• Adjective Stacking in Northern Sotho

      Flanagan, Paul; University of Chester (University of Lancaster, 2013-07)
      In this paper, I investigate the nature of complex nominal modification in Northern Sotho, a Southern Bantu language and an official language of South Africa. Adjectives in Northern Sotho have traditionally been recognised as a subclass of nouns, based on morphological similarities between nouns and adjectives. Based on recent work which proposes that all languages have a distinct word class ‘adjective’, I argue that adjectives in Northern Sotho constitute an independent grammatical category. I base this suggestion on the common morpho-syntactic behaviour of members of this class and present an in-depth analysis of the ordering of elements in Northern Sotho poly-adjectival nominal phrases. There has been some limited discussion of the theory that there are universal structures in adjective order across different languages, although sequencing in languages with postnominal adjectives is desperately under-researched. Using a combination of corpus data and original fieldwork, I provide support for the suggestion that there are patterns in the syntax of complex modification strings which operate on a universal level, above that of individual languages.
    • A Certain Romance: Style shifting in the language of Alex Turner in Arctic Monkeys songs 2006-2018

      Flanagan, Paul; University of Chester (Sage, 2019-03-15)
      This paper reports on a diachronic study of the language employed by Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner in his songs over a 13-year period. The analysis adapts Simpson’s (1999) USA- 5 model for studying accent in vocal performance, and focuses on the realisation of three phonological variables and two dialect variables in a 16,000-word corpus of 69 songs across all six albums released by the band. Hailing from High Green, Sheffield, Turner speaks with a vernacular Yorkshire accent, and the band’s early appeal (particularly in northern England) is often accredited partially to their authentic down-to-earth image, content and performance. Throughout their career, the band have evolved in terms of their musical genre and style, and, having recorded their first two albums in England, later albums were recorded and produced mostly in Los Angeles. Simpson’s model is modified in order to analyse trends in usage of five linguistic variables with non-standard variants iconic of northern British identity, with a view to analysing how Turner’s changing linguistic practice relates to his affiliation with vernacular and institutional norms, and thus his performance of different identities within songs. Keywords: Accent, Arctic Monkeys, dialect, identity, northern English, non-standard, vernacular
    • A Cross-linguistic Analysis of the Ordering of Attributive Adjectives

      Flanagan, Paul; University of Chester (Edge Hill University, 2014-05)
      This thesis examines the order in which attributive adjectives are placed when appearing in a string modifying the same head noun. Noun phrases featuring more than one adjective are examined in six languages, all of which have modification patterns which exhibit distinctive patterns of syntax and morphology. Northern Sotho is a Bantu language with postnominal adjectives, agglutinative morphology and qualificative particles which link modifier and head; Welsh also has predominantly postnominal adjectives but less complex adjectival morphology. Polish and English adjectives typically appear before the noun, and the order in which they are sequenced is compared with Chinese, in which all modification appears before the noun, including relative clauses. I also examine the syntax of adjective strings in Tagalog, an Austronesian language in which adjectives can appear both before and after the noun, and in which the nature of lexical categories is particularly complex. The universality of the adjective class has generated considerable debate among linguists, with much discussion in the last decade with regard to whether adjectives constitute a independent lexical category across all languages. Chinese, Tagalog and Northern Sotho are all languages in which the nature of the adjectival category has been questioned, and this comparative analysis of a syntactic phenomenon which is an essential characteristic of adjectives adds a new dimension to the debate surrounding the universality of the adjective class. Based on a combination of corpus data and field-based methods, I analyse the patterns which appear across the languages in my sample. I evaluate the various explanations of the different factors which affect the order in which English adjectives are placed ahead of a noun, and relate my findings to equivalent structures in each of my focus languages, before proposing some conventions which appear to be consistent across a representative sample of languages.
    • Northern Sotho

      Flanagan, Paul; University of Chester (Babel Magazine, 2016-02-05)
      This is a magazine article for the regular feature 'Languages of the World', and includes an introduction and overview of the features and social situation of the Bantu language Northern Sotho.