Jonnie Robinson

Jonnie Robinson picture
Lead Curator, Spoken English
British accents and dialects
Related Offices
English Today (Editorial Board)

I am a dialectologist with a particular interest in British accents and dialects. I have worked on two nationwide surveys of regional speech, the Survey of English Dialects and BBC Voices and co-curated the British Library exhibition Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices.

Twitter: @VoicesofEnglish



  • A Thesaurus of English Dialect and Slang (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)
  • East Midlands English [with Natalie Braber] (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2018) 
  • Evolving English WordBank: A Glossary of Present-Day English Dialect and Slang (Sheffield: Bradwells, 2015)


  • 'Lexical Variation in the BBC Voices Recordings', English Today 28, 4 (2012), pp. 23-37 
  • 'Voices from the Library: Investigating English through the British Library Sound Archive', English Drama Media 17 (2010), pp. 6-10 
  • 'Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices', Transactions of the Yorkshire Dialect Society 22, 110 (2010), pp. 42-49  
  • 'Sounds Round the Towns: the Future of Accents and Dialects in the UK', Quest 105 (2010), pp. 65-73  
  • 'The Way We Speak: Web-Based Representations of Changing Communities', Oral History Society Journal 33, 2 (2005), pp. 79-90


  • ‘I don’t think I have an accent’: exploring varieties of southern English at the British Library. In Wright, L.  (ed.). Southern English Varieties Then and Now pp. 237-271 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2018)
  • 'British Library Sound Recordings of Vernacular Speech: They were Lost and Now They are Found', in R. Hickey (ed.), Listening to the Past (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), pp. 13-38 
  • 'Voices of the UK: British Library Analysis of the BBC Voices Recordings' [with Jon Herring & Holly Gilbert], in C. Upton and B. Davies (eds), Analysing 21st Century English: Conceptual and Methodological Aspects of the ‘Voices’ Project (London: Routledge, 2013), pp. 137-62 
  • 'Language Surveys', in K. Malmkjaer (ed.), Routledge Linguistics Encyclopedia (London: Routledge, 2010), pp. 329-36


Conference Papers

  • ‘Puggling through Kintle for Bobby-Dazzlers: The Evolving English VoiceBank’, at ISLE 5 Conference, UCL, London, July 2018.
  • ‘Evolving English GrammarBank’, English Grammar Day 2018, British Library, London, July 2018.
  • ‘Grammar on Tour: grammatical variation in the UK’, English Grammar Day 2016, British Library, London, June 2016.
  • ‘Spectacular Vernacular: using BL Oral History Recordings as a corpus of British English’, Oral History meets Linguistics Conference, FRIAS, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany, December 2015.
  • ‘You want like go British Library innit: celebrating vernacular English’, English Grammar Day 2015, British Library, London, June 2015.
  • ‘Ratching through Kintle for Bobby-Dazzlers: Initial Reflections on the British Library’s Evolving English VoiceBank’, OX-LEX 4 Symposium on Approaches to English Historical Lexicography and Lexicology, Pembroke College, Oxford, March 2015.
  • ‘If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It: Exploring Vernacular Grammar’, English Grammar Day 2014, British Library, London, July 2014.
  • ‘They were Lost and Now They are Found: Berliner Lautarchiv Dialect Recordings of British and Irish POWs’, Languages and the First World War Conference, British Library, London, June 2014.
  • ‘If You Can’t Talk Proper Shut Your Mouth’, Northern English Workshop 5, Nottingham Trent University, April 2012.

Collection guides

English accents and dialects

We have an extensive collection of spoken voice recordings