Welcome to the home of UrBEn-ID, an ethnographic linguistic research project that was carried out at Manchester Metropolitan University, funded by The Leverhulme Trust.

UrBEn stands for Urban British English, reflecting the project’s aim to investigate ways in which young people in an urban environment use language in the construction, negotiation and performance of their identities.

We looked (and are still looking) at how identities are performed both within young people’s peer groups and in their interactions with adults in order to explore how meanings are communicated (or not) in different contexts. Working with educational organisations, the project feeds into current policies and practices of relevance to young people in Manchester, with a view to providing insights for a range of stakeholders and for the young people themselves.

A key focus of the research was, and continues to be, the exploration of a variety or repertoire of language known as (Multicultural) Urban British English. We describe this as an over-arching UK-wide variety along the lines of Multicultural London English.

For more details about the project, please see the project page and the people page.

For all enquiries about the project, including media requests, please contact Rob Drummond at r.drummond@mmu.ac.uk.