Publication details [#64024]

O’Sullivan, Joan. 2018. Advanced Dublin English as audience and referee design in Irish radio advertising. The “initiative” role of advertising in the construction of identity. English World-Wide 39 (1) : 60–84.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper examines change in the sociolinguistic landscape of Irish English based on a diachronic corpus of radio advertisements from 1997 and 2007, with a focus on the relatively new accent variety, Advanced Dublin English (AdvD) (Hickey 2013). The quantitative and qualitative analyses are based on Sussex’s (1989) “Action and Comment” framework (which differentiates the advertisement components based on discourse genre) and on Bell’s (1984) audience and referee design framework. AdvD is viewed in the 1997 subcorpus as outgroup referee design where it has an “initiative” role in constructing listener identity. In the 2007 subcorpus, the increased frequency of AdvD suggests that it is evolving to an audience designed style. Stylised representations of this accent can be understood as ingroup referee design, a strategy which facilitates the evolution of this form as audience design. These findings illustrate the initiative role of the media in constructing contemporary cultural identities (Piller 2001).