NOT TO MAKE NORFOLK PEOPLE CROSS
in the Basic Level I told you this article came about
as a reaction to the TV drama series Kingdom.
fact that the series was set in Norfolk seemed to have passed
many of the actors by; and in spite of our TV screens showing
incontrovertible evidence that we were in modern Wells or
Swaffham, many of the actors could be heard trying to persuade
us that, actually, we were somewhere in Dorset about 100 years
of the thespians, though, did appear to be trying to achieve
a Norfolk accent, and these lessons are offered to them, entirely
free of charge out of
gratitude for the respect they have shown to our county.
number of grateful responses we have received so far from
actors and others working on the series is... ...0!
Basic Level, it will be remembered, was to help you sound
as if you didnt come from somewhere else, whilst the
Introductory Level should have helped you start sounding
just a little bit like you do, in fact, come from Norfolk.
now move on to the Intermediate Level and how to sound
even more like you actually.. do... come... from Norfolk!
go on, me ole bewties, an hev a go!
TO SOUND EVEN MORE LIKE YOU DO COME FROM NORFOLK
It is better if you do not drop your hs.
East Anglia and Geordieland in the Northeast are
the only two areas of England to which h-dropping
has not yet penetrated.
many things that start life in London we have been rather
resistant to this and you will therefore sound more authentic
if you do not indulge in it.
is not too serious, however, if you forget and drop a few
hs then people will think you come from
Norwich or Yarmouth, urban areas which are of course always
in the vanguard in the acceptance of exciting new changes
from the metropolis, provided of course that these innovations
are at least 100 years old.
Get the co-operation of the script writers in ensuring that
the real local characters in the series omit the third-person
singular present-tense -s.
is not so scary as it sounds. All it means is that, according
to the grammar of the Norfolk dialect, forms with verbs like
she works there, he likes
it do not happen.
say she work there, he like
If you think about it, this is actually very sensible, as
that little -s doesnt do anybody much good at
all really, and leaving it out makes the verb system nice
you, he, she, it, we, they all like it.
of course we also say he do rather than
he does, and she have
rather than she has.
you will hear he like it, do he?
if your character is a local solicitor or banker, you might
let him keep at least some of his -ss, as that
will make him sound just that little bit more-appropriately
is all really rather simple and should perhaps have
been in the Basic or Introductory Levels.
howya go on wi this one then!
Trudgill FBA President of FOND
Honorary Professor of Sociolinguistics at the
University of East Anglia