Introduction to the special issue - Linguistic and pragmatic outcomes of contact with EnglishMer info
Journal of Pragmatics 2017, 121 : 175-187.
In this paper, I investigate the Swedish, non-native use of English swear words in Swedish-language comic strips. I first consider the established relationships between both swearing and humor, and comics and humor. I propose that swear word usage and the comic strip framework contribute to a mutual feedback loop, whereby the comic strip derives its humor from the use of English swear words, while at the same time the comic strip context, by invoking a play frame, primes the swear word usage for humorous interpretation. Modeling Siegel (1995), I then consider how a code-switch to English serves as a framing device or contextualization cue for humor in Swedish-language contexts. The analysis of a selection of Swedish comic strips draws from the Encryption Theory of Humor (Flamson and Barrett, 2008), and suggests that humor created via the Swedish practice of swearing in English is a function of shared background knowledge that capitalizes on the fundamental incongruity of two discourse systems operating under different norms of appropriateness.
Amsterdam : John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2017.
Any behavior that arouses, as swearing does, controversy, disagreement, disdain, shock, and indignation as often as it imbues passion, sincerity, intimacy, solidarity, and jocularity should be an obvious target of in-depth scholarship. Rigorous, scholarly investigation of the practice of swearing acknowledges its social and cultural significance, and allows us to discover and better understand the historical, psychological, sociological, and linguistic aspects (among others) of swearwords and swearword usage. The present volume brings together a range of themes and issues central to the existing knowledge of swearing and considers these in two key ‘new’ arenas, that is, in languages other than English, and/or in contexts and media other than spoken interaction. Many of the chapters analysed are based on large and robust collections of data, such as corpora or questionnaire responses, which allow for patterns of swearing to emerge. In other chapters, personally observed instances of swearing comprise the focus, allowing for a close analysis of the relationship between sociolinguistic context and pragmatic function. In each chapter, the cultural aspects of swearing are considered, ultimately affirming the importance of the study of swearing, and further establishing the legitimacy of swearing as a target of research.
Discourse, Context & Media 2017, 18 : 1-10.
This article is an investigation of the use of English-language swear words by Swedish, non-native speaker PewDiePie in the context of self-recorded, Let’s Play horror videos uploaded to the video-sharing website, YouTube. Situating PewDiePie within the greater media landscape to establish both his success and notoriety, this article addresses the local interpretation of the globalization of English and the use of English swear words in Swedish media. The practice of swearing in the gaming context is discussed, and swearing instances in a selection of three of PewDiePie’s horror game videos are analyzed. The article puts forth the argument that the use of English swear words contributes to the performance of PewDiePie as a specific, online persona, one that is both in line with the context of video gaming and conducive to a para-social relationship, allowing PewDiePie to achieve the overall goals of communicating with his viewers as peers and reducing the social distance between them. The article concludes that PewDiePie’s practice of social swearing not only simulates casual conversation between friends, but actively reduces social distance, creates the illusion of intimacy, and contributes to his unprecedented success on YouTube.
Snuff said! - Conflicting employee and corporate interests in the pursuit of a tobacco client.Mer info
In: Digital Business Discourse. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 142-159.
This chapter presents an analysis of intranet postings generated within a Swedish web consultancy during its pursuit of a tobacco company as client. Drawing from theories of crisis management, Beers Fägersten focuses on the emergent conflict and debate between employees who are in favor of having a tobacco company as a client, and those who are against it. The intranet thread reflects the use of discursive strategies typical of conflict management, but also strategies specific to the digital environment. A recurring theme in the debate is the navigation, negotiation and distinction of personal vs. corporate identities and interests.
What's so funny about swearing in English? - Swearing and language choice in Swedish comics.Mer info
Conversations in comic strip Swedish: - The case for applying conversation analysis to comic strip dataMer info
In: Swearing in the Nordic Countries. Copenhagen : Dansk Sprognævn, 2014. 63-82.
In this paper I present, analyze and consider the implications of the use of English swear words in Swedish media. First, I investigate the relationship between language and the media, focusing on the role of standard language forms in media discourse. I continue by exploring, within an Anglophone context, the use of swear words in the media. Next I present a brief survey of the use of English in Swedish. Finally, I present examples of the use of English-language swear words in Swedish media, showing how English-language swear words are appropriated by speakers of Swedish and suggesting that the use of English swear words in the media ratifies this appropriation, in turn establishing this practice as standard. I discuss the implications of this development in terms of the use of English swear words within a non-native speaker speech community, how usage may be in conflict with English native-speaker norms, and how the use of English swear words might come to characterize modern Swedish as well as a Swedish variety of English.
A Case Study of a Distance Degree Program in Vietnam - Examples from a Learner-Centered Approach to Distance EducationMer info
In: Cases on Professional Distance Education Degree Programs and Practices. Hershey, PA : IGI Global, 2013. 233-257.
The English Department at Högskolan Dalarna, Sweden, participates in a distance-learning program with the Faculty of Education at Vietnam National University. Students who enroll in this program are teachers of English at secondary or tertiary institutions, and will study half time for two years to complete a Master’s degree in English Linguistics. The distance program, adapted specifically to accommodate the Vietnamese students in terms of cultural differences as well as inexperience with distance methodology, is characterized by three design features: testing, technical training, and fostering a community of learners. The design of the courses also reflects a learner-centered approach that addresses common problem areas in distance education by promoting interactivity. Central to the overall program is the maintenance of different channels of communication, reflecting an effort to support the students academically and socially, both as individuals and members of a learning community. In this way, the effects of physical and cultural distances are minimized.
In: Teachers' Roles in Second Language Learning. Hershey, PA : IGI Global, 2012. 81-98.
In this chapter, examples from classroom interaction are presented to illustrate how languagefunctions in and is influenced by the sociocultural setting of the EFL classroom. The chapterfeatures two distinct focal points: First, the predominant use of English by the teacher and theminimal use of English by the students are proposed as instrumental activities where English canbe considered a mediating semiotic tool. I suggest that English-language interaction in the EFLclassroom represents Vygotsky‘s concept of a social semiotic tool that is specifically related to aninstitutional context (Wertsch 1998). Conversely, the second focus of the chapter is on theinverse use of Swedish, which mainly features as the students‘ language of social speech and theteacher‘s language of regulatory, disciplinary discourse. The teacher‘s code choice and theestablished practice of code-switching thus serve to redirect the students‘ focus, either toengaging in the learning of English, or to behaving according to the institutional context.
Newcastle : Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012.
Who’s Swearing Now? represents an investigation of how people actually swear, illustrated by a collection of over 500 spontaneous swearing utterances along with their social and linguistic contexts. The book features a focus on the use of eight swear words: ass, bitch, cunt, damn, dick, fuck, hell, shit and their possible inflections or derivations, e.g., asshole or motherfucker, offering a solution to the controversial issue of defining swear words and swearing by limiting the investigation to the core set of words most common to previous swearing studies. The specific focus results in accurate depictions of contextualized swearing utterances. Precise frequency counts are thus enabled which, along with offensiveness ratings of contextualized and non-contextualized swearing, enable a clarification of The Swearing Paradox, referring to the phenomenon of frequently used swear words also being those which traditionally are judged to be the most offensive.The book revisits the relationship between gender and swear word usage, but considers the distribution based on the core subset of swear words, revealing similarities where others have claimed differences. Significantly, Who’s Swearing Now? considers the aspect of race with regards to swear word usage, and reveals behavioral differences between, for example, White and African American males and females with regards to word preferences as well as social impetuses for and effects of swearing. Questionnaire and interview data supplement the swearing utterances, revealing participants’ individual credos about their own use or non-use of swear words and, interestingly, about others’ allowed or ideally prohibited use of swear words. These sets of data present thought-provoking and often entertaining statements regarding the unwritten set of rules governing swearing behavior. Who’s Swearing Now? concludes with close analyses of four recent and highly publicized incidences of public swear word usage, considered in light of the spontaneous swearing utterances, speaker and addressee variables such as gender, race and age, and perceptions of offensiveness and propriety.
"Can you hear me, Hanoi?" - Compensatory Mechanisms Employed in Synchronous Net-Based English Language LearningMer info
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 2010, 11 (1): Online-.
Language learning 2010, 60 (4): 753-791.
Based on an analysis of the speech of long-term emigres of German and Dutch origin, the present investigation discusses to what extent hesitation patterns in language attrition may be the result of the creation of an interlanguage system, on the one hand, or of language-internal attrition patterns on the other. We compare speech samples elicited by a film retelling task from German emigres in Canada (n = 52) and the Netherlands (n = 50) and from Dutch emigres in Canada (n = 45) to retellings produced by predominantly monolingual control groups in Germany (n = 53) and the Netherlands (n = 45). Findings show that the attriting groups overuse empty pauses, repetitions, and retractions, whereas the distribution of filled pauses appears to conform more closely to the second language norm. An investigation of the location at which disfluency markers appear within the sentence suggests that they are indicators of difficulties that the attriters experience largely in the context of lexical retrieval.
In: Cases on Online Discussion and Interaction. Hershey, PA : Information Science Reference, 2010. 175-193.
In: Handbook of Research on Discourse Behavior and Digital Communication. Hershey, PA : Information Science Reference, 2010. 145-163.
Tidskrift för lärarutbildning och forskning 2008, 15 (2): 11-21.
In: Corpora and discourse. Amsterdam : John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2008. 211-242.
In: Opening Doors through Distance Language Education. San Marcos, TX : CALICO, 2008. 43-66.
: Universität des Saarlands, 2007. (Saarland Working Papers in Linguistics ; 1)
[Review of:] Tony McEnery, Swearing in English. Bad Language, Purity and Power from 1586 to the Present Mer info
Applied Linguistics 2006, 27 (3): 542-545.
Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses 2006, 19 : 23-44.
In this paper, the Internet message board forum is proposed as an example of a community of practice (Eckert and McConnell-Ginet, 1992) in which contributors exhibit common linguistic conventions and forms of participation. The emergence of individual identities in interaction is examined in the genre-specific context of hip-hop Internet message boards. A corpus analysis of message board postings clearly shows that contributors systematically exploit the spoken and written qualities of the language of message boards, the " third medium" (Crystal, 2001) to identify themselves linguistically. Linguistic conventions or practices reveal a tendency among contributors to discursively construction their identities via a "social positioning of self and other" (Bucholtz and Hall, 2005) as experts or non-experts in the hip-hop community. Contributors' identities as experts or simply in-group members are further corraborated or established by the codification not only of non-standard pronunciations and grammar characteristic of speech, but also of non-standard orthography, which demands a written forum to be appreciated, as it is neutralized and unremarkable in speech. Because of the written and spoken qualities of message board discourse, both the content and the form of postings can be manipulated to showcase familiarity with hip-hop discursive practices. Internet message boards therefore represent the ideal forum for discursively constructing a hip-hop identity.
In: Proceedings of DiSS'05, Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech Workshop. : .
The Messenger: a Publication of Sunshine State TESOL of Florida, Inc. for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages 2000, 6 (2): 16-.