Are northern English accents dying out? Are they eck as like
Ah, the stalwarts of summer! Cowes, Goodwood, the Proms and, these days, gloomy academic prognostications about the future of northern accents. Last summer, Manchester University claimed that the speech differences of the big northern cities were fading, merging into a generalised uber-northern that, implausibly, might include Alan Bennett, Ant and Dec and Atomic Kitten. This year, Cambridge and Portsmouth “eggheads” (compulsory designation) tell us, yet more gloomily, that northern accents could start dying out within 45 years, drowned by the rising tide of “estuary” English and the dominance of southern dialects which apparently are “easier to pick up” for children.