Samu's doctoral research

Samu Kytölä

Multilingual language use and metapragmatic reflexivity in Finnish online football forums. A study into the sociolinguistics of globalization
(published in February 2013)


Using two Finland-based internet football forums as main data sources, this doctoral thesis explores usages of multilingual communicative resources in multi-authored online football discourse. Furthermore, it discusses metapragmatic reflexivity, meta-level discussions on the acceptability and correctness of multilingual language uses in these Futisforums. This phenomenology of multilingualism and heteroglossia is discussed vis-à-vis the types of sociolinguistic indexicality that connect the forum discussions to larger societal patterns: domains of globalized and local football fandom, the sociolinguistic backdrop of the ostensibly monolingual Finnish participant framework, and the early 21st century technology of the interactive web forum. This is done in the framework of the ‘sociolinguistics of globalization’, with a reorientation towards mobile linguistic resources, drawn from a multiplicity of sources, organized in individuals’ repertoires, and employed in multilingual, multi-voiced discourse arenas. Ethnographically framed observation and data collection were conducted in order to integrate emic football enthusiasts’ perspectives with the descriptive sociolinguist’s etic vantage point. This dissertation comprises five research articles, each of which illuminates particular facets of the multilingualism in the Futisforums. Two of the articles have a methodological and theoretical main focus, while one of them is a quantitatively grounded exploration of multilingual ‘framing devices’ in processes of entextualization. Two articles contain detailed interactional-sociolinguistic analyses of the dynamics of multilingual language use in situ with local negotiations of multilingualism, particularly Finnish, Standard English, non-Standard English and Swedish. Two of the articles show how certain appropriated non-Standard language uses are linked to the aspects of mockery and degradation, while two of them emphasize the inclusive and benevolent facets of multilingual language use in football fandom. In the concrete realities of these online discourse events, these contrasting aspects are intertwined rather than separate, and both aspects are further intertwined with appropriation, stylization, playfulness, humour and a high sense of performance.


Keywords: appropriation, computer-mediated communication, crossing, English, entextualization, fandom, Finland, Finnish, football, globalization, metapragmatic reflexivity, mobility, multilingualism, non-Standard, online ethnography, sociolinguistics, Standard, web forums


My most important sources of primary data have been:

Futisforum, http://suomifutisnet.adv1.nebula.fi/phpBB2

Futisforum², futisforum2.org

As auxiliary sources of information I have deployed some smaller forums such as:

Paitsio.com, http://foorumi.paitsio.com/

Futismaailma, http://www.futismaailma.com/keskustelu/

Moreover, some of my research explores other football sites online and offline, but mainly social media, and mainly ones with a Finland connection.