Research

I have a PhD in French philology (2010, University of Helsinki). My main research interests include intercultural (im)politeness and forms of address (tuvous, etc.) – the latter was the topic of my doctoral dissertation.

In 2019, I applied for the title of Docent of French language at the University of Helsinki. For a full list of publications, please visit my page on the Research Portal of the University of Helsinki.

Visiting scholar at ICAR, Lyon, 2020

École normale supérieure, Lyon

In 2020, I will work as a visiting scholar in the research community ICAR, at École normale supérieure in Lyon, France, for three months (January–March). This is my second research visit to ICAR, and it is funded with a grant from the Maija Lehtonen fund (The Fund for Arts, University of Helsinki).

At ICAR, I will collaborate with French researchers, and conduct studies on Politeness in authentic interactions between Finnish- and French-speaking interactants, which builds upon my postdoctoral project (2017–19).

Postdoctoral project: Finnish and French politeness (2017–19)

My postdoctoral project Finnish and French politeness (2017–19), affiliated with the University of Helsinki, was funded by the Kone foundation. In 2017, I did my first research visit to ICAR, Lyon, where I stayed for four months (September–December), and gathered new data on interactions between Finnish- and French-speaking interactants.

In my postdoctoral project, I examined cultural outsiders’ – that is, French people living in Finland and Finns living or having lived in France – perceptions of (im)politeness. The project resulted in three accepted articles on focus group data (and the fourth one will be submitted in October):

  • Isosävi, Johanna (accepted 6 Oct 2019). Cultural outsiders’ reported adherence to Finnish and French politeness norms. Journal of Pragmatics.
  • Holttinen, Tuuli & Isosävi, Johanna (accepted 23 Jan 2019). Forms of address choices among Finnish and French university students and native French teachers. Address forms across cultures in educational settings. Bayyurt, Y., Hatipoğlu, Ç. & Marti, L. (eds.). John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • Isosävi, Johanna (accepted 13 Jul 2018). Cultural outsiders’ evaluations of (im)politeness in Finland and in France. Journal of Politeness Research.

Co-editor of SKY Journal of Linguistics (2016–19)

SKY Journal of Linguistics is a refereed general linguistic journal published on an annual basis. It contains previously unpublished, original articles, short essays or so-called “squibs”, and book reviews.

During my time as a co-editor, I participated in publication of four journals (2016–19). In addition to working with articles and squibs, I was responsible for book reviews.

New topics after the doctoral thesis (2010–15)

After my doctoral dissertation, I expanded my study on address forms to new topics and corpora. First, together with Dr. Eva Havu and Dr. Hanna Lappalainen, I co-authored a chapter (2014), in French, of Finnish address forms in institutional contexts, which was published in a book edited by Prof. Catherine Kerbrat-Orecchioni.

Second, together with Hanna Lappalainen, we connected the study of address forms to globalization. In our English-language article (2015), we compared attitudes to the usage of first names at Starbucks cafés in Finland and in France.

Furthermore, I took part in a multilingual book project on miscommunication and verbal violence, which was published by Modern Language Society of Helsinki in 2015. In addition to serving as a co-editor, I authored a French-language chapter on verbal violence on a Facebook profil against the former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

A co-edited book on address practices in 13 European languages (2015)

I co-edited a book with Dr. Hanna Lappalainen on address practices in 13 European languages. This book was part of the project How to address? Variation and Change in Address Practices (2014–17) directed by Lappalainen at the University of Helsinki.

The book, written in Finnish, was published in 2015 by the Finnish Literature Society. In addition to the table of contents in Finnish, an abstract of the book is available in English. In the book, I co-authored an Introduction with Lappalainen providing a overview of the methods and data used in address studies, and authored on article on address practices in French, which was largely based on my doctoral thesis (2010).

Doctoral dissertation (2010)

In my doctoral dissertation (2010, University of Helsinki), a monograph written in French, I studied forms of address in French film dialogues and their translations into Finnish. The opponent of my doctoral dissertation was Professor Emerita Catherine Kerbrat-Orecchioni from Université de Lyon 2.

My thesis was part of the project of the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Helsinki: Social Deixis: Address Terms as a Mirror of Societal Transformations (2005–2007). As a product of the project, a book was published in 2013, gathering results of several Romance languages, and including my article summarizing the main results of my thesis.

During my time as a PhD student (2005–2009), I also wrote articles. For example, I co-authored articles with one of my supervisors, Dr. Eva Havu. In our joint publications, we compared different corpora, and examined, for instance, the use of French address forms in films and their reported use in questionnaires, or translation of address forms in films and in literature.