1st Edition

English in the Nordic Countries Connections, Tensions, and Everyday Realities

Edited By Elizabeth Peterson, Kristy Beers Fägersten Copyright 2023
    260 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    260 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    People in the Nordic states – Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland – rank as among the most proficient speakers of English in the world. In this unique volume, international experts explore how this came to be, what English usage and integration looks like in different spheres of society and the economy in these countries, and the implications of this linguistic phenomenon for language attitudes and identity, for the region at large, and for English in Europe and around the world. Led by Elizabeth Peterson and Kristy Beers Fägersten, contributors provide a historical overview to the subject, synthesize the latest research, illustrate the roles of English with original case studies from diverse communities and everyday settings, and offer transnational insights critically and in conversation with the situation in other Nordic states. This comprehensive text is the first book of its kind and will be of interest to advanced students and researchers of World/Global Englishes and English as a lingua franca, language contact and dialect studies/language varieties, language policy, multilingualism, sociolinguistics, and Nordic/Scandinavian and European studies.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license.

    Chapter 1. English in the Nordic countries: An introduction

    Elizabeth Peterson and Kristy Beers Fägersten

    Part I: Background and critical perspectives

    Chapter 2. The role of English in the Nordic language system

    Johan Strang

    Chapter 3. Shifting connections between English and the languages of the Nordic region

    Elizabeth Peterson

    Chapter 4. Anglicization of the languages of the Nordic countries: Popular culture and everyday discourse

    Kristy Beers Fägersten

    Chapter 5. Language contact and language change: Impact on the languages of the Nordic countries

    Helga Hilmisdóttir and Elizabeth Peterson

    Chapter 6. Beyond threat or opportunity: English and language ideological tensions in the Nordic countries

    Janus Mortensen

    Part II: English in different settings

    Chapter 7. Parallelingualism, translanguaging, and English-medium instruction in Nordic higher education

    BethAnne Paulsrud and Una Cunningham

    Chapter 8. English in the Nordic workplace: Practices, policies, and ideologies

    Dorte Lønsmann

    Chapter 9. English in Norway’s multilingual North: A rhizomatic view on encounters with historical and transnational diversity

    Florian Hiss

    Chapter 10. Metapragmatics of "bad" English in Finnish social media

    Samu Kytölä

    Chapter 11. English in Nordic multilingual families: Couple and family language practices

    Kaisa S. Pietikäinen and Louisa Gühr

    Chapter 12. English in the Nordic countries: Conclusions

    Elizabeth Peterson and Kristy Beers Fägersten


    Elizabeth Peterson is a senior university lecturer in the Department of Languages at the University of Helsinki. She is a sociolinguist who specializes in variation, language contact, language attitudes, and ideologies. An American migrant to Finland, she is especially interested in the dynamics of multilingualism, language rights, and language change.

    Kristy Beers Fägersten is Professor of English Linguistics at the School of Culture and Education at Södertörn University, Sweden. Her research disciplines include pragmatics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, and conversation analysis. Her publications feature analyses of the language of media and popular culture, with a special focus on language play, humor, and swearing.

    The Nordic languages have a millennium of spatial co-existence, but it is only through a view from outside, from the perspective of the influence of English for less than a century that it has gained social, cultural, and linguistic unity as a coherent place. This volume is an exciting and innovative take on the Nordic languages, with each chapter showcasing the latest research in its respective subfield and forming an indispensable set of readings for a deeper understanding of the Nordic mentality. The editors' final chapter not only successfully brings the findings by the respective authors together, but also in a creative fashion presents the views of ten eminent Nordic scholars on the relation between English and the Nordic languages.

    Jan-Ola Östman, prof. em. University of Helsinki, Finland