Liverpool accent.

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An speech pattern is an unwritten look, a precise pronunciation within a peculiar linguistic communication. Accents can frequently be confused with idioms which are assortments of linguistic communication that differ in vocabulary and sentence structure. Normally, people do non believe that they themselves possess one, nevertheless it is impossible for anybody to talk without utilizing an speech pattern. Accent fluctuation is an of import portion of sociolinguistics because people frequently attach significance to different speech patterns. This survey concerns attitudes towards accent fluctuation ; the speech pattern at the Centre of this survey is the non-standard speech pattern of English, Liverpool English, normally referred to asLobscouse.

Liverpool English is one of the most recognizable speech patterns in the state, and arguably, the universe. The Scouse speech pattern is ill-famed for its harsh, rhinal tones and despite some similarities ; it is clearly different to the speech patterns of the environing countries. A celebrated linguist, Fritz Spiel, one time described the speech pattern as ‘one-third Irish, one-third Welshman, and one-third catarrh ‘ The speech pattern is widely known for its negative stereotypes and the ground for this survey is to look into the hypothesis that Students at the University of Wales, Bangor have a positive attitude towards the Liverpool speech pattern.

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Accent fluctuation is frequently most noticeable within the vowels used in pronunciation, nevertheless with the lobscuse speech pattern, both the vowels and the continents are affected by the speech pattern. The speech pattern of an person can frequently uncover information such as where they come from. However speech patterns can besides ask for stereotyped opinions of societal category, wealth and degrees of instruction. The Liverpodlian speech pattern has been to a great extent influenced by the Irish speech pattern, for illustration Liverpudlians tend to articulate the missive ‘H ‘ and ‘Haitch ‘ .

The immense success of The Beatles in the 1960 ‘s, a set who were all originally from Liverpool, helped to advertise the metropolis of Liverpool in a positive manner and promoting the speech pattern to be perceived as friendly. And a more recent positive alteration saw Liverpool become Britain ‘s favorite location for call Centres ( Ward, 2000 ) . Despite these positive alterations, which succeeded in bring forthing a more positive public image for the metropolis, a important stigmatic position of the speech pattern still appears to stay in modern society and this survey will sketch whether these stereotyped point of views are held by the pupils of the University of Wales, Bangor.

Theoretical background

In 1975 a survey was conducted by Giles and Powesland utilizing a method called the matched-guise technique. This technique involved playing a recording of a talker copying different speech patterns and so inquiring participants to rate the talker on different classs such as attraction or societal position. The survey found that standard speech patterns such as RP were more likely to be associated with a individual who is a esteemed and articulate talker. However, speech patterns associated with urban countries were considered unattractive and thought to be spoken by low-status talkers. Rural speech patterns were regarded as being aesthetically delighting but inferior to RP in footings of societal position. This peculiar survey was repeated by an undergraduate pupil Sarah Wood ( Stockwell 2002 ) who replicated the survey but made some accommodations such as merely utilizing native talkers of the speech patterns in her recordings and used all female pupils in their 20 ‘s in order to command gender and age to better the analysis. Her survey concluded that southern speech patterns attracted the highest evaluations in most classs and the northern speech patterns came out worst, with the urban speech patterns being the most stigmatized. These surveies highlight the stigma attached to peculiar speech patterns and may be an of import factor in the attitudes of the pupils of Bangor, towards the Liverpudlian speech pattern.

The Liverpool English speech pattern has been regarded in society as being sick educated and low prestigiousness. This stereotyped position could good be influenced by the media ‘s representation of Liverpudlians, who are frequently portrayed in a negative or condemnable manner. In 2004, the BBC conducted an online canvass to find attitudes towards the speech patterns and linguistic communications in the British Isles. The canvass, of which there were 5000 participants, concluded that Asian, Liverpool and Birmingham speech patterns were “unpleasant to listen to and missing in societal status” ( BBC, 2004 ) . In add-on to this, participants were asked to rank famous persons by how pleasant their speech patterns are. The Liverpudlian speech patterns of famous persons Cilla Black and Paul o Grady were received negatively by participants. Another study of 1000 participants, conducted by Bury Technologies, besides concluded that the speech pattern is unpopular, as Liverpool came out at the underside of the canvass of British speech patterns. One tierce of Liverpudlians who took portion in the countrywide study admitted to altering or quieting down their accent whilst being interviewed for a occupation in order to profit their calling.


To roll up the relevant information, an on-line study was conducted, in which participants were asked two inquiries. In the first inquiry, participants were asked to province which words came to their heads when thought of the Liverpudlian speech pattern. Secondly participants were asked whether they thought there should be an addition in the sum of Liverpudlian speech patterns within the media, and their grounds for this. The Questionnaire was sent to Students at Bangor University merely to finish.

A recording of a Liverpudlian talker was obtained for the survey. The individual in inquiry was asked to speak for a short period of clip about any topic in order for us to supply the participants with a steadfast apprehension of the speech pattern in inquiry. The Individual being recorded held many of the typical lobscuse speech pattern traits. To guarantee that the information was easy comparable, a multiple pick questionnaire was produced for the survey. The questionnaire consisted of 10 inquiries refering personal features and societal position, such as ‘polite or impolite ‘ of which the pupils had to click the statement that they were in most understanding with. The Participants, all pupils from Bangor University, were each played the recording and asked to finish a multiple pick questionnaire designed to obtain the pupils ‘ personal sentiments and outlooks of this individual based wholly upon their Liverpudlian speech pattern.


Of the 10 respondents to the online study, the most normally used words used to depict Liverpudlians were negative words such as ‘chav ‘ , ‘criminal ‘ ‘thief ‘ . However positive words such as ‘friendly ‘ were besides used more than one time. In response to an addition in Liverpudlian talkers in the media, the bulk of the participants were in favor of the addition, either due to their being a deficiency of them in the media presently or because they peculiarly enjoy the sound of the speech pattern. Two of the respondents remained impersonal ; nevertheless one stated that despite being impersonal they find the speech pattern to be ‘one of the ugliest in the state ‘ . The concluding 3 respondents were against the thought, all claiming that the speech pattern was hard to understand.

The recording of the speech pattern received a great trade of negative responses such as ‘generally unpleasant sounding ‘ , ‘common ‘ , ‘irritating, loud ‘ and ‘rough, rough sounding ‘ . On the contrary some participants responded positively, depicting the speech pattern as ‘friendly ‘ and ‘a nice sound ‘ The replies to the questionnaire support the common stereotype of ‘scousers ‘ , with the bulk of respondents presuming that the Liverpudlian would be untrusty, impolite, unfriendly, non affluent, non educated past GCSE degree, non in full-time employment and non hold a high IQ degree. On the somewhat more positive side the bulk of respondents assumed the Liverpudlian would non hold condemnable record, be mean looking, and passive.


The survey was limited to one peculiar societal community. Lone pupils at the University of Wales, Bangor were asked to take part and therefore the consequences are non statistically important. The survey merely involved 30 participants and is non brooding of a big adequate graduated table for the informations to be considered representative on behalf of all of the pupils at the University.

A significant defect in the methodological analysis of this study is that the individual on the recording was non reading from a peculiar book or text. His chosen duologue may hold influenced the sentiments of the participants and their consequences may non hold been an accurate contemplation of their position of the speech pattern itself, but instead of this peculiar personality. A more good attack to the survey would hold been to hold the talker to read a text that was specifically written to incorporate accent discrepancies of the Liverpudlian speech pattern as this would hold provided an accurate representation of the speech pattern being discussed.

Within the entering the talker expresses certain sentiments and makes personal remarks, this sort of address could hold easy affected the sentiment of the pupils, peculiarly sing inquiries of niceness and friendliness. The person besides made a remark when discoursing his speech pattern that ‘no UK occupants tend to wish it ‘ . This information could hold influenced a antecedently indifferent participant who took portion in the study as it shows the speech pattern in a negative visible radiation and implies that holding a disfavor towards the speech pattern is a common response. To hold had the talker read from a given text would hold neutralised any change in his address that may hold occurred due to the topic or unscripted nature of the recording. Besides the survey may hold benefitted from holding a talker with a broader speech pattern, as although it was clearly a Liverpool speech pattern ; it was n’t peculiarly strong which could be misdirecting by non showing the pupils with a typical, strong Liverpudlian speech pattern.

The background of the pupils could hold influenced their degree of trueness towards Liverpool and the speech pattern. The pupils chosen for the study should hold been restricted to those without a peculiar devotedness towards to metropolis, such as it being their hometown or place of birth. Having impartial participants would hold resulted in a more accurate and honest representation of the pupils ‘ point of position as oppose to the pupil giving a positive position based on blind fidelity instead than the speech pattern.


This questionnaire assessed the pupils ‘ degrees of outlooks sing the personality and societal properties of a individual with a Liverpudlian speech pattern. The undermentioned graph interprets the collected informations in footings of the pupils ‘ outlooks of the talker after hearing the recording.

An overall position of the information suggests that the pupils involved in the survey, on norm had negative sentiments sing an person with a lobscuse speech pattern, peculiarly in footings of honestness and societal category. This survey was performed utilizing merely a little sample of pupils from one university, which is non a good footing for look intoing this hypothesis. The survey would hold to be repeated and carried out on a much bigger graduated table for the information to be representative of all the pupils at the University of Wales, Bangor.

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