English and German pop song lyrics: Towards a contrastive textology





pop culture, pop cultural linguistics, performed language,, media language, music, media linguistics, textlinguistics, register study, typology, LYPOP, Songkorpus


The present contribution offers a contrastive corpus-based analysis of English and German pop lyrics. It conceptualizes lyrics as a specific text type/register and tries to identify cross-linguistic commonalities and differences. As empirical base, it uses corpora that represent the lyrics of commercially highly successful pop songs in Anglophone and German contexts. Given the similar sociocultural functions and production circumstances of English and German lyrics, the study starts from the assumption that a large-scale linguistic overlap can be traced. While indeed cross-linguistic convergence is found especially for lexical patterns in terms of topic choice, the analysis also reveals a common property of conveying a conversational feel through lexicogrammatical means. However, given the differing typological make-up of the languages contrasted, fine-grained differences emerge as regards the ways conversationality/informality is established in pop lyrics as a performed text type.




How to Cite

Werner, V. (2023). English and German pop song lyrics: Towards a contrastive textology. Journal for Language Technology and Computational Linguistics, 36(1), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.21248/jlcl.36.2023.235