Fringe Podcast: Accentism and the Accent Van

Dr Rob Drummond and Dr Erin Carrie interviewed by Eleanor Beal

Accent is important to our personal identity. We judge others not just by what they say but how they say it: their intonation, their pitch, their accent. In this podcast, socio-linguists Dr Rob Drummond and Dr Erin Carrie, explore discourses of performativity, power and discrimination in Britain’s regional accents. They also discuss their Manchester based research project – the Accent Van – a mobile unit for collecting and analysing accents and stories from around the boroughs of Manchester.

Erin Carrie is a senior lecturer in linguistics at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her areas of research are Sociolinguistics and Social Psychology of Language. She is interested in language variation and change (phonetic, phonological and lexical); language attitudes and folk perceptions regarding linguistic variation; the acquisition of accents, dialects and language attitudes (especially in a second language); and issues of language and identity.

Rob Drummond is a Reader in Linguistics, specialising in sociolinguistics, and head of youth language in the Manchester Centre for Youth Studies. He is particularly interested in the ways in which spoken language varies between individuals and groups of speakers, and the role that language variation plays in the construction and performance of identity. This involves the study of accents and dialects, and the ability to measure fine phonetic differences in people’s speech. For further information on Rob’s work into Urban youth language visit

For further information on Rob and Erin’s work on the accents, dialects and identities of people in Greater Manchester visit their website and face book page and their work on accent/language prejudice visit