AbstractsBusiness Management & Administration

Continuity and change in variety choice in radio advertising in Ireland (1977 to 2007): a language ideological analysis

by O'Sullivan, Joan

Institution: University of Limerick
Year: 2014
Keywords: radio advertsing; Ireland; Irish English; language
Record ID: 1179649
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10344/4020


This research examines language ideological change in the Irish context through a longitudinal analysis of variety choice in radio advertising in Ireland from 1977 to 2007. The study extends the growing body of research on variation and change in Irish English to examine this variety as it operates within the context of the genre of radio advertising. A corpus of radio ads from the years 1977, 1987, 1997 and 2007 is analysed using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Bakhtin’s (1981) concept of heteroglossia is applied to accent and dialect as well as genre as they relate to the ads. The analysis is based on Sussex’s (1989) ad components of Action and Comment which relate to the genre of the discourse. The corpus is analysed firstly at the inter-varietal level in relation to the range of varieties in the corpus, predominantly Irish English and Standard Southern British English (SSBE). Based on the decline of SSBE in the 1997 and 2007 sub-corpora, the second part of the analysis is at the intra-varietal level and focuses on accent sub-varieties of Irish English. The study explores the manifestation of standard and nationalist ideologies, the conversationalisation of discourse and the ideological construction of authenticity, employing a number of factors; variety choice and location in terms of ad components, the juxtaposition of prestige and vernacular varieties and sub-varieties in the ad components, indexical value of variety, and accommodation strategies including audience and referee design. Nationalist language ideologies and vernacular authenticities are reflected in the use of Irish English rather than the use of the Irish language. Standard language ideologies prevail throughout the corpus but take on a new guise in the later years in the form of prestige Irish English sub-varieties rather than SSBE. These prestige Irish English forms can be seen as a merging of nationalist and standard ideologies and of traditional establishment and vernacular authenticities. The notion of authenticity is found to be moving away from traditional conceptions and is based on more creative constructions.