Humanistinen tiedekunta

 

Recent Submissions

  • Palmujoki, Katri (Uusfilologinen yhdistys, 2015)
    Kyseessä on Mallorcalla vuonna 1541 painetun ensimmäisen espanjankielisen lapsenpäästöopin ja lastenhoiden käsikirjan editio ja kommentaari. Varsinaisen tekstiedition ohella, jossa on selvitetty tekstiin liittyviä epäselviä ja vaikeasti ymmärrettäviä kohtia, on laadittu laaja kommentaari, jossa analysoidaan kirjan tekijän Damián Carbónin kieltä kaikilla sen osa-alueilla: fonologia ja grafiat, morfosyntaksi ja leksikko. 1500-luvun ensimmäinen puolisko oli espanjan kielen kehityksen kannalta murrosaikaa, jona uudet ja vanhan kielen rakenteet elivät rinnakkain, toisten jäädessä sivuun ja toisten vakiintuessa. Päämääränä on ollut luonnehtia Carbónin kieltä tämän myllerrysten kauden puitteissa, sekä sijoittaa se sille kuuluvalle paikalle espanjan kielen periodisaatiossa. Katalaaninkielisellä Mallorcan saarella espanja oli jo vakiintunut yläluokan kieleksi; Carbónin tekstistä on havaittavissa suhteellisen vähän katalaanin vaikutusta. Tutkimuksen aluksi heräsi kysymys siitä, keille kirja oli tarkoitettu. Sen oli alunperin tilannut nimeltä mainitsematon mallorcalainen arvohenkilö, jonka vaimolla oli ollut useita keskenmenoja. Ottaen huomioon naisten alhainen lukutaitoprosentti ja se seikka, että tavallinen kansa ei vielä 1500-luvulla puhunut espanjaa, että kirja on pikemminkin osoitettu välskäreille ja että se on samalla ollut sivistyneelle yleisölle ja yläluokalle suunnattu teos.
  • Buchholz, Matias (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The aim of the present work (Roman Law in Greek: Prolegomena to a Linguistic Study of the Composition and Semantics of the Byzantine Vocabulary of Procedural Law) is to study the composition and semantics of Byzantine Greek legal vocabulary, especially that related to procedural law, from the perspective of the Latin influence on Greek. The work is based on a contact-linguistic and semantic analysis of the occurrences of a number of relevant expressions in the primary sources (not only technical terms in the narrowest sense, but also polysemous words). These occurrences have been mainly extracted from the databases TLG (literary sources), PHI (inscriptions) and DDbDP (papyri). The work is not an exhaustive treatment of all relevant words. Instead, by focusing on a selection of examples and on methodological questions, it tries to open a new perspective on Byzantine legal language. The first main chapter (Chapter 4) provides an overview of the ways in which Latin influenced the composition of Byzantine legal vocabulary. Previous research has often focused on lexical borrowings, but, since these are only part of the story, I argue that our understanding of Byzantine legal vocabulary would benefit from an increased attention to semantic borrowings (loan translations/calques and borrowed meanings) and to unchanged Greek words (that is, their continued use vs. their marginalization through Latin influence). I also evaluate the usefulness of different criteria for the distinction between integrated and non-integrated lexical borrowings (Lehnwort vs. Fremdwort). I claim that, i.a., morphological adaptation is not a conclusive criterion, while frequency and distribution over different sub-genres of legal writings are more informative. In addition, I argue that the phenomenon of code-switching, practically neglected in previous studies on Byzantine legal language, was present and would warrant further linguistic research. Chapter 5 is devoted to the semantics of Byzantine legal vocabulary, especially to the ways it differed from that of Latin, and to whether these differences are due to contact-induced change or to language-internal developments. The meanings of individual words often contracted or expanded, and sometimes even shifted. I propose certain systematic effects, e.g., that loanwords are easily affected by a contraction of meaning, and that the lack of contact-induced semantic change is largely restricted to technical terms proper. These developments concerning individual words mean that the semantic structure of Byzantine legal vocabulary as a whole is different from the legal vocabulary of Latin. Even if this has no effects on the legal system itself, it certainly means that we are dealing with another view of that system.
  • Andersen, Claus Elholm (University of Helsinki, 2015)
    You have to be on your guard On Literariness in Karl Ove Knausgård s My Struggle This dissertation is a discussion of literariness in Karl Ove Knausgård s novel My Struggle (2009-2011). I argue that My Struggle first and foremost is a novel and should be read accordingly. Though Knausgård might challenge the genre of the novel as we know it, I show how he does so within the framework of one of the strongest traditions in the 20th century. This tradition includes writers such as Proust, Joyce, and Thomas Mann, all of whom, like Knausgård, have sought to challenge the novel as such. Thus, Knausgård is stretching the limits of what a novel can be by taking his point of departure in the challenge that already exists in the genre. Read this way, Knausgård expands the limits of what a novel is and can do, so it becomes impossible to ignore him as a novelist. The dissertation is based on five articles published, or accepted for publication, in peer-reviewed academic journals. Combined, these articles show how Knausgård as a writer belongs to a literary tradition that can be seen as an extension of literary modernism. In each article, I identify what I have named the central paradox of the novel that Knausgård wants to write honestly about his life, but can only do so in the form of a novel and by using the literary devices from the world of fiction. It is through the analysis of this central paradox that I portray the literariness of the novel. Aside from the five articles, the dissertation also consists of a cap or a summarizing report where I place the articles in relation to the existing scholarship on Knausgård and explain my theoretical framework and why I consider it important to read My Struggle as novel. Here, I argue that the dissertation is in clear opposition to the majority of what has previously been written on Knausgård, where the focus has been on how Knausgård plays with reality and fiction instead of striving to understand what the novel is trying to say.
  • Ito, Sanae (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Assurbanipal, the last great king of the Assyrian Empire (934-609 BC), ruled from 668 BC until at least 630 BC. He had to spend four years suppressing a revolt by ama - umu-ukīn, his older brother and the king of Babylon (667-648 BC), but his reign was much longer than his predecessors and he controlled almost all the area of the Ancient Near East. One of the essential bodies of research material on his reign is his correspondence, which has never before been studied in detail because much of it has been published in cuneiform copies only. His extant correspondence consists of 359 letters: 72 letters from him (the so-called royal letters) and 287 letters to him. Royal letters are particularly rare in the Assyrian correspondence and Assurbanipal s royal letters outnumber those of his predecessors, hence this dissertation focuses on them. The letters deal with political, military, and diplomatic matters through the king s point of view and in his words. The aim of this research has been to find out what image of himself Assurbanipal tried to convey in his letters and how he utilized the image in order to further Assyrian policies. The dissertation uses philological method and also takes advantage of the electronic database of the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project (Helsinki), which contains the majority of texts of the Neo-Assyrian period in transliteration. Most of Assurbanipal s royal letters were written during the revolt and its aftermath, and sent to Babylonia, Elam, and the Sealand, which were deeply involved in the revolt. Since the most common recipients of the missives were citizens, Assurbanipal clearly considered it particularly important to address the population at large when the revolt shook the foundation of the empire. As the royal letters originate in the state archives in the capital of Assyria, Nineveh, most of them are archival copies or drafts. Two languages and two scripts (Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian) were used in them, but the drafts would have first been drawn up in Neo-Assyrian, and later translated into Neo-Babylonian, perhaps first in Assyrian script and only later in Babylonian script. Assurbanipal had dialogue with both adversaries and adherents, emphasized the favours he had done, and described himself as a benevolent and merciful king who was capable of establishing justice, peace, and equality in the realm. He involved Nippur and Uruk in Assyrian military activities against rebels and settled a sibling rivalry between the governor of Ur and his predecessor. He continued a conciliatory policy towards Babylon even during the revolt in order to resolve the conflict peacefully. He tried to incorporate foreign countries into Assyrian control by treaties and sometimes exerted direct pressure on them with thinly veiled threats. Some countries came under Assyrian rule at their own initiative in order to acquire military and political gains from Assyria. Throughout the royal letters, he stressed his devotion to the gods and their support for his rule. Especially A ur, supreme god of Assyria, was an important figure in the letters.
  • Toivakka, Svetlana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Suomalainen koloratuurisopraano Alma Fohström (1856-1936) oli yksi 1800-luvun lopun ja 1900-luvun alun tunnetuimpia oopperalaulajattaria, varsinainen primadonna. Hänen musiikkikoulutuksensa pohjautui italialaiseen bel canto -traditioon; hänelle koloratuurilaulu oli helppoa. Laulajattaren ääniala ulottui matalasta a:sta korkeaan f-säveleen (a f3). Alma Fohströmin ohjelmistoon kuului 40 oopperaroolia, joista menestyksekkäimpiä olivat Donizettin Lucia sekä Verdin Violetta ja Gilda. Kosmopoliittisen uransa aikana Alma Fohström loi nimeä neljässä maanosassa: Euroopassa, Aasiassa sekä Pohjois- ja Etelä-Amerikassa. Hän vieraili mm. Milanon La Scalassa, Lontoon Covent Gardenissa, Wienin Hovioopperassa, Rio de Janeiron Teatro Imperialissa sekä Buenos Airesin Colón-teatterissa. Alma Fohström teki kaksi Yhdysvaltain-matkaa ja esiintyi Washingtonin Valkoisessa talossa sekä eri osavaltioiden pääkaupungeissa. Hän oli ensimmäinen suomalainen primadonna, joka lauloi New Yorkin Metropolitanissa, näytäntökaudella 1888-1889. Hänet kiinnitettiin Moskovan keisarillisen oopperan, nykyisen Bol oi-teatterin solistiksi vuosiksi 1890-1899. Laulajataruran jälkeen hän toimi opettajana Pietarin, Berliinin ja Helsingin konservatorioissa. Vanhaa oopperatraditiota ei ole vaalittu ja uutta luotu pelkästään suurissa ja kuuluisissa oopperataloissa. Onneksi on säilynyt kuvauksia niinikään paikoista, jotka ovat jääneet nimekkäämpien varjoon. Tutkimuksessa tarkastellaan Alma Fohströmin toimintaa suurelta osin juuri niissä. Primadonnalla tarkoitetaan Alma Fohströmin kohdalla hänen toimintaansa solistina oopperaseurueissa sekä juhlitun laulajattaren erikoisasemaa omana aikanaan. Työ keskittyy erityisesti Alma Fohströmin ammatilliseen profiiliin; se jäsentyy kolmeen osa-alueeseen: laulajattaren varsinaisiin taitoihin, tukiverkostoon sekä yhteiskunnalliseen statukseen. Analyysiluvuissa häntä verrataan muihin hänen aikakautensa kuuluisiin kansainvälisiin primadonniin, kuten Adelina Pattiin, Marchella Sembrichiin ja Félia Litvinneen sekä kotimaassa Emmy Achtéhen. Tämä työ pyrkii olemaan kontribuutio esittävän säveltaiteen historian tutkimukseen ja erityisesti primadonna-traditioon. Väitöskirjassa rekonstruoidaan Alma Fohströmin elämäntyötä tarkastelemalla sen mikro- ja makrotasojen vuorovaikutussuhteita erilaisista perspektiiveistä. Näitä perspektiivejä kutsutaan mikrohistorialliseksi katseeksi, joka kohdistuu Helsingin yliopiston juhlasaliin, oopperatalojen katsomoihin ja kulissien taa.
  • Niemi, Jarkko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This study examines conceding as a social practice in Finnish conversation as well as the linguistic structures that are used to implement it, such as "voihan se olla" it may (well) be . The four case studies that are analysed are connected by a concessive sequence of turns at talk. In this sequence, the concessor concedes the prior speaker s point of view as (potentially) correct and either implies reserve or subsequently asserts a contrastive point of view. The data consist of telephone calls and video-recorded conversations between acquaintances and family members, as well as conversations from internet forums and a chat room. This study applies the method of Conversation Analysis and adopts the orientation of Construction Grammar on linguistic structures as holistic combinations of form and function. The central research questions of this analysis are 1) what gets done with the linguistic structures that the study examines, 2) what are the social, interactional, and sequential factors involved in the choice of a specific format, and 3) what is the relationship between linguistic constructions and social interaction. The functions of the linguistic structures analysed in this study differ in several ways. The concessor may comment on the truthfulness of the prior speaker s statement or its implied consequences. He or she may modify the prior speaker s statement or assert agreement without modification. In addition, concession can imply either independent knowledge about the subject at hand, or a lack of that knowledge. In the data, the more minimal concessive structures (such as "voi olla" may be and "se voi olla" it may be ) are crystallized so that even a small difference in form results in a difference in function. By contrast, more elaborated clausal concessions allow for variation in their lexical form while retaining their function. This study reveals the two faces of conceding in interaction. While conceding may advance the speakers agreement and mutual understanding, it also may serve as a resource to express disagreement and to represent the other speaker s point of view as rather foolish. In addition, this study demonstrates that concessive structures carry a frame semantic meaning of a larger concessive sequence. The recipients of a concession can therefore anticipate disagreement on the basis of the concessive move. As a result, constructions are to be understood as established practices through which speakers perform and interpret social actions as well as projections of upcoming actions.
  • Viitamäki, Mikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This study discusses poetic communication in the context of maḥfil-i samāʿ (an assembly of listening to sung poetry) among South Asian Sufis. Drawing from both textual and ethnographic materials, the study explores the relationship between Sufi practice, poetic expression, and musical performance. It presents a context-sensitive reading of a multilingual (Persian, Hindi, Urdu) poetic corpus that takes into account its literary characteristics, the framework of Sufi practice, as well as the various techniques the qawwali musicians utilize in delivering the meaning of a poetic text. The study comprises three parts that are distinguished by their sources and methodological approaches. The first part discusses the dynamics of samāʿ as a meditative and ecstatic Sufi practice, and it is based on close reading of textual sources in Arabic, Persian and Urdu, written between the fourteenth and twentieth centuries. Throughout these texts, the authors have characterized samāʿ as a spiritual practice whose transformative effect is sudden, even violent. The second part examines twentieth-century anthologies of qawwali poetry and shows the extreme fluidity of the poetic repertoires; the performers are fairly free to choose the texts they sing as long as they bring about the desired effect in the listeners. The study of poetry in samāʿ, however, is bound to remain suggestive, if it is solely based on textual sources. Each performance of a poetic text is uniquely shaped in the interaction between the listeners and singers. For this reason, the third part of the study covers an ethnographic analysis of four samāʿ assemblies that took place in Delhi and Hyderabad. While the focus is on the poetic text, the analysis takes into account the physical settings of the occasions, the hierarchies that regulate the interaction of the participants, as well as the economics involved. The analysis reveals how the qawwals intertwine musical and poetic conventions in order to continuously alternate between tension and release during maḥfil-i samāʿ. In this manner, they intensify the listenersʼ feelings and emotions which are then ideally integrated into their spiritual practice. The impassioned poetic expression that addresses god as the beloved also constitutes a significant religious discourse that complements the more systematic approach found in Islamic theological and legal prose writings.
  • Rastenberger, Anna-Kaisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The dissertation deals with the internationalisation of contemporary Finnish photographic art over the past three decades. The study is composed of five research articles (2006 - 2013) framed by a theory-oriented introduction. It examines the discourses and definitions related to the internationalisation of Finnish photographic art. The material informing the research consists of public documents, text, and images, along with 20 thematic interviews with actors in the field of photography. Each of the four chapters making up the theoretical introduction takes the perspective of distinct research tradition. The first considers photographic art research as a part of cultural studies, while the second considers it in connection with discourse-oriented visual studies. The third chapter deals with field research in the art realm, and the fourth adopts the perspective of contemporary interview-based research. Each of the five articles focuses on the construction of a distinct international or internationalisation project, along with the motives and goals behind it and that case project s impact on the field of domestic Finnish photography. In the articles, the cases for study of the photographic field are reconstructed for study in light of diverse concepts. The research examines, for instance, how the concepts national , modern , and post-modern were used in the early 1990s to describe the way in which photographic art should be approached. In the same era, photographic art education played a central role in setting the boundaries honoured by the photography field and establishing the relationship to internationalisation. The article highlights the notion of generation as a concept of struggle. It often appears in the context of the education system. Later, in the early 2000s, the increased international acclaim of Finnish photographic art drew attention to definitions of photographic artist , photographic work of art , and curator . With the new millennium, an economic logic spread in the art world and came to influence art-related discourse and practices. The cultural policy debate highlighted the economic importance of culture and the arts; the economic value of art became king. Two of the articles discuss the concept of brand, thereby rounding out the analysis with consideration of the present day. They observe branding of the visual arts as a contemporary but also historical phenomenon. The dissertation highlights that, even if there have been frequent efforts to manifest consensus and unity within the Finnish photographic art scene in the context of internationalisation projects, the discussions dealing with them have encouraged the actors in the field of photography to articulate their own views and thereby bring out the polyphony of photographic art and the divergent objectives of the actors.
  • Lindfors, Anne-Marie (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Abstract This study investigates the translation of anglophone West African novels in Finland. It addresses the question of what happens to the linguistic and cultural hybridity present in the source texts when these are translated into Finnish. Anglophone West African novels often contain words borrowed from local African languages as well as unfamiliar cultural features and nonstandard language varieties, which can be called africanised English. The writers of these texts bend the language of the ex-colonisers to add local colour to their texts and to make the language better express local life. In addition, the use of africanised English may aim at weakening the hegemonic position of English, dismantling the colonial structures in the former colonies and changing the old stereotypes about Africa, i.e. it may have political and ideological functions. Thus far, fifteen anglophone West African novels have been translated into Finnish. The material of the study consists of twelve of these, nine from Nigeria and three from Ghana, and their translations into Finnish. The selected novels were written by nine authors, translated by nine different translators and published in Finland between 1963 and 2010. My hypothesis was that africanised English in hybrid West African novels has been normalised at least to a certain extent in the target texts, as there are no corresponding language varieties in Finnish, and also because the normalisation of linguistic and cultural difference is a general trend in translation practice. The linguistic and cultural details of African source texts and the translation of these features into Finnish have not received much attention in Finland before this study. The method of analysis was descriptive and comparative. I first studied what authorial techniques anglophone West African writers used to africanise their texts, after which pairs of target-text solutions and source-text problems were extracted and the translation relationships between them described. The texts were analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively, with a view to discovering general patterns in the relationships which would make it possible to establish the concepts of translation and to speculate on the nature of the norms that have governed the translating of the texts. The period of 47 years covered by my material was expected to make it possible to detect changes that may have taken place in Finnish translation practice and norms. Contrary to my expectation, the results of the analysis show that the translators of the twelve texts were inclined to retain the hybridity present in the source texts (foreignisation), but it was also observed that more recent target texts showed a trend towards less marked renderings (domestication). Both translation approaches have their problems: foreignised target texts may be considered uninteresting and even incomprehensible by target readers, while domesticated translations may affect the functions of the postcolonial source texts by maintaining the prevailing attitudes towards Africa that circulate in the target culture.
  • Biström, Anna Elisabeth (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Doing Authenticity. The Making of Eva Dahlgren in the Press and in Dahlgren's lyrics 1980-2000. The study analyses the "construction" - the produced images - of the popular Swedish singer-songwriter Eva Dahlgren (born 1960). A selection of Dahlgren's performed lyrics as well as press material from the beginning of her career (1980) to the year 2000 is examined. In this process, images are revealed not only of Eva Dahlgren, but also of authenticity, often through the image of Dahlgren as an authentic and unique author of her artistic work. Therefore the study not only offers new insight into Dahlgren's lyrics and musical career, but also contributes to scholarly discussions concerning authenticity and authorship, especially in rock culture. With female artists traditionally often excluded from the notions of authenticity and 'real' rock music, the study also discusses the place of women in rock culture. With contextualizing and thematic textual analysis as its main method, the study confirms that Dahlgren's career has been a constant quest for authenticity. The most interesting result, however, is that "the authentic" reveals itself in different, even contradictory ways. Dahlgren's variants of the authentic are not unique and can be interpreted in the context of traditional notions of authenticity in rock culture. What is more extraordinary, is that her versions of authenticity are mostly accepted and celebrated by rock journalists, despite the challenges she has encountered as a female artist trying to convince the audience of her genuineness. Although her artistic input is sometimes negotiated, for instance in relation to her former producer Anders Glenmark, she is often celebrated as a unique author, in control of her own work. Sometimes she is even pictured in ways that bring to mind the notion of the romantic genius. The fascination with authenticity can be interpreted in the light of issues concerning the "self " or "identity" in late modern culture of which Dahlgren and her listeners are a part. Although Dahlgren's work and the presentations of her in the press momentarily reveal the constructedness of the authentic and the (true) "self" , they strongly rely upon the notion of the self having a true essence.
  • Virtanen, Susanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The dissertation consists of four articles published in peer-reviewed linguistic journals and an introduction. The aim of the study is to provide a description of the formal means of expressing semantic transitivity in the Eastern dialects of the Mansi language (EM), as well as of the variation between the different means. The study is connected to Uralic studies and functional-linguistic typology. Mansi is a Uralic language spoken in Western Siberia. Unfortunately, its Eastern dialects died out some decades ago, but there are still approximately 2700 speakers of Northern Mansi. Because it is no longer possible to access any live data on EM, the study is based on written folkloric materials gathered by Artturi Kannisto about 100 years ago. From the typological point of view, Mansi is an agglutinative language with many inflectional and derivational suffixes. The study is based on information structural analysis, particularly the terminology and definitions proposed by Lambrecht (1994). The approach is based on three main pragmatic functions, primary topic, secondary topic and focus, and on how they correlate with syntactic functions and how their morphological markedness or unmarkedness is due to information structural factors. Further, the notion of topicality is connected to the concept of Differential Object Marking (DOM) and the observations of Iemmolo (2010/2011). According to the data of this study, DOM is based on topicality in EM. Finally, the analysis is expanded to include variation between the active voice and the passive voice and variation in three-participant constructions. The topic of the study can be divided into three different sub-topics: 1) marking of the DO, 2) variation in three-participant constructions and 3) variation between the active voice and the passive voice. The main result of the study is a complex description of how the whole system of expressing semantic transitivity in EM is based on the same principles. Among others, the results of the study also show some new aspects that differ from the recent studies: for example, possessive marked direct objects do not always trigger the objective verb conjugation.
  • Välimäki, Susanna (2005)
  • Nykänen, Elise (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Abstract This study examines the narrative tools, techniques, and structures that Marja-Liisa Vartio, a classic of Finnish post-war modernism, used in presenting fictional minds in her narrative prose. The study contributes to the academic discussion on formal and thematic conventions of modernism by addressing the ways in which fictional minds work in interaction, and in relation to the enfolding fictional world. The epistemic problem of how accurately the world, the self, and the other can be known is approached by analyzing two co-operating ways of portraying fictional minds, both from external and internal perspectives. The external perspective relies on detachment and emotional restraint dominating in Vartio’s early novels Se on sitten kevät and Mies kuin mies, tyttö kuin tyttö. The internal perspective pertains to the mental processes of self-reflection, speculation, and excessive imagining that gain more importance in her later novels Kaikki naiset näkevät unia, Tunteet and Hänen olivat linnut. In the theoretical chapter of this study, fictional minds are discussed in the context of the acclaimed inward turn of modernist fiction, by suggesting alternative methods for reading modernist minds as embodied, emotional, and social entities. In respect to fictional minds’ interaction, this study elaborates on the ideas of “mind-reading,” “intersubjectivity,” and the “social mind” established within post-classical cognitive narratology. Furthermore, it employs possible world poetics when addressing the complexity, incompleteness, and (in)accessibility of characters’ private worlds of knowledge, beliefs, emotions, hallucinations, and dreams. In regards to the emotional emplotment of fictional worlds, this study also benefits from affective narratology as well as the cognitive plot theory. As the five analysis chapters of this study show, fictional minds in Vartio’s fiction are not only introspective, solipsist, and streaming, but also embodied and social entities. Fictional minds’ (inter)actions are demonstrated as evolving from local experientiality to long-term calculations that turn emotional incidents into episodes, and episodes into stories. The trajectories of female self-discovery in Vartio’s novels are analyzed through the emotional responses of characters: their experiences of randomness, their ways of counterfactualizing their traumatic past, their procrastinatory or akratic reactions or indecisiveness. The gradual move away from the percepts of the external world to the excessive imaginings and (mis)readings of other minds (triggered by the interaction of worlds and minds), challenges the contemporary and more recent accounts of modernism both in Finnish and international contexts.
  • Kornak, Jacek (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The subject of this study is the term: queer which I analyse as a political concept. In many English-speaking countries queer has been a common abusive term for homosexuals and other sexually non-normative individuals. From around the end of the 1980s the term was picked up by many activists and academics as a tool for political engagement. Initially queer was politicized in the context of the AIDS crisis but soon afterwards, the term was used to address political, social and cultural marginalization of sexual minorities. Queer has ever since remained one of the most significant concepts in contemporary sexual minority politics. I examine how queer became a powerful political signifier and I study political messages that the term carried. My study focuses on multiple uses of queer , rising from various forms of direct political activism to numerous academic publications. I argue that the term often functioned as a type of alternative identity, a basis of community, an incitement for political action and even a philosophical category. Rather than trying to establish common elements between the uses of queer , I present the multiplicity of routes by which queer was mobilized politically. The research here described investigates an underexplored topic in the academic literature, as most publications to this day offer analyses of queer theories or activism, while the very concept queer has often been overlooked. By discussing the political uses of the term, my study therefore goes beyond the scope of so-called queer theory. Instead, I analyse these theories from a novel standpoint, reflecting on the conceptual politics that queer performs in various texts. This thesis traces the conceptual change that queer underwent to become an umbrella term for various political claims. At the end of the 1980s, queer was used by ACT UP activists and, subsequently, by other groups and individuals to express disagreement with mainstream U.S. sexual politics. From about 1991 queer enters academia. I study texts by Teresa de Lauretis, Michael Warner, Judith Butler, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Lee Edelman and several others. I offer conceptual analyses of their use of queer as a political concept. I also engage in discussion about the consequences of certain political claims for sexual minorities. My findings indicate that queer was one of the central concepts used in academic debates concerning sexual minorities in the 1990s. For instance, Teresa de Lauretis used the term to criticize the previous lesbian and gay discourse and to incite development of a new language that would accommodate the multiplicity of experiences of lesbian and gay people. Judith Butler used the term to address intersections of sex, class and race. For Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick queer is a specific deconstructive term, whereas for Jack (Judith) Halberstam it is an anarchic term that opens a horizon of an alternative politics. Over the past recent decades there have been countless uses of queer as a political concept. My thesis analyses the most influential ones. I present a variety of political purposes the concept serves and point out the importance of this concept within contemporary sexual minority movement and thought.
  • 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.