Dr Michelle Straw has been awarded Heritage Lottery funding to research the Dialect of the Forest of Dean. Her project entitled: ‘A linguistic landscape in time and space’ is part of a consortium bid, head up by the Forestry Commission. A total of £3m has been awarded to the consortium and the project is set to last 5 years.
A fundamental part of Michelle’s project is to work alongside local community groups to establish their priorities and provide resources that can be of educational and cultural benefit. There will also be opportunities for our students to be involved through internships and volunteering.
The forest of Dean dialect is a window into the past heritage of the English Language and its Anglo-Saxon roots. As such, it is of potential global significance in understanding the development of the English Language. In Britain, its unique landscape, location, settlement patterns and industry make it an important site for understanding how dialects develop their distinctiveness. The research project will look at attitudes to the dialect and perceptions of Foresters.