He may be the Midlands' most famous son, but Shakespeare apparently did not use the regional dialect in his plays, new research suggests.
Dr Ros Barber of Goldsmiths, University of London claimed that the existing evidence suggesting Shakespeare used regional dialects in his work was unreliable.
Previously, scholars argued that supposed evidence found in 18th and 19th century dialect dictionaries proved that the Bard used Warwickshire, Midlands or Cotswold dialects in his writing.
But in her research paper, Dr Barber explained that because these dictionaries were written centuries after Shakespeare's era, they were unreliable as sources.
Dr Barber said: "When defending the traditional authorship, the normal diligence a scholar would use in checking their sources is easily suspended.
"Modern scholars should be wary of relying on dialect lists compiled by early antiquarians, who did not have access to a wide range of texts, used Shakespeare as a key source, and did not in any case claim that such words were not used elsewhere."
She argued that not only would language have evolved considerably over two or three hundred years, it would have been influenced by Shakespeare himself.
In addition, the continuing academic taboo surrounding the question of whether Shakespeare actually penned his own work meant that dialect claims often go unchallenged.
Dr Barber cited an example from the 1970s, when Hugh Kenner claimed that the phrases "golden lads" and "chimney sweepers" used in Cymbeline came from Warwickshire dialect and referred to yellow dandelions and dandelions ready to be blown to the wind respectively.
"That certainly wouldn't have been the case in Shakespeare's era," Dr Barber said.
"For a start, the typical chimney sweep's brush Kenner alludes to wasn't invented until 1805.
"Kenner's anecdote has been widely adopted, but it's just a fictitious idea."
Shakespeare was responsible for a number of words and phrases introduced into the English language, including 'bated breath', 'good riddance' and 'wild goose chase'.
Dr Barber's PhD, awarded in 2011, was the first doctoral thesis in the UK to address the question of Shakespeare's dialect.
Shakespeare and Warwickshire Dialect is published in the Journal of Early Modern Studies.