NEW technology is helping to dilute the traditional Yorkshire dialect, it is claimed.

Once-common words such as blashy, meaning wet weather, and yocken, to eat with enjoyment, are now rarely spoken, according to research by North Yorkshire students.

More than 50 Craven College pupils have taken part in the project.

They recorded conversations with residents of Nidderdale, Airedale and Wharfedale aged 18 and above.

The results, on display at the Dales Countryside Museum, in Hawes, until 5pm tomorrow, reveal that many words commonly used in the county two generations ago are now almost forgotten.

English lecturer Jo Cremins, who co-ordinated the project, said: "Unfortunately, the Yorkshire dialect is a bit sparse. The day could not be far off when we all use the same words wherever we come from.

"People do still recognise dialect words, even if they do not use them.

"They remember their parents or grandparents saying them, but that is transient because the next generation will not have heard them at all, and the words will be lost."

Miss Cremins believes there are two reasons why Yorkshire words are vanishing from conversations. She said: "There is a worry now with the internet, texting and the media that things are becoming diluted and watered down.

"An international language is coming in; the sort of thing everybody speaks and can understand."

She also blamed changes in the way of life in the predominately rural county.

Miss Cremins said: "There is a whole farming vocabulary which has disappeared with mechanisation.

"Words which began life as farming terms and then got taken up into the general language have passed out of use.

"We have to work really hard to preserve this, but it is difficult as language is changing all the time."

The £20,000 project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The students will interview residents of Wensleydale and Swaledale later this year.

Groups of people prepared to be questioned have been asked to call Miss Cremins on 01423-503461.

From January, the completed research will form part of a permanent resource at Hawes museum.