Ylva Biri

Ylva Biri specialises in online communication, with particular interest in pragmatics and discourse analysis. She defended her PhD in 2023.
Contact information

PhD, Postdoctoral researcher

E-mail: ylva.biri(at)helsinki.fi, ylva(at)biri.fi

X: @ylvabiri

Research interests

My research focuses on interaction online. I combine qualitative analysis and corpus linguistic methodology to study pragmatic and discursive conventions in various online settings. Accordingly, my MA thesis (2017) was a quantitative register analysis on a corpus of online news and blogs genres, and my article-based PhD dissertation (2023, University of Helsinki) was titled Stancetaking in interest-based online communities: A corpus pragmatic comparative analysis. In the dissertation, I observe online communities based around different interests and social media platforms and argue that variation in the use of stancetaking – that is, the expression of subjective evaluation or perspective – is associated with differences in the technological affordances, genres and social goals characteristic of the communities. 

Although my main strand of research has focused on the more positive aspects of computer-mediated communication, I have also looked at the more negative ones. I have co-authored papers that use corpus-assisted methods to study the pragmatics of verbal aggression and of offensive humour. Additionally, I am interested in how opinions are spread as information on social media. One strand of research in my dissertation focused on how ideas about climate change are presented as truth. My current research investigates how influencers position themselves as trustworthy information sources. 

As a toe-dip in pre-internet communication, in fall 2019, I worked as research assistant on Varieng’s STRATAS project, specifically the ERRATAS project on the Corpus of Early English Correspondence. 

Recent publications