The Manchester accent is disappearing in parts of the city, says new report

The study says the Mancunian accent is less prevalent in the City Centre. Credit: PA Images

The Mancunian accent may be slowly disappearing, according to a new study.

New research from The University of Manchester has found the ‘Manc’ accent is still going strong in northern parts of the city, but is disappearing elsewhere.

The survey found certain words pronounced in a traditional Mancunian way are reducing in the south and centre of the city.

It said words like four and wore, which have a different vowel sound to for and war, are not as prominent.

The research said age patterns in the data suggest the vowel contrast began disappearing from middle class speech in Manchester decades ago, and while it is still strong in north Manchester, it is gradually changing there too.

The survey spoke to 122 people from areas within the M60 motorway, as well as those immediately to the south of the city like Wythenshawe and Stockport.

The M60 ring road around Manchester. Credit: PA Images

Dr Maciej Baranowski said: "Features of the ‘Manc’ accent are still present across Manchester, though they are much stronger in the working classes.

"Interestingly, north Manchester is actually different from the rest of the city even if we take social class into account - that is, working-class Mancunians from north Manchester sound a little different from working-class Mancunians elsewhere in the city.

"That is something which has rarely been reported in linguistic studies."

The research mentions a 'dialect levelling’ which has led to British English being much more uniform than it once was.

Developments like MediaCity have brought in new residents from outside the area into Manchester. Credit: PA Images

Some long-standing aspects of local accents are disappearing, and other features are spreading across the country – for instance, the traditional working-class Cockney accent is said to be weakening, but Multicultural London English is becoming more widespread.

However it also notes that there will be new developments within accents in the future but the Manchester accent will be around for a long time yet.

While they did not study if this had a linguistic effect on the city, it may well accelerate the changes already happening to the accent.

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