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Making Sense of "Bad English": An introduction to language attitudes and ideologies (Routledge, 2020)

This book is based on a course I have taught for several years at the University of Helsinki. It is meant to offer a perspective on some of the sociolinguistic issues inherent to varieties of English, including the language attitudes that go along with those varieties.

The first chapters of the book offer some sociolinguistic background on English, including the relationship of language and race, social class and gender. The book discusses how the notions of “good” versus “bad” English came about, and some of the consequences of these views of language. The later chapters offer a linguistic overview of a few varieties of English, demonstrating some of the language-related reasons for why different varieties exist.

The book’s main target audience is students of English and linguistics in foreign-language settings, but it is also useful for students and readers in places like North America and the UK. Thanks to funding from the University of Helsinki, the book is available online free of charge. Click on the link below.

Making Sense of "Bad English"

The U.S. is not enough: Why the real world of linguistics needs your voice (Language, 2020)

This article was one of six published in the academic journal Language in response to a most important article on race in the field of linguistics that was written by Anne Charity Hudley, Christine Mallinson and Mary Bucholtz. Their original article, as well as the additional five response pieces, are available via open access (free of charge) through the link below.

Discourse-Pragmatic Variation and Change: Theory, Innovations, Contact (Cambridge University Press, 2022)

Elizabeth Peterson, Turo Hiltunen and Joseph Kern (editors)

This edited volume, consisting of 13 chapters by an array of established as well as up-and-coming researchers, showcases the breadth and quality of work being done in the field of discourse-pragmatic variation and change. Ever wonder if people in other languages use like? Read this book. Every wonder about the meaning and use of so-called "throwaway" words like um, uh, donc, please, is all, totally, etc? Read this book. You'll learn more than you ever thought possible about these pieces of language that hold our discourse together.

English in the Nordic Countries: Connections, Tensions, and Everyday Realities (Routledge, 2023)

Elizabeth Peterson and Kristy Beers Fägersten (editors)

People in the Nordic states – Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland – rank as among the most proficient speakers of English in the world. In this unique volume, international experts explore how this came to be, what English usage and integration looks like in different spheres of society and the economy in these countries, and the implications of this linguistic phenomenon for language attitudes and identity, for the region at large, and for English in Europe and around the world. Led by Elizabeth Peterson and Kristy Beers Fägersten, contributors provide a historical overview to the subject, synthesize the latest research, illustrate the roles of English with original case studies from diverse communities and everyday settings, and offer transnational insights critically and in conversation with the situation in other Nordic states. This comprehensive text is the first book of its kind and will be of interest to advanced students and researchers of World/Global Englishes and English as a lingua franca, language contact and dialect studies/language varieties, language policy, multilingualism, sociolinguistics, and Nordic/Scandinavian and European studies.

Available open access. 

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