Why Potters’ accent is different from Her Majesty’s: the English language in Staffordshire

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letters carved into a stone wall

Friday 17 September 2021, 5pm

The English language goes back long before the English county boundaries were established. Every Ceremonial County has its English language story to tell, and among the most interesting stories are those of Hampshire, Yorkshire, Kent, and Staffordshire. A thousand years ago, they were the heartlands of the four great dialects of Old English: West Saxon, Northumbrian, Kentish and Mercian. Mercian went through many shifts, being first split in two; then invaded by Danish; then invaded by French; then adopted by the King’s clerks; then taken up by London’s printers; then bent out of shape by Oxbridge grammarians; then standardised by lexicographers; then adopted by aristocrats; then beaten into schoolboys; and finally declared to be Standard Modern English by the Oxford English Dictionary.

Join Professor Christopher Mulvey online for this fascinating lecture about the evolution of our greatest treasure - the English language.

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