My research focuses on marketing and linguistics. For an article (based on my Master’s thesis) published in Studies in Variation, Contacts and Change in English 15, I compared blogs and email marketing. The research was an investigation into the differences between blog posts and email marketing texts which share a topic and an audience, but which do not share a purpose. I used corpus linguistic methods to show the similarities and differences between the two types of texts.
I am currently investigating something I call “econolinguistics,” or the study of how linguistic and financial data about a product and its advertising can be combined to predict and improve its sales rate. This is the focus of my dissertation and I am researching a corpus of 33,000 email marketing subject lines and texts, each appended with metadata such as open rates, clickthroughs, and send dates. My hypothesis is that the language of a marketing text affects the sales potential of that text’s product in an empirically measurable way. I plan to combine methods of corpus linguistics, computer-mediated communication (CMC), genre analysis, and marketing, as well as my own personal experience in copy writing, to see whether I can find linguistic patterns in the more successful marketing texts of my corpus. I am analyzing the morpho-syntactic features and lexical frequencies of my corpus, and performing a multivariate regression analysis to test the relationship between the linguistic features in the texts and their success rates, and also the importance of the correlations.
Another area I am interested in is comic books and the ways in which scholars can approach superhero comics. I have been studying how characters with histories that span several decades and many forms of media can be incorporated into academic research. My focus is on how scholars can perform a thorough analysis of characters from superhero comics, some of which have become ubiquitous, when their character traits are conflicting in the various versions of their stories. I am also compiling a corpus of comic books to facilitate linguistic research on them.