Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Gast, Volker

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.066

CiteScore 2018: 0.97

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.384
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.409

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 55, Issue 3


Standard Southern British English as referee design in Irish radio advertising

Joan O’Sullivan
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of English Language and Literature, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, South Circular Road, Limerick, Ireland
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-04-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2017-0003


The exploitation of external as opposed to local language varieties in advertising can be associated with a history of colonization, the external variety being viewed as superior to the local (Bell 1991, The language of news media. Oxford: Basil Blackwell: 145). Although “Standard English” in terms of accent was never an exonormative model for speakers in Ireland (Hickey 2012, Standard Irish English. In Raymond Hickey (ed.), Standards of English: Codified varieties around the world, 96–116. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), nevertheless Ireland’s history of colonization by Britain, together with the geographical proximity and close socio-political and sociocultural connections of the two countries makes the Irish context an interesting one in which to examine this phenomenon. This study looks at how and to what extent standard British Received Pronunciation (RP), now termed Standard Southern British English (SSBE) (see Hughes et al. 2012, English accents and dialects, 5th edn. New York: Routledge) as opposed to Irish English varieties is exploited in radio advertising in Ireland. The study is based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of a corpus of ads broadcast on an Irish radio station in the years 1977, 1987, 1997 and 2007. The use of SSBE in the ads is examined in terms of referee design (Bell 1984, Language style as audience design. Language in Society 13(2). 145–204.) which has been found to be a useful concept in explaining variety choice in the advertising context and in “taking the ideological temperature” of society (Vestergaard and Schroder 1985, The language of advertising. Oxford: Blackwell: 121). The analysis is based on Sussex’s (1989, The Americanisation of Australian English: Prestige models in the media. In Peter Collins & David Blair (eds.), Australian English: The language of a new society, 158–170. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) advertisement components of Action and Comment, which relate to the genre of the discourse.

Keywords: advertising; language variety; referee design; language ideology


  • Amador-Moreno, Carolina P. 2010. An introduction to Irish English. London: Equinox.Google Scholar

  • Antaki, Charles. 2002. An introduction to conversation analysis. http://homepages.lboro.ac.uk/~ssca1/sitemenu.htm (accessed 21 September 2010).

  • Bayard, Donn, Ann Weatherall, Cynthia Gallois & Jeffrey Pittam. 2001. Pax Americana? Accent attitudinal evaluations in New Zealand, Australia, and America. Journal of Sociolinguistics 5(1). 22–49.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bell, Alan. 1982. “This isn’t the BBC”: Colonialism in New Zealand English. Applied Linguistics 3(3). 246–258.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bell, Alan. 1984. Language style as audience design. Language in Society 13(2). 145–204.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bell, Alan. 1986. Responding to your audience: Taking the initiative. Paper presented at the Minnesota Conference on Linguistics Accommodation and Style Shifting, Minneapolis, Minnesota.Google Scholar

  • Bell, Alan. 1991. The language of news media. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Bell, Alan. 2001. Back in style: Reworking audience design. In Penelope Eckert & John R. Rickford (eds.), Style and sociolinguistic variation, 139–169. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Bishop, Hywel, Nikolas Coupland & Peter Garrett. 2005. Globalisation, advertising and language choice: Shifting values for Welsh and Welshness in Y Drych, 1851–2001. Multilingua 24(4). 343–378.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bliss, Alan J. 1977. The emergence of modern English dialects in Ireland. In Diarmaid Ó’Muirithe (ed.), The English language in Ireland, 7–19. Dublin: The Mercier Press.Google Scholar

  • Bliss, Alan J. 1984. English in the south of Ireland. In Peter Trudgill (ed.), Language in the British Isles, 135–151. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Bourdieu, Pierre. 1991. Language and symbolic power. Oxford: Polity Press.Google Scholar

  • Cook, Guy. 2001. The discourse of advertising. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Croghan, M. 1986. The Brogue: Language as political culture. In John Harris, David Little & David Singleton (eds.), Perspectives on the English language in Ireland: Proceedings of the first symposium on Hiberno-English, Dublin 1985, 259–269. Dublin: Centre for Language and Communication Studies.Google Scholar

  • Cronin, Michael. 2011. Ireland in translation, English Today 27(2). 53–57.Google Scholar

  • Ferriter, Diarmaid. 2004. The transformation of Ireland, 1900–2000. Dublin: Profile.Google Scholar

  • Filppula, Markku. 1999. The grammar of Irish English: Language in Hibernian style. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Filppula, Markku. 2012. Exploring grammatical differences between Irish and British English. In Bettina Migge & Máire Ní Chiosáin, (eds.), New perspectives on Irish English, 85–99. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Giles, Howard. 1973. Accent mobility: A model and some data. Anthropological Linguistics 15(2). 87–105.Google Scholar

  • Giles, Howard, Donald. M. Taylor & Richard.Y. Bourhis. 1973. Towards a theory of interpersonal accommodation: Some Canadian data. Language in Society 2(2).177–192.Google Scholar

  • Haarman, Harald. 1986. Language in ethnicity: A view of basic ecological relations. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Harris, John. 1997. Ireland. In Jeffrey Kallen (ed.), Varieties of English around the world: Focus on Ireland, 189–205. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Hickey, Raymond. 1999. Dublin English: Current changes and their motivation. In Paul Foulkes & Gerry Docherty (eds.), Urban voices: Variation and change in British accents, 265–281. London: ArnoldGoogle Scholar

  • Hickey, Raymond. 2004. A sound atlas of Irish English. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Hickey, Raymond. 2005. Dublin English: Evolution and change. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Hickey, Raymond. 2012. Standard Irish English. In Raymond Hickey (ed.), Standards of English: Codified Varieties around the World, 96–116. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Hickey, Raymond. 2013. Variation and change in Dublin English. https://www.uni-due.de/VCDE/ (accessed 3 January 2013).

  • Hogan, J. J. 1970 [1927]. The English language in Ireland. College Park, MD: McGrath Publishing Company.Google Scholar

  • Hughes, Arthur, Peter Trudgill & Dominic Watt. 2012. English accents and dialects, 5th edn. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Joyce, Patrick W. 1988 [1910]. English as we speak it in Ireland, 3rd edn. Dublin: Wolfhound Press.Google Scholar

  • Kallen, Jeffrey 1994. English in Ireland. In Robert Burchfield (ed.), The Cambridge history of the English language, vol. V: English in Britain and overseas: Origins and development, 148–196. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Kallen, Jeffrey. 2013. Irish English, vol. 2: The Republic of Ireland (Dialects of English 9). Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Kelly-Holmes, Helen. 2005. Advertising as multilingual communication. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar

  • Kirk, John M. 2011. What is Irish Standard English? English Today 27(2).32–38.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kirk, John M. & Jeffrey L. Kallen. 2006. Irish Standard English: How standardised? How celticised? In Hildegard L.C. Tristram (ed.), The Celtic Englishes 4, 88–113. Potsdam: Potsdam University Press.Google Scholar

  • Koslow, Scott, Prem N. Shamdasani & Ellen E. Touchstone. 1994. Exploring language effects in ethnic advertising: A sociolinguistic perspective. Journal of Consumer Research 20(4). 575–585.Google Scholar

  • Labov, William. 1966a. The social stratification of English in New York City. Washington, DC: Centre for Applied Linguistics.Google Scholar

  • Labov, William. 1966b. Sociolinguistic patterns. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar

  • Lee, David. 1992. Competing discourses: Perspective and ideology in language. London: Longman.Google Scholar

  • Lipski, John. M. 1985. Spanish in United States broadcasting. In Lucia Elias-Olivares, Elizabeth A. Leone, Rene Cisneros & John R. Gutierrez (eds.), Spanish language use and public life in the United States, 217–233. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Mac Mathúna, Séamus. 2004. Remarks on standardization in Irish English, Irish and Welsh. In Hildegard L. C. Tristram (ed.), The Celtic Englishes 4, 114–129. Potsdam: Potsdam University Press.Google Scholar

  • Milroy, James. 2000. Historical description and the ideology of the standard language. In Laura Wright (ed.), The development of Standard English 1300–1800: Theories, descriptions, conflicts, 11–28. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Molloy, Gerald. 1897. The Irish difficulty, shall and will. London: Blackie & Son.Google Scholar

  • Montgomery, Martin. 1988. D-J talk. In Nikolas Coupland (ed.), Styles of discourse, 85–104. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar

  • Ó Baoill, Dónall. 1990. Language contact in Ireland: The Irish phonological substratum in Irish English. In Jerold A. Edmondson, Crawford Feagin & Peter Mühlhäusler (eds.), Development and diversity: Language variation across time and space (A Festschrift for Charles-James N. Bailey), 147–172. Dallas, TX: Summer Institute of Linguistics,Google Scholar

  • O’Sullivan, Joan. 2013. Advanced Dublin English in Irish radio advertising. World Englishes 32(3). 358–376.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Oram, Hugh. 1986. The advertising book: The history of advertising in Ireland. Dublin: MO Books.Google Scholar

  • Piller, Ingrid. 2001. Identity constructions in multilingual advertising. Language in Society 30(2). 153–186.Google Scholar

  • Piller, Ingrid. 2003. Advertising as a site of language contact. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 23. 170–183.Google Scholar

  • Romaine, Suzanne. 2000. Language in society: An introduction to sociolinguistics, 2nd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Sheridan, Thomas. 1969 [1781]. Rhetorical grammar of the English language. Menston: Scholar’s Facsimile Press.Google Scholar

  • Spitulnik, Debra. 1998. Mediating unity and diversity: The production of language ideologies in Zambian broadcasting. In Bambi B. Schieffelin, Kathryn A. Woolard & Paul V. Kroskrity (eds.), Language ideologies: Practice and theory, 163–188. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Sussex, Roland. 1989. The Americanisation of Australian English: Prestige models in the media. In Peter Collins & David Blair (eds.), Australian English: The language of a new society, 158–170. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Thakerar, Jitcndra N., Howard Giles & Jenny Cheshire. 1982. Psychological and linguistic parameters of speech accommodation theory. In Colin Fraser & Klaus R. Scherer (eds.), Advances in the social psychology of language, 205–255. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Trudgill, Peter. 1972. Sex, covert prestige and linguistic change in the urban British English of Norwich. Language in Society 1(2).175–195.Google Scholar

  • Vestergaard, Torben & Kim Schroder. 1985. The language of advertising. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Wells, John. C. 1982. Accents of English, 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • White, Goodith. 2006. Standard Irish English as a marker of Irish identity. In Tope Omoniyi & Goodith White (eds.), The sociolinguistics of identity, 217–232. London: Continuum.Google Scholar

  • Woolard, Kathryn A. 1998. Language ideology as a field of enquiry. In Bambi B. Schieffelin, Kathryn A. Woolard & Paul V. Kroskrity (eds.), Language ideologies: Practice and theory, 3–47. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2017-04-01

Published in Print: 2017-05-24

Citation Information: Linguistics, Volume 55, Issue 3, Pages 525–551, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2017-0003.

Export Citation

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Joan O’Sullivan
English World-Wide, 2018, Volume 39, Number 1, Page 60

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in