Elizabeth Peterson

Elizabeth Peterson is a University Lecturer in the Department of Languages at the University of Helsinki.

She teaches courses on language attitudes, varieties of English, and sociolinguistics topics such as language and gender.

Contact information


PhD, University Lecturer in English

Room C626, Unioninkatu 40
PL 24, 00014 Helsingin yliopisto, Finland
Phone: +358 50 448 2246
E-mail: elizabeth.peterson(at)helsinki.fi

Research interests

My research interests lie within the broad field of language contact. Within this area, I have two main projects.

For several years, I have been studying Scandinavian immigrant communities in the USA, primarily a settlement in central Utah. Most recently, this work has turned toward variation of affirmation markers, including the marker ja, also spelled yah or ya in American English.

In addition, I am interested in contact phenomena relating to English in its current role as the world's main donor language of linguistic borrowings. My investigations in this area focus especially on discourse-pragmatic variation, for example words such as pliis 'please' and jees 'yes,' and how they compare to previously existing semantic equivalents in Finnish. Along the same line of research, I have also recently begun an investigation of English-sourced swear words in Finnish, and how they vary socially and pragmatically with Finnish swear words.

Research profile in TUHAT

Recent publications