Do you call it April Fools’ Day, April Noddy Day or April Gowkin’ Day? Is the season before winter the Autumn, the Fall or the Backend? When you’re out of breath, do you pant, puff, pank, tift or thock?
The words we use (and the sounds we make when we use them) are more often than not a product of where we live, and An Atlas of English Dialects shows the reader where certain words, sounds and phrases originate from and why usage varies from region to region. The Atlas includes:
- ninety maps showing the regions in which particular words, phrases and pronunciations are used
- detailed commentaries explaining points of linguistic, historical and cultural interest
- explanations of linguistic terms, a bibliography for further reading and a full index.
Based on the Survey of English Dialects – the most extensive record of English regional speech – the Atlas is a fascinating and informative guide to the diversity of the English Language in England.
J.D.A. (John) Widdowson is Emeritus Professor of English Language in the University of Sheffield, where he was until recently Director of the National Centre for English Cultural Tradition. He has been associated with SED for some forty years, and was co-editor of the Survey’s Linguistic Atlas of England and co-author of its Dictionary and Grammar (both Routledge publication). Clive Upton is Senior Lecturer (from August 2005 Reader, became Professor in 2006) in English Language in the University of Leeds, where SED has its home and where he has been associated with the Survey for over thirty years. He is co-author of the Survey’s Dictionary and Grammar. Widdowson and Upton have collaborated on many dialect projects and publications around SED and beyond.