weigh = you have to weigh it)

past participle baken (when you get that baken)

note use and phonetic quality of utterance initial discourse marker why [wa:I]
via Foreign Dispatches

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