01 July 2010

Cockney brown bread in East End in 30 years?

According to the BBC the Cockney accent will disappear from London's streets within 30 years. A study by Paul Kerswill, Professor of Sociolinguistics at Lancaster University shows the Cockney accent will move further east. The accent ,which has been around for more than 500 years, is being replaced in London by a new hybrid language.

In London, Cockney will be replaced by Multicultural London English - a mixture of Cockney, Bangladeshi and West Indian accents

"Cockney in the East End is now transforming itself into Multicultural London English, a new, melting-pot mixture of all those people living here who learnt English as a second language," Prof Kerswill said.

Traditional Cockneys have moved out of the capital and into the surrounding counties of Essex and Hertfordshire, especially towns such as Romford and Southend. In these areas, the accent and the culture continues to thrive and many teenagers still proudly claim their Cockney roots, according to the study.

The study, called Multicultural London English: the emergence, acquisition and diffusion of a new variety, is due to be published in early 2011.

The streets of London do appear to resound to the dulcet tones of what I’ve always thought of as Hyper-Cockney. Not have any east end roots myself it is not my accent.


susan said...

My dad was a Geordie whose speech patterns were also very unique to a small area. I remember my parents telling me that the way English was spoken prior to radio, cars etc was different every five miles or so.

jams o donnell said...

It is amazing. Even now the wealth of accents here is wonderful. I hope it lasts

Stan said...

It's a very distinctive accent; I hope it survives in some form somewhere. But aside from one's own usage, there's little or no resisting the pressures that bring to bear on a dialect.

jams o donnell said...

I daresay it will survive a fair while among the "cockney diaspora" Whether it will survive in the long run remains to be seen of course!