Northern accent to be wiped out in 50 years as southern pronunciations take over

Don’t miss a thing by getting the Daily Star’s biggest headlines straight to your inbox!

Northern pronunciations are unlikely to survive the next 50 years according to new research by scientists.

Everyone in England will gradually say words in a typically southeastern accent, which means the end of west country folk pronouncing Rs in a pirate-like fashion.

A study by the universities of Portsmouth and Cambridge has given 45 years before regional accents are wiped out as we know them.

Examples of words set to be said differently across England include "strut" and "farm" but one word not billed to change any time soon is "bath".

Traditionally northerners would pronounce "strut" to rhyme with "foot" but this is likely to be lost and those in the southwest will stop pronouncing the pirate-like "arrr" in "farm".

The findings of the research have been published in The Journal of Physics: Complexity.

Some words like "bath" are so strongly entrenched in their regional variants that they are likely to survive, but others will fall out of use altogether.

The study predicts that the word "backend" – used to describe autumn in the north – will completely disappear within 20 years.

  • Half-naked old man caught raping goat to death in evil sex attack by horrified owner

And another word for autumn, "fall", has already largely disappeared from its traditional region in the southwest, though it still dominates in North America.

This follows the decline of words to describe snail, such as "dod-man", "hodmedod", "hoddy-dod", and "hoddy-doddy", which faded from the English language during the past century.

Dr James Burridge, from the University of Portsmouth, said that the changes had been driven by migration as well as other factors such as teaching in schools, television, or because people naturally adopt an easier way of pronouncing a word.

  • Huge asteroid up to twice the size of Big Ben to enter Earth's orbit this weekend

He explained: "We built a physics model, which accounted for people moving around their home location and sometimes going further afield – for instance for jobs or marriage – and we also accounted for how people learn a language.

"We ran the model with correct population distributions and migration patterns in the 1900s and then rolled it forward to 2000."

He went on: "We then compared the model maps to the dialect maps and found that our modelling could predict how the English language will evolve over the next 40 years or so."

  • Man in 'suicide vest' threatened to blow himself up at police station after row with mum

Dr Burridge said that some areas had remained resistant to change for some words.

He said: "In about 1900, almost everybody said 'thawing' pronounced 'thaw-wing', but the majority of people now pronounce the word 'thawing' with an intrusive 'r', which means it sounds like 'thaw-ring'. Our model predicts this change happened over about 25 years.

"We found that the word has changed because it was tricky to pronounce and children are more likely to pick up the easier pronunciation. This then becomes the norm.

"However, it hasn’t changed everywhere yet because some major cities like Leeds and Manchester have rejected the change."

The study used physics modelling to predict the future of the English language in England by comparing data from two existing surveys to model dialect maps – The Survey of English Dialects (SED) and the English dialect app (EDA).

Older people from rural locations were interviewed by the SED in the 1950s to get a picture of older English dialects.

The EDA asked more than 50,000 English speakers to answer questions about their language usage through a smartphone app in 2016 and all but one of the questions duplicated the 1950s survey to measure changes in language use.

For more incredible stories from the Daily Star, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here

  • In the News

Source: Read Full Article