Photo of Dr Paul Cooper

Dr Paul Cooper PhD

Senior Lecturer in English Language English


Indexicality and enregisterment, dialect writing

How are language features linked to specific social values? What social meanings are indexed (Silverstein 2003, Eckert 2008) by particular language forms? And where these links are repeated frequently, is the variety in question enregistered (Agha 2003, Johnstone et al. 2006, Beal 2009)? How can we see these social meanings expressed through dialect writing, both historically and today?

Yorkshire dialect, Scouse dialect

I am interested in how the Yorkshire dialect is enregistered, both historically and now (see Cooper 2013, 2015, 2017, 2020). This includes how the variety is represented in writing - in literature as well as in other contexts such as social media and on commodities like T-shirts, coffee mugs, etc. - and the perceptions held by speakers when interviewed (see Cooper 2019).

I am also interested in the ways in which Scouse dialect is perceived and used in educational contexts (see Cooper and Lampropoulou, forthcoming; Lamropoulou and Cooper, forthcoming).

Sociophonetics, sociolinguistics

The links between individual sounds, pronunciations, words, etc. with nonlinguistic factors (region, age, gender, social class, etc.). See Cooper (2019) for my work on speaker perceptions of Barnsley English in South Yorkshire, particularly in the pronunciation of the town as "Baaarnsley" with a fronted vowel, [a:].

Research Grants

Accent and identity in Liverpool: a corpus sociophonetic 'big data' approach


August 2018 - February 2019

Research Collaborations

Dr Sofia Lampropoulou

Project: Teaching speech recognition systems to understand Scouse
External: The Hartree Centre

Using neural nets and a 'big data' approach to improve the performance of Automatic Speech Recognition Systems in their understanding of regional dialects of English

Dr Sofia Lampropoulou

Project: Enhancing spelling and reading teaching practices in Merseyside secondary schools

A study looking at the use of Scouse as a stylistic resource in educational contexts by adolescent female speakers with the ultimate aim of developing pedagogical approaches and resources for the teaching of regional dialects in secondary schools.