It is known and often mimicked around the world.

But the Yorkshire accent can be broken down into different variations, and now a Huddersfield speech expert will look at how these differences can be defined - to help police with criminal investigations.

Dr Erica Gold, University of Huddersfield senior lecturer in forensic speech science, is to embark on the £360,000 Economic and Social Research Council project exploring how accents can be generalized for forensic evidence purposes.

Forensic speech science has played a critical role in criminal cases involving voice evidence, and experts often compare a criminal recording such as a threatening phone call, with a known suspect sample.

Dr Erica Gold, University of Huddersfield
Dr Erica Gold, University of Huddersfield

Dr Gold’s project aims to tackle the scarcity of voice data that is forensically relevant. Population data is typically obtained by collecting a set of recordings containing voices of a group of speakers similar in age, sex and geographical region. But the time and expense involved in this means forensic speech scientists face a huge challenge.

The new project will see the collection of a large database of 180 speakers from different parts of West Yorkshire, including Huddersfield, and it’s hoped it will serve as a unique resource to shed light on characteristics in West Yorkshire accents.

Dr Gold came to Huddersfield in 2014. She hails from California, and says her own accent is southern Californian - with a bit of northern British sprinkled on top.

An outsider's guide to the Yorkshire accent

Tha can't beat a proper Yorkshire accent — friendly, straight-talking and full of weird and wonderful words.

Check out Examiner readers' favourite Yorkshire phrases, and if you need a hand learning the local lingo, we've opened our 'arts to give thee helping hand - to help London folk see the light.

Just put thi problem int little ole and click t'button!

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