Oxford University logo
Phonetics Laboratory
Faculty of Linguistics, Philology, and Phonetics

Northern Regional and General Northern English

D1. A politician (2012)

This speaker is considered to be a speaker of Northern Regional GB. Notice /a/ in path, noticeable not by its openness but by its shortness, full vowels in some prefixes where GB has a reduced vowel /ad-/ in admire, advantageous, /kɒm-/ in compete, /a/ for /ɑː/ before voiceless fricatives and nasals advantageous, /ɒ/ in none, more usually [ɪ] for final <y> every, dependency, ingenuity. But notice that his vowel /ʌ/ has changed to near GB quality, and is different from the speaker of General Northern English in the next extract, e.g. summer, trusted.

Orthographic transcript
Thank you Nicola. And thank you also to my outstanding team in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Saeeda Varthry, David Livingston, Hugo Squire, Alistair Burt, Mark Simmonds, Steven Greene, and my PPS Keith Simpson, please give all of them a good round of applause as well... And we should always thank our country's trusted diplomats, tireless aid workers, superb intelligence agencies, and of course as we've already heard, brave Armed Forces. They help Britain walk tall in the world and do immense good for others. So let's show our appreciation for them as well. This summer when we hosted our inspirational Olympic and Paralympic games we showed the world what Britain can do and what we stand for. Ours were the first Olympic Games in which women competed in every sport. The first paralympic ever to've been sold out. The first Olympic truth which every UN member state supported. The first games to be celebrated as the greenest ever. And the scene of Britain's greatest sporting success in over a hundred years. Visitors were bowled over by the warmth of our volunteers, by the good sportsmanship of our crowds and by the brilliance of our ceremonies And yes, let us be proud that it was one of ours Seb Coe who brought the games to Britain and made them a triumph. Our coalition Government is determined to liberate that ingenuity and talent across our national life and to carry it all over the world.Whatever the crisis, whatever the danger, however steep the path, we in Britain should never be downhearted. Think of the immense assets and advantages that are ours. The English language connecting us to billions of people —
links to every other nation on earth throughout history and diverse societies, fields in financial services, engineering, science and technology that are second to none. The British Council, BBC World Service and our historic universities. Beacons for democratic values around the world. And this is achieved let us note not by England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland separately but by the United Kingdom including Scotland and the others. Nor do we stand alone. We belong to NATO, the strongest military alliance the world has ever seen. We enjoy the benefits of the world's largest single market in the European Union. We have our place in the twenty-first century's most diverse and vibrant network of nations, the Commonwealth. And we possess a bond with the United States of America that I believe must never break. Many of our greatest successes have come from learning from and working with other countries in the world. So we should never be arrogant, never be complacent, and never be inward looking. These are some of the many means we have to seek out opportunities for our country and always to be a force for good in our work with others.
We helped Libyans to win their freedom and are sticking by them as they work to secure the peace. We are a leader in sending aid to Syrian refugees driven from their homes by a tyrannical regime. We're helping to feed and educate some of the world's poorest people. We're always on the side of those seeking their freedom and democracy. When Aung San Suu Kyi came to the Foreign Office in June she thanked us in Britain for never forgetting her during twenty years of oppression and struggle even when others lost interest or heart. Generations, perhaps centuries from that, her constancy, her humility and her refusal to compromise with dictatorship will remain an inspiration to humanity.
Let us pay tribute to her today.

D2. A TV science presenter (2012)

This is an example of a type of English sometimes heard on radio and TV and is considered to be a form of General Northern English. It has more features typical of the north of England than are heard in the speech of the previous extract. Notable in this type of accent is the use of /ʊ/ where GB has /ʌ/ other, discover, the use of full vowels in some prefixes, like /kɒn-/ in contribute, and one and its relatives pronounced with /ɒ/ once. He also pronounces school as /skʊəl/. Like northern regional GB GNE also has /a/ before voiceless fricatives and nasals, last. This presenter has been on television a lot in the last two years and shows some features more typical of GB like a glottal stop before /ʧ/ in future, or even of London regional GB, like vocalisation of dark [ɫ] in build and the allophone [ɒʊ] of /əʊ/ before /l/ in goal. He is also not consistent in his use of northern /ʊ/ and /ɒ/ mentioned above, so understanding is pronounced with an initial /ə/ rather than /ʊ/, and one has /ɒ/ in one pillar. Notice he has final /i/ rather than /ɪ/ which might have been expected because he originates from the Greater Manchester region

Orthographic transcript
I wanna talk about kind of a small goal.... I wanna talk about the Universe but particularly um the two great pillars of our understanding of the universe that we've built over the last century and we're building absolutely now. (It's) to those pillars that I hope you're gonna to contribute to building in the future. Um these two pillars er two things that maybe you don’t learn about at school but you'll certainly learn about at university. One one pillar is called relativity which is Einstein's great contribution to science. And the other one is simply called Quantum Mechanics which is a fascinating theory it seems very strange — you may've heard of Schrodinger's cat — seems to be in two places at once — but actually Quantum Mechanics is our theory of everything that happens in the universe other than gravity. And today the place where we explore that in detail is the Large Hadron Collider at Cerne in Geneva — the place where I work when I'm not messing around on television. So I wanna give you some idea of what we're doing now at the Large Hadron Collider and what we hope to discover within the next year or two. So that's absolutely current cutting edge research.

Phonemic transcription of first part
aɪ wɒnə tɔːk əbaʊt kaɪnd əv ə ə smɔːl ɡəʊl aɪ wɒnə tɔːk əbaʊt ðə juːnɪvɜːs bəp pətɪkjələli ðə tu ɡreɪp pɪləz əv ɑːr əndəstandɪŋ əv ðə juːnɪvɜːs ðət wiːv bɪl əʊvə ðə last senʃəri əm wɪə stɪl bɪldɪŋ absəluːtli naʊ tu əv ðəʊz pɪləz ðət aɪ həʊp jɔː ɡənə kɒntrɪbjuːt tə bɪldɪŋ ɪn ðə fjuːʧə [əm] ðə tuː pɪləz [əː] tuː θɪŋz ðət meɪbi ju dəʊnt lɜːn əbaʊt ət skʊəl bət juːl sɜːtnli lɜːn baʊt ət juːnɪvɜːsɪti wʌm pɪlə ɪz kɔːld relətɪvɪti wɪʧ ɪz aɪnstaɪnz kɒntrɪbjuːʃn tə saɪəns ən ði ʌðə wʌn ɪz sɪmpli kɔːld kwɒntəm məkanɪks wɪʧ ɪz ə fasɪneɪtɪŋ θɪəri əv θɪŋz veri streɪnʤ ju meɪ əv hɜːd əv θɪŋz laɪk ʃrəʊdɪŋɡəz kat ..... siːmz tə bi ɪn tuː pleɪsɪz ət wɒns bət akʃəli kwɒntəm məkanɪks ɪz ɑː θɪəri əv evrɪθɪŋ ðət hapnz ɪn ðə juːnɪvɜːs ʊðə ðan ɡravɪti