Browsing by Subject "kielitieteet"

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  • Sandman, Erika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    My dissertation is a comprehensive grammatical description of the Wutun language (ISO 639-3 WUH), a distinct local form of Northwest Mandarin spoken by approximately 4000 people in Upper Wutun, Lower Wutun and Jiacangma villages in Tongren County, Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, People s Republic of China. While the basic vocabulary and grammatical morphemes of Wutun are mainly of Chinese origin, it has adapted phonologically and structurally to its current linguistic environment, where varieties of Amdo Tibetan are dominant regional languages and lingua francas. The Tibetan influence manifests itself in all domains of Wutun grammatical structure, including phonology, morphology, syntax and lexicon. This has yielded some phonological and grammatical properties that are unusual for a Sinitic language and cross-linguistically rare, including the size of the phoneme inventory, multiple aspect marking and egophoricity. In addition, there are some grammatical features, such as the paucal-plural distinction and sociative case marking, which represent areal interference from Bonan, a small Mongolic language spoken in the immediate vicinity of Wutun-speaking villages. The dissertation is based on first-hand field data collected during three field trips to the province of Qinghai in June-August 2007, June-August 2010 and June-July 2013. My data consists of approximately 1300 clauses of descriptive and narrative texts as well as conversations that were complemented by elicitation and grammaticality judgements. The theoretical framework used for language description is based on an informal descriptive theory referred to in the literature as Basic Linguistic Theory (BLT) (Dixon 1997, 2010; Dryer 2006). My dissertation aims to detail aspects of Wutun phonology, morphology and syntax, including phoneme inventory, noun phrase, verb complex, minor word classes, clause structure, non-declarative speech acts and clause combining. It also includes an appendix with three oral texts in Wutun. It is my hope that the present study will be accessible to a wide audience, including linguists working on Sino-Tibetan languages, languages of Northwest China, linguistic typology and historical linguistics.
  • Pikkarainen, Merja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This study analyses the language use of non-native speakers of Finnish and non-native speakers of Russian by exploring the joint activity by two or more participants in authentic conversations. More specifically, the present focus is on word searches, collaborative productions and candidate understandings. Although these structures have been claimed to be similar phenomena, they also have different characteristics. The data of this study consist of approximately 11 hours of naturally occurring conversations in a range of everyday and institutional situations in Finnish and Russian. The methodological framework adopted for this analysis is interactional linguistics, which focusses on analysing the language use in naturally occurring interaction. Interactional linguistics can be defined as a part of linguistics that originates from different types of functional orientations (conversation analysis, functional linguistics, and anthropological linguistics). However, the main analytical tools for this study are provided by the methodology of conversation analysis. A typical collaborative production consists of a preliminary component that is produced without any specific hesitations or perturbations, and of a final component that fits syntactically, prosodically and semantically with the preliminary component. For example, a preliminary component can consist of a subject and verb combination and a final component contains a complement (in a broad sense). A typical word search can be initiated with pauses or hesitations, or with specific questions. In these cases, the co-participant is considered to be a knowledgeable partner. When comparing collaborative productions and word searches, the candidate understandings fall somewhere in the middle. Interactionally, candidate understandings are used to check the recipient s interpretation of the prior and to maintain mutual understanding. All three types of joint activity emphasize the willingness of the participants to cooperate and the fact that although the language used is foreign to all of the participants, the interaction need not be problematic. On the contrary, it would seem that since no native speakers are present, the conversations become relaxed. The data shows that the resources of these two lingua francas are utilised somewhat differently. The Finnish data consist of proportionally more searches that concentrate on grammatical issues than the Russian data. On the other hand, candidate understandings are more common in the Russian data. These differences can be due to the participants different linguistic backgrounds. The lingua franca speakers of Russian may have a more native-speaker relation to the Russian language in that they do not consider the grammatical appropriateness to be as important as the lingua franca users of Finnish.
  • Hynninen, Niina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    This study investigates language regulation, or the negotiation of acceptability and correctness in language. It takes a bottom-up perspective on regulation, with focus on the ways that speakers manage and monitor language in lingua franca interaction, and the ways that they talk about language. I approach language regulation as a process through which speakers both reproduce codified language norms and construct alternative ones. Language regulation, then, sheds light on the construction of norms relevant for the speakers, that is, on living norms, as opposed to prescriptive, codified norms that arise as a consequence of linguistic description and codification. I explore two complementary dimensions of language regulation: interactional and ideological dimensions. The dimensions I bring together in a comparative analysis, where I consider the findings in relation to the macro-level ideologies of language maintenance and native speaker ownership of English. To explore the two dimensions, I draw on two main types of data, collected from English-medium university courses where English was used as the lingua franca: interrelated recordings of study event interactions from three different groups and research interviews with students, teachers (i.e. subject experts) and English instructors who attended the interactions. The findings show that the scope of acceptability was wider than the scope of correctness when regulating language in interaction. Second language users of English took on and were assigned the role of language experts, and while speakers mainly drew on (their notions of) English native language norms for correctness, for instance, scientific contexts emerged as an alternative source for norm construction. Further, differences emerged between student, teacher and English instructor views, and generally, the informants talk about language was found out to be more purist than their use of the regulatory mechanisms. In all, the study shows that the construction of living norms is a complex process. On the one hand, speakers reproduce prescriptive, codified norms and thus turn them into living ones. On the other hand, the regulatory practices in the study event interaction and interview findings illustrate that speakers also construct irrelevance of prescriptive norms, and importantly draw on alternative sources, such as their academic field, for norm construction.
  • Nenonen, Olga (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Phonetic development in Russian-Finnish bilinguals of pre-primary age The doctoral dissertation addresses the phonetic development in Russian-Finnish bilingual children of pre-primary age. The study combines qualitative and quantitative methods in the framework of child language development studies, and contrastive and contact linguistics. It also takes into account language therapy approaches. The data were collected through an articulation test specially designed for Russian and Finnish. The research is based on the results of both longitudinal and cross-sectional studies. The longitudinal study observes the evidence from 6 normally developing bilingual children in a 2.5-year time period. The sample of the cross-sectional study consists of 126 children divided into three groups: (1) 46 typically developing Russian-Finnish bilinguals; (2) 40 typically developing Russian monolinguals and 20 typically developing Finnish monolinguals; and (3) 20 Russian-Finnish bilinguals with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). The participant s production of target words in the articulation test was transcribed and phonetic errors were analysed. Despite considerable individual variation in phonetic production, the findings suggest that bilinguals acquire Russian and Finnish phonetic inventories later than their monolingual pairs. The difference is visible both in the speed of acquisition and in the number and nature of errors. With regard to the nature of mispronunciation, four types of bilingual mistakes were distinguished: (1) common developmental mistakes made by bilinguals and monolinguals; (2) language-specific mistakes made by monolinguals and bilinguals, however the latter group makes considerably more mistakes, especially at an older age; (3) cross-linguistic interference mistakes caused by the differences in Russian and Finnish phonetic systems, made only by bilinguals, resembling the mistakes of second language learners; and (4) unpredictable mistakes common in bilingual normally developing and bilingual SLI children. The analysis reveals that from a longitudinal perspective, phonetic development is faster and easier for bilinguals in Finnish than in Russian. However, relatively simple Russian vocalism is acquired faster than Finnish vocalism, whereas the complex system of Russian consonants takes longer to develop than the Finnish consonant system. Furthermore, language-specific features appear to be the most problematic for acquisition. The research shows the evidence of language interaction in bilingual phonetic development, e.g. in the form of cross-language phonetic interference. As a result, some bilingual children may have either a Russian or a Finnish accent. However, this accent tends to gradually disappear.