Information for participants

In linguistic research, the analysis of language is normally done by trained linguists on the basis of (transcribed) audio recordings. This study explicitly focusses on the knowledge and ideas you have about London dialects – simply by virtue of growing up in this speech community and hearing people around you. In other words, in this case, you are the expert teaching me what you think and know about London dialects.

What to expect from the interview?

The interview will be an informal conversation about what you think and know about London dialects and London ways of speaking in general. You will listen to 5 short audio recordings of real people from London. I will ask you to comment on their language – not so much what they talk about, but how they say it, the pronunciations, words, and expressions they use. I will ask you for example what you would call their dialect, whether you know people who talk like this, and where you would look for people speaking this dialect, for example. It would also be great to learn more about your own way of speaking, how you talk to your friends, family or at work.

The interview will take about one hour. It will take place in a quiet public space near you, which we will agree on individually. Please note that I cannot conduct the interview in your home. Your voice will be recorded throughout (of course, you can talk to me ‘off the record’ if you wish). No preparation is necessary and you can withdraw from the interview at any point and without giving a reason.

Towards the end of the interview, I will ask you to read out a list of simple words and a short and easy text in your own dialect, which will also be recorded.

After the interview, you will be given a brief written anonymous questionnaire about your demographic details (such as age, gender, ethnicity etc.) to fill in on paper.

Who can participate in this study?

Everyone who has lived in London for all or most of their life and is interested in talking to me about London dialects is invited to participate in the study.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

By taking part in this study, you are actively contributing to linguistic research on London English. Unfortunately, I cannot offer financial reimbursement for your time and effort participating in this study.

What happens to the data?

In the interview, I will record our conversation and afterwards, I will collect some (anonymous) background demographic information in a questionnaire, as mentioned above.

Your responses will be stored in pseudonymised (de-identified) format, with a made-up name and an informant ID. The data will be stored on a secure server with a unique password only accessible to me.

Your responses and anonymised demographic data will be used in academic conference presentations of project results, in published articles about the research, and in archiving in an academic repository for data sharing purposes. No commercial gain or profit will be made from the data.

Please also read Queen Mary’s privacy notice for research participants containing important information about your personal data and your rights in this respect. If you have any questions relating to data protection, please contact:

Queen Mary’s Data Protection Officer
Queens’ Building
Mile End Road
London, E1 4NS

What if there are any concerns about this study?

If you have any concerns about the manner in which the study was conducted, in the first instance, please contact the Principal Investigator (i.e. Johanna). If you have a complaint which you feel you cannot discuss with the researchers, then you should contact the Research Ethics Facilitators by e-mail: When contacting the Research Ethics Facilitators, please provide details of the study title (London talks), description of the study and QMERC reference number (QMERC20.497), the researcher(s) involved, and details of the complaint you wish to make.

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