The Changing Language of Urban Youth: A Pilot Study

  • Rob Drummond


This chapter describes the speech of a small group of adolescents (14–16 years old) in inner-city Manchester following an ethnographically informed sociolinguistic pilot study carried out in 2013. The young people had all been excluded from mainstream schools and so were being educated in two learning centres within Manchester’s Pupil Referral Unit. The chapter has two aims: firstly, to provide a description of the linguistic features that make up the current spoken language of a small group of young people in a particular context in Manchester. The description will involve comparison to existing accounts of Manchester English, in addition to work carried out in London. Secondly, to explore some of the social factors behind the observed variation, highlighting problems with looking at social categories such as gender and ethnicity, before going on to suggest a practice-based approach. In achieving this second aim, some reference is made to the subsequent follow-up study which is still in progress at the time of writing. The chapter is intended to offer an introduction to this area of ongoing research while outlining future directions.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rob Drummond
    • 1
  1. 1.Manchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

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