This PhD project aims to examine the accents of English spoken in Cardiff from the perspective of dialect levelling – a process occurring across Britain whereby some regional accent variants are losing ground in favour of supralocal variants. Apparent-time methodology will be used along with archive data in order to see any changes that have occurred and are occurring in Cardiff English, which will be identified by a range of phonological and morphosyntactic features. Cardiff’s history of diversity and in-migration make it an interesting location to examine from this perspective, as it is accepted that these factors have already played a role in the difference and ‘non-Welshness’ of CE when compared to other South Walian Englishes.
The data will consist of sociolinguistic interviews with older and younger speakers from Cardiff, and archive audio recordings from the 1980s and 1990s. Mixed methods in variationist sociolinguistics will be used to analyse the rates of selected features across the datasets, as this approach can give a fuller understanding of any processes underlying language change.