Borders and boundaries in the North of England

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This chapter uses data gathered in two perceptual dialectology studies in the North of England to investigate the perception of the North-South divide. The importance of this divide is evident in the large amount of commentary in numerous discourses. The chapter uses non-linguist respondents’ additions to ‘draw-a-map’ tasks as part of which they were asked to place a North-South line. Most respondents completed this element of the task, and an analysis of their placements reveals that these are largely conditioned by respondent location. In general, respondents from further south in England demonstrated more agreement about the placement of the line, whilst respondents from further north showed less agreement. It is claimed that respondents from further south have ‘more to lose’ by being considered Southern, whereas those from further north are safely Northern, explaining the difference in line-placement.


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