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  • Aurasmaa, Anne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2002)
  • Hamberg, Leena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Abstract This dissertation concerns boundary crossing between three activity systems in a Swedish municipality: a local refugee reception, a Swedish language programme for adult immigrants, and measures for labour market inclusion. In their joint engagement, a boundary activity called The Resource, these systems share a target group consisting of newly arrived refugees at the ages of 20 25. The aim of this study is to explore how boundary crossing between these three systems is constructed by means of language use, and how the newcomers and their language acquisition are constructed in this context of boundary crossing. Moreover, the object of the boundary activity is compared with the original objects of each activity system: integration, language learning andrapid labour market entry. The theoretical framework integrates systemic functional grammar, SFG (Halliday and Matthiessen 2004), with activity theory (Engeström 1999, 2008), completed with the concept of boundary crossing by Wenger (1998). The sources of the study are written documents crossing boundaries, boundary objects, and interviews with boundary crossers, employees representing each of the three activity systems. The findings show that boundary crossing is constructed by lexical means as well as by grammatical means. Efforts are made by the employees to create a way of mentioning the target group that could correspond to the joint engagement in the boundary activity. Simultaneously, the employees mention the newcomers with the traditional terms used in each system (klient, elev,deltagare). When it comes to the grammatical construction of boundary crossing and the target group in written documents, different images emerge. Depending on the genre, the newcomers are constructed as lucky recipients of a chance to enter to the labour market, as matters of administration across boundaries or as active doers successfully engaging in the boundary activity. The participants in the processes often have the function of constructing components of the boundary activity, e.g. the division of labour. Normally, one of the activity systems measures for labour market inclusion is positioned in the foreground. As a frequent participant in the processes and a frequent subject in exchange, this system represents the boundary activity and talks to the newcomers. These conditions are sharpest when it comes to the object of The Resource. The Resource as a boundary activity is clearly oriented to the Swedish employment programme Arbetslinjen . More than rapid labour market entry, some of the boundary crossers emphasize the importance of integration aspects and the empowerment of the target group in awider meaning. Language education and language acquisition become tools in the context of boundary crossing. These tools are taken for granted, and there seems to be no reason to give further details about them.
  • Koivisto, Aino (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    This study describes the use of utterances ending in the conjunctions "ja" (‘and’), "mutta" (‘but’) or "että" (‘that’/‘so’) in Finnish conversation. It argues that in spoken interaction, these conjunctions are not only used as linking elements but also as final elements in interactional and linguistic units. In contrast to more traditional views, the study shows that final conjunctions do not always indicate incompleteness or project continuation, but that they can also form recognizable points for turn-transition. In these contexts they can be reanalyzed as final particles that leave some aspect of the turn implicit. The data for the study consist of audio-taped telephone conversations and videotaped service encounters. Situated within the framework of conversation analysis and interactional linguistics, the study discusses the interactional uses of conjunction-final turns and their recognizability as possibly complete units in talk-in-interaction. The analysis of conjunction-final utterances focuses on 1) participant orientation, and 2) their recurrent contexts of use. The results show that the recipients of conjunction-final utterances often treat them as sufficient and complete in their contexts by displaying understanding or agreement. When the same speaker continues after a pause, it is not always clear that the continuation was "planned" in advance; it can also be reactive to lack of expected uptake. In these cases, a turn can be analyzed as potentially complete even if the same speaker decides to continue after a pause. In the light of these observations, the study confirms the incremental nature of spoken language. All the final conjunctions under examination have recurrent and recognizable contexts of use. Most typically, a conjunction-final utterance is produced in the service of some earlier claim by the same speaker. The conjunction-final utterance may 1) specify the earlier claim with a detailing list ("ja"), 2) legitimize it by presenting grounds ("että") or 3) partly back down from it by making a concession ("mutta"). Together with the earlier claim, conjunction-final utterances form recognizable discourse patterns that are used for argumentative purposes. In these contexts, conjunctions are used to relinquish the floor instead of functioning as turn-holding devices. In conclusion, the study discusses the emergence of conjunctions as final particles – how their development can be explained. Conjunction-type final particles emerge from recurring situations in which the future course of the conjunction-final turn-so-far is clear enough to remain unsaid, to be left to inference. More specifically, this ability to leave something to inference often lies in the fixed discourse patterns that are conventionalized and predictable and thus reducible.
  • Keskisarja, Teemu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    Bestiality was in the 18th century a more difficult problem in terms of criminal policy in Sweden and Finland than in any other Christian country in any other period. In the legal history of deviant sexuality, the phenomenon was uniquely widespread by international comparison. The number of court cases per capita in Finland was even higher than in Sweden. The authorities classified bestiality among the most serious crimes and a deadly sin. The Court of Appeal in Turku opted for an independent line and was clearly more lenient than Swedish courts of justice. Death sentences on grounds of bestiality ended in the 1730s, decades earlier than in Sweden. The sources for the present dissertation include judgment books and Court of Appeal decisions in 253 cases, which show that the persecution of those engaging in bestial acts in 18th century Finland was not organised by the centralised power of Stockholm. There is little evidence of local campaigns that would have been led by authorities. The church in its orthodoxy was losing ground and the clergy governed their parishes with more pragmatism than the Old Testament sanctioned. When exposing bestiality, the legal system was compelled to rely on the initiative of the public. In cases of illicit intercourse or adultery the authorities were even more dependent on the activeness of the local community. Bestiality left no tangible evidence, illegitimate children, to betray the crime to the clergy or secular authorities. The moral views of the church and the local community were not on a collision course. It was a common view that bestiality was a heinous act. Yet nowhere near all crimes came to the authorities' knowledge. Because of the heavy burden of proof, the legal position of the informer was difficult. Passiveness in reporting the crime was partly because most Finns felt it was not their place to intervene in their neighbours' private lives, as long as that privacy posed no serious threat to the neighbourhood. Hidden crime was at least as common as crime more easily exposed and proven. A typical Finnish perpetrator of bestiality was a young unmarried man with no criminal background or mental illness. The suspects were not members of ethnic minorities or marginal social groups. In trials, farmhands were more likely to be sentenced than their masters, but a more salient common denominator than social and economical status was the suspects' young age. For most of the defendants bestiality was a deep-rooted habit, which had been adopted in early youth. This form of subculture spread among the youth, and the most susceptible to experiment with the act were shepherds. The difference between man and animal was not clear-cut or self-evident. The difficulty in drawing the line is evident both in legal sources and Finnish folklore. The law that required that the animal partners be slaughtered led to the killing of thousands of cows and mares, and thereby to substantial material losses to their owners. Regarding bestiality as a crime against property motivated people to report it. The belief that the act would produce human-animal mongrels or that it would poison the milk and the meat horrified the public more than the teachings of the church ever could. Among the most significant aspects in the problems regarding the animals is how profoundly different the worldview of 18th century people was from that of today.
  • Vetchinnikova, Svetlana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This work sets out to examine how second language (L2) users of English acquire, use and process lexical items. For this purpose three types of data were collected from five non-native students of the University of Helsinki. First, each student s drafts of Master s thesis chapters written over a period of time were compiled into a language usage corpus. Second, academic publications a student referred to in her thesis were compiled into a corpus representing her language exposure. Third, several hundreds of words a student used in her thesis were presented to her as stimuli in word association tasks to obtain psycholinguistic data on the representation of the patterns in the mind. Lexical usage patterns, conceived of in accordance with John Sinclair s conceptualisation of lexis and meaning, were then compared to (1) language exposure and (2) word association responses. The results of this triangulation show that, contrary to mainstream thinking in SLA, language production on the idiom principle, i.e. by retrieving holistic patterns glued by syntagmatic association rather than constructing them word by word, is available to L2 users to a much larger degree than is often claimed. More than half of significant multi-word units used by the students also occur in the language they were exposed to. The idiosyncratic multi-word units are often a result of approximation or fixing. Approximation is a process through which a more or less fixed pattern loosens and becomes variable on the semantic or grammatical axis due to frequency effects and the properties of human memory. Fixing, on the other hand, is a reverse process making the wording of the pattern become overly fixed through repeated usage. Neither of the processes damage the meaning communicated in any way. Word association responses also support the main conclusion of the availability of the idiom principle showing that multi-word units used are also represented holistically in the mind and so confirming the continuity between exposure, usage and psycholinguistic representation. Furthermore, they suggest that the model of a unit of meaning developed by Sinclair has psycholinguistic reality as representations of lexical items in the mind seem to mirror the components of a unit of meaning: collocation, colligation and semantic preference. This work offers an in-depth discussion of Sinclair s conceptualisation of meaning and a novel methodology for studying units of meaning in L2 use both quantitatively and qualitatively by triangulating usage, exposure and word association data. It is hoped that the dissertation will be of interest to scholars specialising in second language acquisition and use, English as a lingua franca, phraseological view of language and corpus linguistic methodology.
  • Visakko, Tomi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The study examines the mediation and evaluation of personhood in light of Finnish online dating advertisements. The main focus is on the performance and interpretation of what has been called self-promotion, or the idealization of the self in relation to others. The study operates with concepts originating from discourse studies and anthropology under the overarching framework of pragmatism-based semiotic anthropology. The online dating advertisement genre is approached as a cultural instrument of personhood and intersubjective interaction in which writers step into a controlled performance of a promotional persona in order to instigate social relations (only) with desirable and ideal others. The primary data consists of 111 Finnish-language online dating advertisements collected from two online dating services in 2007. In addition, a questionnaire was held for a group of university students to elicit examples of actual interpretations. A third set of data consists of cultural metadiscourses that reflect on online dating advertisements as a type of interaction (online dating guidebooks, Internet discussions and articles, a segment of a TV program). Such backstage discourses illuminate the kinds of reflexive metapractices and interpretive assumptions that do not usually come up explicitly in actual advertisement-based interactions. The study shows that stereotypic cultural understandings of self-promotion often focus on specific kinds of evaluative stances and their reliability or appropriateness, whereas many actually occurring phenomena are entirely overlooked. Such biased stereotypes may be one reason for the fact that evaluative stancetaking seems to be an expected but often problematic act in online dating advertisements. The study also illuminates the non-narrative organization of personhood, selfhood, and biography, as taxonomic and hierarchical structures of theoretical representations are one of the most salient textual patterns in the data. More generally, the study draws attention to the importance of the indexical patterning of text-artifacts. Textual patterning at all layers, from macrostructures to orthography, becomes interpreted as signs of personhood contributing, for instance, to particular views of subjectivity, a level of meaning often overlooked in studies of online communication. Moreover, the study stresses the importance of reflexive models and ideologies of interaction. For instance, the nature of online dating advertisements as an intersubjective encounter can be understood in almost entirely opposite ways by different interpreters (e.g., as distant versus intimate, or authentic versus inauthentic ).
  • Vilas, Begoña Sanromán (Helsingin yliopisto, 2003)
  • Pietarinen, Ahti-Veikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2002)
  • Kuusinen, Asta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    The dissertation analyzes and elaborates upon the changing map of U.S. ethno-racial formation from the vantage point of North American Studies, multi-disciplinary cultural studies, and the criticism of visual culture. The focus is on four contemporary Mexican American (Chicana) women photographers, whose art production is discussed, on the one hand, in the context of the Euro-American history of photographic genres and, on the other hand, in the context of so-called decolonizing cultural and academic discourses produced by Mexican Americans themselves. The manuscript consists of two parts. Part I outlines the theoretical and methodological domain of the study, positioning it in the interstices of American studies, European postmodern criticism, postcolonial feminist theory, and the theories of visual culture, particularly of art photography. In addition, the main issues and paradigms of Chicano Studies (Mexican American ethnic studies) are introduced. Part II consists of seven essays, each of which discusses rather independently a particular photographic work or a series of photographs, formulating and defending arguments about their meaning, position in the history of photographic genres, and their cultural and socio-political significance. The study closes with a discussion about ethno-racial identity formation and the role of Chicana photography therein - in embodying and reproducing new subjectivities, alternative categories of knowledge, and open ended historical narratives. It is argued that, symbolically, the "Wild Zone" of gendered and race-specific knowledge becomes associated with the body of the mother, a recurrent image in Chicana art works under discussion. Embedded in this image, the construction of an alternative notion of a family thus articulates the parameters of a matrifocal ethno-racial community unified by the proliferation of differences rather than by conformities typical of nationalistic ideologies. While focusing on art photography, the study as a whole simultaneously constructs, from a European vantage point, a "thick" description of Mexican American history, identities, communities, cultural practices, and self-representations about which very little is known in Finland.
  • Caruso, Giuseppe (Jyväskylän Yliopistopaino, 2014)
    After leaving her early existential and non-Christian Weltanschauung, the Norwegian writer Sigrid Undset converted to Roman Catholicism and eventually joined the Dominican order as a lay member who played an active role in the promotion of Roman Catholicism in Norway. Although her relationship with the Roman Catholic Church has already been studied by many researchers, issues remain which traditional Sigrid Undset research has not fully clarified and which deserve further investigation. In particular, a problem area is the way in which the Church of Rome dealt with her case, first requesting, as a condition for conversion, a divorce from her husband, who was already a divorcee, and then suddenly changing its stance by unexpectedly accepting her as a full member before her divorce was finalized. Through the analysis of official documents, mostly in Latin, I have shown how, in so doing, the Church of Rome ignored its own legal framework. The other problem area on which my study is focused is Sigrid Undset s decision to become a lay member of the Dominican order and the implications this had on her activity as a writer. Through the examination of first hand documents I have shown how, by joining the religious order, which had preaching as its main purpose, she had to, and actually did, renounce her artistic and intellectual independence, becoming totally subject to the authority of her hierarchical superiors. I have highlighted how this renunciation materialized in two novels, Den Brennende Busk and Gymnadenia, whose highly charged rhetorical construction was designed to have as strong an impact as possible on the reading public. This explains why Sigrid Undset wrote the two novels in close cooperation with her Dominican brethren, who provided her with knowledge from their long preaching tradition. In order to shed light on these two issues, I have taken into consideration the social and cultural context in Norway in the 1920s when the Roman Catholic Church was faced with unexpected difficulties endangering its very existence. This situation led its leadership to make every effort to involve the prestigious figure of Sigrid Undset in propaganda work. In reconstructing the historical context in which Sigrid Undset lived and wrote her works, I have followed an approach related to the broad field of contextualizing interpretations, which have been developed in the last few decades under the name of New Historicism. Although I am fully aware that the context which a researcher attempts to reconstruct is partial, I agree with David Perkins (1992) that it is a useful representation contributing to our dialogue with the past. Besides reconstructing the historical context, I have also conducted a textual analysis of Sigrid Undset s works, in particular of her conversion novels, availing myself of the procedures and categories of classical rhetoric and of more recent developments such as Kenneth Burke s (1969) contribution concerning psychological identification and Peter Brooks (1984) views on the seduction of readers. Keywords: Undset, Catholicism, conversion novels, contextual interpretation, rhetoric
  • Huhtamies, Mikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)
    The dissertation describes the conscription of Finnish soldiers into the Swedish army during the Thirty Years' War. The work concentrates on so-called substitute soldiers, who were hired for conscription by wealthier peasants, who thus avoided the draft. The substitutes were the largest group recruited by the Swedish army in Sweden. The substitutes made up approximately 25-80% of the total number of soldiers. They recieved a significant sum of money from the peasants: about 50-250 Swedish copper dalers, corresponding to the price of a little peasant house. The practice of using substitutes was managed by the local village council. The recruits were normally from the landless population. However, when there was an urgent need of men, even the yeoman had to leave their homes for the distant garrisons across the Baltic. Conscription and its devastating effect on agricultural production also reduced the flow of state revenues. One of the tasks of the dissertation is the correlation between the custom of using substitutes and the abandonment of farmsteds (= in to the first place, to the non-ability to pay taxes). In areas where there were no substitutes available the peasants had to join the army themselves, which normally led to abandonment and financial ruin because agricultural production was based on physical labour. This led to rise of large farms at the cost of smaller ones. Hence, the system of substitutes was a factor that transformed the mode of settlement.
  • Kuorikoski, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    The aim of this dissertation is to provide conceptual tools for the social scientist for clarifying, evaluating and comparing explanations of social phenomena based on formal mathematical models. The focus is on relatively simple theoretical models and simulations, not statistical models. These studies apply a theory of explanation according to which explanation is about tracing objective relations of dependence, knowledge of which enables answers to contrastive why and how-questions. This theory is developed further by delineating criteria for evaluating competing explanations and by applying the theory to social scientific modelling practices and to the key concepts of equilibrium and mechanism. The dissertation is comprised of an introductory essay and six published original research articles. The main theses about model-based explanations in the social sciences argued for in the articles are the following. 1) The concept of explanatory power, often used to argue for the superiority of one explanation over another, compasses five dimensions which are partially independent and involve some systematic trade-offs. 2) All equilibrium explanations do not causally explain the obtaining of the end equilibrium state with the multiple possible initial states. Instead, they often constitutively explain the macro property of the system with the micro properties of the parts (together with their organization). 3) There is an important ambivalence in the concept mechanism used in many model-based explanations and this difference corresponds to a difference between two alternative research heuristics. 4) Whether unrealistic assumptions in a model (such as a rational choice model) are detrimental to an explanation provided by the model depends on whether the representation of the explanatory dependency in the model is itself dependent on the particular unrealistic assumptions. Thus evaluating whether a literally false assumption in a model is problematic requires specifying exactly what is supposed to be explained and by what. 5) The question of whether an explanatory relationship depends on particular false assumptions can be explored with the process of derivational robustness analysis and the importance of robustness analysis accounts for some of the puzzling features of the tradition of model-building in economics. 6) The fact that economists have been relatively reluctant to use true agent-based simulations to formulate explanations can partially be explained by the specific ideal of scientific understanding implicit in the practise of orthodox economics.
  • Säily, Tanja (Société Néophilologique, 2014)
    This dissertation studies how the productivity of word-formation varies across social groups in the history of the English language. Previous research into variation and change within the morphological productivity of derivational affixes has been hampered by the lack of suitable methods for comparing productivity measures across subcorpora. A further problem has been how to assess the statistical significance of the differences observed. The latter issue is also present in comparisons of word frequencies in diachronic corpus linguistics: previous work has tended to use tests which make the invalid assumption that words occur randomly in texts. Moreover, the question often arises whether the change observed is linguistic, stylistic or an artefact of the corpus. The present work explores sociolinguistic variation and change in the morphological productivity of the nominal suffixes -ness and -ity from Early Modern English to Present-day English, using materials such as the Corpora of Early English Correspondence and the British National Corpus. To do this, it employs robust methods to compare item frequencies over time and across social categories. Developed in collaboration with computer scientists, the methods include non-parametric measures of statistical significance as well as visualisations revealing variability within (sub)corpora and facilitating exploration. In addition to research into individual linguistic features, the methods can be used to compare corpora and study genre continuity at the levels of vocabulary and parts of speech. Besides corpus-linguistic methodology, the work contributes to the theory and description of derivational productivity. Firstly, it shows that each of the social categories studied - gender, social rank, and register in terms of participant relations - may have an influence on productivity, gender being the most consistent factor in the case of -ity. Furthermore, it shows that while productivity measures based on the frequency of hapax legomena, or words occurring only once in the corpus, are unusable in small corpora, they do function as expected in large corpora and remain theoretically valid. These findings should be taken into account in future research, and it is to be hoped that future studies will be significantly facilitated by the methodological contributions presented in this dissertation.
  • Ojala, Juha (The International Semiotics Institute, Imatra, 2009)
    Space in musical semiosis is a study of musical meaning, spatiality and composition. Earlier studies on musical composition have not adequately treated the problems of musical signification. Here, composition is considered an epitomic process of musical signification. Hence the core problems of composition theory are core problems of musical semiotics. The study employs a framework of naturalist pragmatism, based on C. S. Peirce’s philosophy. It operates on concepts such as subject, experience, mind and inquiry, and incorporates relevant ideas of Aristotle, Peirce and John Dewey into a synthetic view of esthetic, practic, and semiotic for the benefit of grasping musical signification process as a case of semiosis in general. Based on expert accounts, music is depicted as real, communicative, representational, useful, embodied and non-arbitrary. These describe how music and the musical composition process are mental processes. Peirce’s theories are combined with current morphological theories of cognition into a view of mind, in which space is central. This requires an analysis of space, and the acceptance of a relativist understanding of spatiality. This approach to signification suggests that mental processes are spatially embodied, by virtue of hard facts of the world, literal representations of objects, as well as primary and complex metaphors each sharing identities of spatial structures. Consequently, music and the musical composition process are spatially embodied. Composing music appears as a process of constructing metaphors—as a praxis of shaping and reshaping features of sound, representable from simple quality dimensions to complex domains. In principle, any conceptual space, metaphorical or literal, may set off and steer elaboration, depending on the practical bearings on the habits of feeling, thinking and action, induced in musical communication. In this sense, it is evident that music helps us to reorganize our habits of feeling, thinking, and action. These habits, in turn, constitute our existence. The combination of Peirce and morphological approaches to cognition serves well for understanding musical and general signification. It appears both possible and worthwhile to address a variety of issues central to musicological inquiry in the framework of naturalist pragmatism. The study may also contribute to the development of Peircean semiotics.
  • Aho, Eija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2010)
    The common focus of the studies brought together in this work is the prosodic segmentation of spontaneous speech. The theoretically most central aspect is the introduction and further development of the IJ-model of intonational chunking. The study consists of a general introduction and five detailed studies that approach prosodic chunking from different perspectives. The data consist of recordings of face-to-face interaction in several spoken varieties of Finnish and Finland Swedish; the methodology is usage-based and qualitative. The term “speech prosody” refers primarily to the melodic and rhythmic characteristics of speech. Both speaking and understanding speech require the ability to segment the flow of speech into suitably sized prosodic chunks. In order to be usage-based, a study of spontaneous speech consequently needs to be based on material that is segmented into prosodic chunks of various sizes. The segmentation is seen to form a hierarchy of chunking. The prosodic models that have so far been developed and employed in Finland have been based on sentences read aloud, which has made it difficult to apply these models in the analysis of spontaneous speech. The prosodic segmentation of spontaneous speech has not previously been studied in detail in Finland. This research focuses mainly on the following three questions: (1) What are the factors that need to be considered when developing a model of prosodic segmentation of speech, so that the model can be employed regardless of the language or dialect under analysis? (2) What are the characteristics of a prosodic chunk, and what are the similarities in the ways chunks of different languages and varieties manifest themselves that will make it possible to analyze different data according to the same criteria? (3) How does the IJ-model of intonational chunking introduced as a solution to question (1) function in practice in the study of different varieties of Finnish and Finland Swedish? The boundaries of the prosodic chunks were manually marked in the material according to context-specific acoustic and auditory criteria. On the basis of the data analyzed, the IJ-model was further elaborated and implemented, thus allowing comparisons between different language varieties. On the basis of the empirical comparisons, a prosodic typology is presented for the dialects of Swedish in Finland. The general contention is that the principles of the IJ-model can readily be used as a methodological tool for prosodic analysis irrespective of language varieties.
  • Helomaa, Satu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    In this contrastive research German, French and Finnish proverbs are compared primarily based on the concepts of convergence and divergence in regard to their structural similarities and differences and their phraseological equivalents. This kind of research has not been done before on the above mentioned three languages. The corpus of the comparison, 958 proverbs consisting of 345 German, 342 French and 271 Finnish proverbs, is based on different collections of proverbs, but also the Internet was used to compare equivalence and meaning. The method of research used is the model of equivalence by Korhonen/Korhonen (1995). This model has been expanded in order to make it more suitable for classifying proverbs. The objective of this research is to find out if an equivalent for a German proverb can be found easier in the French or the Finnish languages and what kind of proverbs are similar in form in these languages. Based on the comparison, the research aims to find out if the differences in proverbs are caused by different ways of expressing the same thing or if it is a question of a different expression due to e.g. culture or religion, because often there is no equivalent with the same meaning in another language. According to the results 74.6% of the proverbs are in some way similar in all three languages, of which 43% are either similar (e.g. Love is blind) or almost similar and 17.6% totally different. The zero equivalence of 7.7% occurs almost only in the Finnish language in which no equivalents for either German or French proverbs were found. According to the comparison it can be stated that the proverbs of the three languages are based on the common Western cultural heritage. From the point of view of Finnish proverbs, Western European cultural contacts with Sweden and especially Germany have had more importance than just the geographical proximity. Despite the fact that Russia is a neighbouring country of Finland and that Finland was an autonomous part of Russia for over one hundred years, there are only a few proverbs of Russian origin in the contemporary Finnish language. Nowadays the adoption of proverbs has changed: new proverbs are adopted to most languages in almost the same form directly from the English language (e.g. [The] early bird catches the worm). Geographical position does not matter, but economic and cultural relations are more important.
  • Mökkönen, Teemu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Housepits have a remarkably short research history as compared to Fennoscandian archaeological research on the Stone Age in general. The current understanding of the numbers and the distribution of Stone Age housepits in the Nordic countries has, for the most part, been shaped by archaeological studies carried out over the last twenty to thirty years. The main subjects of this research are Neolithic housepits, which are archaeological remains of semi-subterranean pithouses. This dissertation consists of five peer-reviewed articles and a synthesis paper. The articles deal with the development of housepits as seen in the data gathered from Finland (the Lake Saimaa area and south-eastern Finland) and Russia (the Karelian Isthmus). This synthesis expands the discussion of the changes observed in the Papers to include Fennoscandian housepit research as a whole. Certain changes in the size, shape, environmental location, and clustering of housepits extended into various cultures and ecological zones in northern Fennoscandia. Previously, the evolution of housepits has been interpreted to have been caused by the adaptation of Neolithic societies to prevailing environmental circumstances or to re-organization following contacts with the agrarian Corded Ware/Battle Axe Cultures spreading to North. This dissertation argues for two waves of change in the pithouse building tradition. Both waves brought with them certain changes in the pithouses themselves and in the practices of locating the dwellings in the environment/landscape. The changes in housepits do not go hand in hand with other changes in material culture, nor are the changes restricted to certain ecological environments. Based on current information, it appears that the changes relate primarily to the spread of new concepts of housing and possibly to new technology, as opposed to representing merely a local response to environmental factors. This development commenced already before the birth of the Corded Ware/Battle Axe Cultures. Therefore, the changes are argued to have resulted from the spreading of new ideas through the same networks that actively distributed commodities, exotic goods, and raw materials over vast areas between the southern Baltic Sea, the north-west Russian forest zone, and Fennoscandia.