Emily Owen


I undertook a BA in English Language and Literature at the University of Leeds before progressing to postgraduate level. My research is primarily rooted in linguistics, although it also has elements of oral history. I am working with several oral history interview recordings currently housed in the Leeds Archive of Vernacular Culture (LAVC), a collection of multi-media material relating to dialect and folk life in Special Collections. These interviews are all centred on the textiles and tailoring industries in West Yorkshire, which were once vital to the region’s identity and heritage. As I am from the local area, this is something that I have long been interested in, especially since I have family members who have worked in the clothing industry. I am comparing the archived interviews against new interviews conducted by myself with retired or current textiles/clothing workers to see what insights both datasets can yield about how the industries have changed over time. I am also comparing both interview sets to see what they can reveal about changes in West Yorkshire dialects, specifically grammatical features and vocabulary. I hope to share the stories I have encountered with the communities they came from in some form.


  • BA English Language and Literature