foreign language contact with English

Back when I was working on my PhD thesis (published in 2004), I noticed that a couple of people in my interview data used the English word please in the requests they made in Finnish. This raised a really interesting question: Why would people use the English word please in Finnish? This question eventually led me to research the use of the word pliis in Finnish, as well as other pragmatic borrowings from English into Finnish. This line of research has become a major component of my overall academic profile, inspiring many students to work on similar topics and prompting my involvement in various research networks.

Here are a couple of my main publications on this topic. Please contact me for a PDF.

  • Kiitos and pliis: the relationship of native and borrowed politeness markers in Finnish. Co-authored with Johanna Vaattovaara. 2014. Journal of Politeness Research 10:2, 247-269.
  • The nativization of pragmatic borrowings in remote language contact situations. In Cristiano Furiassi, Gisle Andersen and Biljana Mišić Ilić (eds.) The Pragmatics of Borrowing, Journal of Pragmatics 113, 116-126.

In 2017, I co-edited a special issue for Journal of Pragmatics with Kristy Beers Fägersten of Södertörns Högskola. The volume, titled Linguistic and Pragmatic Outcomes of Contact with English, contains articles on various European languages in contact with English, focusing on issues such as attitudes, grammatical adaption, and social and pragmatic meanings. The introduction to this special issue is available open access; click here.

Published by Elizabeth Peterson

Linguist. University Lecturer at the University of Helsinki.

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