Corpus Linguistics and the Analysis of Sociolinguistic Change: Language Variety and Ideology in Advertising, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Corpus Linguistics and the Analysis of Sociolinguistic Change

Language Variety and Ideology in Advertising, 1st Edition

By Joan O'Sullivan


266 pages | 64 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138556881
pub: 2019-11-28
SAVE ~$28.00
Available for pre-order

FREE Standard Shipping!


Corpus Linguistics and the Analysis of Sociolinguistic Change demonstrates how particular styles and varieties of language are chosen and represented in the media, to reveal changing language ideologies and sociolinguistic change. Drawing on a corpus of ads broadcast on an Irish radio station between 1977 and 2017, this book shows how corpus linguistic tools can be creatively employed, in conjunction with frameworks and concepts such as audience and referee design and indexicality, and examines how accents and dialects (vernacular and prestige) are exploited in the ads across the decades. In addition, this book:

  • illustrates the key principles of corpus design for sociolinguistics studies and offers a framework for future diachronic corpus studies of advertising on social media;
  • provides a model for analysing corpus data at both inter-varietal and intra-varietal levels in terms of both accent and dialectal features and explores the efficacy of using particular corpus linguistic tools;
  • identifies key factors which can be used by researchers as evidence for sociolinguistic change and links these factors to relevant theories and frameworks;
  • demonstrates how corpus tools can be used to compare advertising discourse with naturally occurring discourse, with particular reference to markers of (pseudo) intimate discourse.

Building on the growing body of research relating to variation and change in Irish English, this book is key reading for researchers and advanced students undertaking research within the areas of sociolinguistics and corpus linguistics.


"Joan O’Sullivan has carried out a comprehensive analysis of sociolinguistic change over time, based on a detailed case study of a diachronic corpus of Irish radio adverts. The careful consideration of issues relating to both corpus building and analysis offers much of value to students and researchers embarking on their own sociolinguistic projects."

Paul Baker, Lancaster University, UK

"This study is a welcome addition to corpus linguistics, using its technology and methods to gain linguistic insights. Joan O’Sullivan has successfully demonstrated the sociolinguistic motivation of language variation and change with compelling data from the domains of media and advertising."

Raymond Hickey, University of Duisburg and Essen, Germany

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Analysing sociolinguistic change through a radio ad corpus

Chapter 2 Language variety as a variable: The case of Irish English

Chapter 3 Language ideology and sociolinguistic change

Chapter 4 Examining language ideology in analysing sociolinguistic change: Frameworks and theories

Chapter 5 Designing, building and using a radio ad corpus for diachronic analysis

Chapter 6 Investigating sociolinguistic change through audience and referee design: intervarietal analysis

Chapter 7 Investigating sociolinguistic change through audience and referee design: intravarietal analysis

Chapter 8 Investigating indexicality

Chapter 9 Exploring pseudo-intimate discourse

Chapter 10 Conclusion

About the Author

Joan O’Sullivan is a Lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, Ireland.

About the Series

Routledge Applied Corpus Linguistics

The Routledge Applied Corpus Linguistics Series is a series of monograph studies exhibiting cutting-edge research in the field of corpus linguistics.

Corpus linguistics is one of the most dynamic and rapidly developing areas of the field of language studies and it is difficult to see a future for empirical language research where results are not replicable by reference to corpus data. The aim of the series is to showcase the latest research in the field of applied language studies where corpus findings are at the forefront of the research.

This series was co-founded by Ronald Carter (1947-2018).

If you are interested in contributing to this series, please contact the Series Editors, Michael McCarthy and Anne O’Keeffe (


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics