Language Investigation

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Jo Elson, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. Jo Elson

    Jo Elson Member

    I'm doing English Language for my A-levels (i know i need my head seeing to or i will after i've finished), this year i have to produce an investigation on anything to do with language, but something original.
    I am having loads of trouble in finding something that i can do. A good one was comparing the language on grave stones of different religions but its been done an i don't really fancy taking pictures of peoples gravestones. Have any of you got any ideas cos they will be gratefully recieved. :D
  2. VenusTromster

    VenusTromster Member

    Don't worry, your not the only mad one, i ended up doing English Language for A level.

    some of the projects that people decided to do included:

    A comparision of the language from the King James Bible and a modern day one (historical change, and language of the Church)

    A comparision between different sports commentaries

    Looking at the different language and approach between broadsheet and tabloid papers.

    The function and use of language in advertising.

    Think the list could go on forever, but this is all I could remember.
  3. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    What about a comparison between English and American usage, and how they continue to use some forms (such as "gotten") that are no longer current over here. Plenty of source material available via newspapers, films, internet etc
  4. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    so are you saying since leaving the monarchy, their english has "gotton" worse??? lmao....

    Seriously, it's a good one. Maybe you could also look at a question some asked in here the other day, about words being used in different ways these days??
  5. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    Okie, you mean "it's only after getting worse.. "
    a valid language construct over here..
  6. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    gotten is a word little kids use here......I don't think I've used the word in the last 13 years!
  7. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    You could do "Swear words which were frowned upon and are now very much in common usage".


    "Text Message language, teaching kids how not to spell"
  8. bruceg

    bruceg Active Member

    Don't know much about what's expected in A levels (I'm a product of the Scottish education system) but maybe you could investigate the crossover between actual language usage and artificial intelligence research into natural language interpretation.

    There's a wealth of material available online and through contacting the universities (the University of Edinburgh has a particularly active Department of Artificial Intelligence ).
  9. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    woah! Way over my head! :wink:
  10. Jo Elson

    Jo Elson Member

    Cheers guys you give me something to think about anyway. At least i can go to the lesson with something. If you get anymore good ideas let me know! :)
  11. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    How about a comparison between Chaucer and Shakespeare? This period covers the invention of the printing press, and the subsequent beginnings of 'standard' English, which was, as I understand it, pretty much brought about by the availability of printed books - this was a time of huge flux for the English language, and there is a relatively large amount of source material about.

    Or how about: (similar to Steve's suggestion) 'The evolution of English swear words through the ages'? It's intriguing how words can rise and fall in terms of profanity - who would be offended by 'Zooterkins!'? Elizabeth I might not have been too happy, for one... On the other hand, Chaucer uses the 'C word' in the Canterbury tales.

    On this and related subjects, I can wholeheartedly recommend Bill Bryson's 'Mother Tongue' (ISBN 0-140-14305-X) - it's very informative and readable, and also mercifully non-academic.

  12. Kari Anson

    Kari Anson Member

    Language Acquisition is always a good one. Very difficult to get through ethics though as often involves working with children. If you like children it's a really interesting area and there are loads of theories and material for you to use.
  13. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    You mean "Constitution?" :wink:
  14. Jo Elson

    Jo Elson Member

    Yeah. The only problem with that is that you have to tape them and therefore have to have their parents consent to do it and they have to understand what you're doing too, which makes the data slightly unrealistic. And the exam board said they're fed up with this cos so many people do it.
  15. bruceg

    bruceg Active Member

    An excellent read even if you don't decide to use it as a reference for your eventual chosen subject.
  16. Kari Anson

    Kari Anson Member

    I got an A in this section of my A-Level English Language coursework - which was done on language acquisition. Perhaps after reading mine they thought that no-one else quite met my standards so started to get sick of it then 1998! :wink:
    I actually find it thoroughly interesting and even have progressed this interest into degree level - for my second year psychology project I'm doing "Do better readers make better communicators" and am doing this amongst 6-7 year olds testing their reading ability and language ability and examining any correlations ans regression.