We’re very much looking forward to our next English Language and Linguistics seminar at 2.30pm on Wednesday 26th of January. The full title of the talk, by Professor Jane Stuart-Smith from the University of Glasgow, is ‘When Glaswegian met ‘Mockney’: Social factors and language ideologies in the de-standardisation of a vernacular urban dialect

The talk will take place on campus and will also be streamed live. Click the link here to join online:

Click here to join the meeting

Jane is Professor of Phonetics and Sociolinguistics at the University of Glasgow. She has led and worked on a very wide range of important projects on phonetics, phonology, language variation and change, and the influence of broadcast media on language change, among others. You can find out more about her work here:

Professor Jane Stuart-Smith, University of Glasgow

Here is the abstract for her talk:

In the UK, as in other western industrialised countries, which have experienced substantial geographical and social shifts during the course of the 20th century, substantial dialect levelling towards standard varieties has taken place. A typical assumption about processes of this kind of dialect standardization, has been that exposure to standard varieties through the broadcast media are likely to promote shifts towards that standard (e.g. Chambers, 1998; Trudgill, 1986). But changes in UK urban accents also show other patterns, which suggest that alongside standardization, other processes are at work which also affect non-standard dialects (e.g. Kerswill, 2003).

This paper reviews the fate of a traditional dialect, Glasgow English, whose phonological development across the course of the 20th century indicates two kinds of shift: (1) illustrated by vowel monophthongs, e.g. LOT, GOAT, GOOSE, which is distinctive to Glaswegian and not easily linked to changes in Anglo-English, standard or non-standard; (2) illustrated by some consonants, which result in reflexes similar to non-standard Anglo-Englishes, e.g. TH-fronting, L-vocalisation, weakening of coda-/r/ (Stuart-Smith & Lawson, 2017; Stuart-Smith, José, Rathcke, Macdonald, & Lawson, 2017). Taken together, and in the context of the city’s shifting socio-spatial aspect across the same period, these sound changes reflect a process of continued de-standardisation of Glasgow dialect, such that it becomes more, rather than less, distinctive. The second group of changes also help illuminate the role played by the broadcast media in sound change in general, and in dialect shifts away from, as opposed to towards, standard English (Stuart-Smith, Pryce, Timmins, & Gunter, 2013).


Chambers, J. (1998). TV makes people sound the same. In L. Bauer & P. Trudgill (Eds.), Language Myths (pp. 123–131). New York: Penguin.

Kerswill, P. (2003). Models of linguistic change and diffusion: new evidence from dialect levelling in British English. In D. Britain & J. Cheshire (Eds.), Social Dialectology. In Honour of Peter Trudgill (pp. 223–243). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Stuart-Smith, J., & Lawson, E. (2017). Scotland: Glasgow and the central belt. Listening to the Past: Audio Records of Accents of English. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781107279865.009

Stuart-Smith, Jane, José, B., Rathcke, T., Macdonald, R., & Lawson, E. (2017). Changing sounds in a changing city: An acoustic phonetic investigation of real-time change over a century of Glaswegian. In C. Montgomery & E. Moore (Eds.), Language and a Sense of Place: Studies in Language and Region (pp. 38–65). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Stuart-Smith, Jane, Pryce, G., Timmins, C., & Gunter, B. (2013). Television can also be a factor in language change: Evidence from an urban dialect. Language, 89(3), 501–536.

Trudgill, P. (1986). Dialects in Contact. Oxford: Blackwell.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s