SnRE at the BBC: A Dialect Collecting Method on the Wider Stage
Two strands - perhaps "strains" might at times be thought a more accurate word -exist within dialectology. One, geographical and historical, charts linguistic variation on the ground and seeks to study language in its diachronic context. The other, sociolinguistic in orientation, focuses on the complexities within localised communities, seeking therein to discover prompts for language change. Each might be expected to be, and indeed sometimes is, supportive of the other, but this cannot be taken for granted, and many practitioners of one are ignorant or even dismissive of the work of adherents of the other. One effort to create a bridge between the two groupings began in the late 1990s with work towards establishing a datacollection technique, for a Survey of Regional English (SuRE), which might serve dialectologists of whatever persuasion and so might produce data of use to all.