Helena Halmari

Helena Halmari
Sam Houston State University | SHSU · Department of English

Ph.D. in Linguistics, University of Southern California

About

138
Publications
16,438
Reads
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520
Citations
Introduction
I am a Distinguished Professor of English at Sam Houston State University and a Texas State University System Regents' Professor. Betweeen 2011 and 2021, I served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Finnish Studies. At SHSU, I teach linguistics, English grammar, and history of English both at undergraduate and at graduate levels. My research has focused mostly on language contact (bilingualism, codeswitching, heritage language maintenance), pragmatics, and political rhetoric.
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - September 2021
Journal of Finnish Studies
Position
  • Editor
September 2009 - January 2015
Sam Houston State University
Position
  • Department Chair
October 2008 - December 2008
Åbo Akademi University
Position
  • H. W. Donner visiting professor
Education
August 1991 - August 1994
University of Southern California
Field of study
  • General Linguistics

Publications

Publications (138)
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we attempt to place code-switching in the more comprehensive framework of register change, a feature in all human conversation. We want to argue that code-switching, while unique to bilinguals for obvious reasons, may also be approached as one of the many markers of register change, register change itself taking place in all populati...
Article
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The early 1990s saw the proposal for ‘people first’ language: premodified nouns (disabled people) were to be replaced by postmodified nouns (people with disabilities). This usage was widely adopted in the fields of education and psychology. This article examines the distribution of both patterns in the electronic archives of the Houston Chronicle f...
Chapter
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This chapter looks at alliteration in one of the sub-genres of political speech, the inaugural addresses of the presidents of the United States. The data cover all the delivered inaugural addresses (56 altogether), from George Washington to Barack Obama, comprising over 130,000 words and over 3000 instances of alliteration. Based on quantitative an...
Article
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One of the salient features of Oxford, MS Bodley 649, a fifteenth-century sermon collection, is its frequent switching from Latin to English – and back to Latin again. Building on Wenzel’s (1994) groundbreaking work on macaronic sermons, I discuss the rhetorical characteristics of English elements in MS Bodley 649, with the purpose of showing that...
Book
Full-text available
Investigations of Finland’s nation-building process have paid relatively little attention to the ethnic and religious minorities, and today’s more diverse Finland has been perceived as a somewhat new phenomenon. Roman, Stadius, and Stark’s edited collection shifts the focus from the ethnically white majority of a culturally homogeneous nation, show...
Article
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The editorial for Journal of Finnish Studies 24 (1&2) serves as an introduction to the guest-edited (by Raluca Bianca Roman, Peter Stadius, and Eija Stark) theme issue entitled Counter-Readings on Finnish Nationhood: Minority Strategies and the Making of the Nation.
Conference Paper
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In this presentation, I approach the pragma-linguistic aspects of hypocrisy by focusing on one kind of speech event: apologies. Intuitively, apologies fall into sincere and insincere ones. The latter are typically also considered as hypocritical. Yet, to study the linguistic manifestations of hypocrisy, one must go beyond the average language user’...
Book
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This theme issue of the Journal of Finnish Studies brings together eight articles, which reflect cutting-edge research on entrepreneuship in Finland. The collection grew out of two important conferences held at the Tampere University of Applied Sciences in 2018 and 2019. Dr. Tiina Brandt from Haaga-Helia University is the guest editor of this colle...
Book
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This theme issue of the Journal of Finnish Studies, edited by Tiina Brandt, includes cutting-edge research on entrepreneurship in Finland.
Article
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This is the series editor's introduction to Journal of Finnish Studies volume 23, issue 2, entitled Enhancing Entrepreneuship in Finland, guest-edited by Tiina Brandt.
Data
See the abstract for Journal of Finnish Studies 19 (1).
Data
Here is the theme issue of the Journal of Finnish Studies, 17(1&2), guest edited by Driss Habti and Saara Koikkalainen. The issue is entitled "International Highly Skilled Migration: The Case of Finland."
Book
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This open issue of the Journal of Finnish Studies brings to our readers four articles: two on language and scholarship; two on identity and culture. The first article, Frog’s “Echoing Ideas in Discourse on Poetics: From Lowth’s parallelismus membrorum to Porthan’s rhythmus sensus” is an exploration of the intertextual relationships between the idea...
Conference Paper
In this article I discuss the variation in eight media headlines of an execution report from August 2019. While some headlines resort to the suppression of agenthood by the use of the passive construction ([is] executed), others use Texas or State of Texas as the subject of the active verb executes. The variation in the phrases referring to the exe...
Article
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This editorial introduces the readers to the contents of the Journal of Finnish Studies 23(1).
Presentation
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This panel entitled "J. R. R. Tolkien and the Kalevala" (FinnFest USA 2019, Detroit, MI) addressed the influence of the Kalevala--and Finnish language in general--on Tolkien’s work. The starting point to the panel was Dome Karukoski’s 2019 film “Tolkien." In his writings, Tolkien drew heavily from the universal themes central to the Kalevala and No...
Conference Paper
Minna Canth’s (1844–97) play The Workman’s Wife (Työmiehen vaimo, 1885) can be regarded as the first play ever written about the Finnish urban working class. The play is dark and depressing, depicting the plights of Johanna, the protagonist, and Homsantuu, a Roma woman. Both women are being abused by Johanna’s husband, Risto, but they are also bein...
Book
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Award-winning Finnish graphic novelist Tiitu Takalo tells the compelling story of the fight to save a historic working-class neighborhood from the threat of gentrification and concrete high-rises in her hometown, Tampere, in Finland. Based on a true story, this graphic novel masterfully interweaves the town of Annikki's rich history, the author's o...
Chapter
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Based on a 2016 online survey of 253 Finnish migrants living in North America, this chapter addresses the attitudes toward and means of heritage Finnish maintenance. Throughout the chapter, comparisons are made between the language maintenance of the old-wave migrants vs. the participants of the survey. While the circumstances of migration have cha...
Book
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This special issue of the Journal of Finnish Studies, Engaging the New Mobilities Paradigm in the Context of Finland, brings to the readers twelve fresh examples of research about migration and mobility in Finland. The volume is divided into four sections: Social and Cultural Experiences and Meanings of Mobility (Part I); Everyday Life and Lived Pl...
Article
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This editorial serves as an introduction to the Journal of Finnish Studies special issue 22(1&2), entitled Engaging the New Mobilities Paradigm in the Context of Finland, guest-edited by Driss Habti and Tuulikki Kurki.
Article
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In this introduction to the Journal of Finnish Studies theme issue entitled The Making of Finland: The Era of the Grand Duchy, the editors outline, in broad strokes, the years when Finland was part of Russia. The second part of the chapter consists of a discussion of the eight chapters that make up this article collection. The contributors approach...
Book
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This collection, a special issue of the Journal of Finnish Studies, Volume 21 (1&2), includes recent scholarship about events and cultural trends in Finland during the time of the Grand Duchy (1809–1917). The authors' theses are mostly non-traditional and surprising, showing how poverty, famine, illness, and even Finnish food played significant rol...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report was compiled to provide the Journal of Finnish Studies subscribers, authors, readers, and the general public information about the journal's operations and status as a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal about Finland, with a global reach. The focus of the report is on the past seven years (2011–2017) during which the JoFS has been edited...
Conference Paper
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In the framework of the politeness theory proposed by Brown and Levinson ([1978] 1987) and developed by Leech (2014; also Culpeper 2011), I will analyze the language used by the seven GOP presidential candidates during the January 14, 2016, Republican Presidential Debates (Full 6th GOP Debate). The question I attempt to answer is the following: can...
Book
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This open issue of the Journal of Finnish Studies consists of nine articles and four book reviews. The collection begins with Maria Lähteenmäki's lead article, which offers a political profile of Finland's first female president, Tarja Halonen (2000–2012). Erik Hieta's article on Walter Mattila introduces a newspaperman and editor who sought the pr...
Article
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This editorial is an introduction to Journal of Finnish Studies open issue 20(2).
Conference Paper
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In this presentation, Beth L. Virtanen and Helena Halmari inform the audience of two main venues that support publication efforts in North America about Finnish America: The Finnish North American Literature Association (poetry and prose) and the Journal of Finnish Studies (non-fiction).
Book
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This latest theme issue of the Journal of Finnish Studies is entitled Poverty of a Beggar and a Nobleman: Experiencing and Encountering Impoverishment in Nineteenth-Century Finland. The guest editors, Tiina Hemminki and Pirita Frigren from the University of Jyväskylä, have compiled a fascinating collection of articles about poverty in Finland durin...
Article
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This editorial serves as an introduction to Journal of Finnish Studies special issue "Poverty of a Beggar and a Nobleman," Volume 20, Issue 2. The issue is guest-edited by Pirita Frigenn and Tiina Hemminki.
Presentation
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This is work in progess--a preliminary exploration into the rhetorical motivations of the language-mixing strategies in Oxford Bodley 649.
Chapter
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The macaronic nature of MS Bodley 649 is the first striking feature that catches the attention of anyone looking at this early fifteenth-century sermon collection. Other, stylistic, features coindicing with switches from Latin to English, appear in these sermons as well: parallelisms, English proverbial elements, and alliteration. In this chapter,...
Conference Paper
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Today’s Finnish immigrants are very different from the migrants of a hundred years ago: they are typically highly educated and already competent in English at the time they arrive in the United States. For them, relocation is not perceived as permanent, and contacts with Finland remain frequent. However, Finnish migrants also sometimes establish fa...
Book
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This issue of the Journal of Finnish Studies consists of ten articles. The topics include literature and literary criticism; food in literature and Finnish cookbooks; multilingual correspondence and Finnish American language use and identity; Finnish expatriates in America; children’s play environments; and Sámi shamanism. Janna Kantola’s article d...
Article
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This editorial serves as an introduction to the Journal of Finnish Studies open issue 19(1).
Book
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This collection of ten essays, guest-edited by Kirsti Salmi-Niklander (University of Helsinki) and Kati Launis (University of Turku), addresses the topic of Finnish working-class literature and its international influences from the early twentieth century, through the Second World War, and until the present day. Finnish working-class authors had an...
Article
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This editorial serves as an introduction to Journal of Finnish Studies 18(2).
Data
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Conference Paper
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A common usage error, snickered at by sophisticated current writers, is produced when someone uses the subject case form of a pronoun (for example I) after a preposition, instead of the historically correct object case form (for example me). This confusion leads, for instance, to the widely attested variation of between you and I versus the correct...
Book
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Pia Olsson and Eija Stark, the guest editors of the Journal of Finnish Studies Volume 18, Issue 1, entitled From Cultural Knowledge to Cultural Heritage: Finnish Archives and Their Reflections of the People, have compiled a fascinating collection that focuses on the acquisition and storage of cultural knowledge intended for archives in Finland--and...
Article
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This editorial serves as an introduction to Journal of Finnish Studies 18(1)
Conference Paper
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In several manuscripts of Piers Plowman, the convention of boxing the Latin text in red seems to be fairly prevalent. The switch from English to Latin is made obvious and explicit. The lines in the electronic edition of Piers Plowman, Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson Poetry 38 (R), one of the fifty or so extant Piers Plowman manuscripts, illu...
Book
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This double issue of the Journal of Finnish Studies, guest-edited by Driss Habti (University of Eastern Finland) and Saara Koikkalainen (University of Lapland), continues our journal’s tradition of addressing issues relating to migration. Entitled Highly Skilled Migration and Finland, the issue consists of a collection of ten in-depth chapters both...
Article
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This editorial serves as an introduction to the special double issue of the Journal of Finnish Studies, guest-edited by Driss Habti and Saara Koikkalainen and entitled International Highly Skilled Migration: The Case of Finland.
Article
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Bilingual codeswitching (the interplay of two or more languages in the bilingual speaker’s speech repertoire) can reveal interesting underlying issues of ethnic identity. 467 electronic-mail messages written by three Finnish-English bilingual siblings have been analyzed to detect any variation in codeswitching patterns. The results indicate that, d...
Book
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At age fourteen, Jasmin disappears. Her last sighting is at a snack stand, a camel overcoat on her shoulders and a fluffy pet, possibly a chinchilla rabbit, in her arms. The snack vendor also remembers a companion, but the gentleman wore a brimmed hat that shadowed his face. This lead is not pursued, however, because the vendor is somewhat suspect...
Book
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The issue includes a set of eight articles focusing on identity, the Self and the Other, and representations at national, tribal, and individual levels. All chapters fall under the general topic of Finnish Studies.
Article
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This editorial serves as the introduction to Journal of Finnish Studies volume 16, issue 2.
Conference Paper
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Alliterative patterns and language switching in Oxford, MS Bodley 649 Oxford, MS Bodley 649 is a collection of late medieval scholastic sermons from early 1400s, written mostly in Latin but with frequent mixing into Middle English. Alliteration is also characteristic of the sermons in this collection. Even though alliteration often coincides with t...
Book
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Volume 16, Number 1 of the Journal of Finnish Studies includes the following articles: Anna Kuismin: "Building the Nation, Lighting the Torch: Excursions into the Writings of the Common People in Nineteenth-Century Finland" Sinikka Aapola-Kari: "Finnish Girlhood in the Twentieth Century: Public Representations and Private Stories" Sirpa Salenius:...
Article
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This editorial serves as an introduction to Journal of Finnish Studies, Volume 16, Issue 1.
Chapter
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Analyzing a substantial corpus of macaronic sermons from the late Middle English period (Oxford, MS Bodley 649), the authors detect a frequency hierarchy of switching sites in Latin-English intrasentential code-switching. Even though the syntactic constraints for switching are probabilistic and not universal, the data provide evidence for the tight...
Book
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In this special double issue of the Journal of Finnish Studies, the authors draw upon previously untapped sources and seek to diversify the picture of the so-called "Karelian Fever." From both top-down and bottom-up perspectives, the authors discuss the circumstances that created this phenomenon in Canada and the United States as well as in the USS...
Article
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This editorial serves as the introduction to Journal of Finnish Studies' special double issue (Volume 15, Issue 1&2), guest-edited by Markku Kangaspuro and Samira Saramo. The issue is entitled "Victims and Survivors of Karelia."
Chapter
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Ratahan se oli se yhteinen nimittäjä Hollon, Hakkarin ja Tuulialan väelle. Seisakkeja oli kaksi-Hollo ja Hakkari 1-ja joka aamu ne toimivat kuin imurit kooten ihmiset yhteen työläisjunan saapumisen aikaan. Iltapäivällä juna sylki väen takaisin seisakkeille ja tyhjin evässalkuin miehet lähtivät eri suuntiin: ylös Hakkarin mäkeen tai sillalle, Holloa...
Poster
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The poster summarizes our work on the syntactic tendencies of mixing English into Latin in a late 14th-century sermon collection, Oxford, MS Bodley 649.
Article
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In this article, we take a look at Gainesville, a northern Florida university town, as a sample of today's (2010) Finnish-American immigration patterns. The Gainesville area has a history of Finnish immigration, but, as elsewhere in the United States, the stereotypical immigrant has changed from a male laborer more to an educated woman. We base the...
Conference Paper
http://www.ling.helsinki.fi/sky/tapahtumat/case/Book_of_Abstracts_Case_Final.pdf#page=33
Conference Paper
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In this paper, I examine variation in the metaphors that Texas death row inmates used in their last statements in reference to their own death. The corpus includes last statements from 295 inmates who were executed by lethal injection between the years 1982 and 2007 and who gave last statements. The vast majority of inmates use metaphors to refer...
Poster
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This poster brings the focus to the metaphors of death and dying in the last statements of the Texas death row inmates, about to be executed.
Article
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BILINGUALITY AND LITERACY: PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE (2nd ed.). DattaManjula(Ed.). New York: Continuum, 2007. Pp. xvii + 236. - Volume 31 Issue 1 - Helena Halmari
Article
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This is a book review of Charlotta Häggblom's YOUNG EFL-PUPILS READING MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN'S FICTION: AN ETHNOGRAPHIC CASE STUDY IN A SWEDISH LANGUAGE PRIMARY SCHOOL IN FINLAND. Åbo, [Finland]: Åbo Akademi University Press, 2008. Pp. xviii + 324. €28.00 paper. - Volume 30 Issue 3 - Helena Halmari
Conference Paper
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Death and dying are among the most commonly referenced semantic fields in linguistic discussions of euphemism. This universal yet highly taboo end of everyone‘s worldly existence has produced a proliferation of metaphors, roundabout expressions, and slang terms that attempt to sooth the sorrow or veil the approach of the inevitable. This paper o...
Article
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This article investigates the rhetorical strategies deployed by President Clinton and Senator Dole during the 1996 presidential debates. Clinton resorted to implicit persuasion and audience-oriented rhetorical strategies, while Dole's persuasion was more explicit, and he did not avoid the use of "dispreferred" strategies such as opening his answers...
Chapter
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The purpose of this chapter is to investigate the speech acts COMMAND and REQUEST and their relation to the choice of linguistic code in naturally occurring bilingual discourse. The following question is addressed: does the bilingual mind conceptualize one or the other of the available languages as the more "appropriate" language for commands; in o...
Article
This article is a case study investigating the maintenance of Finnish in the language of two young Finnish-American bilinguals. The main source of data is a 90mins audio-taped conversation between the research participants, which was recorded in Finland after they had lived eight years in the United States and become fully fluent in English. Three...
Article
In this light-hearted article, I discuss some of the prevalent Finnish swearwords, their euphemistic forms, and the unique semantic fields from which some of them have been drawn.
Book
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Contents: 1. Acknowledgements; 2. Introduction; 3. Persuasion across genres: Emerging perspectives (by Virtanen, Tuija); 4. Focusing on private and semipublic discourse; 5. Persuasion in business negotiations (by Bulow-Moller, Anne Marie); 6. Persuasion in judicial argumentation: The Opinions of the Advocates General at the European Court of Justic...
Chapter
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In chapter 1, "Persuasion across genres: Emerging perspectives," Virtanen and Halmari provide the theoretical framework for their edited volume, Persuasion across genres: A linguistic approach; they define the term "persuasion"; and introduce the reader to the content of the book.
Article
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DEVELOPING ADVANCED LITERACY IN FIRST AND SECOND LANGUAGES: MEANING WITH POWER. Mary J. Schleppegrell and M. Cecilia Colombi (Eds.). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 2002. Pp. x + 274. $69.95 cloth, $29.95 paper. This volume is an edited collection of essays that was based on a conference organized at the University of California, Davis in 2000. It consists of...
Chapter
Full-text available
Becoming bilingual does not only mean that an individual acquires discourse competence in more than one language; it also means that the speaker develops a competence to alternate between the two available languages to convey subtle pragmatic messages while in the company of other bilinguals. In this chapter, I investigate the codeswitching pattern...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the speech act 'command/request' and its relation to the choice of code in naturally occurring bilingual (Finnish-English) discourse. The data come from 90 minutes of recorded conversation by two bilinguals (ages 14 and 15). While commands do not necessarily coincide with codeswitching, the switch into an...
Article
Full-text available
As part of the early wave of studies of code-switching in historical texts, this article looks at the mixing of Latin and Middle English in the B-version of Piers Plowman. This mixing follows overwhelmingly the grammatical principles proposed in recent research on bilingualism (which are mostly based on oral data); it also demonstrates strong conte...
Article
Full-text available
As part of the early wave of studies of code-switching in historical texts, this article looks at the mixing of Latin and Middle English in the B-version of Piers Plowman. This mixing follows overwhelmingly the grammatical principles proposed in recent research on bilingualism (which are mostly based on oral data); it also demonstrates strong conte...
Chapter
Full-text available
By comparing execution reports from the 1930s and 1990s, the article illustrates the interplay between two notions: discourse pattern (Östman 1999) and implicit persuasion (Östman 1986, 1987). In addition to the cultural variation that discourse patterns are subject to, these patterns may also undergo diachronic change. In the case of the execution...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
Jean and Aino Sibelius' correspondence consists of hundreds of letters and is preserved in the National Archives of Finland. Through an analysis of their letters, my purpose is to look into the linguistic realities of a bilingual family during the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Finland. In the Grand Duchy of Finland, at this time, the language issue for Aino and Jean Sibelius could have been divisive, as it was for many in the country. However, the Sibeliuses respected each other's languages and also knew them. The fact that Aino mostly wrote in Finnish while Jean wrote in Swedish seemed like the most natural solution to both. Yet, interestingly, both mixed some of the other person's language into their letters.This project provides a quantified rhetorical analysis of the use of Swedish, Finnish, and also other languages (e.g., German and French). I argue that moving between Swedish and Finnish in especially Jean Sibelius's letters reflects the gradually changing status of Finnish in relation to Swedish during the final decades of the Grand Duchy of Finland.
Project
"Multilingual Finland" is an article collection in preparation, with a projected publication date in 2024. Experts in various languages spoken in Finland prepare articles addressing the language situation today and the history of these languages in Finland, from a sociolinguistic perspective. The coverage will, of course, not be comprehensive (the linguistic situations may change rapidly, based on changing immigration patterns, often reflecting changing geopolitical circumstances). The following languages--with either a long or a shorter history in Finland--are included: Finnish, Swedish, Sami languages, Finnish and Finland Swedish sign languages, Karelian, Romani, Russian, Estonian, Yiddish and Hebrew, Tatar, African languages, and English. The contributors include Coppélie Cocq, Danny De Weerdt, Maria Frick, Kimmo Granvist, Laura Kanto, Antti Kronqvist, Johanna Laakso, Mikko Laitinen, Larisa Leisiö, Sirpa Leppänen, Friederike Lüpke, Simo Muir, Daher Okan, Jan-Ola Östman, Päivi Pahta, Kristiina Praakli, Anna Puupponen, Helka Riionheimo, and Peter Steggo.
Project
In this collaborative project, we bring together experts on the languages of Finland in two separate panels: (1) Finnish and Swedish (February 19, 2022) and (2) Sami, Romani, Karelian, Russian, Estonian, and African languages in Finland (February 26). The panelists include Johanna Laakso (University of Vienna), Jan-Ola Östman (University of Helsinki), Coppélie Cocq (Umeå University), Kimmo Granqvist (University of Helsinki), Friederike Lüpke (University of Helsinki), and Helka Riionheimo (University of Eastern Finland). The panels are free and open to everyone. The purpose of the two panels is to give people an overview and update of language variation in today's Finland.