Browsing by Subject "language"

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  • Vuolteenaho, Jani; Lappalainen, Hanna; Ainiala, Terhi (2019)
    In the article, spatializations (discourses of ideal or stereotyped spaces) are conceptualized as powerful discourses of the surrounding society, providing resources for place‐bound identity construction in interaction. We combine a sociolinguistic analysis with Bakhtinian dialogism to understand how such “third” voices in dialogue empower and pluralize self‐ and other‐positionings embedded in the evocations of unofficial place names. Empirically, the focus is on toponyms that divide the socially mixed Vuosaari suburb in Helsinki into “older” and “newer” territories. The results show that when the stereotypes of “good” and “bad” neighbourhoods or other spatializations interpenetrate the uses of “Old” and “New Vuosaari,” they open room for the (re‐)voicing of the meanings of these toponyms for highly differentiated social ends. With the Bakhtinian framework bridging between socio‐spatial theory and sociolinguistics, the article develops a spatially sensitized approach to analyse the entanglements of the micro‐level contexts of interaction with the macro‐level discourses of meaning‐giving.
  • Määttänen, Pentti (Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1993)
    Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae, Dissertationes Humanarum Litterarum 64
  • Pareyon, Gabriel (Royal Conservatory of The Hague, 2004)
    This research and practice project studies the way in which some aspects of linguistic order are also found in music’s order. Whereas some aspects of order and organisation are attributed to music because of their psychophysical integration, other aspects seem to be more related to the configuration of music in memory and experience (i.e. individual memory and memory-in-society processes). This fundamental condition is shared with speech and visual symbolizing. Since order in music is commonly referred and/or justified by verbal or visual language, several cases of analogy and metaphor are studied, in the context of music composition and analysis. This project also discusses the role of figuration and referentiality in some examples of geometry associated with musical ideas, in order to analyse how such mediums are intertwined with speech and musical constructions.
  • Gold, Ayoola (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The importance of Automatic Speech Recognition cannot be underestimated in today’s worlds as they play a significant role in human computer interaction. ASR systems have been studied deeply over time, but their maximum potential is yet to be explored for the Finnish language. Development of a traditional ASR system involves a number of hand-crafted engineering which has made this technology quite difficult and resourceful to develop. However, with advancements in the field of neural networks, end-to-end ASR neural networks can be developed which can automatically learn the mappings of audio to its corresponding transcript., therefore reducing hand crafted engineering requirements. End-to-end neural network ASR systems have been largely developed commercially by tech giants such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon. However, there are limitations to these commercial services such as data privacy and cost of usage. In this thesis, we explored existing studies in the development of an end-to-end neural network ASR for Finnish language. One successful technique utilized in the development of neural network ASR in the advent of inadequate data is Transfer learning. This is the approach explored in this thesis for the development of the end-to-end neural network ASR system. In addition, the success of this approach was evaluated. In order to achieve this purpose, dataset collected from the Finnish Bank of Finland and Kaggle were used to fine-tune Mozilla DeepSpeech model which is a pretrained end-to-end neural network ASR in English language. The results obtained by fine-tuning the pretrained neural network ASR in English for Finnish language showed a word error rate as low as 40% and character error rate as low as 22%. We therefore concluded that transfer learning is a successful technique for creating ASR model for a new language using a pretrained model in another language with little effort, data and resources.
  • Sihvonen, Aleksi J.; Särkämö, Teppo (2021)
    Patients with post-stroke impairments present often significant variation in response to therapeutic interventions. Recent studies have shown that daily music listening can aid post-stroke recovery of language and memory, but reliable predictors of treatment response are unknown. Utilizing data from the music intervention arms of a single-blind randomized controlled trial (RCT) on stroke patients (N = 31), we built regression models to predict the treatment response of a two-month music listening intervention on language skills and verbal memory with baseline demographic, clinical and musical data as well as fMRI data from a music listening task. Clinically, greater improvement in verbal memory and language skills after the music listening intervention were predicted by the severity of the initial deficit and educational level. Neurally, greater baseline fMRI activation during vocal music listening in the left parietal cortical and medial frontal areas predicted greater treatment-induced improvement in language skills and greater baseline engagement of the auditory network during instrumental music listening predicted improvement in both verbal memory and language skills. Our results suggest that clinical, demographic, and neuroimaging data predicts music listening treatment response. This data could be used clinically to target music-based treatments.
  • Dahler-Larsen, Peter; Abma, Tineke; Bustelo, Maria; Irimia, Roxana; Kosunen, Sonja; Kravchuk, Iryna; Minina, Elena; Segerholm, Christina; Shiroma, Eneida; Stame, Nicoletta; Tshali, Charlie Kabanga (2017)
    The issue of translatability is pressing in international evaluation, in global transfer of evaluative instruments, in comparative performance management, and in culturally responsive evaluation. Terms that are never fully understood, digested, or accepted may continue to influence issues, problems, and social interactions in and around and after evaluations. Their meanings can be imposed or reinvented. Untranslatable terms are not just lost in translation but may produce overflows that do not go away. The purpose of this article is to increase attention to the issue of translatability in evaluation by means of specific exemplars. We provide a short dictionary of such exemplars delivered by evaluators, consultants, and teachers who work across a variety of contexts. We conclude with a few recommendations: highlight frictions in translatability by deliberately circulating and discussing words of relevance that appear to be foreign; increase the language skills of evaluators; and make research on frictions in translation an articulate part of the agenda for research on evaluation.
  • Tervaniemi, Mari; Putkinen, Vesa; Nie, Peixin; Wang, Cuicui; Du, Bin; Lu, Jing; Li, Shuting; Cowley, Benjamin Ultan; Tammi, Tuisku; Tao, Sha (2022)
    In adults, music and speech share many neurocognitive functions, but how do they interact in a developing brain? We compared the effects of music and foreign language training on auditory neurocognition in Chinese children aged 8-11 years. We delivered group-based training programs in music and foreign language using a randomized controlled trial. A passive control group was also included. Before and after these year-long extracurricular programs, auditory event-related potentials were recorded (n = 123 and 85 before and after the program, respectively). Through these recordings, we probed early auditory predictive brain processes. To our surprise, the language program facilitated the children's early auditory predictive brain processes significantly more than did the music program. This facilitation was most evident in pitch encoding when the experimental paradigm was musically relevant. When these processes were probed by a paradigm more focused on basic sound features, we found early predictive pitch encoding to be facilitated by music training. Thus, a foreign language program is able to foster auditory and music neurocognition, at least in tonal language speakers, in a manner comparable to that by a music program. Our results support the tight coupling of musical and linguistic brain functions also in the developing brain.
  • Hakala, Tero; Hulten, Annika; Lehtonen, Minna; Lagus, Krista; Salmelin, Riitta (2018)
    Neuroimaging studies of the reading process point to functionally distinct stages in word recognition. Yet, current understanding of the operations linked to those various stages is mainly descriptive in nature. Approaches developed in the field of computational linguistics may offer a more quantitative approach for understanding brain dynamics. Our aim was to evaluate whether a statistical model of morphology, with well-defined computational principles, can capture the neural dynamics of reading, using the concept of surprisal from information theory as the common measure. The Morfessor model, created for unsupervised discovery of morphemes, is based on the minimum description length principle and attempts to find optimal units of representation for complex words. In a word recognition task, we correlated brain responses to word surprisal values derived from Morfessor and from other psycholinguistic variables that have been linked with various levels of linguistic abstraction. The magnetoencephalography data analysis focused on spatially, temporally and functionally distinct components of cortical activation observed in reading tasks. The early occipital and occipito-temporal responses were correlated with parameters relating to visual complexity and orthographic properties, whereas the later bilateral superior temporal activation was correlated with whole-word based and morphological models. The results show that the word processing costs estimated by the statistical Morfessor model are relevant for brain dynamics of reading during late processing stages.
  • Piekkari, Rebecca; Vaara, Eero; Tienari, Janne; Sdntti, Risto (Int. J. of Human Resource Management 16:3 March 2005 330-344, 2005)
    The primary purpose of introducing a common corporate language in crossborder mergers is to integrate two previously separate organizations and facilitate communication. However, the present case study of a cross-border merger between two Nordic banks shows that the common corporate language decision may have disintegrating effects, particularly at organizational levels below top management. We identify such effects on performance appraisal, language training and management development, career paths, promotion and key personnel. Our findings show that top management needs to work through the consequences of the language decision upon those who are expected to make such a decision work.
  • Peltokorpi, Vesa (Hanken School of Economics, 2014)
    This paper focuses on the multi-faceted role of language and language-sensitive recruitment processes in knowledge transfer in multinational corporations (MNCs). In particular, we develop a framework that helps to better understand how language-sensitive recruitment is related to competence, networks, identity and power. We started by conducting a qualitative interview-based study of 101 MNC subsidiaries. This analysis elucidates the productive and counterproductive effects of language-sensitive recruitment on knowledge transfer related to communication competence, networks, identity, and power. To further understanding of the productive and counterproductive effects, we conducted a quantitative study in 285 MNC subsidiaries. We found an inverted U-shaped relationship between language-sensitive recruitment and knowledge transfer. Together, these two studies provide a better understanding of the multifaceted and at times counterintuitive implications of language-sensitive recruitment on knowledge transfer in MNCs. By elucidating these effects, this paper contributes to the stream of research examining the role of language in MNCs and international business more generally. It also adds to research on MNC knowledge transfer that to date has focused little attention on language. By elaborating on the potential unintended consequences of language-sensitive recruitment, this paper also has implications on international human resource management research.
  • Hannula, Krista (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    International student action is characterised by cross border mobility and maintaining contacts around the world. English language is a significant aspect of internationalisation of higher education and an important factor in students’ endeavours of mobility. Transnationalism examines mobility through networks of interaction and dependence that span across state borders. In the context of the individual this means social connections formed and maintained simultaneously to country of origin and new place of residence. The purpose of this study is to describe the motives and experiences of foreign degree students at the University of Helsinki. This study examines especially two topics that affect foreign degree students in Finland, transnationalism and language. Qualitative research methods were used in this master’s thesis. Traditionally ethnographic methods are in the centre of anthropological inquiry. Because of the nature of the subject of this study the majority of data was collected using interviews. For this study ten foreign degree students from different stages of their studies were interviewed using a thematic interview. Additionally observations from international student events were used as data. The interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis. The findings of this study describe foreign degree students’ motives of mobility, forms of life management and relevance of language in their experiences. The findings show that for students coming to Finland, significant motivators are lack of tuition fees, ability to study in English, appeal of country, valuation of higher education, and personal and professional benefits. The important factors in relation to life management are adapting to a new environment, social networks, and a sense of having two homes. Additionally experiences of studies and support services as well as thoughts about the future affect life management. English language was found to facilitate forming social relations in a new environment, networking within the university and multicultural communication. On the other hand, lack of Finnish skills marginalizes foreign students in Finnish society. The importance language skills is emphasised for students who want to stay in Finland after completing their studies. This study shows the significant role language plays in the different aspects of a foreign students life. The university community offers a basis for adapting through social inclusion of students into the international student community at the university. However, further integration into Finnish society requires initiative and effort. In this study, transnationalism appears especially in the social connections maintained with country of origin, for example via social media. Social connections with homeland are significant when faced with difficulties, while social connections formed locally gain significance over time. Social relations and familiarisation with new environment enhance feelings of belonging.
  • Backman, Jussi (2012)
    Derrida's deconstructive strategy of reading texts can be understood as a way of highlighting the irreducible plurality of discursive meaning that undermines the traditional Western “logocentric“ desire for an absolute point of reference. While his notion of logocentrism was modeled on Heidegger's articulation of the traditional ontotheological framework of Aristotelian metaphysics, Derrida detects a logocentric remnant in Heidegger's own interpretation of gathering (Versammlung) as the basic movement of λόγος, discursiveness. However, I suggest that Derrida here touches upon a certain limit of deconstruction. As Derrida himself points out, the “decentering“ effect of deconstruction does not simply abolish the unifying and focalizing function of discourse. Insofar as deconstruction involves reading and interpreting, it cannot completely evade narrative focalization. Rather, both Heidegger and Derrida can be understood as addressing the radical contextuality of all discursive centers and focal points as well as the consequent impossibility of an ultimate and definitive metanarrative.
  • Inglis, David (Springer, 2019)
    Language is thoroughly bound up with wine in myriad ways, and the drinking of wine is very often accompanied with talk about it. This chapter considers the nature of wine tasting languages; the differences and rivalry between wine talk (of critics and suchlike persons) and wine language (of scientists and their allies in the wine world); how wine language is bound up with the creation of social hierarchies and senses of commonality among wine drinkers; contemporary trends towards hyper-specificity in wine vocabularies; and the changing nature of the argots in and through which wine is sold and labelled. In so doing, the chapter stresses the constantly changing, conflict-laden, and often contradictory and paradoxical nature of talk and language related to wine and wine drinking.
  • Zhang, Ling Eleanor (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2015)
    Economics and Society – 290
    “I wanted to be Chinese, once…I wanted China to be the place where I made a career and lived my life. I won’t be rushing back either. I have fallen out of love, woken from my China Dream.” “China has been a familiar destination for multinational corporations over the last few decades, but surprisingly it still remains one of the most challenging destinations for expatriates”, says Ling Eleanor Zhang, who will defend her doctoral thesis on the subject. Yet, according to Zhang, underneath the seemingly high expatriation failure rate exists an ever more routine reality of contemporary working life. A growing number of sojourners, from expatriates sent by headquarters, to self-initiated expatriates, to expatriate entrepreneurs, are now, for various reasons, becoming caught up in China. They experience a dizzying array of processes collectively labelled cross-cultural adjustment, acculturation or biculturalism. Based on comprehensive fieldwork, Zhang seeks to uncover the working and living realities of expatriates in China from a language and culture perspective. In her doctoral thesis, Zhang also presents the multifaceted linguistic challenges faced by expatriates from both their own perspective, as well as that of the host country employees. She further provides a contextual account of expatriate host country language proficiency on cross-cultural adjustment, and inductively builds an analytical framework for analysing why and how host country language matters. “Nordic expatriates, who are currently working and living in China, have different types of cultural identity, i.e. marginal bicultural identity, cosmopolitan identity, transitional identity, and monocultural identity”, says Zhang. “Factors such as organisational context, expatriates’ attitudes towards the host country language, as well as their network orientations, have influenced expatriates’ identification with home, host and a third culture”, she continues. The findings also reveal a number of strategies expatriates adopt in order to cope with the uncertainty and ambiguity, such as holding on to physical proof of groundedness, believing in individuality, realistically evaluating and accepting the marginality, and allowing for a certain degree of fluidity regarding one’s cultural identity.
  • Wiklund, Mari; Honko, Mari; Kanto, Laura; Råman, Joonas (2021)
  • Huotilainen, Minna; Tervaniemi, Mari (2018)
    Music-based amelioration and training of the developing auditory system has a long tradition, and recent neuroscientific evidence supports using music in this manner. Here, we present the available evidence showing that various music-related activities result in positive changes in brain structure and function, becoming helpful for auditory cognitive processes in everyday life situations for individuals with typical neural development and especially for individuals with hearing, learning, attention, or other deficits that may compromise auditory processing. We also compare different types of music-based training and show how their effects have been investigated with neural methods. Finally, we take a critical position on the multitude of error sources found in amelioration and training studies and on publication bias in the field. We discuss some future improvements of these issues in the field of music-based training and their potential results at the neural and behavioral levels in infants and children for the advancement of the field and for a more complete understanding of the possibilities and significance of the training.
  • Korpipää, Heidi; Niemi, Pekka; Aunola, Kaisa; Koponen, Tuire; Hannula-Sormunen, Minna; Stolt, Suvi; Aro, Mikko; Nurmi, Jan-Erik; Rautava, Päivi; the PIPARI Study Group (2019)
    It is well-known that very preterm children perform at lower levels than full-term children in reading and arithmetic at school. Whether the lower performance levels of preterm children in these two separate domains have the same or different origins, however, is not clear. The present study examined the extent to which prematurity is associated with the overlap (i.e., common variance) of reading and arithmetic among Finnish school beginners. We also examined the extent to which the association of prematurity with the overlap between reading and arithmetic is due to different prereading skills, basic number skills, and general cognitive abilities. The participants (age 6-7) consisted of 193 very preterm children ( <32 weeks of gestation or birth weight <1501 g) and 175 full-term control children assessed at the beginning of Grade 1. The results showed that about 40% of the variation in reading and arithmetic skills was common to these two domains and thus, represented the overlap between reading and arithmetic. Prematurity was found to be negatively associated with the overlapping part of reading and arithmetic skills. This association was explained particularly by differences between very preterm and full-term children in prereading (letter knowledge, phonological awareness, and rapid automatized naming) and basic number skills (counting sequence knowledge): Very preterm children showed lower levels of phonological awareness, letter knowledge, counting, and rapid serial naming than full-term children and thus, also demonstrated lower skill level common for reading and arithmetic. Early screening of very preterm children according to the cognitive antecedents that predict the overlap between reading and arithmetic is needed to prevent comorbid difficulties in these domains.
  • Sund, Marie (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Aim of study. The aim of this study was to determine how the processing of pitch cues in spoken words is affected by listeners' native language. In previous studies, listeners' have shown a better sensitivity to acoustic features that are linguistically relevant in the native language. It has also been shown that the processing of pitch information is lateralized to the left hemisphere when the information is linguistically distinctive and lateralized to the right hemisphere when it is not carrying linguistically relevant information. The processing of lexical pitch has been shown to be language specific. Pitch is lexically discriminating in Estonian, but not in Finnish. Therefore, native speakers of Estonian were hypothesized to show a better sensitivity to changes in pitch than the native speakers of Finnish. They were also hypothesized to show a lateralization to the left when processing linguistically discriminating changes in pitch. Methods. 12 native speakers of Estonian and 12 native speakers of Finnish participated in the study. Mismatch negativity (MMN) components of event-related potentials (ERP) were measured with electroencephalography (EEG). Stimuli consisted of Estonian words, which showed differences in duration and pitch. Results and conclusions. Scalp maps of neural activation suggested a larger sensitivity for small changes in pitch for the Estonian group, as well as a tendency towards lateralization of the processing of pitch cues to the left hemisphere for the Estonian group, and to the right for the Finnish group. These observations were supported by a significant interaction effect between language group, lateralization, and stimulus type. However, further pairwise comparisons were only marginally significant. Due to large variation in the Estonian group, the group was split based on geographical background information, since the use of pitch cue has been shown to vary regionally in Estonia. This analysis indicated regional variation in the processing of the pitch cue; the western Estonian group showed lateralization to the left hemisphere while processing stimuli with a small change in pitch. The findings of this study are in line with previous studies, showing that the native language affects the processing of pitch. It also suggests that the local language variety has an impact on these processes.
  • Pietilä, Penni; Tainio, Liisa; Lappalainen, Sirpa; Lahelma, Elina (2021)
    Public debates in Finland on the unwillingness of boys to learning literacy have called for masculine role models to promote reading. This article analyses a privately funded project where two adult males lead a series of gangsta rap workshops during the Finnish language and communication lessons. The workshops were aimed at students in male-dominated fields in vocational education and training (VET). From a methodological perspective, this study contributes to the field of feminist ethnography, and the article draws from sociolinguistic research on swearing. The analysis demonstrates how the workshop leaders profile the students as ‘laddish’, which justifies the leaders’ swearing and thus creates an affiliation to working-class, anti-school masculinities. The article concludes by reformulating the concept of antipedagogy that intersects the ‘failing boys’ discourse with neoliberal mentalities of education. This involves a necessity for leaders to please by performing ‘laddism’ and drawing distinctions within the educational context.