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. Why would people use the English word please when they spoke Finnish? A few years later, this question led to a pursuit to try and find out exactly why and how a word like please (or pliis, as it is written in Finnish) gets used in other languages. You might say this opened up a whole new world of research and research collaboration for me, for example my involvement with the Global Anglicisms Database Network.

  • 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. Contact me for a PDF copy if you don’t have access to the journal.
  • 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. Contact me for a PDF copy if you don’t have access to the journal.

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, contained 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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