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Edward Finegan

Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Law

Contact Information
E-mail: Finegan@USC.edu
Phone: (213) 740-3876
Office: GFS 302A

LINKS
Curriculum Vitae
 

Biographical Sketch

Ed Finegan began his career teaching mathematics on Long Island. He then taught English and English linguistics at Ohio University and those and humanities at Case Western Reserve University while completing his Ph.D. He joined the USC faculty in 1968 and later served as founding chair of USC's Linguistics Department. In 1975 and 1976, he directed a USC English-language teaching project for National Iranian Radio and Television in Tehran. Besides a focus on discourse analysis and the discourses of law, his research addresses language variation and English usage, including their treatment in dictionaries. He has contributed chapters on usage and grammar to the Cambridge History of the English Language and on North American English to A History of the English Language (Cambridge). He is author of Attitudes toward English Usage: The History of a War of Words (Teachers College Press, Columbia University) and co-editor of Language in the USA (Cambridge University Press) and of Sociolinguistic Perspectives on Register (Oxford University Press). His introductory textbook Language: Its Structure and Use, 7th edition (Wadsworth/Cengage) will be published in 2014. He served as founding general editor of "Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics" and on the editorial boards of the journals American Speech, Discourse Processes, English Language and Linguistics, and Corpora. He is a member of the advisory board of USC’s Kortschak Center and the Dictionary Society of North America's delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies. He is president of the International Association of Forensic Linguists. Principally concerning linguistic aspects of contract interpretation, defamation, and trademark, he has consulted for scores of law firms in more than a dozen states, as well as for the offices of the Federal Public Defender and the California Attorney General. He served three times as president of the USC chapter of Phi Kappa Phi and for two years as co-president of USC's Lambda Alumni Association. He is the recipient of USC's Associates Award for Excellence in Teaching and has been twice honored by Dornsife College with the Albert S. Raubenheimer Distinguished Faculty Award. Since 2011 he has served as director of USC's Center for Excellence in Teaching and, starting in 2014, serves as editor of Dictionaries: The Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America.
 

Education

Ph.D. , Ohio University, 1968
M.A. , Ohio University, 1964
B.S. , Iona College, 1962
 

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Tenure Track Appointments

Professor of Linguistics and Law, University of Southern California, 09/1996-  
 

Visiting and Temporary Appointments

American Dialect Society Professor of Linguistics, Stanford University, 06/2007-07/2007  
Visiting Professor of Linguistics, University of California, Santa Barbara, 06/2001-08/2001  
Visiting Professor of English, University of Zurich, Spring 1998   
Language Learning Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, Universidad de las Americas-Puebla, 10/1995  
Fellow in Law and Linguistics, Harvard University Law School, 1988-1989   
 

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Professor Finegan researches language variation and change, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, and corpus linguistics. With long-standing interests in language attitudes and language in the public domain, his current research projects include investigation of the relationship between register variation and social dialect variation and of the history of attitudes toward language correctness. Also a professor at USC's Law School, Professor Finegan specializes in legal writing and serves as a consultant to many publishing houses and law firms.
 

Publications

Book

Finegan, E. (2014). Language: Its Structure and Use, 7th edition. Boston: Wadsworth/Cengage.
Edward Finegan and John R. Rickford (Ed.). (2004). Language in the USA: Themes for the Twenty-first Century. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Biber, D., Johansson, S., Leech, G., Conrad, S., Finegan, E. (1999). Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Harlow, Essex: Longman.
Douglas Biber and Edward Finegan (Ed.). (1994). Sociolinguistic Perspectives on Register. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
 

Book Chapter

Finegan, E. (2009). "English" In: The World's Major Languages, 2nd ed. pp. 59-85. London/New York: Routledge.
Finegan, E. (2006). "English in North America". pp. 384-419. Cambridge, UK: A History of the English Language/Cambridge University Press.
Finegan, E. (2005). "The Possibilities and Limits of Corpus Linguistic Description/Möglichkeiten und Grenzen korpuslinguistischer Beschreibung" In: Sociolinguistics/Soziolinguistik: An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society/Ein Internationales Handbuch Zur Wissenschaft Von Sprache Und Gesellschaft. 2nd. pp. 1095-1103. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
Finegan, E. (2001). "Usage" In: English in North America, The Cambridge History of the English Language 6. (Vol. 6). pp. 358-421. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Finegan, E., Biber, D. (2001). "Register Variation and Social Dialect Variation: The Register Axiom," In: Style and Sociolinguistic Variation, Penelope Eckert and John R. Rickford, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2001. pp. 235-67. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Finegan, E. (1998). "English Grammar and Usage" In: Cambridge History of the English Language 4. (Vol. 4). pp. 536-588. Cambridge.
 

Book Review

Finegan, E. (2012). Review of "Cunning Passages, Contrived Corridors": Unexpected Essays in the History of Lexicography, ed. Michael Adams. Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America. pp. 259-265.
Finegan, E. (2009). Practical Lexicography: A Reader, ed. by Thierry Fontenelle. Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America. pp. 136-139.
 

Encyclopedia Article

Finegan, E. (2003). "English" In: Oxford International Encyclopedia of Linguistics. (William Frawley, Ed.). 2nd.. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
 

Journal Article

Finegan, E. (2009). Expert linguists and the whole truth. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law. Vol. XVI
 

Honors and Awards

Phi Kappa Phi Lifetime Achievement Award, 2009-2010   
USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, 2003-2004   
USC or School/Dept Award for Teaching, General Education Teaching Award, 2000-2001   
Phi Kappa Phi Diploma of Honor, 1997-1998   
USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Senior Faculty Award, 1980-1981   
USC Associates Award For Excellence In Teaching, 1979-1980   
 

Service to the Profession

Committees

Member, Undergraduate Programs Advisory Committee, Linguistic Society of America, 01/2008-08/2009  
Member, Advisory to Programs Committee, Linguistic Society of America, 01/2007-08/2009  
 

Editorships and Editorial Boards

Editor, Dictionaries: Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America, 2014-  
Editorial Board Member, Corpora, 2004-2010  
Member, Editorial Board, Journal of English Language and Linguistics, 1996-2006  
General Editor, Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics, 1988-2002  
Member, Editorial Board, Discourse Processes, 1983-2002  
Member, Editorial Board, American Speech, 1985-1988  
 

Professional Offices

President, International Association of Forensic Linguists, 07/01/2013-06/30/2015  
Delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies, Dictionary Society of North America, 2010-2014  
Vice-president, International Association of Forensic Linguists, 07/01/2011-06/30/2013  
Member, Executive Board, Dictionary Society of North America, 06/2007-06/2011  
 

Professional Memberships

Dictionary Society of North America, 01/1998-  
International Association of Forensic Linguists, 01/1998-  
American Dialect Society, 01/1964-  
International Linguistics Association, 01/1964-  
Linguistic Society of America, 01/1964-  
 

Media, Alumni, and Community Relations

Co-President, USC Lambda Alumni Association, 1998-2000  
 
 
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