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Dr Robbie Love - Aston University. Birmingham, , GB

Dr Robbie Love

Senior Lecturer, Languages and Applied Linguistics | Aston University


Dr Love's research harnesses technology to better understand how people use language and help people to communicate more effectively.






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Dr Love is a researcher and educator in English language and linguistics, with a specialism in corpus linguistics. He applies corpus methods to explore how English is used in a range of contexts, including casual conversation and public communications. Their research harnesses the power of technology to better understand how people use language and, ultimately, help people to communicate more effectively.

Areas of Expertise (5)


English Language

Corpus Linguistics

Public Communications


Accomplishments (4)

Nominee, Aston University Achievement Award for Best Newcomer


Winner, Aston University College of Business and Social Sciences Staff Award for Best Newcomer


Nominee, Aston Students’ Union Academic Award for Online Learning


Nominee, Aston Students’ Union Academic Award for Teaching – Engagement


Education (3)

Lancaster University: MA 2014

Lancaster University: PhD 2018

Lancaster University: BA 2013

Affiliations (6)

  • British Academy Early Career Researcher Network (2021-)
  • Aston Centre for Applied Linguistics (ACAL), Aston University (2021-)
  • UKRI Early Career Researcher Forum (2021-)
  • British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL) (2017-)
  • Centre for Language Education Research (CLER), University of Leeds (2018-2020)
  • International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) (2019-2020)

Media Appearances (3)

Episode 21 - Robbie Love

Lexis Podcast  online


Here are the show notes for Episode 21, in which Jacky, Dan, Lisa and Matthew talk to Dr Robbie Love about his work on corpora, spoken English and how he has been looking at changes in swearing patterns in spoken English.

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A bloody shame: Britons find a new favourite swearword

The Guardian  online


Love, an English language lecturer, told the Guardian: “Overall the data suggests that while swearing occurrence in casual British English speech is still within an expected range, it is lower than it was in the 1990s. It’s hard to say exactly why this appears to be the case – it may be due to shifts in what we consider to count as swearing, or that speakers perform the functions of swearing using other words that might not be considered to be taboo.

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Nature's language is being hijacked by technology

BBC  online


"A lot of new tech is abstract and difficult to understand, which makes it ripe for metaphor," Dr Robbie Love, a linguistics fellow at the University of Leeds, who conducted the study, told BBC News.

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Articles (4)

Adverbs on the move: investigating publisher application of corpus research on recent language change to ELT coursebook development


2022 While the role of corpus linguistics (cl) in language teaching and learning continues to evolve, its use in the language teaching industry remains somewhat unclear. The specific ways in which elt publishers use cl research to inform materials development are under-studied, meaning that it is not known whether cl is being used by publishers to its full potential. This study investigates the use of cl research by a major international elt publisher by conducting research into recent change in adverbs in casual spoken British English and sharing the findings with editors from the publisher. Through our analysis, we find evidence of major recent changes in the use of frequent adverbs. Following the corpus analysis, we conducted in-depth interviews with the editors and a review of the materials they subsequently produced using the corpus findings. In so doing, we find some evidence of effective use of corpora in materials development but reveal limitations in current corpus research which prevent editors from employing cl research more effectively.

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Corpora in applied linguistics: Broadening the agenda

Language Teaching


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Specifying challenges in transcribing covert recordings: Implications for forensic transcription

Frontiers in Communication

2021 Covert audio recordings feature in the criminal justice system in a variety of guises, either on their own or accompanied by video. If legally obtained, such recordings can provide important forensic evidence. However, the quality of these potentially valuable evidential recordings is often very poor and their content indistinct, to the extent that a jury requires an accompanying transcript. At present, in many international jurisdictions, these transcriptions are produced by investigating police officers involved in the case, but transcription is a highly complex, meticulous and onerous task, and police officers are untrained and have a vested interest in the influence of the transcript on a case, which gives rise to potential inaccuracy. This paper reports the design and results of a controlled transcription experiment in which eight linguistically trained professional transcribers produced transcripts for an audio recording of a conversation between five adults in a busy restaurant. In the context of covert recordings, this recording shares many of the typical features of covert forensic recordings, including the presence of multiple speakers, background noise and use of non-specialist recording equipment. We present a detailed qualitative and quantitative comparison of the transcripts, identifying areas of agreement and disagreement in (a) speaker attribution and (b) the representation of the linguistic content. We find that disagreement between the transcriptions is frequent and various in nature; the most common causes are identified as (i) omission of speech that is included in other transcripts, (ii) variation in the representation of turns, (iii) orthographic variation seemingly motivated by phonetic similarity, and (iv) orthographic variation seemingly not motivated by phonetic similarity. We argue that the variable nature of the transcription of ‘challenging’ audio recordings must be considered in forensic contexts and make recommendations for improving practice in the production of forensic transcriptions.

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Brits have washed their mouths out! Use of common swear words has declined by more than a QUARTER since the 1990s - with f*** overtaking b***dy as the most popular, surprising study finds

Daily Mail

Sam Tonkin


Britons' use of swear words has declined by more than a quarter since the 1990s, a new study has found. The research also suggests the word 'f***' has overtaken 'b***dy' as the most popular curse in the UK. It compared the use of 16 of the nation's most common swear words, including p***, c*** and s**g, from the 1990s to the 2010s.

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