Youth language in media contexts: insights into the functions of English in Finland



ABSTRACT:  Recent research has shown that the role of English in Finland is now changing. In particular contexts, it is sometimes used as a lingua franca, an intracultural means of communication, and an additional language, along with Finnish. An interesting domain in terms of the spread and changing role of English is also youth language – the focus of the present paper. Approaching youth language from a discourse-analytic and sociolinguistic perspective, this paper investigates an electronic game session, hip-hop lyrics, fan fiction and weblogs. As in youth language in other bi/multilingual speech communities, the paper argues that the uses of English in these Finnish youth language contexts are characterised by appropriation and creativity, and serve as means for constructing identity and communality.