Humanistinen tiedekunta: Recent submissions

Now showing items 1-20 of 657
  • Juvonen, Teo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The doctoral thesis "The language of possession: Genitive variation in Late Middle and Early Modern English" examines the English possessive (e.g. “John’s son”) and its variation with the of-construction (e.g. “the son of John”) in Late Middle and Early Modern English, from about the middle of the 15th century to the middle of the 17th century. The thesis is comprised of four articles and an introduction that discusses the theoretical and methodological foundations for these articles. The first article studies genitive variation (i.e. the variation between the English possessive and the of-construction) in the private correspondence genre. The second article looks at genitive variation in three different genres, sermons, history writing and private correspondence. The third article examines the evidence available in this period for the analysis of the morpho-syntactic nature of the English possessive. The fourth article is a micro-historical study from a linguistic point of view on the use of various linguistic constructions available to express possessive meaning in the letters of John Paston, the eldest son of a rising gentry family in late middle England. One of the main findings of the articles contradicts previous research which argued that the English possessive had almost died out by the Late Middle English period, but recovered over the course of the Late Middle and Early Modern English periods. The results from the articles show rather that the English possessive was an integral part of the language system throughout this period, and that no patterned change over time can be detected despite significant variation in the use of the possessive. Further important findings include the significance of accounting for genre in the analysis of genitive variation, and some of the complexities having to do with the use of genre as a factor in quantitative studies. The minutiae and context of the historical material used to study genitive variation is also examined in a more philological fashion to illustrate the importance of historical detail and background in the research on genitive variation.
  • Huotari, Léa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Prototype effect on subject change in translation A study in a French⇄Finnish bidirectional literary corpus This doctoral dissertation investigates the link between translation and prototype effect through the study of syntactic subject change in a French-Finnish literary bidirectional parallel corpus built specifically for the study. It examines the controversial topic of so-called translation universals and more widely the cognitive approach in the explanation of translation tendencies. More specifically, the study investigates the subject changes found in the corpus through six explanatory hypotheses proposed in translation studies to explain typical features of translations (translation universals, translational laws, translation figures, the gravitational pull hypothesis, orthonymy/prototipicality and anthropocentrism). The subject change is a particularly good candidate to test the explanatory power of the proposed hypotheses because the grammars of both Finnish and French describe the prototypical subject as being animate and cognitively more salient than an inanimate subject. The study found 320 relevant subject changes in the Finnish-->French and 408 in the French-->Finnish parallel corpora. These are categorized into four different types: 1. animation, 2. inanimation, 3. neutral animated change and 4. neutral inanimated change. The most frequent ones corresponded to animations of the subject, i.e. in most cases there occurred a humanisation of the subject in translation (60% in the French-->Finnish corpus and 49,5% in the Finnish-->French corpus). A thorough analysis of the relevant changes brought up five contextual factors that seemed to promote subject change in the corpus. Three factors are semantic (action, experience and possession) and two are pragmatic (particularization and homogenisation). The main contributions of the study are a methodology developed to analyse subject change between two languages from different language families, making use of the notion of shadow translation and a theoretical framework in the form of hypotheses built upon the five factors found. The hypotheses proposed make predictions about subject change that can be easily tested and further developed in other studies. Finally, the analysis shows that prototypicality is the most powerful explanation for the subject changes found in the corpus. This suggests that the most common way to say something and the anthropocentric conception of the world has an influence on the reading of the source text and thus also on the translation of the syntactic subject. Keywords: syntactic subject, French, Finnish, animacy, shadow translation, orthonymy, anthropocentrism, translation universals, translation laws, prototype.
  • Butters, Maija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This dissertation is a phenomenologically oriented ethnographic study on the experiences of palliative and hospice patients in Finland. The overarching research question concerns how contemporary urban Finns, who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness, experience and negotiate their end of life, death, and dying. The study explores what kinds of language, imageries, and possible rituals exist in relation to dying, the variety of means that dying patients use to face their mortality, and how different environments and perspectives—medicine, rituals, and aesthetics—support patients in their negotiations vis-à-vis their existential situation. The research material was gathered through ethnographic fieldwork comprising interviews and participant observation among terminally ill patients in 2014–2017. The research participants were recruited mostly from two locations, a hospice home and an oncology ward at a university hospital. The former became the primary research site. The analysis is based on data collected from 21 research participants, including materials that they shared (such as photos and artwork), and two blogs. A collection of ancillary materials (such as newspaper articles and reports from the Social and Health Ministry) helped to contextualize the subject. The study explores and analyzes the ways in which patients received their terminal diagnosis, and how they were affected by different spaces and places toward the end of life. The main body of the work concentrates on the practices and activities around and by palliative patients from the perspective of ritual studies. The overall phenomenological orientation of the study highlights the embodied and embedded aspect of the research participants’ lifeworld. This approach is complemented by critical mediated posthumanism as well as anthropological ritual theories. Together these locate the patients’ illness and dying trajectories within the larger cultural and biomedical context. In addition, the study employs critical analysis of the dynamics of the care environments, using the Deleuzoguattarian conceptualization of striated and smooth. The main findings of the study speak to embodied and mediated manners of experiencing death and dying, even as existential matters were expressed in relation to everyday life and corporeality. Rituals at the end of life were twofold: institutional medical rituals and personal ritualizations in the form of death avoidance rituals and death preparatory rituals. Of the various empowering and metaphysically meaningful frames that arose in the material, such as religion and spirituality, aesthetics and nature were the most accessible and efficient means for the research participants to process their approaching death and even find existential comfort as they proceeded toward their end of life.
  • Marton, Enikö (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The present doctoral dissertation addresses the overarching research question of what motivates majority language users to learn and use minority languages. The individual papers focused on the following aspects: What factors support majority language-speaking high school students’ willingness to communicate (WTC, MacIntyre et al., 1998) in the minority language? How does minority language speakers’ feedback influence majority language speakers’ L2 use? How does the difference in the availability of the minority language in a monolingual vs. bilingual municipality influence majority language speakers’ motivation in learning the minority language? Are there contextual limitations to the utility of central concepts from competing L2 motivation theories? How does L2 motivation unfold among hearing L2 learners who learn and use a sign language? How do L2 attitudes and L2 use influence each other among majority language-speaking learners when learning a minority language? The research was conducted in four substantially different bilingual contexts: among Slovene speakers from the Dolinsko/Lendvavidék region in Slovenia who learn Hungarian as an L2 (Article 1), Finnish speakers who learn Swedish as an L2 (Articles 2 and 3), hearing Finnish speakers who learn Finnish Sign Language (FSL) as an L2 (Article 4), and Italian speakers from the South Tyrol region in Italy who learn German as an L2 (Article 5). All the articles utilised path analysis. Article 1 found, among Slovene-speaking learners of L2 Hungarian (N = 119), that WTC was supported by more positive perceptions regarding the ethnolinguistic vitality (ELV) of the L2 group, and that the effect of ELV on WTC was transmitted through a chain of L2 motivational variables. Article 2 found, among Finnish-speaking learners of L2 Swedish (N = 254), that more frequent and more positive contact with Swedish speakers predicted higher L2 confidence (Clément, 1980) in Swedish, which in turn significantly predicted L2 use. However, the effect of L2 confidence on L2 use was moderated by the quality of the feedback that L2 learners received from Swedish speakers. Article 3 found, among Finnish-speaking learners of L2 Swedish, that in the monolingual setting, the role of practical benefits attached to good L2 skills was salient, whereas in the Finnish-Swedish bilingual setting, SLA was supported by integrativeness. The results indicate that ideal L2 self (Dörnyei, 2005) is a key concept in SLA in both contexts, whereas instrumental and integrative orientation (Gardner, 1985) are more context-dependent concepts. Article 4 found, among hearing learners of FSL (N = 173), that L2 experiences, integrativeness, and instrumental orientation significantly predicted ideal L2 self, and that L2 competence mediated the effect of ideal L2 self on L2 use. In addition, integrativeness significantly moderated the effect of L2 competence on L2 use. Article 5 found, among Italian-speaking leaners of L2 German (N = 315), that L2 attitudes and L2 use mutually influence each other. In addition, L2 related peer norms significantly moderated the effect of L2 attitudes on L2 motivation. Overall, this dissertation confirms the assumption that there are two broad avenues to SLA (MacIntyre, 2010), the integrative/affective and the instrumental/cognitive.The results also indicate that the use of minority languages can also be enhanced at the interactional level.
  • Nurminen, Katariina (Suomen muinaismuistoyhdistys ry, 2021)
    ABSTRACT Burned fish bones are constantly being discovered in the excavations of Stone Age settlements in Finland. This abundance of fish bones, as well as the usual location of the settlements on the shore of lakes or the sea, illustrate the importance of fishing to the Stone Age economy. Added to this, examples of the fishing gear that was used, mostly made of stone, are also occasionally found in Stone Age contexts. Yet, despite the clear importance of fish and fishing in Stone Age Finland, the fish bones themselves have not been studied thoroughly before, although the diversity of the fishing culture at the time could be clarified by such analyses. I am interested in the everyday food acquisition strategies of the Stone Age forager communities. By studying the surviving bones and tracking the distribution of fish species, I have been able to create a picture of the fishing methods used at the time and the importance of fishing to the community. The availability of fish is highly dependent on the prevailing environmental conditions, and their behaviour directly influenced their potential as a food source. This empirically driven multidisciplinary study combines data from zooarchaeology, archaeology, ethnography, fisheries biology, environmental studies and, the most importantly, taphonomy. Research on burned bones is rare throughout the international research literature. The essential aspect of this research is to understand the nature of the bone material itself, because with burned bones many different factors can affect the results. Studying the effects of bone survival and the recovery methods used in excavations are thus an integral part of my research. For this study, I have selected ten sites with concentrated burned fish bone deposits, either on a hearth bottom or in a waste pit. In addition to these site-specific studies, I also address the specific issues of bone burning and excavation methods raised during the study. The archaeological bone fragments were analysed morphologically by comparing them with modern reference bones. However, due to the lack of reference bone material in Finland when I began this study, I started by preparing my own reference collection. There are several topics can now be more thoroughly and accurately discussed based on this study. According to results provided by the fish bone finds, it is argued that fishing was the most reliable source of daily food in Finland during the Stone Age. Fishing was a mostly opportunistic, low-level daily activity, and all types of fish were considered equally fit for consumption. Burning is a major taphonomical cause of bone loss. At the same time, it contributes to the preservation of compact skeletal parts. Based solely on the number of bone fragments preserved, no single species can be asserted to have been more important than another, as the bones' taphonomical stability varies between individual species. Fish bone finds from Finland are generally uniform throughout the Stone Age. All variation in the distribution patterns of fish species can be explained by the location of sites, environmental aspects, and excavation methods. The Stone Age fish bone finds support the theory postulating the use of historically known simple fishing gear. Based on the fish bone data, the fishing methods utilized remained the same throughout the Stone Age. Fishing was probably a year-round activity with some seasonal variations.
  • Eskola, Seppo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study examines cameral bookkeeping in Sweden in the mid-sixteenth century. At the time, the Swedish state was moving away from the medieval Union period towards a centrally led nation state. At the core of this process was the control of resources through improved bookkeeping practices. This study shows that the Swedish cameral administration adopted a version of bookkeeping known as charge and discharge, commonly used in certain contexts in medieval and early modern Europe. The system emphasized the accountability of bailiffs to the Crown and enabled the Crown to effectively gather information and extract resources from local communities. The study analyzes in detail the records produced by this system as well as the processes behind them. Additionally, the structure and content of the surviving archival collections is also examined. The cameral records produced by the Swedish sixteenth-century tax administration are known as the bailiffs’ records (Fin. voudintilit, Swe. fogderäkenskaper), and they comprise the largest surviving literary material of their time. These sources have been widely employed by historians in a plethora of studies starting from the nineteenth century. However, the records themselves have been studied in only a limited capacity, leaving many open questions. The present study addresses the current status of research from two viewpoints. First, emphasis is placed on understanding the provenance of the existing records, that is, their origin and the process of composing them. The lack of knowledge concerning this issue has at times been raised in previous studies, with calls for more scholarly engagement. Second, this study views Swedish cameral bookkeeping in the wider context of European bookkeeping traditions, an approach in stark contrast with previous studies, which typically discuss the bailiffs’ records in isolation from the general history of bookkeeping. Empirically, this study focuses on the duchy situated in south-western Finland in 1556−1563 and ruled by Gustav Vasa’s second son Johan (as King Johan III, 1569−1592). The duchy consisted of the provinces of Egentliga Finland, Satakunda, Åland, and Raseborg, providing this study with a clearly defined administrative context and source material. The cameral records of the duchy consist of more than a thousand bookkeeping records, adding up to approximately 27 000 folios. This material is first engaged by methods associated with manuscript studies, analyzing scribal hands, watermarks, and other codicological features of select sets of records to identify patterns and clues explaining the process of bookkeeping. All of the material is then analyzed quantitatively, to better understand how the bookkeeping records were produced as well as the structure of the current archival collections. Structurally, the study consists of seven chapters. Following the introduction, chapter two discusses the history of the archival collections containing the bailiffs’ records. Chapter three provides the codicological analysis and focuses on the question of the origin of the records. In chapter four, the characteristics of the bookkeeping system are analyzed, and the system is placed within the context of broader European bookkeeping traditions. Finally, chapters five and six describe the variety of surviving bookkeeping records. A catalogue of the records deriving from the duchy of Johan, used as a basis for the quantitative approach, is presented at the end of the study.
  • Lahtinen, Outi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation considers the concept of performativity as it originates from philosopher of language J. L. Austin (1911–1960) and examines how the concept functions with respect to a theatre production. The focus of the study is two-fold. First the trajectory of the concept is examined and an appropriate interpretation to suit the purposes of performance analysis is formulated. Second, an analysis of a production is carried out. The discussion about the concepts of the performative, performativity and a speech act is multifaceted and ramified. It includes debates and contradictory interpretations. This study presents an introduction to Austin’s original theorization about exploring speech as action. The main source for this discussion is How to Do Things with Words (1962), a book that was posthumously composed and edited based on Austin’s lecture notes. The continuation of the discussion on performativity is presented selectively. A debate between Jacques Derrida and John R. Searle is discussed thoroughly because of its further influence, particularly in the fields of theatre and performance studies, which is the home ground of this study. Philosophers Stanley Cavell, who sustained the orientation of Ordinary Language Philosophy – the original context for Austin’s philosophy – and Judith Butler, who has expanded the range of performativity from speech to, for instance, the fields of gender theory and political activism, feature as the most important participants in the discussion. Literary scholar Shoshana Felman, who made an original reading of Austin both in terms of thought as well as speech (as action), is also included among the interlocutors of the study. Furthermore, adaptations of the concepts of the performative and performativity in the field of theatre studies are mapped in broad outline. The case study for which the majority of this dissertation is dedicated is called Tulitikkuja lainaamassa eli elämän ihmeellisyys (Gone to Borrow Matches or The Strangeness of Life) (adapt. Veijo Meri – Kalle Holmberg, dir. Kalle Holmberg) and it was performed at Tampere Workers’ Theatre as the 100th anniversary production of the theatre in 2001. The production was a multilayered and palimpsestuous composition that combined an adaptation of a popular classic, Tulitikkuja lainaamassa (Gone to Borrow Matches) by Maiju Lassila, with a selection of related texts both from literary and biographical sources. The analysis of the aesthetic features of the production, the conventions to which it relates, its contexts and intertexts as well as its relation to the assumed audience exposes fractures in the conception of theatre and the identification assumed to its spectators. My study shows how an analysis that explores a theatre production from the viewpoint of performativity offers a possibility for a nuanced understanding of a theatre production as a communicative act whose success is dependent on several aspects in the entirety of the deed.
  • Metsäranta, Niklas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The focus of this dissertation is on etymology and lexicon of Mari and Permic languages (Udmurt and Komi), two branches of the Uralic language family spoken presently in Central Russia. Using the etymological method, my aim is to study the development of their respective lexicons – often intertwined in etymological research – both from the point of view of inheritance and intra language family borrowing. In addition, several other topics related to this aim are discussed in length, these include historical word derivation and (Indo-)Iranian loanwords in Mari and especially in Permic. The reconstructed earlier stages of Mari and Permic languages, Proto-Mari and Proto-Permic, both contain several hundreds of words of unknown origin. Basic etymological research into this vocabulary has been wanting in recent years and in this dissertation an attempt is made to explain some of these words through inheritance by presenting etymologically valid cognates in other Uralic languages. As a result several dozen new etymological comparisons for Mari and Permic words arise. Taking a fresh look at inherited vocabulary is also done in order to determine what can be regarded as regular phonological development as assessing loanwords within the language family has to be done against what is thought to be regular in inherited Uralic vocabulary. Historical phonologies written on Mari and Permic are based on outdated data and thus contain several assertations about the historical phonology of these languages that cannot be maintained. An updated list of Uralic cognates in Mari and Permic is compiled and based on this list a brief overview of their historical phonology is provided in the dissertation. Along with inheritance, borrowing within the Uralic language family is the other main topic of this study. This dissertation examines critically two proposed historical loanword layers: Proto-Permic loanwords in Mari and Proto-Finnic loanwords in Permic. The assumed Proto-Permic loanword layer in Mari is shown to be of heterogeneous origin, consisting mostly of erroneous comparisons. A few words in Mari can be regarded as borrowings from Permic but even in these cases borrowing from Proto-Permic has to be rejected and instead a more recent Proto-Udmurt chronology can be established. With the help of (Indo-)Iranian loanwords in Permic, a more nuanced chronology of sound changes in Permic is formulated. After comparing Proto-Finnic loanwords in Permic against this newly acquired chronology, they are mostly deemed doubtful. A new (Indo-)Iranian loan etymology is also proposed for several dozen Permic words. Many of the new etymologies proposed for Mari and Permic rely on analyzing the words as historical derivatives. Because of this a significant portion of the dissertation is dedicated to examining this possibility in detail. The dissertation also discusses general questions concerning etymological research and Uralic lexicon.
  • Hekanaho, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation examines present-day generic and nonbinary uses of English 3rd person singular pronouns from a sociolinguistic perspective. Investigated are generic uses of singular they, he, she, he or she, and the neopronouns ze and xe. In addition, singular they, ze and xe are studied in nonbinary contexts. What connects these pronouns is their relevance to gender-fair language use; who is allowed representation in language? With data from a large online survey (n=1128), the study explores both types of pronouns from three related aspects: usage, acceptability, and attitudes. The participants include both cisgender and transgender participants, and both native and non-native speakers of English, the latter comprising native Finnish and Swedish speakers. The survey produced both quantitative (usage, acceptability) and qualitative data (attitudes). The participants’ attitudes towards the pronouns are explored using thematic analysis, while logistic regression analysis is employed to investigate the effect of the background variables (e.g. age, gender) on usage and acceptability. The results demonstrate overwhelming support for singular they in both generic and nonbinary contexts. In generic contexts, gendered pronouns were rejected as gender-exclusive, whereas singular they was preferred specifically for its inclusivity and ease of use. In nonbinary contexts, while many participants objected to nonbinary pronouns in general, singular they was accepted considerably more often than either of the neopronouns. Nonbinary pronouns were most often rejected due to perceiving gender as a binary construct. In contrast, supporters of nonbinary pronouns recognized the role of language in providing representation to individuals, arguing that any pronoun a person chooses for themselves should be acceptable. The nonbinary participants (n=79) also favored they over the neopronouns as their personal pronoun. These participants elaborated on their relationship with pronouns, revealing a strong but complex relationship between pronouns and identity. Overall, these responses highlighted the importance of using a person’s chosen pronouns. The participants described feelings of validation and acknowledgment when others respected their pronouns, and feelings of invalidation and alienation when others misgendered them or refused to use their pronouns.
  • Sivonen, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis provides an examination of Prussian state patriotism from the outbreak of the Seven Years’ War in 1756 until Prussia’s defeat to Napoleon in 1806. While patriotism of the Seven Years’ War has been studied, historians have shown less interest in the Prussian patriotic literature of the rest of the fifty-year period analysed here. This thesis, then, seeks to present hitherto the most thorough review of Prussian state patriotism in the second half of the eighteenth century. By exploring the public debates on the love of country, I will show that patriotic rhetoric became an important vehicle for the discussions on the idea of citizenship and merit. This was all the more remarkable in a monarchy where the authors were eager to show that patriotism and virtue were not reserved for the republicans. In a decidedly non-equal society, the language of patriotism allowed people to imagine a harmonious future where all citizens could contribute to the common good while setting aside their ‘selfish’ interests. While Frederick II, King of Prussia, was cited as an example to the patriots, Prussian patriotism cannot be minimised as a personality cult of Frederick the Great. Prussian state patriotism developed in conflict with the imperial patriotism of the Holy Roman Empire; the Seven Years’ War showed my Prussian authors that they could no longer rely on what they perceived to be an Austrian-dominated Reich and had to develop their territorial state as their true patria. Further, while the Prussian patriots generally subscribed to enlightened ideals, many of them were critical of overt cosmopolitanism. Nevertheless, Prussian patriotism remained, for the most part, an inclusive ideology in contrast to the more exclusionary German nationalism of later times. Indeed, Prussian state patriotism was not defined through ethnicity, and several of the authors considered here were willing to expand the ranks of the Prussian patriots beyond German-speaking Protestants. This study argues for the importance of understanding the language of patriotism as a crucial part of early modern narratives concerning reform and citizenship, particularly in monarchist contexts.
  • Holttinen, Tuuli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study examines requests in the L2 French of L1 speakers of Finnish and compares them to requests in L1 French and L1 Finnish. The main goal is to describe the development of request formulation from the beginner to advanced level of L2 French focusing especially on a) the developmental patterns, b) any influence of L1 Finnish on L2 French, and c) comparisons with the outcomes of previous studies. The data include requests elicited via an oral Discourse Completion Test (DCT) and retrospective interviews. The informants (n=90) form five groups: beginner, intermediate, and advanced speakers of L2 French, and speakers of L1 French and L1 Finnish. The analyzed elements include request openers, strategy type (direct and indirect strategies), internal and external modifiers, request perspective, and forms of address. These aspects were analyzed using descriptive statistics and qualitative approaches. The retrospective interviews, providing metapragmatic information on the request formulations, were analyzed using content analysis. The results show different developmental patterns in request formulation. While some aspects follow a linear or a non-linear development towards L1 French, others show a linear pattern away from L1-like use. Thus, the development of request formulation in L2 French appears as rather complex. The influence of L1 Finnish was found in various aspects: request openers, external modifiers and some lexical modifiers are prone to L1 influence. In contrast to previous studies which showed an overuse of politeness markers, Finnish speakers of L2 French appear to struggle in acquiring s’il te/vous plaît despite its relative syntactical simplicity and pragmatic efficiency. The study corroborates several previous findings in interlanguage pragmatics. At lower levels of acquisition, Finnish speakers of L2 French use more direct request strategies and fewer internal modifiers, as is common with L2 speakers of other languages as well. In addition, lexical modifiers seem to be acquired before morphosyntactic modifiers. The study also shows that these L2 speakers prefer to be “on the safe side” as regards clarity and politeness: advanced L2 speakers seem to overuse external modifiers, and Finnish speakers of L2 French generally exhibit more frequent use of greetings, nominal forms of address and the more formal V-form vous compared to L1 speakers of French. Methodologically, the study highlights the importance of triangulation; that is, combining production data and metapragmatic information when examining pragmatic competence. As to pedagogical implications, the study highlights the importance of comparing the pragmalinguistics (i.e. different linguistic formulations and their pragmatic effects) between the L1 and the target language in L2 classrooms. In addition, sociopragmatics (i.e. the perception of language-external contextual factors) should not be neglected, as sociopragmatic competence seems to develop slower than pragmalinguistic competence.
  • Vartia-Paukku, Niini (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The study focuses on public discourse in the context of the United Nations and the European Union. Public speaking has a dominant role in these multi-lateral organisations, which were both initially established to secure peace and international stability. This cross-cultural study examines rhetorical strategies used by political leaders of UN and EU member states to position themselves in statements expressing coherence and societal responsibility. It also examines if and the extent to which the rhetorical strategies chosen by the leaders manifest socio-cultural tendencies. On a more theoretical-methodological level, I have in this study asked what public speaking analyses can add to well-established approaches like pragmatics and discourse analysis in order to give a deeper understanding of international communication. The data for the study consist of introductions to public speeches by delegates (from Brazil, France, Jordan and the United States) at the United Nations General Assembly plenaries in 2006–2015, speeches by the Prime Ministers of the European Union member states (Britain, Finland and France) in 2004–2005, and Part 1 of the strategy report of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations initiative. The notion of positioning (Bamberg 1997, De Fina 2013) from narrative analysis was used as an additional method in this data-driven study. The findings suggest that public discourse in formal institutional settings need to be approached as a socio-cultural phenomenon. The results show that linguistic strategies of self-presentation and politeness used to construct coherence reflect socio-cultural patterns, e.g. data from member-states with high power distance manifest most communicative acts of complimenting. The results further suggest that actors can self- position themselves and their nation in global leadership by using a number of linguistic strategies. The study also illustrates how actors seek balance between socio- cultural responsibility and global societal responsibility in their political discourse. The findings are significant particularly in the context of global peace building, in which rhetoric is assumed to be neutral, objective and non-biased. The findings are acutely relevant in the post-truth era, when audiences question to what extent public speakers, and politicians particularly, are responsible for their statements. Additionally, the study shows that rhetorical choices construct future realities (Verschueren 1999). By using deictic pronominal markers in their public speeches, the leaders of Britain, France and Finland positioned themselves as proponents of the integrating European Union in 2004-2005. In hindsight, one can see that these nations later developed their relationship with the EU as their political leaders had implicitly indicated in their public speeches years earlier. The data also indicate that religions continue to have both an implicit and an explicit influence on public discourse. For future systematic analysis of public discourse the study suggests aligning and re- contextualizing resources representing expertise in academic intercultural pragmatics and international multi-lateral organizations. Such a hybrid approach to analysing public discourse could prevent misunderstandings and potential conflicts based on misinterpretation of positioning strategies due to historical, socio-cultural or political factors. The results indicate that in the context of formal, political public speaking the expiry date for traditional cultures (cf. Blommaert 2010, 2015) has not yet been reached.
  • Keltanen, Minerva (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation examines a group of ten images (eight paintings and two engravings), here called Serenade to a Cat after the painting located at the Sinebrychoff Art Museum in Helsinki. The subject belongs to the so-called pitture ridicole, or “ridiculous pictures,” which were intended to provoke laughter in the viewer. The motifs of laughter or the comic permeated visual art both in Italy and in the North with the rise of genre painting and commedia dell’arte at the end of the sixteenth century. Motivated by the relationship between art and humor, my research locates the emergent theme in its historical and social context, seeking to resolve artist, date, and provenance by using the Helsinki painting as a case study. Here I employ a technical examination of materials, such as used by conservators. In the assessment of attribution, the provenance, stylistic, and compositional elements of the painting, in addition to the history of costumes, are taken into consideration. The subject and comic plot of Serenade to a Cat are already alien to a modern viewer, yet the quantity of images employing the theme is striking. This study also illuminates art markets and the role of copies. The method of my investigation is a combination of iconography, a comparison of other closely related works, and historical contextualization. One of my premises in interpreting the theme is that it is linked to peasantry, folk rituals, Carnival, and theater. Furthermore, the possibility of blasphemous presentation is investigated. The peasants and the cat were common figures right from the start in early modern comic images. The peasants had connotations of being laughable, ugly, and acting foolishly, and the peasant became the most popular character in genre painting. Two other painting groups, which I have titled as the Lombard group and the Carnival group, function as comparison groups, as they share a common and prominent visual feature—the cat. My work offers insights into the sociological and cultural attitudes toward cats during the early modern era. Cats had many powerful symbolic connotations and were associated with folkloristic beliefs. As charivaris, faire le chat, and other carnivalesque and festive examples of cat-torturing show, abuse and cruelty toward animals was also considered entertaining in the early modern era. My research reveals that one could consider several explanations for the theme; thus, the artists or schools involved in the timeframe of 1580–1640 remain open for speculation. Serenade to a Cat images reveal the intensive artistic and cultural exchanges that took place in the early modern era between the North and Italy. This study advances our understanding of risible images in the early modern period, as well as how such images were appreciated in their own time. My research also contributes to the question of neglected works of art by minor unknown masters. Keywords: Laughter, humor, comic, genre art, cat, peasants, carnivals, charivari, commedia dell’arte, blasphemy, pitture ridicole, early modern, sixteenth century, seventeenth century, Lombardy, Dutch art, Flemish art, French art, Italian art, attribution, provenance, art market, copy.
  • Lahtinen, Joonas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study discusses the transformative potential of contemporary participatory performance practice and the possibilities for locating and interrogating it through performance analysis that pays special attention to the dynamic of human perception. The writer suggests that the crucial ideological assumptions, power relations, as well as the processes of exclusion and inclusion of participatory projects, are not to be seen solely in their “goals” or “themes”, but, even more distinctly, in the modes of bodily participation that they employ. The study consists of a theoretical part and three case study analyses. In the theoretical part, the writer presents a novel analytical framework for addressing the ways in which artistic performances engage and affect their participants, and for understanding the culture-bound dynamic of perception, power, knowledge and the body both in participatory performance situations and in our everyday lives. Drawing especially on the views of human perception, power, and experience of Jacques Rancière, Marcel Mauss, and Michel Foucault, the main concepts of this framework are “sensory fields”, “experience fields” and “body techniques”. As for the verbalization of experiences through performance analysis, the framework draws on Joe Kelleher’s and Alan Read’s notions of “theatre images”. Based on the analytical framework, the writer locates and interrogates “politics of the sensible” i.e. modes of participation; underlying assumptions regarding the participants and the efficacy of the chosen participatory strategy; potential inclusions and exclusions; and horizons of change in Lois Weaver’s "What Tammy Needs to Know" (2006) and "What Tammy Needs to Know about Getting Old and Having Sex" (2008), the Complaints Choirs of Helsinki (2006), Singapore (2008) and Vienna (2010 –) based on the "Complaints Choir" project concept by Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, and "dominant powers. was also tun?" (2011) by Claudia Bosse and her group, theatercombinat. This study also shows how all of these projects embody features of post-Fordist work and how they relate to the ethos of de-alienation in participatory art practice. Besides locating productive transformatory potential and tendencies in all of these performances, this study brings about critical perspectives and notions that have not been addressed in previous research on Weaver’s, Kalleinens’ and Bosse’s projects. The writer suggests that the analytical framework presented in this study provides new insights into perception, power and the body in performance theory and analysis, and may also offer productive inputs for artist-researchers, curators and art educators in planning and reflecting on their projects, and for scholars in areas such as epistemology, semiotics, and political science.
  • Yurayong, Chingduang (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The present study investigates the use and development of demonstratives that follow head word, postposed demonstratives, which are characteristic of eastern Finnic and North Russian dialects. Some previous studies regard these postposed demonstratives as definite articles, while other recent studies identify additional functions related to information structure and discourse. Given that postposed demonstratives are not a feature common to all East Slavic languages, several studies propose that this characteristic feature of North Russian could have resulted from language contact with the Uralic-speaking population who adopted Russian as their second language, particularly Finnic speakers. The main goal of the present study is to answer three research questions: 1) How do postposed demonstratives function as grammatical markers? 2) What does the development of demonstratives tell us about the history of Finnic and Slavic languages? 3) Do postposed demonstratives result from a Finnic substratum in North Russian dialects? For this purpose, the present study examines spoken language data comprising thirteen Finnic and two North Russian varieties which have been in contact during the latest millennium, as well as Novgorod birch bark documents from the 11th–15th centuries. The typological analysis identifies properties and functions of postposed demonstratives from various perspectives: word order, host attachment, syntactic and pragmatic functions. The analysis also combines results with geographical data, which shows the correlation between the speaking areas and linguistic similarities among varieties. The results achieved in the present study justify the following conclusions. First, postposed demonstratives function as grammatical markers with a basic function to organise information structure. At the same time, the properties of information-structural uses as topic and focus markers have secondarily extended to contexts of use in which postposed demonstratives co-occur with definite referents, and are used to code the speaker’s evaluation. The functional extension is particularly common in North Russian dialects and adjacent Finnic varieties in the east. Second, the development of demonstrative systems from Proto-Finnic to modern Finnic languages is influenced by later contacts among Finnic sub-branches that share areal features. Based on these isoglosses, the Finnic demonstrative system can be classified into four groups: 1) western Finnic (Livonian, South Estonian, and North Estonian), 2) central Finnic (Votic and Ingrian), 3) Karelian Finnic (Olonets Karelian and Northern Lude), and 4) eastern Finnic (Southern Lude and Veps). Third, the postposed demonstrative “-to” and its variants in North Russian dialects do not result from the Finnic substratum, but from the adstratum. Through mutual reinforcement with the Veps demonstrative “se”, the indeclinable “-to” inherited from the Central dialect of Middle Russian has developed further properties to inflect and co-occur more often with definite referents. Such a developed pragmatic use later also spread to Lude and Olonets Karelian.
  • Bahrt, Nicklas N. (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation is a typological study of the cross-linguistic diversity in the syncretism between two or more of the following seven voices: passives, antipassives, reflexives, reciprocals, anticausatives, causatives, and applicatives. The study is primarily based on a survey of 222 genealogically and geographically diverse languages, but also addresses data from dozens more. The main goal of the dissertation is to systematically describe variation in voice syncretism across the world’s languages from a range of different perspectives both synchronically and diachronically, including formal marking, combinations – or patterns – of syncretism, and distribution. The findings of the dissertation show that voice syncretism is a cross-linguistically prevalent phenomenon attested in almost half of the surveyed languages. More than forty different patterns of syncretism are attested in these languages, many patterns of which have hitherto received little or no prior treatment in the literature. These patterns vary greatly in marking, complexity, frequency, and distribution, which suggests that voice syncretism is a more diverse phenomenon than hitherto acknowledged. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the said syncretism can evolve along various diachronic pathways, several of which appear to be bidirectional, indicating that the diachrony of voice syncretism is more intricate than previously assumed. The dissertation is structured in a manner that allows for information on individual patterns of voice syncretism to be conveniently accessed, and it is thus hoped that it will serve as a reference and starting point for further research on the topic.
  • Uygun Tunç, Duygu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis presents a communicative account of personhood that argues for the inseparability of the metaphysical and the practical concepts of a person. It connects these two concepts by coupling the question “what is a person” (concerning the necessary conditions of personhood) with the question "how does one become a person"(concerning its genetic conditions). It argues that participation in social interactions that are characterized by mutual recognition and giving-and-taking reasons implied by the practical concept of a person is in fact an ecological and developmental condition for an entity to possess the kind of characteristics and capacities such as reflexive self-consciousness addressed by the metaphysical concept. The chief theoretical contribution of the dissertation research lies, accordingly, in demonstrating that an adequate metaphysical concept of a person has to make reference to the kind of social processes that are necessary for the emergence and development of the distinguishing attributes of persons among other moving, perceiving, desiring and cognizing agents. Methodologically, it undertakes an original philosophical analysis that is enriched by an interdisciplinary investigation of several notions and insights from semiotics, comparative and developmental psychology, cognitive science and anthropology. The main argument of the thesis is that one becomes a person through internally recreating a social, communicative process; namely, that of dialogical transformation of habits. We find the paradigmatic case of this social process in mutual persuasion. The internalization of this process in the form of an inner dialogue cultivates a social self that is in ongoing communication with the embodied, organismic self of uncritically habituated attitudes, convictions and desires. This inner dialogue can be conceived as a temporally extended process of self-persuasion, which is characterized by an ongoing strive for attaining higher degrees of self-control; that is, for achieving a more coherent alignment between our habits and the kind of person we would like to be. It starts with self-interpretation and self-evaluation, and culminates in the formation of higher-order desires that facilitate habit-change and novel habit formation in accordance with certain social, moral, aesthetical or intellectual categories and norms one comes to endorse. For this reason, self-induced, deliberate habit-change is also a process of appropriation or self-appropriation, through which we strive to cultivate habits of feeling, thinking, acting that we can deem more truly ours. The thesis demonstrates that the capacity for engaging in this kind of self-persuasion consists chiefly in the capacities for metasemiosis, perspective-taking, and for cultivating habits of reflexivity. It explicates how all these capacities have a social origin and ultimately a social function by showing that they all presuppose certain higher-order communicative patterns that arose through an evolutionary and cultural history, and develop through the internal reconstruction of these patterns as cognitive-semiotic processes. The thesis concludes that becoming a kind of being who can engage in self-persuasion, thus a person, consists ultimately in internalizing the patterns of communicative social interactions in the form of an ongoing auto-communication.  
  • Hämäläinen, Mika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis presents approaches to computationally creative natural language generation focusing on theoretical foundations, practical solutions and evaluation. I defend that a theoretical definition is crucial for computational creativity and that the practical solution must closely follow the theoretical definition. Finally, evaluation must be based on the underlying theory and what was actually modelled in the practical solution. A theoretical void in the existing theoretical work on computational creativity is identified. The existing theories do not explicitly take into account the communicative nature of natural language. Therefore, a new theoretical framework is elaborated that identifies how computational creativity can take place in a setting that has a clear communicative goal. This introduces a communicative-creative trade off that sets limits to creativity in such a communicative context. My framework divides creativity in three categories: message creativity, contextual creativity and communicative creativity. Any computationally creative NLG approach not taking communicativity into account is called mere surface generation. I propose a novel master-apprentice approach for creative language generation. The approach consists of a genetic algorithm, the fitness functions of which correspond to different parameters defined as important for the creative task in question from a theoretical perspective. The output of the genetic algorithm together with possible human authored data are used to train the apprentice, which is a sequence-to-sequence neural network model. The role of the apprentice in the system is to approximate creative autonomy. Evaluation is approached from three different perspectives in this work: ad-hoc and abstract, theory-based and abstract, and theory-based and concrete. The first perspective is the most common one in the current literature and its shortcomings are demonstrated and discussed. This starts a gradual shift towards more meaningful evaluation by first using proper theories to define the task being modelled and finally reducing the room for subjective interpretation by suggesting the use of concrete evaluation questions.
  • Järvelä, Simo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Psychophysiology is a method of measuring physiological signals, such as heart rate or brain waves, and making psychological inferences based on them. The joint changes of physiological signals within a dyad – physiological synchrony – can also be assessed. In previous studies, synchrony measures have been linked to various affective and social phenomena such as empathy or team performance, but a solid connection to background theory is still missing. This work aims to contribute to the collective effort by exploring physiological synchrony and the associated psychological constructs from the perspective of two overarching research questions: “What social dynamics affect physiological synchrony?” and “Is synchrony associated with self-reported empathy and social presence?”. The focus of this work is on providing insight into the possibilities of using physiological synchrony measures to assess protosocial affective processes. The original studies of this thesis include Study I, a theoretical contribution that outlines the core ideas, and four empirical contributions, Studies II-V, that use dyadic psychophysiological measurements and self-reports to examine social dynamics in the context of digital media experience. Study II examined physiological synchrony and social presence in a group movie-watching context and whether chat or biofeedback displays, and physical co-location had an effect. Study III investigated multiple modes of competition and collaboration and their within-dyad effects when playing a digital asynchronous turn-based multiplayer game. Studies IV and V are reports from the same experiment that examined compassion meditation in a shared virtual reality environment by using dyadic synchrony biofeedback to support empathy. In all studies, heart rate-based synchrony indices were associated with social presence or empathy self-reports, but no similar association was found with electrodermal activity indices. Varying physical co-location also affected physiological synchrony, but changes in social dynamics, e.g. different competition modes, did not. The role of attention rose as a central factor in all studies when interpreting the results; it seems that disturbance-free strict focus on the partner or on the communication channel providing important social information resulted in higher synchrony, whereas any division of attention between separate targets weakened it. In general, the effect sizes in these studies were mostly rather modest, and the results not entirely systematic. They support the notion that physiological synchrony and social presence or empathy are connected, and a more general link to affective protosocial processes is suggested. The potential for dyadic synchrony measures is theoretically immense, but its complexity is a serious hindrance when trying to harness it in practice.
  • Kajanne, Ville (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The subject of this study is the Cultural address, a petition in which were collected more than 1,000 signatures from widely known personalities in various fields of science and culture. The work was completed in about two months in the spring of 1899. The signatures were gathered in nearly sixty cities in twelve different countries. The visually impressive address letters, laid out in alphabetical order of the countries, consist of petition texts and signatory lists. The formal purpose of the petition was to put pressure on Russian Tsar Nicholas II to take into account the public demands and demonstrations made in Finland to cancel the so-called February manifesto. According to them, it restricted the legislative rights of the Grand Duchy based on its constitution. My research is the first comprehensive presentation on the topic and is based on extensive original source material. The purpose of the study is to find out how the address was implemented and what made it necessary and possible. In my dissertation, the Cultural address is examined from the broader international as well as from a private and personal perspective. The purpose of the work is to bring the topic to the 21st century by releasing it from the aftermath of the traditional national Finnish historiography of the first decades of the 20th century and by giving it a thorough and object examination according the transnationalist research trend. As a result, the starting point of my research is that the address campaign, the external form of the petition and particularly the reasons for its successful implementation were not only related to the conditions in Finland and the dialogue between Finland and Russia, but also to wider international development and phenomena, as well as to to personal backgrounds and goals of the main protagonists behind the scheme. In line with the transnationalist research trend, the address is seen as a consequence and phenomenon of transnational interdepencies, interconnections and circulations. The address was originally conceived, the idea of it floated and the work followed up and combined by a few Finnish intermediaries, but its implementation depended almost entirely on the contacts and activity of several small, local and translocal groups. The actual petition texts of the addresses were also prepared by local connectors. Arguably, instead of a singular address, several local petitions would be a more suitable description of the Cultural address. The dissertation assesses the address both as part of the current personal situation of those who implemented it, as well as the international public debate associated with it. The address was accompanied by a public debate on the Tsar's personality and his objectives for the Hague Peace Conference, as well as the general military-political situation in Europe and its reflections on Finland. As for the masterminds and implementers of the address, it was about keen interest in following international events and participating in the public debate about them. Even though having been named afterwards as “Cultural Address”, it was rather an international academic address that served in the interests of all its collaborators for efforts to promote the treatment of non-national issues such as fundamental human rights and to bring about international structures or bodies to promote them. In part, these were opportunities offered by increased communication and the press in the public debate in the late 19th century. As a project, the address also promoted the utilization of existing and construction of some new transnational networks based on professional grounds created contacts. Participation in the discussion on Finland's constitutional status did not explain or show up in the address as much as its Finnish designers had hoped. The Cultural address was intended to put pressure on the Tsar to refrain from curtailing Finland's autonomous rights and renewing Finland's Conscription Act. In the European context of its origin, the address sought, above all, to protest to the addresses that had been drawn up throughout Europe in favor of the Tsar’s peace conference proposal. The aim was to question the sincerity of the Tsar’s reasoning and to demonstrate flaws and inconsistency of Russian policies between home and abroad in order to halt the growth of his personal popularity in Europe. In addition to the bold criticism of the sovereign, the measure was aimed at acquiring more visibility to the conditions in Finland in international news and, simultaneously, finding a perspective that would guarantee the support and enable building up of the connection sphere needed to implement the address. Against the tsar's policy and growing public support, there was a desire to present the opposite view of the widely known intellectuals of the era. The roots of the address were more in the European public debate than in the internal situation in Finland. The Cultural address was not a joint project of artists and cultural celebrities, but above all of the so-called intellectuals: the European academic community and literary Hommes de lettres combined. Public petitions in the context of the current Dreyfus case served as a key model for this campaign, although addresses had been used by the European bourgeoisie as a tool for passive resistance and public provocation throughout the 19th century. Indeed, the research is based in part on longer-term development. Increased interest in Finland's economic and professional connections with Western Europe, together with a growing interest in common European history and cultural heritage in academic circles on a European scale, created the conditions for supporting a distant minority culture such as Finland. The address offered its predominantly liberal supporters the opportunity to criticize Russia’s Monarch as part of a public critique of autocratism, conservatism, and cynical alliance politics of Great Powers. Therefore, the address was intended to be implemented in a European context, as the Tsar's peace conference proposal had provided an opportunity to do so, and because the collaborators of the petition had a common interest in international news, cooperation and networking. Through the address and the Finnish civic protests following the February manifesto referred to therein, it was possible to take part in various debates and address different audiences. This versatility and flexibility was the reason for the broad support and implementation of the address in a very fast timeframe. If the address was for the Finnish audience about the Tsar’s misconceivings of the Grand Duchy’s constitutional rights, for the international audience it was always not so. In fact, the message of the addresses has to put in each case both in national and international context. For the French intellectuels it could be internal criticism towards the military and financial alliance between Russia and France, for the British liberals a call for individual rights and a comment in the debate of Irish Home Rule, or for the Italian legal scholars a case study suitable for Institute of International Law. For the Swedish, Danish and Norwegian supporters the address manifested cultural, geographical and historical connections and the need of warranties for the neutral position of small countries. In many cases, the international address was about family relations and friendship. In the end, the implementers of the address considered the project a success, regardless of whether the ruler had accepted the petition, as it could in any case promote the personal and ideological agenda of the collaborators and erode the positive public image of the tsar.