Imaginary Customers and Public Figures: Visual Material as Stimuli in Studies of Address Practices

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter proposes and evaluates new data collection methods that use visual material to analyze address practices. The methods are illustrated by two experiments. The first experiment used photographs as part of Discourse Completion Tasks for exploring self-reported uses of address forms in service encounters in Helsinki and Tallinn. The second experiment, which simulates an encounter with a celebrity, was conducted using life-size photographs in a Finnish shopping center. While such test data cannot replace authentic discourse as reported use does not necessarily match actual use, the two data sources can complement each other. Using visual material also attracts respondents who might not be accessed by traditional data collection methods such as interviews and questionnaires.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIt's not all about you : New perspectives on address research
EditorsBettina Kluge, María Irene Moyna
Number of pages22
PublisherJohn Benjamins
Publication dateNov 2019
ISBN (Print)9789027204158
ISBN (Electronic)9789027262097
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Fields of Science

  • 6121 Languages
  • addressing
  • methods


How to address? Variation and change in address practices

Lappalainen, H., Rouhikoski, A., Nuolijärvi, P., Havu, E., Tuomarla, U., Isosävi, J., Pajusalu, R., Tiittula, L., Mononen, K., Fremer, M., Arppe, E., Holttinen, T., Piippo, I., Vecsernyes, I., Eskola, K., Peterson, E. & Vehkanen, M.

Unknown funder


Project: University of Helsinki Three-Year Research Project

Cite this

Lappalainen, H. (2019). Imaginary Customers and Public Figures: Visual Material as Stimuli in Studies of Address Practices. In B. Kluge, & M. I. Moyna (Eds.), It's not all about you: New perspectives on address research (pp. 100-121). John Benjamins.