WE at Rights & Equality Sandwell have been working with Dr Brian Dakin on developing the lottery heritage project about language and dialect. We have called the project 'where's our spake gone?' and are nearly ready to submit it.
The project will look at pre war, post war and current Black Country dialect and language and investigate whether the Black Country dialect and language is in decline.
This will also include looking at whether Black Country words and phrases have become commonly used among the settled/New Black, Minority, Ethnic communities and whether any language and phrases brought to the Black Country by BME communities have been incorporated into local dialect.
We will trace what words and phrases are still in use and identify those which have been lost.
We will also undertake a comparison across the various areas in the Black Country to see local variations and dialects. We will involve local schools and colleges to ensure cross generational involvement and will undertake focus groups and one to one interviews with a variety of people from across the Black Country.
We will record and retain our findings so they can be archived locally and create an exhibition / book to ensure the longevity of the findings.
The project will involve using volunteers, community participation, to be a vehicle in which to learn about local heritage and will retain oral histories for future generations. Brian suggested The Bugle and its readers may be willing to provide a letter of support for the project.
Community Justice & Policy Manager,
Rights & Equality Sandwell,
28 Birmingham Street, Oldbury.
We will be delighted to lend our support - Bugle editor