English Language Investigation
Overlapping was used many times throughout the interview. It
is a common feature in spoken language and demonstrates
how this interview wasn’t rehearsed beforehand.
Ellen repeats this phrase a few times over the course of the
interview. Her main focus is on Emily Blunt’s appearance which
is a stereotypically feminine topic to discuss.
The compliment on Emily Blunt’s appearance supports
Deborah Tannen’s theory of women viewing the world as
a network of connections and use language to seek and
In terms of pragmatics the audience would be expected to know
who/what Hazel is as they would be fans of Emily Blunt and
therefore understand that they are referring to her baby.
Just by saying the name ‘Hazel’,
Emily knew what Ellen was talking
about which indicates a shared
understanding between the two
In terms of syntax this phrase does not make
grammatical sense. Ellen also uses elision: ‘gonna’
which emphasises how it is a spontaneous
interview and that it is being filmed for millions of
viewers. The grammatical error may be due to
nerves and the fact that the interviewer does not
have much time to think about what to say next as
it is a fast paced show.
The topics of appearance and
having a baby were discussed in
the interview which are maternal
themes, therefore women may
feel more comfortable talking to
a female interviewer about
issues like that.
Family friendly show –
makes it easier to
The fillers and pauses also reiterate how the
interview is spontaneous. Although Ellen may
have planned a few questions in preparation, she
does not know what answers Emily will provide
her with and therefore needs to come up with
more questions in order to keep the interview
Emily’s answers were not entirely
planned. She may have had some
idea of what Ellen was going to ask
her but some of her answers were
made up on the spot which may
explain her fillers and pauses while
telling her anecdote.
Emily says ‘I went’ / ‘She went’
instead of ‘I said’ / ‘She said’ which
is not grammatically correct.
However this may be part of her
dialect as many people use this in
their everyday language.
She also uses the lexeme ‘like’ a lot
in the wrong context. This may
have been a change in her dialect
perhaps influenced by the media,
the fact that she now lives in
another country and/or her friends
In terms of pragmatics, neither Ellen nor Emily
actually state who ‘John’ is. The audience and
viewers are expected to know that they are talking
about ‘John Krasinski’ who is Emily Blunt’s husband.
In addition, the fact that Ellen states that ‘John
texted’ her a picture highlights how the interview is
just a friendly chat between two females as they
clearly know each other quite well on a personal
Ellen uses her power as the interviewer to
conduct all of the topic shifts. She does
this in a subtle way by incorporating an
answer Emily has just given to form a new
question that leads into a new topic.
Ellen starts by discussing Emily’s
new born baby , then moves on to
talking about John Krasinski, then
back onto the baby, Emily’s new
film and then onto her appearance
Ellen allows Emily to do
most of the talking – Emily
has a higher MLU- and
prompts her with minor
questions or key words.
As the Ellen Show has a live audience,
the use of paralinguistic features are
quite common as the audience will
laugh a lot and so will the guests on the
Ellen has a few false starts over the
course of the interview. This proves
how she has not planned all her
questions and is therefore trying to
phrase them on the spot. During the
interview Ellen and Emily laugh a lot
which is why it may have been difficult
for them to start talking again.
Use of neologisms such as ‘wuss’ which
was bought about in the 1980’s as
North American slang.
‘Krav maga’ – Hebrew term bought
about in the 1940’s which meant
ALL SPOKEN LANGUAGE FEATURES –SUCH
AS FILLERS, OVERLAPPING AND BACK
CHANNELLING -ARE USED FOR THE SAME
REASONS AS THE PREVIOUS INTERVIEW.
Difference in choice of topic to discuss.
Graham Norton decides to talk about Emily
Blunt’s favourite hobbies. He’s clearly done
some research on her and basically knows
what her new favourite things to do are
and has decided to bring them up in
conversation. These hobbies happen to
stereotypically ‘male sports’ which may
have a link to the fact that the interviewer
is male as well.
There are more guests on the Graham Norton show
than there are on the Ellen Show which means Graham
has to control the interview carefully. To ensure he does
this effectively, he asks each guest a specific question to
avoid all the guests talking at once. If the guests go off
on a tangent – as seen on the next slide – he brings the
conversation back to the question he initially asked.
This phrase is grammatically incorrect. The
preposition term ‘for’ should be used : ‘Don’t
clap for him’ in order for it to make sense. This
error reiterates how the show is live and that
the conversation is spontaneous. Emily may
not have expected Russell Brand and the
audience to react the way they did and may
not have been able to think of a way to
retaliate quickly enough. This again
demonstrates the pace of the show.
Paralinguistic feature – The fact that
Graham Norton and his guests are able to
drink alcoholic beverages during the show
depicts how laid back the interview is. It
also makes it clear that it is a late night
show with an older target audience.
The use of expletives ‘sh*te’ in the interview also demonstrate how
the show has an older target audience. As Graham Norton allows this
language to be used it supports Robin Lakoff’s theory which states
that men tend to use more expletives.
However, this is contradicted by Emily Blunt as she uses the most
explicit lexis which proves that women do in fact use coarse
Graham Norton may have allowed the use of explicit language on
his show because taboo language is considered to be more
humorous and would therefore be more entertaining for his