Rob Drummond has just been awarded a Research Accelerator Grant from MMU. His project, entitled ‘Understanding multicultural Manchester English: breaking down barriers for young people in Manchester’ will begin in September.
The project is a semi-ethnographic sociolinguistic study into the language used by young people in Manchester. It has two main objectives: 1) to foster better understanding between young people in inner-city Manchester and the adults in their lives, particularly those adults in positions of authority; 2) to begin to make young people aware of the language they use, and how it plays a role in the construction of identity(ies). Both these objectives involve the systematic exploration and analysis of the variety of English being used. Just as Multicultural London English has been identified as a new and valid variety of English, it is likely that something similar is happening in Manchester. At present, the variety of English being used by young people has not been documented and is not fully understood. By exploring this variety we can start the process of mutual understanding, and find ways to remove the barriers between people that language can so often create.