Professor Minna Palander-Collin researches the history of English, language change, and language as a tool for building identity. She is Professor of English Language and the Deputy Head of the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Helsinki.
My research focuses on the long history of English. The central questions are: how can the communicative function of language be used to explain language variation and change and how do changes in language practices reflect and create social-cultural change? Since language is not merely used to convey information, but it is essentially used to build and maintain social relationships and to construct understandings of the world, we can assume that the interaction between individuals as well as (media) communication more broadly are central factors influencing linguistic variation and, eventually, language change.
I am also a founding member of the Socio-cultural reality and Language Practices in Late Modern England (SoReaL) project.