The Linguistic Challenges of Secondary School Transition

A Corpus-Based Study of Academic Language

By Alice Deignan, Duygu Candarli and Robbie Love (in prep, 2022)

Part of the Routledge Applied Corpus Linguistics series.

This book provides a unique perspective on the school transition literature by identifying potential challenges of academic language that school children encounter at the transition stage from primary and secondary school. The main objectives of the book are threefold: 1) to uncover differences and similarities between academic language that school children are exposed to at primary and secondary school, using corpus linguistics methodology; 2) to explore and describe perceptions of school children and teachers about linguistic challenges of the transition; and 3) to describe the procedures of corpus compilation and analysis of written and spoken academic language, and methodological innovations developed. Drawing on empirical findings of our corpora and interviews from a diverse selection of schools in England, we aim to offer implications for policymakers and schools in order to ease transitional challenges for both school children and teachers. We will contribute to the existing literature on the genres and registers of education, which to date have been largely focussed on higher education, leaving sparse coverage of the all-important language of schooling. We will also contribute to the growing literature on the contributions of corpus linguistics to the social sciences and education.

Modality in Spoken British English

Recent Change in Casual Conversation

By Robbie Love and Niall Curry (in prep, 2022)

Part of the Routledge Focus on Applied Linguistics series.

This concise volume presents a detailed corpus-driven linguistic account of the role of modality in contemporary spoken British English over the last two decades, drawing on data from the newly-updated Spoken British National Corpus from the 2010s and its 1990s predecessor. The volume addresses the gap in research on modality in spoken language data in conversational English, which has been little researched until now due to limited data availability. The book offers an empirical description of modality in contemporary casual conversation across a range of social and demographic dimensions in its comparisons of the two corpora, informed by Love’s own experiences in designing and compiling the most recent corpus. Love and Curry use detailed form-to-function and function-to-form corpus analyses as a jumping-off point from which to critically evaluate existing theoretical models of modality and their fit for purpose for existing data, and in turn, reflect on ways forward for modality research and the use of corpora to explore recent change in spoken grammar. This book will be of interest to students and researchers interested in grammar, discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, and sociolinguistics.

Overcoming Challenges in Corpus Construction

The Spoken British National Corpus 2014

By Robbie Love (2020)

Part of the Routledge Advances in Corpus Linguistics series.

This volume offers a critical examination of the construction of the Spoken British National Corpus 2014 (Spoken BNC2014) and points the way forward toward a more informed understanding of corpus linguistic methodology more broadly. The book begins by situating the creation of this second corpus, a compilation of new, publicly-accessible Spoken British English from the 2010s, within the context of the first, created in 1994, talking through the need to balance backward capability and optimal practice for today’s users. Chapters subsequently use the Spoken BNC2014 as a focal point around which to discuss the various considerations taken into account in corpus construction, including design, data collection, transcription, and annotation. The volume concludes by reflecting on the successes and limitations of the project, as well as the broader utility of the corpus in linguistic research, both in current examples and future possibilities. This exciting new contribution to the literature on linguistic methodology is a valuable resource for students and researchers in corpus linguistics, applied linguistics, and English language teaching.

Check it out on the Routledge website!

See reviews by Jiawei Wang for the International Journal of Corpus Linguistics (2020) and Siqi Liu for Natural Language Engineering (2021).

Corpus Approaches to Contemporary British Speech

Sociolinguistic Studies of the Spoken BNC2014

Edited by Vaclav Brezina, Robbie Love and Karin Aijmer (2018)

Part of the Routledge Advances in Corpus Linguistics series.

Featuring contributions from an international team of leading and up-and-coming scholars, this innovative volume provides a comprehensive sociolinguistic picture of current spoken British English based on the Spoken BNC2014, a brand new corpus of British speech. The book begins with short introductions highlighting the state-of-the-art in three major areas of corpus-based sociolinguistics, while the remaining chapters feature rigorous analysis of the research outcomes of the project grounded in Spoken BNC2014 data samples, highlighting English used in everyday situations in the UK, with brief summaries reflecting on the sociolinguistic implications of this research included at the end of each chapter. This unique and robust dataset allows this team of researchers the unique opportunity to focus on speaker characteristics such as gender, age, dialect and socio-economic status, to examine a range of sociolinguistic dimensions, including grammar, pragmatics, and discourse, and to reflect on the major changes that have occurred in British society since the last corpus was compiled in the 1990s. This dynamic new contribution to the burgeoning field of corpus-based sociolinguistics is key reading for students and scholars in sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics, pragmatics, grammar, and British English.

Check it out on the Routledge website!

See review by Huayong Li for Digital Scholarship in the Humanities (2019).