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Old 06.02.2011, 22:34
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Northampton (UK) accent?

This has absolutely nothing to do with Switzerland, but maybe someone could help us anyway:

My wife, as you know, comes from the North American colonies, and is just beginning to learn about proper English accents. She is now familiar with all the important ones, such as Yam Yam, Brummie and Mancunian, but still has trouble with some of the more obscure ones (such as Yorkshire).

She just asked me how people talk in Northampton, as she's reading a book which mentions the town. Now, I'm aware of the fact that Northampton is somewhere in the Midlands, but, to be honest, it's a bit like Solothurn... easy to miss when you're drawing a map... it's not really the East Midlands, not really Home Counties, it's just sort of there somewhere, quietly getting nostalgic about shoes and foxhunting, ignored by the places that really matter, like Cannock and Chelmsley Wood.

We do actually know some people from Northampton, but they're all educated people who speak RP. So how do the common people of Northampton speak? Are they a bit like Leicester folk, a bit nasal, or do they have more of the Estuary about them? Is Northampton, being industrial (or post-industrial, these days) a Brummie colony (as portrayed in some dreadful film I saw a couple of years ago)? Or does everyone in Northampton speak as clearly and mellifluously as our friends?

All answers gratefully and genuinely received (this is not a troll thread, I can assure you).

Cheers.
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Old 06.02.2011, 22:46
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

This may help

International Dialects of English Archive

Last edited by Deep Purple; 06.02.2011 at 22:53. Reason: Fixed link
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Old 06.02.2011, 22:47
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

Thank you!


... but the link didn't work.
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Old 06.02.2011, 22:47
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

Ah, good idea posting it, why didn't I think of that?

I have been wondering the same thing lately, believe it or not. In particular I'm interested in how working-class Northampton folk(s) might have sounded in the 50s. Just reading this afternoon about an Irish lad who went over to England in 1951 to do a spot of navvying, washed up in Northampton and could only understand about one word in three - "until finally I met someone from Cambridge, and that man was all right, I understood everything he said."

Struck me as odd because I know a couple of people from Northamptonshire and I wouldn't say either of them had a strong accent at all. Has it changed much in the last 50 years, or was 'yer man' just really really green and perhaps not too strong on the ol' Béarla himself?
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Old 06.02.2011, 22:54
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

Quote:
Thank you!


... but the link didn't work.
It should now. Didn't paste in it right.
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Old 06.02.2011, 22:56
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

I found this:



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Old 06.02.2011, 22:57
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

Nice one, Mr Purple!
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Old 06.02.2011, 22:57
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

Mongrel accent, half-ways to everywhere, gets nowhere...


Here's the best know man with said accent





And here's another one
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Old 06.02.2011, 22:58
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

I think there is an example of a Northamptonshire accent here

http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/index.html
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Old 06.02.2011, 23:01
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

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I think there is an example of a Northamptonshire accent here

http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/index.html
Bingo! Thank you!
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Old 06.02.2011, 23:03
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

Mr 'Jeem: Thank you, too!

You're right. It does seem to be something of a mixture - I can hear notes of East Anglia, Leicestershire and Estuarine.

I suspect the Irish fellow in MN's story book was just a bit dim (they usually are in the kind of books she reads).
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Old 06.02.2011, 23:03
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

Brilliant - my favourite is Geordie- and is one I'm totally unable to copy (I can do fun Brom and Scouse, sort of! My Leicester and Stoke not too bad!)
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Old 06.02.2011, 23:04
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

Quote:
My wife, as you know, comes from the North American colonies, and is just beginning to learn about proper English accents. Cheers.
You have a wife?
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Old 06.02.2011, 23:05
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

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You have a wife?
I do.

Sorry...
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Old 06.02.2011, 23:10
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

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You have a wife?
And a calf, apparently.


I'm looking out my magic beans even as we speak...
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Old 06.02.2011, 23:31
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

Quote:
Mr 'Jeem: Thank you, too!
Deep joy!


To indicate the fun you may have ahead of you, even after almost 6 months here, Missus Jeem is still unable to discern that a) Cheryl Cole is not Scottish, whereas b) Billy Connolly is.

And she still gets those "bunny in the headlamps" looks in shops, restaurants etc, when she finally finally realises she's been asked a question, but has absolutely no idea what she was asked. "Aye, Sco'ish steel a foreen leid tya, dear!" as a coworker so correctly observed after asking the same question of her six times without any sign of comprehension on the part of the questionee...

Serves her right for not taking me seriously when I warned her that we didn't all speak English up here - ra dunderheid thoat a wis joashin, ken!?!?
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Old 06.02.2011, 23:36
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

Quote:
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Deep joy!


To indicate the fun you may have ahead of you, even after almost 6 months here, Missus Jeem is still unable to discern that a) Cheryl Cole is not Scottish, whereas b) Billy Connolly is.

And she still gets those "bunny in the headlamps" looks in shops, restaurants etc, when she finally finally realises she's been asked a question, but has absolutely no idea what she was asked. "Aye, Sco'ish steel a foreen leid tya, dear!" as a coworker so correctly observed after asking the same question of her six times without any sign of comprehension on the part of the questionee...

Serves her right for not taking me seriously when I warned her that we didn't all speak English up here - ra dunderheid thoat a wis joashin, ken!?!?
Indeed.

The Learned Companion got a taste of the possibilities of English when I introduced her to my pouty teenage cousin who lives in the heart of leafy Castle Bromwich. Afterwards she confessed to having wished there'd been subtitles at the table.

As if "shurrup fikkow" requires subtitles...
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Old 07.02.2011, 01:12
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

Aa odd as this may sound, even after having lived and worked in Northampton for several years, I can't remember the accent at all. Not one iota . . . Now if the question was about the Mancunian accent, that would be a totally different story altogether . . .
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Old 07.02.2011, 09:51
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Re: Northampton (UK) accent?

Quote:
We do actually know some people from Northampton, but they're all educated people
Sounds unlikely, but OK.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/voices/recordings/
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