Browsing by Organization "Helsingin yliopisto, humanistinen tiedekunta, slavistiikan ja baltologian laitos"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-17 of 17
  • Savitsky, Stanislav (Helsingin yliopisto, 2002)
    The history of the Leningrad underground is one of the key themes of late socialism. Samizdat, "black humour", religious syncretism, dissidence, apolitical bohemianism, the pathos of freedom of individuality and the mechanics of literature are closely interlinked with the cultural mythology of this passed epoch. Describing conceptions that, when taken together, form the contemporary understanding of unofficial culture, the author creates a historical portrait of this environment. Amongst the central figures here, there are well-known writers (Bitov, Brodsky, Dovlatov, Khvostenko, Krivulin) and literary activists who still await recognition. The analysis of works, many of which were only distributed in typewritten publications in the 1960s-1980s, gives a preliminary definition of the key factors that united the authors of the unofficial community. The book begins with a critique of the identification of the Soviet underground with political dissidence or with a society living in autonomous independence with regard to the state. Describing the historical development of the various names for this environment (the underground, samizdat, unofficial culture, podpolie and others), the author follows the genesis of the community from its appearance, in the years of "the Thaw", through to perestroika, when it dissolved. Taking the history of the publication of Bitov's "The Pushkin House" as an example, the concept of the unofficial is interpreted as a risky interaction with the authorities. Unofficial culture is then viewed as a late Soviet reflection of the Western underground in the 1950s-1960s. Unlike the radical-utopian-anarchistic source, it proclaimed a liberalist and democratic ideology in the context of the destruction of the socialist utopia. The historical portrait of the community is built up from the perceptions of its members regarding literature practice and rhetorical approaches, with the aid of which these perceptions are expressed. Taking typewritten publications as source material, four main representations are given: privacy, deviancy, criticism and irrationality. An understanding of literature as a private affair, neo-avant-garde deviancy in social and literary behaviour and the pathos of the critical relationship with officialdom and irrational message of literary work, comprise the basis for the worldview of unofficial authors, as well as the poetic system, genre preferences and dictums. An analysis of irrationality, based on the texts of Khvostenko and Bogdanov, leads to a review of the cultural mythologies that were crucial to the unofficial conception of the absurd. Absurd is an homonym. It contains ideas that are important for the worldview of unofficial authors and the poetics of their works. The irrationality of the Soviet order is reflected in the documentary nature of the satirical prose of Dovlatov. The existential absurd of Camus is perceived here as the pointlessness of social realities and the ontological alienation of man, while existentialist practices for consciousness in the "atmosphere of absurd" remain bracketed off. The third homonym of absurd - the conception of reality as an illusion - is a clear demonstration of religious syncretism, where neo-Christian ideas are interweaved with a modernized version of Hinduism, as taken from Rolland s books on Ramakrishna and Vivekananda. The unofficial community was influenced by the ideology of westernization. Even "the East" arrived here via French retellings and accounts. As a whole, unofficial Leningrad culture can be understood as a neo-modernist phenomenon which, unlike the western neo-modernism of the 1940s and 1950s, arose in the years of the Thaw and ended its existence in the mid-1980s.
  • Heinonen, Jussi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2003)
    This dissertation focuses on the short story Starukha (The Old Woman), one of the last works of the Russian writer Daniil Kharms (1905-1942). The story, written in 1939, is analysed using the Kharmsian concepts èto and to (this and that) as a heuristic interpretative model. The first chapter gives a detailed analysis of this model, as well as a survey of the critical work done to date on Kharms and Starukha. In the second chapter the model is applied to study the different states of consciousness of the male protagonist. This is significant, because he is the "I" of the work, from whose point of view everything is being told. The third chapter takes a closer look at the reality of the world that exists independently of the consciousness of the protagonist. Physical objects can be said to bear - besides their everyday meaning - a hidden symbolic meaning. Similarly, the characters can be considered as representatives of everyday reality and otherworldliness. The fourth chapter deals with the narrative devices of Starukha. The problematics of the relation between fact and fiction plays an essential role in the story. Kharms's use of Ich-Erzählung and different tenses, which contributes to achieving a complicated elaboration of this kind of problematics, is examined in detail. The fifth chapter provides an intertextual reading of Starukha, based on its allusions to the Bible and the Christian tradition. As a result, the whole story can be seen as a kind of meditation on the Passion of Christ. The final chapter examines how the important Kharmsian concepts of the grotesque and the absurd manifest themselves in Starukha. The old woman represents in a grotesque way two opposite systems: the religious and the totalitarian. The absurdity of Starukha can be claimed to be illusory. Therefore, it is better to speak about paradoxicality. Starukha itself is a kind of paradox, in the sense that it tries to say something of the ultimate truth of reality, which inevitably remains ineffable.
  • Vaahtera, Jouni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The present dissertation analyses 36 local vernaculars of villages surrounding the northern Russian city of Vologda in relation to the system of the vowels in the stressed syllables and those preceding the stressed syllables by using the available dialectological researches. The system in question differs from the corresponding standard Russian system by that the palatalisation of the surrounding consonants affects the vowels much more significantly in the vernaculars, whereas the phonetic difference between the stressed and non-stressed vowels is less obvious in them. The detailed information on the local vernaculars is retrieved from the Dialektologičeskij Atlas Russkogo Jazyka dialect atlas, the data for which were collected, for the most part, in the 1940 s and 1950 s. The theoretical framework of the research consists of a brief cross-section of western sociolinguistic theory related to language change and that of historical linguistics related to the Slavonic vowel development, which includes some new theories concerning the development of the Russian vowel phonemes. The author has collected dialect data in one of the 36 villages and three villages surrounding it. During the fieldwork, speech of nine elderly persons and ten school children was recorded. The speech data were then transcribed with coded information on the corresponding etymological vowels, the phonetic position, and the factual pronunciation at each appearance of vowels in the phonetic positions named above. The data from both of the dialect strata were then systematised to two corresponding systems that were compared with the information retrievable from the dialect atlas and other dialectological literature on the vowel phoneme system of the traditional local vernacular. As a result, it was found out (as hypothesised) that the vernacular vowel phoneme system has approached that of the standard language but has nonetheless not become similar to it. The phoneme quantity of the traditional vernacular is by one greater than that of the standard language, whereas the vowel phoneme quantity in the speech of the school children coincides with that in the standard language, although the phonetic realisations differ to some extent. The analysis of the speech of the elderly people resulted in that it is quite difficult to define the exact phoneme quantity of this stratum due to the fluctuation and irregularities in the realisation of the old phoneme that has ceased to exist in the newest stratum. It was noticed that the effect of the quality of the surrounding consonants on the phonetic realisation of the vowel phonemes has diminished, and the dependence of the phonetic realisation of a vowel phoneme on its place in a word in relation to the word stress has become more and more obvious, which is the state of affairs in the standard language as well.
  • Könönen, Maija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2003)
    The present study discusses the theme of St. Petersburg-Leningrad in Joseph Brodsky's verse works. The chosen approach to the evolving im-age of the city in Brodsky's poetry is through four metaphors: St. Petersburg as "the common place" of the Petersburg Text, St. Petersburg as "Paradise and/or Hell", St. Petersburg as "a Utopian City" and St. Petersburg as "a Void". This examination of the city-image focusses on the aspects of space and time as basic categories underlying the poet's poetic world view. The method used is close reading, with an emphasis on semantical interpretation. The material consists of eighteen poems dating from 1958 to 1994. Apart from investigating the spatio-temporal features, the study focusses on exposing and analysing the allusions in the scrutinised works to other texts from Russian and Western belles lettres. Terminology (introduced by Bakhtin and Yury Lotman, among others) concerning the poetics of space in literature is employed in the present study. Conceptions originating from the paradigm of possible worlds are also used in elucidating the position of fictional and actual chronotopes and heroes in Brodsky's poetry. Brodsky's image of his native city is imbued with intertextual linkings. Through reminiscences of the "Divine Comedy" and Russian modernists, the city is paralleled with Dante's "lost and accursed" Florence, as well as with the lost St. Petersburg of Mandel'shtam and Akhmatova. His city-image is related to the Petersburg myth in Russian literature through their common themes of death and separation as well as through the merging of actual realia with the fictional worlds of the Petersburg Text. In his later poems, when his view of the city is that of an exiled poet, the city begins to lose its actual world referents, turning into a mental realm which is no longer connected to any particular geographical location or historical time. It is placed outside time. The native city as the homeland in its entirety is replaced by another existence created in language.
  • Huttunen, Tomi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    The study is dedicated to the Russian poet and prose writer Anatolii Borisovich Mariengof (1897–1962). Mariengof – “the last dandy of the Republic” – was one of the leaders and main theoreticians in the poetic group of the Russian Imaginists. For his contemporaries, he was an Imaginist par excellence. His Imaginist principles – in theory and practice – are applied to the study of his first fictional novel, Cynics (1928), which served as an epilogue for his Imaginist period (1918–1928). The novel was not published in the Soviet Union until 1988. The method used in the study is a conceptual and literary historical reading, making use of the contemporary semiotic understanding of cultural mechanisms and of intertextual analysis. There are three main concepts used throughout the study: dandy, montage and catachresis. In the first chapter, the history, practice and theory of the Russian Imaginism are analyzed from the point of view of dandyism. The Imaginist theatricalisation of life is juxtaposed with the thematic analysis of their poetry, and Imaginist dandyism appears as a catachrestic category in culture. The second chapter examines the Imaginist poetic theory. It is discussed in the context of the montage principle, defining the post-revolutionary culture in Soviet Russia. The Imaginist montage can be divided into three main theoretical paradigms: S. Yesenin’s “technical montage” (reminiscent of Dadaist collage), V. Shershenevich’s “nominative montage” (catalogues of images) and Anatolii Mariengof’s “catachrestic montage”. The final chapter deals with Mariengof’s first fictional novel, Cynics. The study begins with the complex history of publication of the novel, as well as its relation to the Imaginist poetic principles and to the history of the poetic movement. Cynics is, essentially, an Imaginist montage novel. The fragmentary play of the fictional and the documentary material follows the Imaginist montage principle. The chapter concludes in a thematic analysis of the novel, concentrating on the description of the October Revolution in Cynics.
  • Svetlikova, Ilona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Obatnin, Gennady (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)
    The subject of this work is the mysticism of Russian poet, critic and philosopher Vjacheslav Ivanov (1866-1949). The approach adopted involves the textual and discourse analysis and findings of the history of ideas. The subject has been considered important because of Ivanov's visions of his dead wife, writer Lydia Zinovieva-Annibal, which were combined with audible messages ("automatic writings"). Several automatic writings and descriptions of the visions from Ivanov's archive collections in St.Petersburg and Moscow are presented in this work. Right after the beginning of his hallucinations in the autumn of 1907, Ivanov was totally captivated by the theosophical ideas of Anna Mintslova, the background figure for this work. Anna Mintslova, a disciple of Rudolf Steiner's Esoteric School, offered Ivanov the theosophical concept of initiation to interpret paranormal phenomena in his intimate life. The work is divided into three main chapters, an introduction and aconclusion. The first chapter is called The Mystical Person: Anthropology of Ivanov and describes the role of the inner "Higher Self" in Ivanov's views on the nature of human consciousness. The political implications of the concepts, "mystical anarchism" and "sobornost" (religious unity) are also examined. The acquaintance and contacts with Anna Mintslova during 1906-1907 gave a framework to Ivanov's search for an organic society and personal religious experience. The second part, Mystics of Initiation and Visionary Aesthetics describes the influence of the initiation concept on Ivanov's aesthetic views (mainly "realistic symbolism"). On the other hand, some connections between the imagery of his visions and symbols in his verses of that period are established. Since Mintslova represented the ideas of Rudolf Steiner in Russia, several symbols shared by Steiner and Ivanov ("rose", "rose and cross") have been another subject of investigation. The preference for strict verse form in the lyrics of Ivanov's visionary period is interpreted as an attempt to place his own poetic creation within two traditions, a mystical and literary one. The third part of this work, Mystics of Hope and Terror, examines Ivanov's conception of Russia in connection with Mintslova's ideas of occult danger from the East. Ivanov's view of the "Russian idea" and his nationalistic idea during World War I are considered as a representation of the fear of the danger. Ivanov's interpretation of the October revolution is influenced by the theosophical concept of the "keeper of the threshold" which occurs in the context of the discourse of occult danger.
  • Bliumbaum, Arkadi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2002)
    The subject of this work is the poetics of «The Wax Effigy», a short novel or novella by Jurii Tynianov, Russian writer, literary critic, historian of literature and prominent literary theoretician. The plot structure of the novel is based upon a real event, the creation by Bartolomeo Carlo Rastrelli in 1725 of a wax sculpture of the first Russian emperor, Peter the Great. «Construction of the Sham» consists of three chapters, an introduction and a conclusion. Due to the fact that Tynianov was at the same time a prose writer and theoretician of literature it seemed important to consider the reception of his prose and his works on literary theory in relationship to each other. The introduction is devoted to this task. The first chapter is about the history of the creation of the novel and its reception. Tynianov stopped writing one short story in order to write the novel; these two works have some common traits. It seems almost obvious that his work on the first text was a real step toward the creation of the second. In the first story there is an opposition of dead/alive which is semantic prefiguring of a central motif in «The Wax Effigy». An analysis of the reception of the novel demonstrated that almost every critic writing about the novel has described it as nonsense. Critics considered Tynianov's work in terms of «devices» and «content» and could not understand how devices are related to the content of the novel: the novel was thought as a signifier without any signified. Implicitly, critics thought the signified of the novel as a traditional one of the historical novel, as the historiosophical «idea», embodied in the system of literary devices. In this case literature becomes something instrumental, a kind of expression of extraliterary content. In contradistinction to that Tynianov considered literary semantics as an effect of the literary structure. From his point of view the literary sense is immanent to the process of signification accomplished inside the literary text. The second chapter is devoted to a rhetorical analysis of the opposition dead/alive. Tynianov systematically compares both terms of the opposition. As a result of this strategy the wax effigy of the dead emperor becomes «as if» alive and the world of living people «as if» dead. The qualifier «as if» refers to the fact that Tynianov creates an ambiguous semantic system. This rhetoric is related to European Romanticism and his «fantastic literature» (Merimé, Hoffmann, Maupassant etc.). But Tynianov demonstrates a linguistic origin of the strange fantoms created by romantics; he demystifies these idols by parodying the fantastic literature, that is, showing «how it was done». At the same time, the opposition mentioned above refers to his idea of «incongruity» which plays a prominent role in Tynianov s theory but has never been conceptualised. The incongruity is a inner collision of the literary text; from Tynianov's point of view the meaning of the work of literature is always a dynamic collision of semantically heterogeneous elements struggling with each other. In «The Wax Effigy» Tynianov creates a metalevel of the work demonstrating the process of creation of the literary sense. The third chapter is a reconstruction of Tynianov's conception of the historical prose, specifically of the mechanisms by which historical facts are transformed into literary events. Tynianov thought that the task of the historical novelist is to depict his hero as an actor, to demonstrate that as a wearer of many masks he is a creator of appearances, ambiguities. Here, in the «figure of fiction» (Andrei Belyi), the very idea of the historical prose and rhetoric employed in «The Wax Effigy», history and literature meet each other. In his last theoretical work, «On parody» Tynianov writes about the so-called sham structure of parody. In his opinion every parody is a text about other texts and «serious» work which could be read at the same time as a text about «reality». This twofold structure of parody is that of «The Wax Effigy»: that text speaks about ambiguities of the history and about ambiguities of the literary sense, about social reality of the past and - about the working of the literature itself. «The Wax Effigy» is written as a autoreflective text, as an experiment in literary semantics, as a system of literary ambiguities - of hero, rhetoric and the text itself. The meaning of the novel is created not by the embodiment extraliterary idea, but by the process of signification accomplished inside the work of literature. In this sense Tynianov's novel is parody, a break with the tradition of the historical novel preceding «The Wax Effigy».
  • Pasanen, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The methodology of extracting information from texts has widely been described in the current literature. However, the methodology has been developed mainly for the purposes of other fields than terminology science. In addition, the research has been English language oriented. Therefore, there are no satisfactory language-independent methods for extracting terminological information from texts. The aim of the present study is to form the basis for a further improvement of methods for extraction of terminological information. A further aim is to determine differences in term extraction between subject groups with or without knowledge of the special field in question. The study is based on the theory of terminology, and has mainly a qualitative approach. The research material consists of electronically readable specialized texts in the subject domain of maritime safety. Textbooks, conference papers, research reports and articles from professional journals in Finnish and in Russian are included. The thesis first deals with certain term extraction methods. These are manual term identification and semi-automatic term extraction, the latter of which was carried out by using three commercial computer programs. The results of term extraction were compared and the recall and precision of the methods were evaluated. The latter part of the study is dedicated to the identification of concept relations. Certain linguistic expressions, which some researchers call knowledge probes, were applied to identify concept relations. The results of the present thesis suggest that special field knowledge is an advantage in manual term identification. However, in the candidate term lists the variation between subject groups was not as remarkable as it was between individual subjects. The term extraction software tested here produces candidate term lists which can be useful, but only after some manual work. Therefore, the work emphasizes the need to further develop term extraction software. Furthermore, the analyses indicate that there are a certain number of terms which were extracted by all the subjects and the software. These terms we call core terms. As the result of the experiment on linguistic expressions which signal concept relations, a proposal of Finnish and Russian knowledge probes in the field of maritime safety was made. The main finding was that it would be useful to combine the use of knowledge probes with semi-automatic term extraction since knowledge probes usually occur in the vicinity of terms.
  • Kostov, Heli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)
    This dissertation focuses on the mythopoetics of the Soviet writer Andrej Platonov (1899-1951) in his late novel Schastlivaja Moskva (Happy Moscow), written in 1932 1936. The purpose of the work is to reveal the mythopoetic world model in the novel, to characterize the most significant features of Platonov's mythopoetics and finally, to reconstruct the author's myth in the novel by placing the novel in the context of Platonov's oeuvre and Russian literature and culture as a whole. The first chapter provides a representation of the problem and methodology of the work, a short overview of the history of creating and publishing the novel, and a survey of critical work on Platonov done to date. The study utilizes a structuralistic-semiotic approach devised by Tarto-Moscow scholars for analyzing mythopoetic texts and applies the methodology of a conceptual analysis of the mythology of language. The second chapter examines the peculiarities of Platonov's mythopoetics, and its relation to the neomythological paradigm of Russian literature. Some special consideration is given to the character of the scientific utopism of Platonov's myth, to the relation of Platonov's mythopoetic world model with mythopoetic thinking and to the syntagmatical, and paradigmatical aspects of Platonov's myth, in particular to the mythopoetical metasjuzhet and the ambivalent binary structure of myth. The third chapter presents a close examination of the mythopoetics of the novel by discerning the motif structure of the novel, analyzing the characters and main thematic oppositions of Platonov's myth in the novel. It is contended that in every textual level Platonov strives for ambivalency which provides an opportunity to discern his poetics as both utopian and antiutopian. The analysis in the fourth chapter of the key Platonovian ideological concepts revoljucia, kommunizm and socializm confirms this observation. The study concludes that Platonov's myth in the novel is based on the mythologema of his early prose, but reflect the gradual transition from early utopian themes to the intimate "humble" prose of the late 1930's.
  • Ruutu, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    This study examines the position and meaning of Classical mythological plots, themes and characters in the oeuvre of the Russian Modernist poet Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941). The material consists of lyric poems from the collection Posle Rossii (1928) and two longer lyrical tragedies, Ariadna (1924) and Fedra (1927). These works are examined in the context of Russian Modernism and Tsvetaeva s own poetic development, also taking into account the author s biography, namely, her correspondence with Boris Pasternak. Tsvetaeva s appropriations of the myths enter into a dialogue with the Classical tradition and with the earlier Russian and Western literary manifestations of the source material. Her Classical texts are inextricably linked with her own authorial myth, they are used to project both her ideas about poetry as well as the authored self of her poems. An important context for Tsvetaeva s application of the Classical myths is the concept of the Platonic ladder of Eros. This plot evokes the process of transcendence of the mortal subject into the immaterial realm and is applied by the author as an extended metaphor of the poet s birth. Emphasizing the dialectical movement between the earthly and the divine, Tsvetaeva s Classical personae foreground various positions of the individual between these two realms. By means of kaleidoscopic reformulations of similar metaphors and concepts, Tsvetaeva s mythological poems illustrate the poet s position between the material and the immaterial and the various consequences of this dichotomy on the creative mission. At the heart of Tsvetaeva s appropriation of the Sibyl, Phaedra, Eurydice and Ariadne is the tension between the body and disembodiment. The two lyrical tragedies develop the dichotomous worldview further, nevertheless emphasizing the dual perspective of the divine and the earthly realms: immaterial existence is often evaluated from a material perspective and vice versa. The Platonic subtext is central for Ariadna, focussing on Theseus development from an earthly hero to a spiritual one. Fedra concentrates on Phaedra s divinely induced physical passion, which is nevertheless evoked in a creative light.
  • Ahti, Nikunlassi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Relative Constructions with Pronominal Heads in Contemporary Russian Chapter 1 introduces the distinctive syntactic and semantic properties of Russian relative constructions (RCs), which are then divided into two main classes according to the type of the head phrase. The study concentrates on RCs with pronominal heads, which are systematically compared with noun-headed RCs. Chapter 2 clarifies the categorization of pronouns in Russian. The conclusion is that Russian pronouns include only personal, reflexive and wh-pronouns. The remaining words that are traditionally seen as pronouns are actually functional equivalents of determiners. This idea leads to the suggestion that RCs with these determiner-like words as the only constituent of the head phrase are actually headed by zero pronouns. In the other type of RCs with pronominal heads, the head position is occupied by wh-pronouns with clitics expressing different types of indefiniteness and quantification. Comparison of the two types of pronoun-headed RCs shows that the wh-heads and zero-heads share a number of common properties with respect to the grammatical gender, number and person as well as to the semantic distinction between animates and inanimates. The rest of Chapter 2 gives an overview of various uses of wh-pronouns in Russian and an experimental analysis of RCs headed by pronominal adverbs. Chapter 3 discusses fundamental differences between RCs with noun and pronominal heads. One of the main findings is that the choice of the relative pronoun (kto 'who' and chto 'what' versus kotoryj 'which') is motivated by a tendency to reproduce maximally the essential grammatical and semantic properties of the antecedent. Chapter 4 gives a detailed description of the determiner-like words and wh-based heads used in the two types of RCs with pronominal heads. In addition, several issues related to the syntax and semantics of free relatives are discussed. The conclusion is that there is no need to establish a separate category of free relatives in Russian. Chapter 5 discusses the syntax and semantics of correlative and free concessive constructions. They share a number of properties with pronoun-headed RCs and the two are often confused in Russian linguistics. However, a detailed analysis shows that these constructions must be distinguished from RCs. The study combines the methods of functionally-oriented Russian structuralism with some insights from generative syntax.
  • Kopotev, Mikhail (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The PhD thesis consists of an Introduction and four articles published both in Finland and abroad, written in English or Russian. They present the case studies of eight Finnish and Russian idiomatic constructions, alternatively called formal idioms (Ch. Fillmore, P. Kay, etc.) or syntactic phrasemes (I. Melčuk). Items under consideration in the book appear in the following examples: Ikkuna rikki — Окно сломано, lit.: ‘the window broken’, Äiti täällä — Мама здесь, lit.: ‘mother here’, Kaikki myymälöihin! — Все в магазин, lit.: ‘all to the shops’, Пить так пить! ≈ ‘When I drink, I drink (a lot)!’, etc. The aim of the studies is to reconstruct the origins and to trace the development of the above-mentioned constructions up to their modern usages. To this end, the constructions are investigated both from diachronic and from typological perspectives. Finally, the case studies provide a possibility to develop more general bases of syntactic idiomatization. By attempting to answer the question why the idiomatic constructions develop even though they destroy the harmonious structure of а language, some principles of idiomatization are postulated in the Conclusion.
  • Halla-aho, Jussi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    In this study I offer a diachronic solution for a number of difficult inflectional endings in Old Church Slavic nominal declensions. In this context I address the perhaps most disputed and the most important question of the Slavic nominal inflectional morphology: whether there was in Proto-Slavic an Auslautgesetz (ALG), a law of final syllables, that narrowed the Proto-Indo-European vowel */o/ to */u/ in closed word-final syllables. In addition, the work contains an exhaustive morphological classification of the nouns and adjectives that occur in canonical Old Church Slavic. I argue that Proto-Indo-European */o/ became Proto-Slavic */u/ before word-final */s/ and */N/. This conclusion is based on the impossibility of finding credible analogical (as opposed to phonological) explanations for the forms supporting the ALG hypothesis, and on the survival of the neuter gender in Slavic. It is not likely that the */o/-stem nominative singular ending */-u/ was borrowed from the accusative singular, because the latter would have been the only paradigmatic form with the stem vowel */-u-/. It is equally unlikely that the ending */-u/ was borrowed from the */u/-stems, because the latter constituted a moribund class. The usually stated motivation for such an analogical borrowing, i.e. a need to prevent the merger of */o/-stem masculines with neuters of the same class, is not tenable. Extra-Slavic, as well as intra-Slavic evidence suggests that phonologically-triggered mergers between two semantically opaque genders do not tend to be prevented, but rather that such mergers lead to the loss of the gender opposition in question. On the other hand, if */-os/ had not become */-us/, most nouns and, most importantly, all adjectives and pronouns would have lost the formal distinction between masculines and neuters. This would have necessarily resulted in the loss of the neuter gender. A new explanation is given for the most apparent piece of evidence against the ALG hypothesis, the nominative-accusative singular of the */es/-stem neuters, e.g. nebo 'sky'. I argue that it arose in late Proto-Slavic dialects, replacing regular nebe, under the influence of the */o/- and */yo/-stems where a correlation had emerged between a hard root-final consonant and the termination -o, on the one hand, and a soft root-final consonant and the termination -e, on the other.
  • Paukkeri, Pirkko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    The study investigates actions by recipients in spontaneous Russian conversations by focusing on DA, NU and TAK, when they are used as responses to the main speaker's larger on-going turn. The database for the study consists of some 7 hours of spontaneous conversations. The participants of the conversations come from different parts of Russia. The use of DA, NU and TAK was analyzed by applying the method of ethnomethodological conversation analysis from the point of view of the type of the context, the sequential placement of the response and its manner of production. The particles were analyzed both in contexts in which they responded to an informing and in affective contexts. The particles NU and TAK were used by the speakers almost exclusively in informing contexts, whereas DA was the central response type in affective contexts. DA was also the most common response to information with affective implications. The information, to which the particle NU provided as response, was often unspesific and projected a spesification or explanation by its speaker as the next action. DA and TAK, by contrast, treated the information as one that could be followed and was sufficient in its local context. As a response to parenthetical information NU responded to information that was only loosely connected with the mainline of talk. The particle DA, by contrast, was used as a response to such parenthetical information, which was more crucial for the larger on-going activity. Only NU was used as a response that invited the main speaker to continue a turn that she or he had offered as possibly complete. NU was also used by the recipient after her or his own contribution as a continuer. In affective contexts, DA expressed, depending on its more spesific context, not only agreement but also other functions, such as giving up arguing or prior knowledge on the topic being discussed. In addition DA responses were used to display empathy and identification with the state of affairs expressed by the co-participant. NU, by contrast, was seldom used as a response to a turn that expressed affect. When it was used in affective contexts, it displayed agreement with the co-participant or just registered an assessment by her or him.
  • Viimaranta, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    In this study I look at what people want to express when they talk about time in Russian and Finnish, and why they use the means they use. The material consists of expressions of time: 1087 from Russian and 1141 from Finnish. They have been collected from dictionaries, usage guides, corpora, and the Internet. An expression means here an idiomatic set of words in a preset form, a collocation or construction. They are studied as lexical entities, without a context, and analysed and categorized according to various features. The theoretical background for the study includes two completely different approaches. Functional Syntax is used in order to find out what general meanings the speaker wishes to convey when talking about time and how these meanings are expressed in specific languages. Conceptual metaphor theory is used for explaining why the expressions are as they are, i.e. what kind of conceptual metaphors (transfers from one conceptual domain to another) they include. The study has resulted in a grammatically glossed list of time expressions in Russian and Finnish, a list of 56 general meanings involved in these time expressions and an account of the means (constructions) that these languages have for expressing the general meanings defined. It also includes an analysis of conceptual metaphors behind the expressions. The general meanings involved turned out to revolve around expressing duration, point in time, period of time, frequency, sequence, passing of time, suitable time and the right time, life as time, limitedness of time, and some other notions having less obvious semantic relations to the others. Conceptual metaphor analysis of the material has shown that time is conceptualized in Russian and Finnish according to the metaphors Time Is Space (Time Is Container, Time Has Direction, Time Is Cycle, and the Time Line Metaphor), Time Is Resource (and its submapping Time Is Substance), Time Is Actor; and some characteristics are added to these conceptualizations with the help of the secondary metaphors Time Is Nature and Time Is Life. The limits between different conceptual metaphors and the connections these metaphors have with one another are looked at with the help of the theory of conceptual integration (the blending theory) and its schemas. The results of the study show that although Russian and Finnish are typologically different, they are very similar both in the needs of expression their speakers have concerning time, and in the conceptualizations behind expressing time. This study introduces both theoretical and methodological novelties in the nature of material used, in developing empirical methodology for conceptual metaphor studies, in the exactness of defining the limits of different conceptual metaphors, and in seeking unity among the different facets of time. Keywords: time, metaphor, time expression, idiom, conceptual metaphor theory, functional syntax, blending theory