Lulu’s appearance on the BBC during coverage of the Queen’s passing sparked confusion with viewers across the nation at the weekend.

Speaking to Huw Edwards, the Glasgow-born singer, 73, left viewers baffled - not for the first time - by her apparent swing from a broad Scottish brogue to a ‘transatlantic’ accent.

Plenty took to social media to offer their reaction, while others, unable to bring themselves to watch a viral clip of her interview wondered if she 'lapsed into colloquial Govan'. 

Sympathetic ears held Lulu up as a 'a victim of the 1960s bigotry around language, accent, and the British class/caste system imposed on Scots and others who wanted to achieve something' while others suggested she was simply 'channelling her inner Sheena Easton'.

Professor Jennifer Smith, Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of Glasgow, told the Herald that Lulu’s use of ‘styleshifting’, rather than be a tactic used by a minority, is something “we all do”.

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She said: “We dress differently depending on where we’re going - a suit to work or a maxi dress to a wedding.

"We also speak differently depending on where we are or who we’re talking to - how you speak to a teacher might differ from how you speak to friends. Linguists call this styleshifting, and it’s something we all do. 

“Some of us styleshift just a little - changing a few words here and there. Others might styledshift a lot, changing the words, sounds and sentences in their speech. 

“In cases where a speaker has moved from one area/country to another, they might style shift a lot. Part of the reason for this is because they want to sound closer to the speakers in the new place.

"This kind of adaptation is called accommodation - we accommodate to the speakers round about us. So, for example, Lulu says ‘beauriful’ as this is how speakers in the States would say it. If she was talking to her family, she might say ‘beau’iful’”.

Rather than 'sliding from one accent to another' in the eyes of some Scots viewers, Lulu was sliding from one end of the Scots Linguistic Continuum to another, Professor Jennifer Smith noted. 

She added: “Linguists talk about a Scots Linguistic Continuum - at one side of this continuum you have what we call Scottish Standard English. This is how Ewan MacGregor sounds and to simplify, this is English with a Scottish accent . 

“At the other end is Broad Scots. Kevin Bridges might be at the Broad Scots end of the continuum, where distinctly Scottish words (aye, wean etc), sounds (hame, baw etc) and sentences (gonnae you help me) are used.

"Some folk can slide up and down this continuum from Scottish Standard English to Broad Scots. 

“This is perhaps what Lulu does - in the interview she slides up to the Scottish Standard English end, but when she’s talking to her family, she may be much more at the Broad Scots end.”

Professor Smith also confirmed that speakers like Lulu who slide from one end of the continuum to the other can be considered bidialectal - proficient in or using two dialects of the same language. 

Interestingly, a 2017 study by the University of Abertay, concluded that the brain treats a dialect and a language in the same way, with biadialectals displaying the same ‘switch cost' pattern as bilingual speakers do and different dialects (or closely related language varieties) are stored in the brain in similar ways as different languages.

So maybe it’s Lulu who has the last laugh over her sceptics.