Northern English

Imants   Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:42 am GMT

I know that in Northern English accents, Us, Up, pUb, cUt, rUb have the same vowel as in pUt and cUshion.

What about the O in One, sOn, Other, sOme, mOther, brOther, cOmmon, cOmfort, lOve in Northern England? Do they also have the same vowel sound as in pUt?

Thank you!
AJC   Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:22 am GMT
Most would have in most of the words but I'd say *typically*, "one" and "common" would be pronounce with [ɒ] rather than [ʊ]
Lazar   Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:40 am GMT
"Common" doesn't belong among the others because it would be pronounced with [ɒ] throughout Anglo-English. As for the rest, I think as AJC says, [ʊ] would be predominant, except for "one", which is often pronounced with [ɒ] in England.
Damian in Edinburgh   Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:49 am GMT
Yes, in practically all Northern (England) accents/dialects the vowel sound O does more or less come out something like the U in "put" - as in "put that down". So a Northern England "son" and "mother" come out something like the "oo" sound in words like "soon" but very much shorter and more closed. All the other words you listed are no different in this respect.

In Southern England the "o" is much more rounded and more open, so that "son" can sound something like "san".

It is these particular vowel sound variations are the ones which most clearly demonstrate the differences between Northern England English and Southern England English. A Northerner would say s/he was "going down to L(u)nd(u)n" (London) while a Southerner would say "I am going ap (up) to Landun".

You only have to watch "Coronation Street" ( based in Manchester - very much Northern England) and "Eastenders" (based in London - very much Southern England) to see this being played out the most graphically, although some (not many, admittedly) of the actors in CS are, in fact, Southerners, but use their accent training from drama school to make viewers believe that they are genuine Northerners. Meanwhile EE very rarely portrays a Northerner (as far as I know) - and in any case, Estuary is the overall lingua franca on the EE set down at Borehamwood, Hertfordshire (very much Southern!)
Imants   Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:59 am GMT
Thanks a lot for your responses!

I actually watched Coronation Street, and yes, they spoke like that.
But I also watch Hollyoaks, and many characters also have such a "closed" u/o pronunciation.
Damian in Edinburgh   Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:02 pm GMT

Hollyoaks (all the TV mags seem describe it as a teen soap but it's clearly not really so!) is supposed to be set in Chester, in north west England, just to the south of Liverpool/Merseyside, and slap bang on the border with North East Wales. All the exterior filming is done in a very restricted area of Chester - seemingly in a small cul-de-sac area just below the ancient red sandstone Roman walls! The fictional Hollyoaks is supposed to be a suburb of the real life Chester, but the accents of the characters seem to cover a pretty wide range - from "posh" upper class RP to Scouse (well, Scousland is close at had, is it not?) One Welsh accent sometimes! (well, Wales is literally a stone's throw away just over the border).

The Hollyoaks studio is actually in Liverpool. In recent episodes Andrew Lloyd Webber took part, also - along with the real life actress and singer Summer Strallen, she with the cut glass "posh" English English RP, who played the fictional part of an aspiring singing star of musical theatre. The filming for that part of the show was done in the West End of London as ALW got to audition Summer Strallen (in the fictional part) for a certain West End musical show, and he offered her the part. In the event it was all for real, as the real Summer Strallen has now taken over from Connie Fisher in the part of Maria Von Trapp in "The Sound of Music" at the London Palladium.

My fave character in Hollyoaks is John Paul McQueen, the dishy gay guy who has now fallen for the new guy, Kieron, who has come to lodge with the McQueen family home. He in turn has fallen for JP - and admitted it - both guys have - but there is one major, major problem - Father Keiron is a young Catholic priest fresh out of the seminary!

Oh dear! Watch this space....
Uriel   Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:07 pm GMT
Well, teen or not, it definitely sounds like a soap opera....
AJC   Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:51 pm GMT
Neither an authentic Cheshire accent nor acting skills are high on the requirements for getting a part in Hollyoaks
Imants   Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:40 am GMT
Thanks guys!

Do you reckon the girly guy who had a crush on JP, and whom JP kissed in a dare. The one who has a singsong when he speaks. Is that a Welsh accent?
I'm having real trouble understanding some of the characters. Like Mercedes, from Bradford, Yorkshire, and the other blond gay guy, who has a Scottish accent (I think).
JP's accent is easy to understand, and Kieron seems to have a Southeastern accent.

It's amazing how many accents you guys have within a relatively small geographical area. Just look at Autralia, a whole island continent with so little accent variation compared to the British Isles.
Damian in Edinburgh   Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:08 am GMT

By the "girly guy" you mean Kris Fisher. He is played by Gerard McCarthy, and Kris is not actually gay - he is (or professes to be) straight, and has had some kind of relationships with some of the lassies. He is just one of those guys who likes to wear makeup and girly style clothes while at the same time being basically hetero.

Kris Fisher:
Played by Gerard McCarthy. He is not Scottish! - that accent you hear is distinctly Northern Irish - he comes from Belfast.

While we're at it - happy Paddie's Day today to all our mates over in the Emerald Isle, including Northern Ireland - today is a national holiday in both parts of the island of Ireland. It's too early in the day to raise a glass of Guiness to toast the the luck of the Irish today. I can't find any shamrock to sport in my lapel though!

John Paul McQueen: (James Sutton)
James comes from Coventry (still lives there) - as a Scot I can't clearly confirm that from his accent - but I'd guess it's from somewhere in the English Midlands but definitely NOT Brum or Black Country, that's for sure. I don't know what a genuine Coventry accent is, anyway! Regionally it is part of the West Midlands.

You will see James in the following link (as well as the cool Father Kieron (played by Jake Hendriks - a definite Londoner but with a "posh" accent!) - forbidden fruit? No hope of any Papal dispensation? Nah, thought not! :-)

For it's geographical size the British Isles are home to an extraordinary amount of accents and dialects - they literally change within a matter of a few miles. If I go outside from my home, walk up to the top of a nearby hill (which is part of a golf course) I can look down over parts of this city, or out over the Firth of Forth to the Kingdom of Fife and the town of Dunfermline in the distance across the water, or westwards towards Stirling and the Ochil Hills and there must be about half a dozen different accents and dialects being spoken within the range of vision.

And that's just in this part of Scotland.
Imants   Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:44 am GMT
Thanks a lot Damian!

Whom I meant with the girly guy JP kissed was Toby. I just took a look of what his name is.

The other blond guy, whose accent I thought was Scottish, is indeed Kris.
Thanks for the explanations!! :-)

To all Irish:
Happy Paddy's Day!!
Imants   Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:23 am GMT
After informing myself a bit, I found out that:

JP has a Midland accent

Toby (he's not around in Hollyoaks anymore) has a Scottish accent.