The aim of the project is to provide data on how English is used today - patterns of usage by region, age, gender, etc. - not to analyse or quote individual conversations. Here are some examples of research we might carry out:

How English is changing over time:

Comparisons between the 1994 and 2014 versions of the British National Corpus. This is partly focused on the use of vocabulary, but also the topics we talk about and the way we manage conversations.

Regional variations across the UK:

How far does Estuary English extend across the UK? What happens with English at the borders of regions? Are regional accents influenced by models in the media - e.g. the Archers or Peaky Blinders? Are regional dialects becoming more and more similar?

What learners of English could learn to sound natural:

How do English speakers typically use the language to do things like interrupt a conversation, disagree politely, change topic, apologise, ask permission, etc.? We also analyse how specific words and phrases are typically used. This will then be used in our English Language Teaching course books and materials so we can teach up-to-date and authentic English.

Language for specific purposes:

What language learners should know for particular areas of study or situations - e.g. students following an engineering course in the UK, business people talking in meetings, giving presentations to inform others etc.

 

BNC resized1

Cambridge University Press