Humanistinen tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Lahtinen, Susanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The study is concerned with the interaction between Robert Boyle s experimentalism and medicine. Boyle made an attempt to establish his kind of experimental philosophy as the basis of of medicine. At the same time, however, medicine offered him a model of a discipline which, unlike other learned disciplines, embodied several notions of experiment and ways of writing about experiment. Boyle s involvement in medicine was a complicated exchange of ideas and practices. On the one hand, medical literature and the medical notions of experiment had an impact on his experimental philosophy. On the other hand, however, he also applied his own ideas about experiment and its function to his medical work. In this study, Boyle s medical writings of various kinds, such as recipe books, natural historical works and treatises discussing medical practice, theory and medical reform are explored. I examine these works to find out what kind of activities were called experiment on the one hand, and to explicate the functions of experimental texts in Boyle s medical writings, on the other. To do this, I approach Boyle s medical works from several viewpoints. First of all, I examine Boyle s role as a medical author and place his medical writings in the immediate context formed by contemporary medical literature. Secondly, I explore the different kinds of texts Boyle wrote on the basis of medical experiments and the functions these texts have in his published works. Finally, I examine what these texts tell us about the nature of his experimental activities. My dissertation advances an argument about Boyle s experimentalism and method. I seek to show that contrary to what has often been presumed, Boyle applied no single experimental method in his experimental activities but, instead, that his experimentalism embodied experimental methods of various kinds. His writings do not define experimentalism as a method but rather as a particular kind of approach to natural knowledge. Moreover, the manner in which Boyle s medical works describe his experimental activities shows that there hardly was much method in his manner of working. Hence, this study presents his medical experimentalism as a somewhat disorderly effort and suggests that Boyle s experimental philosophy embodied no single and consistent methodological doctrine.
  • Vehkanen, Marjut (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    From grammar to communication: Finnish as a second and foreign language textbooks from 1866 to 1953. Marjut Vehkanen, University of Helsinki, Finland The primary sources of this study include Finnish as a second and foreign language textbooks that were published between 1866 and 1953. The corpus for the study consists of 52 Finnish as a second and foreign language textbooks targeted both at children and adult learners. The analysis focuses on the following domains: the presentation of grammar, text types, content topics and pedagogical methods. Methodologically, this study is based on close reading and content analysis of the chosen textbooks. The research questions of this dissertation are the following: - Who were the authors and the intended audience of the textbooks analysed in this dissertation, and where were these textbooks studied? - What is the role of grammar in the textbooks? How has the presentation of grammatical phenomena changed during the research period? - How are different text types used in the analysed textbooks? - What changes in the world are seen in the textual contents? - How is the development of language teaching methods reflected in the textbooks during the researched period? The study shows that the teaching of grammar occupied a very central position from 1866 to 1953; even most of the practically oriented textbooks included grammar sections. Significant differences emerged when comparing the text types among the adult textbooks. For example, the analysed corpus includes a Finnish phrasebook with phrases intended to be learnt by heart. Whereas some types of text were discontinued after the first part of the period, new types emerged, but some permanent text types were found in the books during the entire period. The study reveals how the books for adult learners offered a diverse and rich range of themes and pedagogical methods and how little the contents of the schoolbooks changed. The results of this study introduce many linguistic and historical themes for further research. For example, one topic for further study is how past authors of textbooks have approached the Finnish cases or the extent to which they have focused on combining the teaching of vocabulary and grammar in their textbooks. In addition, no research has yet been conducted to survey the pedagogical history of Finnish as a second and foreign language textbooks.
  • Blöndal, Thorunn (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This thesis is an exploration of two interactional processes, syntactic completion and other-extension. The aim of the study is to explore what if anything triggers the use of these phenomena, to scrutinise their form and their interactional function and how they are received in the dialogue. The notion of the conversational turn and how the concept relates to the two phenomena is also discussed in the study. The thesis is based on an empirical study carried out in the framework of interactional linguistics which rests upon conversation analysis (CA) but also draws upon mainstream linguistics and has a linguistic viewpoint. The empirical data consist of 20 hours of everyday conversation from the ISTAL corpus of spoken Icelandic, recorded in the year 2000. Both completions and other-extensions show collaborative actions, which appear in the relaxed settings as found in the ISTAL data. The data analysed in the thesis consist of 53 examples of completions and 73 instances of other-extensions. In the thesis, completions fall into two categories. When the first speaker seems to be in trouble, for example searching for a name, the second speaker joins in with a candidate completion; that is what is called induced completions. The other category includes non-induced completions where no discernible trouble triggers the second speaker s action. Other-extensions also fall mainly into two categories, Supportive Actions and Checking Understanding, which show differences regarding form and interactional functions. Both in completions and in other-extensions, the second speaker only goes as far as to the next Transition Relevance Place (TRP); the two processes are never attempts to take over the conversational floor. These collaborative actions are both received in a positive way in the conversations with a few exceptions. Finally, it is argued that the conversational turn is not necessarily a production of one person. Two (or more) participants in a dialogue can produce collaborative turn sequences, which are found in completions and in one of the two main categories of other-extensions, i.e. the category of Supportive Actions. In Supporting Actions the second speaker carries on with the action initiated by the first speaker, he speaks in the same direction as the first speaker, he takes place by his side . Either his extension highlights the first speaker s words or explicates them. In the category of Checking Understanding, a different action is carried out and therefore a new turn. The second speaker faces his partner in the conversation and he directs his words to the first speaker. In this category, some obscurity is often seen in the utterance preceding the extension and by reacting as the he does, the second speaker tries to avoid that a problem will come up later in the conversation. It is therefore the directionality that separates the categories of Supporting Actions and Checking Understanding when it comes to deciding whether the first speaker s utterance and the extension should be looked at as one collaborative turn sequence or as two separate turns. When two or more speakers share their turn, they also share the conversational floor and in these instances, we can talk about a collaborative floor. The appropriate surroundings for collaboratively producing a conversational turn and sharing the floor with the other participants are in friendly conversation with people who know each other s conversational behaviour. Keywords: Icelandic conversation, interactional linguistics, conversation analysis, completion, extension, collaborative production, collaborative turn sequence, joint production.  
  • Walker, Larry (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Japanese literature in English translation has a history of 165 years, but before the end of World War II no publisher outside Japan had put out a sustained series of novel-length translations. The New York house of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. published 34 English translations of Japanese literature between 1955 and 1977. This program was carried out under the leadership of Harold Strauss, who endeavored to bring modern writers of Japan to the stage of world literature. Strauss and most of the translators were trained in American military language schools. The aim of this dissertation is to study the publisher's policies and publishing criteria in the selection of texts, the actors involved in the mediation process and the preparation of the texts for market, the reception of the texts and their impact on the profile of Japanese literature. The theoretical backdrop is built around the distinction of product, process and function, viewed through the sociology of translation. This includes Pierre Bourdieu s constructs of habitus and capital and the Actor-Network Theory, as well as Karen Thornber s concept of literary contact nebulae in settings of less steeply inclined hierarchical relations. An examination of Japanese to English translations investigates the trends and practices which developed after the forced opening of Japan, drawing upon materials from the Knopf archives, including correspondence between the authors, the editor and the translators. Personal interviews and correspondence with the translators, autobiographies, and memoirs add to the archival records. Peritextual and epitextual data help trace events and actions within this period of Japanese literature in English translation and assist with the investigation into the reception and legacy of the texts. Findings clarify the policies and criteria employed at a major publishing firm. The role of the editor is explored in perhaps more detail than in earlier reports. Bourdieu's concepts of habitus and capital complement the notion of following the actors in Actor-Network Theory. Materials obtained from a translator and interviews with others add a qualitative perspective supported by the idea of literary contact nebulae. The Knopf translations have a wider circulation in Japan than in the English-language markets. Further, a number of the publications have proven more profitable in European languages. The long tail sales have kept the translations in print and in classrooms to this day. These findings point to new areas of investigation. Knopf was the most active publisher in a period where English translations were published for the general reader. The translations were later inscribed as text and research materials in the growing university curricula of the then-nascent fields of Japanese studies and comparative literature. Keywords: Japanese literature in English translation, habitus, capital, Actor-Network Theory, transculturation, translation history
  • Visakko, Tomi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The study examines the mediation and evaluation of personhood in light of Finnish online dating advertisements. The main focus is on the performance and interpretation of what has been called self-promotion, or the idealization of the self in relation to others. The study operates with concepts originating from discourse studies and anthropology under the overarching framework of pragmatism-based semiotic anthropology. The online dating advertisement genre is approached as a cultural instrument of personhood and intersubjective interaction in which writers step into a controlled performance of a promotional persona in order to instigate social relations (only) with desirable and ideal others. The primary data consists of 111 Finnish-language online dating advertisements collected from two online dating services in 2007. In addition, a questionnaire was held for a group of university students to elicit examples of actual interpretations. A third set of data consists of cultural metadiscourses that reflect on online dating advertisements as a type of interaction (online dating guidebooks, Internet discussions and articles, a segment of a TV program). Such backstage discourses illuminate the kinds of reflexive metapractices and interpretive assumptions that do not usually come up explicitly in actual advertisement-based interactions. The study shows that stereotypic cultural understandings of self-promotion often focus on specific kinds of evaluative stances and their reliability or appropriateness, whereas many actually occurring phenomena are entirely overlooked. Such biased stereotypes may be one reason for the fact that evaluative stancetaking seems to be an expected but often problematic act in online dating advertisements. The study also illuminates the non-narrative organization of personhood, selfhood, and biography, as taxonomic and hierarchical structures of theoretical representations are one of the most salient textual patterns in the data. More generally, the study draws attention to the importance of the indexical patterning of text-artifacts. Textual patterning at all layers, from macrostructures to orthography, becomes interpreted as signs of personhood contributing, for instance, to particular views of subjectivity, a level of meaning often overlooked in studies of online communication. Moreover, the study stresses the importance of reflexive models and ideologies of interaction. For instance, the nature of online dating advertisements as an intersubjective encounter can be understood in almost entirely opposite ways by different interpreters (e.g., as distant versus intimate, or authentic versus inauthentic ).
  • Killian, Don (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This dissertation investigates the grammar and phonology of Uduk, a language belonging to the Koman branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family. Uduk is spoken by approximately 20 to 25,000 speakers, whose community homeland was in the southern part of the former Blue Nile Province of Sudan. Due to continuing war conditions since the late 1980s, the majority are now living scattered in the international diaspora, as well as in refugee camps in Ethiopia and South Sudan. The description provides an analysis of the phonology, morphology, and syntax based on thirteen months of fieldwork between 2011 and 2014. Included in the grammatical description are sixteen glossed texts, to help illustrate the grammar in context. Most major aspects of the language are described and analyzed in detail. This includes the segmental and suprasegmental phonology, nouns and noun phrases, pronouns and agreement marking, nominal and verbal modifiers, verbs and verb phrases, major clause types, and clause linking. Uduk has a rich phonology; the main dialect of Uduk has 55 contrastive consonant phonemes, 21 of which occur as a result of the secondary feature labialization. There are three contrastive tone levels in Uduk, and seven possible register/contour melodies on a single TBU. There is also a complex interaction between consonants and tone which has given rise to a depressor consonant effect. This is one of the first Nilo-Saharan languages known to have such. Argument structure and morphosyntax are equally interesting. Uduk has morphologically marked cases for both Accusative as well as Ergative, depending on the constituent order. Uduk nouns exhibit grammatical gender, the assignment of which has nearly no semantic correlations, even minimal ones relating to animacy or biological sex. Uduk verb forms use polysemous grammatical suffixes which mark either the location of an action or its internal aspect, and spatial deixis and aspect are heavily intertwined. Spatial orientation and location thus form a fundamental part of basic verbal inflectional categories. In addition to morphological marking on the basic verb root, many verbs additionally carry discontinuous incorporated nouns called Partarguments. Partarguments are typically body parts, and may function either to classify an argument or then to change the basic meaning of the verb. These as well as other linguistic features make this description a valuable resource for Nilo-Saharan linguists as well as those interested in the typology of African languages.
  • Rauhala, Ilona (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The dissertation consists of five articles, as well as an introductory chapter that explains the background of the study and also draws together the main results of the articles. The study concentrates on the adjectives in the Uralic languages and aims to present the features of the Uralic adjective category in a historical perspective. The data consists mainly of lexical material collected from various etymological and synchronic dictionaries. In addition, several grammatical features of the adjectives are discussed on the basis of grammatical research. The approach is mainly historical-comparative, but also lexical-semantic and morphosyntactic. All of these frameworks are needed to draw a picture of a common category of adjectives in Uralic, the words it may have included, their paths of semantic change, and the morphosyntactic features the category of adjectives may have had. The results of this study complement the earlier research on adjectives, which has been mainly synchronic. The research conducted suggests that by comparing the categories of adjectives in contemporary Uralic languages and by observing the features of the oldest property concept words in Uralic it is possible to reconstruct an adjective category for Proto-Uralic. The results suggest that the category has included words denoting many central semantic groups that indicate an independent lexical category. The adjectives in the contemporary Uralic languages have common morphosyntactic features that probably date back to the Uralic protolanguage. For instance, the Uralic derivative suffix *-(e)TA has mainly functioned as an adjective marker. The study also reviews critically earlier etymologies presented for some property concept words and suggests some new etymologies.
  • Koskinen, Inkeri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This dissertation examines the effects of a change in the roles that extra-academic agents have in academic research: they are participating in the production of academic knowledge more actively than used to be the case. The focus is mainly on disciplines that fall under the umbrella of cultural research. Former informants are nowadays often becoming collaborators, co-researchers or co-authors in collaborative or participatory projects, or conducting activist research on their own cultures. Cultural research is in a unique position when facing the contemporary urge towards more "democratic" knowledge production. In disciplines such as anthropology, folkloristics and ethnology, researchers have always interacted with their informants' knowledge systems and developed research practices for approaching these systems. These practices are presently colliding with new demands that arise from the now common call for collaborative and participatory research. I focus on normative epistemic questions related to relativistic research practices and to objectivity. When the roles of the extra-academic agents change, the composition of research communities is also changed. An interactive notion of objectivity has recently been defended in social epistemology. It takes a research community as the unit whose objectivity is to be assessed. In the articles I identify shortcomings in the interactive objectivity of the emerging research communities, and develop analytical tools that can hopefully be of use in improving the situation. As the composition of research communities is changed, the established ways of approaching extra-academic knowledge systems also have to change. The moderately relativistic practice of avoiding the appraisal of alien knowledge systems is no longer as practicable as it used to be. When former informants join research teams in participatory projects, or indigenous activists become activist researchers, they become part of communities whose interactive objectivity can and should be assessed. This is the case even if some or all of the members of the communities are taken to represent, or see themselves as representing, extra-academic knowledge systems. The contributions of everyone belonging to a research community must be met with the same critical attitude, or the objectivity of the community will suffer.
  • Lehtonen, Heini (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This thesis examines language use in interaction among adolescents in two junior high schools in Eastern Helsinki. The pupils represent several ethnic backgrounds, and some twenty different first languages are spoken in the schools. The thesis analyses the ways in which the adolescents position themselves and each other with regard to social categories related to ethnicity, gender, and style, focusing on the linguistic resources used in the positioning. The attitudes vis-a-vis linguistic diversity and asymmetry are explored as well. The research questions are as follows: 1) How does a linguistic feature become a social indexical? 2) How do (linguistic) styles get enregistered? 3) How are ownership and foreignness of language negotiated and construed? The thesis participates in the current discussions on ways of conceptualizing multilingualism in the globalization era. Questions of immigration and second language acquisition, learning and teaching are discussed from a sociolinguistic point of view. Theoretically and methodologically, the thesis encompasses the fields of linguistic ethnography, interactional sociolinguistics, and the sociolinguistics of globalization. The data consist of 1) field notes and a field diary, 2) recorded interviews with 37 adolescents, 3) several audio and video recordings of spontaneous interaction during both the lessons and the breaks, and 4) retrospective interviews. The analysis shows the adolescents orientating to the categories of Finns and foreigners , but the meaning of these categorizations is construed in local stylistic practices and does not necessarily resemble to the similar labels used in public discourses. Ethnicity, gender, and enregistered styles (such as hip hop) intertwine in such ways, that the participation in local stylistic practices may guarantee a stronger ownership of linguistic resources than one s ethnic background. All types of linguistic features (phonetic, prosodic, morphological, syntactic, lexical) were found to function as social indexicals. Frequent resources that stand out and establish social relationships between participants are especially likely to develop into social indexicals. As a part of local social practices and in the metapragmatic accounts commenting the practices, linguistic features get associated to specific social personae and their characteristics, and get enregistered to styles. Social indexicals are employed in stylized performances that bring another s voice into the interaction. The stylisations serve as a resource for stance-taking, but also as metapragmatic accounts of the features employed in them. The questions of who knows Finnish or does not know Finnish are negotiated both explicitly and implicitly. One of the implicit means of such negotiations are the stylized bad Finnish performances, where the adolescents carnevalize the stereotypical representations of immigrants or non-native Finns .
  • Liikanen, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The role of literature in the construction of cultural memory: three modes of representing the Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship in recent Spanish novels This dissertation focuses on representations of the Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship in Spanish novels written by third-generation authors (born between 1960 and 1975) and published between 1997 and 2008, during the so-called memory boom . I argue that these novels function as media of cultural memory in Spanish memory culture by producing, shaping and disseminating images, versions and interpretations of Spain s violent past. According to Astrid Erll, certain combinations of formal features constitute different modes of representation within the medium of literature, which in turn may elicit different modes of cultural remembering among readers. Based on the narratological analysis of ten novels, I propose in this study that there are three main modes of representing the past in third-generation Spanish novels on the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship. I call these modes the experiential mode, the reconstructive mode and the dissenting mode. The experiential mode represents the past as a lived-through experience. Rather than examining the process of remembering and narrating the past in the present, experiential novels create the illusion of direct access to the past and the protagonists minds so that the reader can share in the subjective experience of the narrated events. In this way, the novels turn the reader into a vicarious witness to the past. The main function of the experiential mode is to promote empathy and understanding towards certain individuals or groups in the past. The reconstructive mode focuses on the process of investigation and reconstruction of past events led by a narrator-character set in the present day. The novels examine the intergenerational transmission of memories and emphasise the meaning of the past as a source of personal and collective identity in the present. Even if the novels represent the past as a subjective reconstruction and often employ metafictional and auto-fictional techniques to explore the limits of art and reality, history and fiction, they still end up presenting one version of the past as the true one. By depicting the narrator-character s search for historical truth and personal and cultural self-understanding, the reconstructive mode tries to convince the reader of the importance of knowing the past in order to understand the present. The dissenting mode does not offer the reader a supposedly true story of the past, but examines instead the role of literature in the production of knowledge about the past. Dissenting novels are highly self-reflexive texts that reject verisimilitude and disrupt the illusion of reality in order to problematize both prevailing practices of representation and dominant interpretation of the past. The dissenting mode encourages readers to adopt a more critical stance towards the representations of the past that circulate in society by revealing how literature affects our understanding of the past through narrative forms and the stories it tells.
  • Jalava, Lotta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The dissertation consists of four academic articles and an introductory chapter explaining the objectives, background and results of the study. It concentrates on the variation and change in predicate structures in Tundra Nenets, a Samoyedic (Uralic) language spoken in Siberia. The focus of the study is on the finite and non-finite forms and the concept of finiteness in grammatical change. The study investigates those grammatical categories that show variation in verbal and non-verbal predication or that are results of grammaticalization processes that include changes in non-finite verb forms. The topics of the articles are adjectival words, modal and evidential categories, and the essive-translative constructions in Tundra Nenets. The data consists of published texts in Tundra Nenets from different periods of time representing different genres, as well as fieldwork material recorded on the Taimyr Peninsula in 2011. The approach is functional typological, and the methodology combines synchronic linguistic description and diachronic explanation of the grammatical phenomena. The linguistic processes are analysed with relation to language use and context, and their development is explained with relation to the synchronic variation in the language and similar structural and functional paths of change in other languages. The findings of this study complement earlier research by suggesting mechanisms and paths of change for categories whose origin has been hypothesized in earlier studies. The results suggest that non-finite verb forms often serve as a basis for modal and evidential verb forms in Tundra Nenets, but they can also take part in grammaticalization processes that produce nominal categories, such as the essive-translative suffix. At the same time, the study provides syntactic analyses of lesser studied grammatical categories in Tundra Nenets. It also contributes to the more general discussion on finiteness and infiniteness as well as the division of main word classes in grammatical change.
  • Lantto, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This doctoral dissertation examines the role of code-switching between Basque and Spanish linguistic elements in the metropolitan area of Greater Bilbao in the Basque Country. The study consists of four articles and a compilation article. The articles examine bilingual speech from different points of view: variation in grammatical code-switching patterns, the role of swearing, slang and code-switching in constructing an informal register of Basque, language ideologies that discourage and encourage code-switching, and conventionalization of semantic-pragmatic code-switching patterns. The Basque context of language revitalization has created new divisions between speakers, as the formerly unidirectional bilingualism has turned into a situation where great numbers of Spanish speakers are learning Basque in adult acquisition programs or in Basque-medium education. Basque is still, however, a minority language in the Greater Bilbao area and the bilingual Basque speakers live scattered among the monolingual majority. The effect of these social structures on linguistic structures is examined in two sets of data that were collected for the purposes of this study. For the first set of data, 22 hours of naturally occurring peer-group conversations with 22 Basque-Spanish bilinguals were recorded, while the second set consists of 12 hours of metalinguistic conversations with 47 bilingual Basques. The speakers use their bilingual repertoire in numerous creative and dynamic ways. Yet some tendencies can be detected. Colloquial Basque in Bilbao is a bilingual speech style that always includes some code-switching to Spanish. There is considerable variation in the individuals code-switching patterns. Some of the informants, particularly L1-speakers of Basque, use very intensive and syntactically intrusive code-switching, whereas others, especially L2-speakers of Basque, only engage in syntactically peripheral code-switching, such as Spanish interjections, discourse markers and tags. The L2-speakers purist tendencies seem to have two sources: firstly, the normative setting of acquisition where language mixing is discouraged, and secondly, the general interpretation of new speakers code-switching as lack of proficiency in the minority language. Some Spanish elements have become conventionalized throughout the speech community as the default option. All informants use Spanish discourse markers, and swear words and colloquialisms are always introduced in Spanish in otherwise Basque speech. Spanish discourse markers seem to have been automatized as conversational routines, whereas Spanish swear words and colloquialisms have become conventionalized because of the domains they are associated with, and because of the lack of these stylistic categories in standard Basque.
  • Pasanen, Annika (Suomalais-ugrilainen seura ja Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The topic of this study is the revitalization of the Inari Saami language, the only Saami language spoken exclusively in Finland. The Inari Saami language became severely endangered in the 1900s, and toward the 1990s its extinction seemed inevitable. Thanks to conscious efforts originating from the community, this grim path of development was reversed. The most important factors for reversing language shift have been the language nest (an Inari Saami immersion program for children under school age), mother tongue medium school instruction and intensive language education for adults. The Inari Saami language association Anarâškielâ servi, founded in 1986, has played the most important role in the revitalization activities. The study investigates the revitalization of the Inari Saami language on the societal and individual levels between 1997 and 2014. The data consists of interviews with members of the language community, observations from Inari Saami-speaking environments, questionnaires sent to members of Anarâškielâ servi, reports from students of the intensive adult language education program and interviews with their language masters, as well as editorials from the Inari Saami-language Anarâš newspaper. The data is analysed primarily in the light of three main concepts: linguistic culture, language ideologies and ideological clarification. In the study, linguistic culture refers to the combination of historical, political, geographical, sociological, demographic and ideological circumstances under which the Inari Saami language has experienced endangerment and subsequent revitalization. The concept of language ideologies encompasses the language-related attitudes, beliefs, principles and choices prevalent in the language community that have facilitated the revitalization of the language. A third decisive phenomenon from the perspective of the outcome of revitalization is manifested in the process of ideological clarification, which refers to facing language ideologies consciously, recognizing the goals and means of revitalization, and personally committing to and taking responsibility for one,s own language. The study demonstrates that on a global scale, Inari Saami revitalization has been exceptionally successful. During the period analysed in the study, transmission of the language to children has resumed, adults have begun to learn and reclaim the Inari Saami language through intensive language education, older native speakers have taken on an active role in the revitalization process and the use of the language has increased significantly in several integral domains, such as the home and school. The language is now valued by the local community, and has gradually gained a more equal position with the other Saami languages. The community-based revitalization of the Inari Saami language exemplifies a linguistic culture and language ideology that foster a reversal of language shift, including factors related to linguistic tolerance. The process of ideological clarification in the language community can be seen in the motivation and commitment of those who have learned Inari Saami as adults, in the personal reversal of language shift in families and social networks, and in collective endeavours to use Inari Saami whenever possible. On the other hand, the revitalization of Inari Saami is connected to several critical factors and questions that have been investigated relatively little in the language community as of the end of this study. These include questions related to the language skills and linguistic identities of new speakers, language transmission at home vs. outside of the home, and the linguistic choices and identities of children and youth. These questions are significant with regard to the vitality of the language and should be examined both in daily life in the linguistic community and in future studies.
  • Hamberg, Leena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Abstract This dissertation concerns boundary crossing between three activity systems in a Swedish municipality: a local refugee reception, a Swedish language programme for adult immigrants, and measures for labour market inclusion. In their joint engagement, a boundary activity called The Resource, these systems share a target group consisting of newly arrived refugees at the ages of 20 25. The aim of this study is to explore how boundary crossing between these three systems is constructed by means of language use, and how the newcomers and their language acquisition are constructed in this context of boundary crossing. Moreover, the object of the boundary activity is compared with the original objects of each activity system: integration, language learning andrapid labour market entry. The theoretical framework integrates systemic functional grammar, SFG (Halliday and Matthiessen 2004), with activity theory (Engeström 1999, 2008), completed with the concept of boundary crossing by Wenger (1998). The sources of the study are written documents crossing boundaries, boundary objects, and interviews with boundary crossers, employees representing each of the three activity systems. The findings show that boundary crossing is constructed by lexical means as well as by grammatical means. Efforts are made by the employees to create a way of mentioning the target group that could correspond to the joint engagement in the boundary activity. Simultaneously, the employees mention the newcomers with the traditional terms used in each system (klient, elev,deltagare). When it comes to the grammatical construction of boundary crossing and the target group in written documents, different images emerge. Depending on the genre, the newcomers are constructed as lucky recipients of a chance to enter to the labour market, as matters of administration across boundaries or as active doers successfully engaging in the boundary activity. The participants in the processes often have the function of constructing components of the boundary activity, e.g. the division of labour. Normally, one of the activity systems measures for labour market inclusion is positioned in the foreground. As a frequent participant in the processes and a frequent subject in exchange, this system represents the boundary activity and talks to the newcomers. These conditions are sharpest when it comes to the object of The Resource. The Resource as a boundary activity is clearly oriented to the Swedish employment programme Arbetslinjen . More than rapid labour market entry, some of the boundary crossers emphasize the importance of integration aspects and the empowerment of the target group in awider meaning. Language education and language acquisition become tools in the context of boundary crossing. These tools are taken for granted, and there seems to be no reason to give further details about them.
  • Vehmas-Lehto (nykyinen Vehmas-Thesslund), Inkeri (Helsingin yliopisto, 1989)
    This is a study in the field of translation criticism: it assesses the quality of certain translations, finds reasons for their inadequacy, and suggests methods for their improvement. The leading principle is that adequacy, that is to say the compliance of a translation with the norms of the target language, and, to a certain extent, with those of the target culture as well, is an inherent part of translation quality. The study is based on the hypothesis that, in order to be adequate, Finnish translations of Russian journalistic texts should resemble the corresponding Finnish functional style, i.e. Finnish journalistic language. The text corpus used in the study consists of (1) Russian journalistic texts, (2) their published translations (PTrs), (3) alternative translations serving as suggestions for improvement, and (4) authentic Finnish journalistic texts used as material for comparison. The assessment of the quality of the PTrs is based both on the intuition of the researcher and on a series of experiments. According to experiment (1), the PTrs are usually identifiable as translations, primarily because of the general impression they make of clumsiness and obscurity. Experiment (2) shows that the PTrs are experienced as unpleasant, uninteresting, and apt to arouse suspicion. Experiment (3) reveals an abundance of emotive elements in the vocabulary. Experiment (4) corroborates the difficulty of comprehending the PTtrs. The reasons for the inadequacy of the translations are investigated using textual comparisons. These reveal a number of covert errors, i.e. deviations from the usage and recommendable norms of Finnish journalistic language. Covert errors are basically due to interference from the source texts. They are mostly quantitative: e.g. an abundance of coordinated constructions, emotive words, and clichés, a high average length of sentences, clauses, and noun phrases, a high frequency of nouns and adjectives, and a low frequency of connectives. Covert errors are due to translation interference, i.e. the influence of source language features on the translation. Interference reduces the comprehensibility of translations. The gravest covert error in the PTrs is their nominal style. Verbal nouns give rise to a great amount of long, left-branching noun phrases, which overload the short-time memory of the reader. In the source texts, long noun phrases constitute no big problem, because Russian modifiers stand after the noun.