Multicultural London English

Multicultural LondonJafaicanblack accentBlack BritishEnglish with borrowed expressionshybrid accentIn the United KingdomLondon EnglishmultiethnicSouth London accents
Multicultural London English (abbreviated MLE) is a sociolect of English that emerged in the late twentieth century.wikipedia
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London

London, EnglandLondon, UKLondon, United Kingdom
It is spoken authentically by working-class, mainly young, people in London (although there is evidence to suggest that certain features are spreading further afield ).
The accent of a 21st-century Londoner varies widely; what is becoming more and more common amongst the under-30s however is some fusion of Cockney with a whole array of ethnic accents, in particular Caribbean, which form an accent labelled Multicultural London English (MLE).

Multiethnolect

As a result, it can be regarded as a multiethnolect.
Wiese (2006) uses the term German Kiezdeutsch, meaning ‘neighbourhood German’, to refer to multiethnic youth language in Germany.

Tag question

tag questionsquestion tagtag-question
* Innit, a reduction of 'isn't it', has a third discourse function in MLE, in addition to the widespread usage as a tag-question or a follow-up as in [1] and [2] below.
As an all-purpose tag the Multicultural London English set-phrase innit (for "isn't it") is only used with falling patterns:

Cockney

cockney accentCockney EnglishCockney dialect
While older speakers in London display a vowel and consonant system that matches earlier descriptions, young speakers often display different qualities.
In London's East End, some traditional features of cockney have been displaced by a Jamaican Creole-influenced variety popular among young Londoners (sometimes referred to as "Jafaican"), particularly, though far from exclusively, those of Afro-Caribbean descent.

Ali G

Ali G, AiiiIs it cos I is Black?
The satirical character Ali G parodies the speech patterns of Multicultural London English for comic effect.
Ali G is a fictional stereotype of a British suburban male "chav" who imitates urban black British hip hop culture and British Jamaican culture, particularly through hip hop, reggae, drum and bass and jungle music, as well as speaking in rude boy-style English with borrowed expressions from Jamaican Patois.

London slang

21st century London slang
London slang
Cockney rhyming slang and Multicultural London English are the best known forms of London slang.

Attack the Block

Danielle
The gang protagonists of the film Attack the Block speak Multicultural London English.
US distributors were concerned that American audiences might not understand the strong South London accents, and may have even used subtitles if it were to be released in the United States.

Sociolect

sociolectsdemotic speechsocial
Multicultural London English (abbreviated MLE) is a sociolect of English that emerged in the late twentieth century.

English language

EnglishEnglish-languageen
Multicultural London English (abbreviated MLE) is a sociolect of English that emerged in the late twentieth century.

Working class

working-classlower classworkers
It is spoken authentically by working-class, mainly young, people in London (although there is evidence to suggest that certain features are spreading further afield ).

Lancaster University

LancasterUniversity of LancasterLancaster Polytechnic
According to research conducted at Lancaster University and Queen Mary University of London, "In much of the East End of London the Cockney dialect... will have disappeared within another generation.... it will be gone [from the East End] within 30 years.... It has been 'transplanted' to... [Essex and Hertfordshire New] towns."

Queen Mary University of London

Queen Mary CollegeQueen MaryQueen Mary College, London
According to research conducted at Lancaster University and Queen Mary University of London, "In much of the East End of London the Cockney dialect... will have disappeared within another generation.... it will be gone [from the East End] within 30 years.... It has been 'transplanted' to... [Essex and Hertfordshire New] towns."

London Borough of Brent

BrentBorough of BrentBrent, London
As the label suggests, speakers of MLE come from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and live in diverse inner-city neighbourhoods such as Brent, Lambeth and Hackney.

London Borough of Lambeth

LambethBorough of LambethLambeth Council
As the label suggests, speakers of MLE come from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and live in diverse inner-city neighbourhoods such as Brent, Lambeth and Hackney.

London Borough of Hackney

HackneyHackney, LondonHackney, East London
As the label suggests, speakers of MLE come from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and live in diverse inner-city neighbourhoods such as Brent, Lambeth and Hackney.

Jamaican English

JamaicanEnglishJamaican accent
In the press, MLE is sometimes referred to as "Jafaican", conveying the idea of "fake Jamaican", because of popular belief that it stems from immigrants of Jamaican and Caribbean descent.

Economic and Social Research Council

ESRCEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)Social Science Research Council
Two Economic and Social Research Council funded research projects found that MLE has most likely developed as a result of language contact and group second language acquisition.

Language contact

contact languagecontactcontact linguistics
Two Economic and Social Research Council funded research projects found that MLE has most likely developed as a result of language contact and group second language acquisition.

Interlanguage

interim languagelearners' varietieslearners’ varieties
Specifically, it can contain elements from "learners' varieties of English, Englishes from the Indian subcontinent and Africa, Caribbean creoles and Englishes along with their indigenised London versions (Sebba 1993), local London and south-eastern vernacular varieties of English, local and international youth slang, as well as more levelled and standard-like varieties from various sources."

Creole language

creolecreolescreole languages
Specifically, it can contain elements from "learners' varieties of English, Englishes from the Indian subcontinent and Africa, Caribbean creoles and Englishes along with their indigenised London versions (Sebba 1993), local London and south-eastern vernacular varieties of English, local and international youth slang, as well as more levelled and standard-like varieties from various sources."

Regular and irregular verbs

irregular verbirregular verbsirregular
Was/were variation: The past tense of the verb "to be" is regularised. Regularisation of was/were is something that is found across the English speaking world. Many non-standard systems in Britain (and parts of the US Mid-Atlantic coast) use was variably for positive conjugations, and weren't for negative conjugations (System 1 below) to make the distinction between positive and negative contexts clearer (cf. will/won't and are/ain't). Most non-Standard varieties in the English speaking world have a system where both positive and negative contexts have levelled to was (System 2 below). Speakers of MLE use any of the three systems, with choice correlating with ethnicity and gender. Cheshire and Fox (2008) found the use of non-standard was to be most common among Black Caribbean speakers, and least common among those of Bangladeshi descent. Bangladeshis were also found to use non-standard weren't the least, but this variable was used more by White British speakers than anyone else.

Dialect levelling in Britain

Dialect Levellinglevelled
The qualities are on the whole not the levelled ones noted in recent studies (such as Williams & Kerswill 1999 and Przedlacka 2002) of teenage speakers in South East England outside London: Milton Keynes, Reading, Luton, Essex, Slough and Ashford.

South East England

South EastSouth East of Englandsouth-east England
The qualities are on the whole not the levelled ones noted in recent studies (such as Williams & Kerswill 1999 and Przedlacka 2002) of teenage speakers in South East England outside London: Milton Keynes, Reading, Luton, Essex, Slough and Ashford.

Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes, England. Milton Keynes1967 design
The qualities are on the whole not the levelled ones noted in recent studies (such as Williams & Kerswill 1999 and Przedlacka 2002) of teenage speakers in South East England outside London: Milton Keynes, Reading, Luton, Essex, Slough and Ashford.

Reading, Berkshire

ReadingReading, United KingdomReading, England
The qualities are on the whole not the levelled ones noted in recent studies (such as Williams & Kerswill 1999 and Przedlacka 2002) of teenage speakers in South East England outside London: Milton Keynes, Reading, Luton, Essex, Slough and Ashford.