• Book Review: The Language of Jane Austen by Joe Bray, 2018. London: Palgrave: pp. 182 ISBN 9783319721613

      Neary, Clara; University of Chester (Sage, 2019-05-15)
      Review of The Language of Jane Austen by Joe Bray, 2018.
    • 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
    • Development of a tablet application for the screening of receptive vocabulary skills in multilingual children: A pilot study

      Schaefer, Blanca; Bowyer-Crane, Claudine; Herrmann, Frank; Fricke, Silke; University of Sheffield, University of York, University of Chester (Sage, 2015-06-25)
      For professionals working with multilingual children, detecting language deficits in a child’s home language can present a challenge. This is largely due to the scarcity of standardized assessments in many children’s home languages and missing normative data on multilingual language acquisition. A common approach is to translate existing English language vocabulary measures into other languages. However, this approach does not take into account the cultural and linguistic differences between languages. This pilot study explored whether English and home-language receptive vocabulary skills can be objectively and reliably screened using a tablet application. Preliminary data on monolingual and multilingual vocabulary skills was collected from 139 children aged 6–7 years. A tablet application was designed to assess children’s receptive vocabulary in both English and an additional eight languages using a four-choice picture paradigm. Linguistically controlled and pre-recorded target items are presented orally via the tablet in each language and responses are made via the touch screen and are automatically scored. The English version of the test was administered to 67 monolingual and 72 multilingual children, while 38 multilingual children also completed the test in their home language. Test criteria measures, including reliability and concurrent validity showed satisfactory results. These findings suggest that the tablet application could be a useful tool for professionals to screen receptive vocabulary skills in monolingual and multilingual children. Limitations of the first version of the receptive vocabulary screener and future steps are discussed.
    • ‘Please could you stop the noise’: The grammar of multimodal meaning-making in Radiohead’s "Paranoid Android"

      Neary, Clara; University of Chester (Sage, 2019-03-15)
      This article uses Zbikowski’s (2002, 2012, 2017) theory of ‘musical grammar’ to analyse Radiohead’s song ‘Paranoid Android’ from their 1997 album OK Computer. Invoking the close structural and compositional parallels between language and music, Zbikowski’s approach appropriates some of the core elements of cognitive linguistics to provide a means of ‘translating’ music into meaning-bearing conceptual structures via the construction of ‘sonic analogs’, which are a type of conceptual construct formed when incoming perceptual information is compared to existing cognitive knowledge stored as image schemas. The result is an analysis of the interactions between the linguistic and aural constructions of a multimodal text that not only sheds new light on this text’s meaning-making devices but also endeavours to unlock the strategies through which such distinctive semiotic modes act and interact within texts to create meaning potential.
    • Review of Helen Kingstone and Kate Lister (eds), Paraphernalia! Victorian Objects (Routledge, 2018) pp. xiii + 267 (£115.00)

      Wynne, Deborah; University of Chester (Sage, 2019-05-01)
      A review of Helen Kingstone and Kate Lister (eds), Paraphernalia! Victorian Objects (Routledge, 2018) pp. xiii + 267 (£115.00).