Steven Coats

steven.coats (at) oulu.fi
University Lecturer, English Philology, University of Oulu, Finland



I am a linguist interested in language variation, online language and social media, and computational approaches to language analysis.

My research background is in dialectology, sociolinguistics, and digital humanities.

Full Research Statement

Professional experience

Education

Publications

Presentations (Note: some of the interactive javascript elements in the slides require newer browsers such as Chrome 68+ or Firefox 61+)

  1. Steven Coats and Adrien Barbaresi. Productivity of anglicism bases in hyphenated German compounds. Presentation at the 7th Conference on CMC and Social Media Corpora for the Humanities, Cergy, France, 10 September 2019. Slides
  2. Regional variation in speech rate in American English from YouTube videos. Presentation at Research Data and Humanities Conference, University of Oulu, Finland, 14 August 2019, and 9th Conference of the Finnish Society for the Study of English, University of Tampere, Finland, 15 August 2019. Slides
  3. Swearing on Twitter: Harvesting and visualizing data. Slides for workshop at the 6th SwiSca Symposium, Södertörn University, Sweden, 23 May 2019. Slides
  4. A Corpus of regional American language from YouTube. Presentation at the Fourth Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries Conference, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 8 March 2019. Slides Article
  5. Variation of new German verbal Anglicisms in a social media corpus. Presentation at the 6th Conference on CMC and Social Media Corpora for the Humanities, Antwerp, Belgium, 17 September 2018. Slides
  6. Slides (deutsche Version)
  7. Exploring code-switching and borrowing using word vectors. Presentation at the 14th Conference of the European Society for the Study of English, Brno, Czechia, 1 September 2018. Slides
  8. William A. Kretzschmar, Jr. and Steven Coats. Fractal visualization of corpus data. ICAME 39, University of Tampere, Finland, 30 May 2018.
  9. Skin tone emoji and sentiment on Twitter. Presentation at the Third Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries Conference, University of Helsinki, Finland, 7 March 2018. Slides Article
  10. Profanity in the Nordics on Twitter. Invited presentation at the Higher Seminar Series, Södertörn University, Sweden, 18 January 2018. Slides
  11. Profanity in the Nordics on Twitter. Presentation at the 5th SwiSca Symposium "What the HEL", University of Helsinki, Finland, 23 November 2017. Slides
  12. European language ecology and bilingualism with English on Twitter. Presentation at the 5th Conference on CMC and Social Media Corpora for the Humanities, EURAC Research, Bozen/Bolzano, Italy, 3 October 2017. Slides Article
  13. Multilingual clusters and gender in Nordic Twitter. Presentation at the CLARIN-PLUS Workshop "Creation and Use of Social Media Resources", Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania, 19 May 2017. Slides
  14. Multilingual clusters and gender in Nordic Twitter. Presentation at the Second Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries Conference, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, 14 March 2017. Slides
  15. Grammatical frequencies and gender in Nordic Twitter Englishes. Presentation at the 4th Conference on CMC and Social Media Corpora for the Humanities, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, 27 September 2016. Slides Article
  16. Nordic Englishes on Twitter. Presentation at Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries Conference, University of Oslo, Norway, 16 March 2016. Slides
  17. Gender and grammatical type frequencies in Finland Twitter English. Presentation at Interrelating Distance and Interaction Workshop, University of Oulu, Finland, 3 November 2015.
  18. Gender and lexical type frequencies in Finland Twitter English. Presentation at From data to evidence: Big data, rich data, uncharted data, University of Helsinki, Finland, 22 October 2015. Slides
  19. Non-standard lexical and grammatical resources in Finland Twitter English. Presentation at the 45th Poznań Linguistic Meeting, Poznań, Poland, 19 September 2015. Slides
  20. English-language social media in Finland: Twitter data collection and analysis. Presentation at the 12th Conference of the European Society for the Study of English, Košice, Slovakia, 31 August 2014. Slides
  21. Web corpora for discourse analysis: The language of travel and tourism. Presentation at the 79th Southeastern Conference on Linguistics, University of Kentucky, 13 April 2012.
  22. Lisa Lena Opas-Hänninen, Ilkka Juuso, William A. Kretzschmar, Jr., Tapio Seppänen, Steven Coats. The Digital Archive of Southern Speech. Helsinki Corpus Festival, 1 October 2011.
  23. Constituting mental maps: A corpus linguistics-based approach to perceptual geography in the GDR. Presentation at the 77th Southeastern Conference on Linguistics, University of Mississippi, 29 April 2010.
  24. William A. Kretzschmar, Jr., Paulina Bounds, Steven Coats, Tony Snodgrass, Lisa Lena Opas-Hänninen, Tapio Seppänen, and Ilkka Juuso. The Digital Archive of Southern Speech. 76th Southeastern Conference on Linguistics, Tulane University, 9 April 2009.

Teaching

I teach courses on Academic Communication, Sociolinguistics, Digital Humanities, and North American studies. If you are a student in one of my courses, go to Moodle for course information and materials.

I was one of the group leaders at the Helsinki Digital Humanities Hackathon for the theme "Brexit in Transnational Social Media" in May 2019.

Professional activities

Research Statement

The internet is an important resource for communication, and for most, language use takes place not only in spoken interaction, but also in online and virtual environments. My research investigates functional and discourse properties of CMC (computer-mediated communication) in terms of identities of language users and grammatical and discourse properties of the language(s) they use. Methods from sociolinguistics and discourse analysis as well as quantitative techniques from statistics and machine learning inform my approach. Using name data from Nordic statistical agencies, I have researched social media English in Finland and Northern Europe in terms of associations between gender and language. I'm interested in how people use non-standard written language features such as orthographical lengthening, emoticons, or emojis, and how they can signal affective or interactive content or negotiate discourse-related concerns. My recent work has explored language choice by bi- and multilinguals, the prevalence and meanings of skin tone emoji, and the morphology of anglicisms in German-language CMC, and I have created a large corpus of transcripts of YouTube videos from channels associated with local governments or civic organizations in the United States. I am interested in programming related to digital humanities, particularly for the collection and analysis of language data, mainly in R and Python.

Visualizations

You can find a map of the semantic similarity of emoji types here. A representation of the links between languages for a sample of bilingual European Twitter users is available here. The ZipfExplorer is a tool for the visualization of word frequency differences in texts.

My GitHub is here.