Reporter 417, 23 March 1998


Dialects conference gets people talking

The centre page feature in the Reporter issue 416 publicising this weeks international dialect conference at the University, celebrating the pioneering work of Leeds dialectologist Harold Orton, has generated enormous media attention.

The national dailies ran stories focusing on current linguistics research. Both The Guardian and The Times reported that the influence of radio and television on dialect is strong; soap operas are claimed to be responsible for maintaining and popularising regional accents.

Professor Katie Wales and Dr Clive Upton, of the English Department, have been interviewed live on both national and regional radio. They discussed Harold Orton's original research and current research at the department on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Nottingham and Greater London Radio. Further coverage of the event will be provided on the morning of the conference when the original recordings of regional dialects are played on the BBC World Service and Radio 4's 'Today' programme.

National student protests against plans to introduce tuition fees have been in the news: BBC 2 'Working Lunch' reported live from the protests at Leeds, and further stories appeared in the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post. The Independent commented on the considerate nature of the Leeds protesters who occupied the entire Roger Stevens Lecture Theatre for over 24 hours then proceeded to do a thorough clean-up job before leaving.

Research on dieting daughters, highlighted in the last issue of the Reporter, appeared in The Guardian, Express, Daily Mail, and Yorkshire Post. Dr Andrew Hill, a Leeds psychiatrist, co-authored the report which highlighted the impact of mothers on their daughters attitudes towards dieting. He was also interviewed by several radio stations.

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