THRELFALL’S BOULDER: An investigation into the relationship between accent, dialect and identity.

Middleton, David Antony (2015) THRELFALL’S BOULDER: An investigation into the relationship between accent, dialect and identity. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

[thumbnail of Thesis Document]
PDF (Thesis Document) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.



In this thesis I have assessed the links between accent, dialect and identity, positing the conceit that ‘we wear our cultural identity on our tongues’. I assess and demonstrate how language (dialect) and intonation (accent) can be indicative of an identity. This thesis is presented in two parts: the creative component (a play) and the critical component (its exegesis). The creative component is a site-specific play to be performed in a room of an actual pub and written almost entirely in Lancashire dialect. The play deals with themes of identity, insularity and fear of the outside world. The play uses expectations of identity though speech and seeks to both subvert and reaffirm these expectations. Further to this, the play highlights the issue of how the local pub and its loss affects local society, as the pub used to be the hub of the community. The play will illustrate ‘pub behaviour’ and the differences between the rules of the pub and the rules of the outside world. The play demonstrates the human condition and uses the setting as a microcosm to be indicative of the intolerance of contemporary British society. Though a comedy, the play makes a serious comment on the state of the nation. By utilising realism the play represents pub and insular life, as I have witnessed it first-hand. In my accompanying exegesis I critically assess my final play, the writing process and the ongoing nature of creative art. It demonstrates how accent, dialect and speech are indicative of one’s identity and the implications of that. I conclude that accent is not a reliable indicator of identity anymore, except in certain closed or insular communities, groups and locations such as the local pub, where accent and dialect can often operate as an exclusive and secret language

Repository Staff Only: item control page