That doesn’t mean it’s an appropriate use of lottery money etc, but this isn’t useless at all:
A study carried out to investigate the so-called ‘Portsmouth accent’ spent more than £30,000 of lottery funding before it concluded there was nothing to discover.
Researchers at Havant and South Downs College spent 10 months examining the dialect of people in Portsmouth and any differences it has from surrounding parts of Hampshire and Sussex.
But in announcing the end of the project, the college conceded that had “not unearthed anything”.
The college was given £34,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund last year to investigate the city’s accent and discover why it was so different to the ‘country’ dialect spoken in nearby areas.
The Pompey dialect includes words such as ‘squinny’, which means to constantly moan and whine, and the insult ‘dinlo’, which infers stupidity.
Hmm, dunno there, I use squinny and I don’t think I’ve ever been there. Sisters were born there (Naval families, eh?). A reasonable assumption, one I’d offer absolutely no proof for, would be that some of those words move over into standard naval speech.
However, how the accent differs will be obvious enough. Urban accents tend to be faster versions of the surrounding rural ones. Tend note, tend. Twerton is a very fast version of Somerset etc.
As to the value, those students have learnt a great lesson. The vast majority of all research projects find nothing notable. This applies wider – the vast majority of all business adventures fail dismally. Failure is the modal outcome for all human adventures. That’s worth learning, no?