Scouse is threatened by the rising tide of Estuary English
The phenomenon has been identified by Andrew Hamer, a regional accents expert at Liverpool University. He says that Merseysiders are increasingly speaking the watered-down form of Cockney that has already colonised much of the southern Britain.
Mr Hamer blames social mobility and EastEnders for the relentless march of Estuary English, which originated on the banks of the Thames in Essex and north Kent. He says that the trend is most noticeable in people under 30 and contrasts the sounds uttered by young scousers to those of earlier generations, whose pronunciation was influenced by the city's Irish immigrants.
"From my observations, these young speakers have started to say `fink' instead of `tink', and `bruvver' instead of `brudder'," Mr Hamer said. "It is the influence of the Cockney pronunciation."
Before the Irish arrived in Liverpool in the 19th century, seeking sanctuary from the potato famine, the native dialect was barely distinguishable from that of nearby Manchester. Immigrants from Lancashire, Scotland and Wales added to the linguistic mix, creating an accent described by one contemporary Merseysider as "one-third Irish, one-third Welsh and one- third catarrh".
Mr Hamer said the Liverpool accent had been in a constant state of flux. "I have tapes of elderly men born before the First World War who pronounce `fair' and `hair' as `fur' and `hur', which is the Lancashire influence," he said.
Many Liverpudlians will be pained by the prospect of becoming a linguistic footnote. But one likely to rejoice is the Liverpool-born novelist Beryl Bainbridge, who earlier this year called the scouse accent "stupid".
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier
Striker's four-month ban for biting an opponent expires on Friday
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior Software Engineer - C#, VB.N...
£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: The Job:SECONDARY teachers need...
£60 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Behaviour Support WorkerThe JobTo...
Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad Education is working in...