Varieties of Spoken English
The general theoretical aspects of the varieties of spoken English focus on some general linguistic concepts and their interrelationships. For example, the linguistic and social variability of an accent, accent phonology, and how and why accents differ. There is introduction to the reference accents (RP and GenAm). The general approach is applied first to the varieties spoken on the British Isles (RP and variability within RP, London, the South, the North, Wales, Scotland, Ireland), North America (GenAm revisited, Canada, New York City, New England, The South, Black English), the West Indies, the Southern Hemisphere (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa).
For a research paper on varieties of spoken English, you will need analysis of one of the accents above and find out the phonology concepts, characters and more in that accent. You will need to find some kind of short record or a conversation by some or two people from north America for example and try to analyze the record according to the description above.
Your topic paper will focus on the basic postulates of cognitive linguistics:
Early psychological studies of cognitive categories (E. Rosch, 1970s) which led to the prototype theory of categorization.
The conceptual potential of metaphors, which was first pointed out by Lakoff and Johnson (1980) and which makes significant contribution to the cognitive content and structure of abstract categories, especially emotion categories. Students will find it particularly intriguing to analyze the conceptual structure of set phrases used in talking about love, hatred, fear and other basic human emotions.
Spoken English and Metonymeis
The conceptual potential of metonymies (and their interaction with metaphors). An emphasis will be laid on the role of the latter in defining the conceptual structure of expressions with human body-parts.
Particularly challenging is the cognitive approach to the analysis of idioms, traditionally viewed as semantically unanalyzable units (whose meaning is not derivable from the meanings of their constituents). Hopefully, after analyzing a fairly large number of idiomatic expressions to find out and define the basic conceptual structures underlying the meaning of idioms.
The difference between thinking and speaking literally and figuratively. Does figurative language understanding require special cognitive processes?
Irony as a mode of thought. The poetic minds of children.