Dr Esther Asprey

Dr Esther Asprey

Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics

  • Email address E.Asprey3@wlv.ac.uk
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Institute School of Humanities
  • Areas of expertise

    I am a sociolinguist and dialectologist who specialises in the structure of West Midlands dialects. I published the first complete scholarly account of Black Country dialect. I am currently working on dialect in literature, dialect boundaries, and accent perceptions. 

I am interested in regional dialects, how they change over time and from place to place, and what might contribute to them changing. As well as this I am a keen learner of Irish and am learning Welsh. In my spare time I travel and research the history of local places in the Midlands. 

Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences,

City Campus North – MX103,

Camp Street,

University of Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton  WV1 1AD

British Association of Applied Linguistics, Ordinary Member

Linguistics Association of Great Britain, Ordinary Member

MA Hons (Edin) English Language and German, 2:1

MA (Leeds) English Language and World Englishes, Distinction

PhD, Leeds.

PGCert Professional Practice, Aston University.

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Asprey, Esther and Caroline Tagg, 2019.The pragmatic use of vocatives in private one-to-one digital communication. Internet Pragmatics 2:1, 83-111.


Asprey, Esther. 2021. ‘The language of the senses in the dialect of the Black Country.’ In (eds) Groes, S. and R. Francis, Smell, Memory and Literature in the Black Country. London: Palgrave Macmillan., 85-107. 2021. 9

 Asprey, Esther. 2020.  ‘Black Country dialect literature and what it can tell us about Black Country dialect.’ In (eds) Honeybone, Patrick & Warren Maguire, Dialect Writing and the North of England. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 27-45.

Lawson, Robert and Esther Asprey, 2018. English and social identity. In (eds) Philip Seargeant, Ann Hewings & Stephen Pihlaja , Routledge handbook of English language studies, London: Routledge. 2018 ISBN 9781138913455

Asprey, Esther, 2015. The West Midlands’. In: (ed), Hickey, R. Researching Northern Englishes. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 393-416. 


with Dr Urszula Clark (2013). West Midlands English: Birmingham and the Black Country. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.


Asprey. Esther, (2008) ‘The sociolinguistic stratification of a connected speech process - The case of the T to R rule in the Black Country .’ Available at: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/arts/info/125154/leeds_working_papers_in_linguistics_and_phonetics/1951/volume_13_2008.

Asprey, Esther,(2007) ‘Investigating residual rhoticity in a non-rhotic accent: the case of Birmingham and the Black Country.’ Available at: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/arts/info/125154/leeds_working_papers_in_linguistics_and_phonetics/1950/volume_12_2007.