Minna Nevala is currently Acting Professor at the School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies, University of Tampere. Her main area of linguistics is historical sociolinguistics, sociopragmatics and discourse analysis, as well as corpus linguistics and manuscript studies.
I am interested in how person reference was used to mirror the social hierarchy and to reflect individual social roles and statuses of Early and Late Modern England, in other words, how people referred to themselves and to other people as members of a certain group. I study language as a socio-pragmatic means to convey social identification between individuals and within different groups in public texts, such as newspapers and pamphlets. One of the objectives of my research is to show that shifting between in-group and out-group membership is a central function in the use of person reference terms by extending the scope of research beyond mere nominal reference forms. Recently my research has been focused on the language used to describe and evaluate people from the social margins in nineteenth-century England in various newspaper texts.