Middlesbrough English: Convergent and divergent trends in a ‘part of Britain with no identity’

This paper investigates variation in the use of glottalling and glottalisation of the voiceless stops (p t k) in the urban vernacular of Middlesbrough. Data are taken from a socially homogeneous group of speakers who vary by age and gender. The linguistic variation and change revealed over apparent time is seen against the shifting identity of the urban centre.

In addition, the convergence of Middlesbrough English with varieties from further north in England is correlated with attitudinal information and the informants’ sense of the identity of the area, emphasising the fluid nature of regional identity construction and how it can be indexed linguistically and ideologically.

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