OUP to analyse language in second BBC competition

Oxford University Press will be supporting the BBC Radio 2 "500 Words" story competition with children's language research for the second year running.

The publisher will track children's language by analysing all the words in the stories entered into the 2013 Radio 2 “500 Words” short story competition, using Oxford Children's Corpus, an advanced language database.

OUP is aiming to explore the way children use language, picking out their favourite words, discover new words, and looking at their use of punctuation. It will also study age, gender and regional language differences.

The publisher will then compare the language used by children last year with the 2013 entries and track changes.

OUP head of children's dictionaries Vineeta Gupta said: "Last year's competition revealed that children use language in very imaginative ways. It gave us some surprising insights into the ways children understand and use language. I am looking forward to seeing what the entries to this year's competition reveal."