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Dr Elizabeth Peterson

Education: PhD in Linguistics

Affiliation: University of Helsinki, Finland


Department of Modern Languages

PO Box 24 (Unioninkatu 40B)

University of Helsinki

FI-00014 Helsinki


Phone: +358-(0)29-412-3306


Mobile: +358-(0)50-448-2246




Elizabeth Peterson is a University Lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Helsinki, where she teaches courses on global varieties of English, dialects of English, sociolinguistics and pragmatics.

Elizabeth’s research focuses primarily language contact. She investigates the relationship of English with various recipient languages, including Finnish and Swedish. She is currently co-editing a volume on language contact with English, featuring submissions that deal with nine different languages from the European continent. In addition to her work on English as a contact language, she has worked on the loss of heritage Danish in a Mormon community in Utah. Her work in Utah has entailed sociolinguistic fieldwork, especially interviews with elderly “rememberers.” She is particularly interested in discourse pragmatic variation in contact settings, and has been responsible for leading research on borrowings such as pliis ‘please’ and jees ‘yes, fine’ in Finnish. At present, she supervises PhDs on language revival, language and gender, pragmatic variation and English as a lingua franca, in addition to several MA theses on language contact and the role of English in Finland.

Elizabeth is on the steering committee of the Discourse Pragmatic Variation and Change (DiPVaC) research network, whose fourth conference she will host in 2018. She is also a founding member of the Global Anglicisms Database (GLAD) Network, a research organization that tracks and investigates English borrowings into worldwide languages. Her upcoming book, ‘Bad English’: An introduction to language attitudes and ideologies, is expected from Routledge in 2018. She will be a visiting scholar at North Carolina State University in 2017 while she works on this monograph.

Her PhD is from the Department of General Linguistics at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she minored in Central Eurasian Studies (Finnish). Her dissertation was on pragmatic variation in Finnish. She has worked at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC, and as a University Lecturer at Joensuu University (now the University of Eastern Finland) and the University of Jyväskylä. She worked as a journalist in Salt Lake City, Utah, before entering academia.

Selected Publications