USC Gould Search

Faculty

Edward Finegan

Edward Finegan

Professor of Linguistics and Law, Emeritus

Last Updated: Thursday, July 5, 2018

Email:
Telephone: (213) 740-3876
699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA Personal Website: Link

Download vCard
Download Curriculum Vitae




Edward Finegan researches discourse analysis, language in law, and language variation and change. He holds a joint appointment with the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.  Finegan taught legal writing and serves as a consultant to many publishing houses and law firms.

Finegan’s current research projects include investigations of the relationship between register variation and social dialect variation, of the history of attitudes toward language correctness, and of ethical practices in forensic consulting. He is the author of Language: Its Structure and Use, 5th ed. (Thomson/Wadsworth, 2008) and co-author of Looking at Languages, 4th ed. (Thomson/Wadsworth, 2008) and Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English (Longman, 1999).

Finegan completed post-doctoral work at Harvard Law School, where he was a Liberal Arts Fellow concentrating on law and linguistics. He has served as an expert to many leading law firms, particularly on matters of defamation and trademark. He is editor-designate of Dictionaries: The Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America and is president-elect of the International Association of Forensic Linguists.

Books

  • Language: Its Structure and Use, 6th ed. (Wadsworth, 2012).
  • Looking at Languages: A Workbook in Elementary Linguistics, 5th ed. (with Paul Frommer) (Wadsworth, 2012).
  • Language: Its Structure and Use, 5th ed. (Thomson/Wadsworth, 2008).
  • Looking at Languages: A Workbook in Elementary Linguistics, 4th ed. (with Paul Frommer) (Thomson/Wadsworth, 2008).
  • Language in the USA: Themes for the 21st Century (edited with John Rickford) (Cambridge University Press, 2004).
  • Language: Its Structure and Use, 4th ed. (Thomson/Wadsworth, 2004).
  • Looking at Languages: A Workbook in Elementary Linguistics, 3d ed. (edited with Paul R. Frommer) (Thomson/Wadsworth, 2004).
  • Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English, Mainland China edition (with others). (Language Teaching and Research Press, 2000).
  • Language: Its Structure and Use, 3d ed. (Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1999).
  • The Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English (with others) (Longman, 1999).
  • Looking at Languages, 2d ed. (with Paul Frommer) (Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1999).
  • Language: Its Structure and Use, 2d ed. (Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1994).
  • Looking at Languages: A Workbook in Elementary Linguistics (Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1994).
  • Sociolinguistic Perspectives on Register (edited with Douglas Biber) (Oxford University Press, 1994).
  • Language: Its Structure and Use (with Niko Besnier) (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989).
  • Attitudes Toward English Language: The History of a War of Words (Teachers College Press, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1980).

Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Standardization: Prescriptive Tradition.” In Historical Linguistics of English: An International Handbook (Alexander Bergs and Laurel Brinton, eds.). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter (2012). Pp. 967-80.
  • “Discourses in the Language of the Law.” In The Routledge Handbook of Discourse Analysis (James Paul Gee and Michael Handford, eds.). London: Routledge (2012). Pp. 482-93.
  • “Corpus linguistic approaches to ‘legal language’: adverbial expression of attitude and emphasis in Supreme Court opinions.” In Routledge Handbook of Forensic Linguistics (M. Coulthard and A. Johnson, eds.). London: Routledge (2010). Pp. 65-77.
  • “English.” In The World’s Major Languages, 2nd ed. (B. Comrie, ed.) London: Routledge (2009). Pp. 55-89.
  • “Expert linguists and the whole truth.” International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law  16, 2 (2009), 267-77.
  • "Expert Linguists and the Whole Truth," 16 International Journal of Speech, Language, and the Law 2 (2009).
  • "North American English." In A History of the English Language (R. M. Hogg and D. Denison, eds.) (Cambridge University Press, 2006).
  • "Linguistic Prescription: Familiar Practices and New Perspectives." 23 Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 213 (2003).
  • "English." In Oxford International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, 2d ed. (W. Frawley, ed.) (Oxford University Press, 2003).
  • "English Grammar and Usage." In English in North America (John Algeo, ed) (The Cambridge History of the English Language, vol. 6) (Cambridge University Press, 2001).
  • "Register Variation and Social Dialect Variation: The Register Axiom" (with Douglas Biber). In Style and Sociolinguistic Variation (Penelope Eckert and John R. Rickford, eds.) (Cambridge University Press, 2001).
  • "Practicing Prescriptivism Now and Then." 75 American Speech 247 (Fall 2000).
  • "English Grammar and Usage." In The Cambridge History of the English Language, vol. 4 (Suzanne Romaine, ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 1999).
  • "Diachronic Relations Among Speech-Based and Written Registers in English" (with Douglas Biber). In To Explain the Present: Studies in the Changing English Language in Honour of Matti Rissanen (T. Nevalalainen and L. Kahlas-Tarkka, eds.). 52 Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki 253 (1997).
  • "Relative Markers in English: Fact and Fancy" (with Douglas Biber). In From Ælfric to the New York Times: Studies in English Corpus Linguistics (U. Fries, V. Müller and P. Schneider, eds.) (Rodopi, 1997).
  • "Sociolinguistics and the Law." In The Handbook of Sociolinguistics (F. Coulmas, ed.) (Blackwell, 1997).
  • "Subjectivity and Subjectivisation in Language: An Introduction." In Subjectivity and Subjectivisation in Language (S. Wright and D. Stein, eds.) (Cambridge University Press, 1995).
  • "That and Zero Complementisers in Late Modern English" (with Douglas Biber). In The Verb in Contemporary English (B. Aarts and C. Meyer, eds.) (Cambridge University Press, 1995).
  • "ARCHER and Its Challenges: Compiling and Exploring a Representative Corpus of Historical English Registers" (with Douglas Biber and D. Atkinson). In Creating and Using English Language Corpora (U. Fries and others, eds.) (Rodopi, 1994).
  • "Standard English." In Encyclopedia of English Studies and Language Arts (A. Purves, ed.) (Scholastic Inc., 1994).
  • "Variation Within Medical Research Articles" (with Douglas Biber). In Corpus-Based Research Into Language (N. Oostdijk and P. De Haan, eds.) (Rodopi, 1994).

Book Reviews

  • “Cunning Passages, Contrived Corridors: Unexpected Essays in the History of Lexicography," ed. Michael Adams. Dictionaries 33 (2012), 259-65.
  • "Sociolinguistics and the Legal Process," by Diana Eades. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law 18, 2 (2011), 319-24.
  • "Practical Lexicography: A Reader," ed. Thierry Fontenelle. Dictionaries 30 (2009), 136-39.

FACULTY IN THE NEWS

ABA Journal
July 18, 2018
Re: Orin Kerr

Orin Kerr was cited for his recent editorial on his experience taking the California bar exam much later in life in order to practice law in another state. "It’s not like you can test lawyerly competence among 20 topics any better than with 10 topics," Kerr commented. "It just requires more time memorizing, and it’s not obvious what that has to do with lawyerly ability.”

RECENT SCHOLARSHIP

Nomi Stolzenberg
May, 2018

"Blindspot: Faith-Based Discrimination and the Misinterpretation of Sherbert v. Verner," Conference on Law, Religion and Complicity, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.

Jonathan Barnett
May, 2018

"The Great Patent Grab", The Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

Scott Altman
May, 2018

"Parental Control Rights." In Philosophical Foundations of Children's and Family Law, edited by Elizabeth Brake & Lucinda Ferguson. New York: Oxford Univerity Press, 2018.