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It is claimed that the accent has subconsciously changed the way people from other regions speak, through television with Manchester-set shows such as Shameless and through music with many bands from the district including Oasis, The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays, among others.
The dialect is distinguishable from other Northern English dialects. A major feature of the Mancunian accent is the over-enunciation of vowel sounds when compared to the flattened sounds of neighbouring areas. This is also noticeable with words ending in <er> such as tenner. Traditionally, the Manchester area was known for glottal reinforcement of the consonants /k/, /p/ and /t/, similar to modern speech in the north-east of England.
John C. Wells observed the accents of Leeds and Manchester. He found them to be similar despite the historic divide between the two sides of the Pennines. His proposed criteria for distinguishing the two are that Mancunians avoid Ng-coalescence, so singer rhymes with finger /sɪŋgə/ and king, ring, sing, etc. all end with a hard g sound, and also that Leeds residents employ "Yorkshire assimilation", by which voiced consonants change into voiceless consonants in words such as Bradford /bratfəd/, subcommittee /sʊpkəmɪtɪ/ and frogspawn /frɒkspɔːn/.
The Mancunian dialect may have originally developed from the old Lancastrian dialects and could have been affected by the vast influx of immigrants introduced to the city during the Industrial Revolution, when the cities of Salford and Manchester became a port due to the building of the Manchester Ship Canal. Immigrants moved to the city for work opportunities from many parts of Europe, most notably Ireland.
The dialect itself is very distinctive with celebrities speaking a Mancunian dialect including Bez of the Salford band Happy Mondays, and Liam Gallagher of Burnage band Oasis. Another example is that of music mogul Tony Wilson who was affectionately known as 'Mr Manchester' due to his work in promoting the greater cultural status of Manchester, despite being born in Salford and raised in Marple, Stockport.
Other famous Mancunians who were not born within the city's boundaries include Terry Christian, a TV presenter who was born in Stockport and boxer Ricky Hatton who was also born in Stockport but brought up in Hattersley, Tameside. The accent has featured in Manchester based comedies such as Shameless and the The Royle Family.
Manchester's most famous soap opera Coronation Street has, despite being based in the city, less pronounced Mancunian accents than other TV shows set in the area. Several of the show's cast members do speak with pronounced Mancunian accents in the series. They include Thomas Ormson who plays David, Michelle Keegan (Tina), Emma Collinge (Rosie Webster), Simon Gregson (Steve McDonald).
Some of Manchester's most notable words, phrases and sayings include "having a buzz", meaning to have a good time, "Rkid", meaning a sibling or friend and "the dibble" referring to the police. The term "madferit" (mad for it), meaning full of enthusiasm, was a phrase that embodied the Madchester era. Influences from Ireland include the pronunciation of the letter 'h' as 'haitch' and the plural of 'you' as 'youse'. However, this pronunciation of 'h' is now widespread, being used by approximately 24% of British people born since 1982.
- ↑ "We're All Speaking Manc Now". Manchester Evening News. 2006-09-08. http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/220/220229_were_all_speaking_manc_now.html. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- ↑ John C Wells, Local Accents in England and Wales, Journal of Linguistics 6, page 247, 1970
- ↑ John C Wells, Accents of English 2: the British Isles, pages 366–7, Cambridge University Press, 1982
- ↑ "dibble". http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dibble.
- ↑ John C Wells, Longman Pronunciation Dictionary, page 360, Pearson, Harlow, 2008