The Perceptual Dialectology of England

  • Chris Montgomery


Focussing on the perceptions of non-linguists, this chapter will examine the ways in which the dialect geography of England is imagined from various locations in the North of the country. The chapter will report the results of three perceptual dialectology (Preston, Perceptual dialectology: non-linguists’ view of aerial linguistics. Foris, Dordrecht, 1989) investigations and detail the perceptions of prominent dialect areas amongst respondents. Commonly identified dialect areas will be discussed in terms of the perception of their geographical boundaries and extent, as well as the attitudes respondents hold towards them. Various other factors that affect perception will also be addressed, including the impact of cultural prominence on the identification of specific dialect areas. In addition, the role of proximity in the delimitation of ‘near to’ dialect areas will be considered (Montgomery, The effect of proximity in perceptual dialectology. J Sociolinguistics 16(5):638–668, 2012), including the way in which this might lead to the claiming (cf. Williams et al., Dialect recognition. In: Dennis R. Preston (ed) Handbook of perceptual dialectology. Benjamins, Amsterdam, p 345–358, 1999) of specific areas by respondents in particular locations. Changes in the way in which dialect areas are perceived will also be addressed. In sum, the chapter will examine non-linguists’ perceptions of dialect areas in England, focussing on the important factors which condition how such respondents view the dialect geography of the country.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Montgomery
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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