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Title: From broadcast archive to language corpus: Designing and investigating a sociohistorical corpus from Desert Island Discs
Authors: Smith, Nicholas
Waters, Cathleen
First Published: 11-Apr-2018
Publisher: De Gruyter
Citation: ICAME Journal, 2018, 42 (1), pp. 167–190
Abstract: The aims of this paper are twofold: i) to present the motivation and design of a sociohistorical corpus derived from the popular BBC Radio show, Desert Island Discs (DID); and ii) to illustrate the potential of the DID corpus (DIDC) with a case study. In an era of ever-increasing digital resources and scholarly interest in recent language change, there remains an enormous disparity between available written and spoken corpora. We describe how a corpus derived from DID contributes to redressing the balance. Treating DID as an example of a specialized register, namely, a ‘biographical chat show’, we review its attendant situational characteristics, and explain the affordances and design features of a sociolinguistic corpus sampling of the show. Finally, to illustrate the potential of DIDC for linguistic exploration of recent change, we conduct a case study on two pronouns with generic, impersonal reference, namely you and one.
DOI Link: 10.1515/icame-2018-0008
eISSN: 1502-5462
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2018. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License (, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Description: Data related to this article is available at - Guest speaker classifications for a corpus linguistic study of Desert Island Discs, by Smith and Waters (2018)
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Education

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