AN international research project on the English language is specifically targeting people living in the Tyne Valley.

Mirjam Schmalz, of the University of Zurich, in Switzerland, and Sandra Jansen, of the University of Paderborn, in Germany, have jointly spent the past few years undertaking a linguistic study in the North of England after meeting through a Northern English workshop held once every two years in Europe.

While mainly focusing on dialect in the main cities of Newcastle, Sunderland and Carlisle, the linguists discovered they needed to explore language in the more rural areas – and want the people of Hexham to help.

Residents who wish to provide assistance need to email Mirjam at initially and then will receive a short story to recite and record, before sending it to the professors.

Mirjam said: “Sandra has so far focused on Maryport in the Lakes and I have focused more on Newcastle and Sunderland.

“When we talked about the need to research the language of the more rural parts of this area of the country we wanted to look at the area midway between the two coasts – which led us to Hexham.

“Furthermore, Hexham seems like the perfect starting point for linguistic research in this area due to its function as a local centre and also its interesting role in history.”