Humanistinen tiedekunta


Nyligen publicerat

  • Stenberg-Sirén, Jenny (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Studien Språk och språkideologier i radio och tv – standardspråk och språkstandarder i finlandssvenska radio- och tv-nyheter undersöker språket och språkideologierna vid de finlandssvenska radio- och tv-nyheterna 1970–2009. Fokus ligger på uttalet i upplästa nyhetstexter och på journalisternas åsikter om och attityder till språknormerna och till olika språkvarieteter. Uttalet analyseras utgående från uttalsrekommendationerna i Svenska Yles interna handböcker och studien visar att uttalet följer rekommendationerna mycket väl. Till exempel uttalas slutljuden i bestämda substantiv i neutrum (taket, bordet), i verb i supinum (hoppat, suttit) och i korta funktionsord (vid, efter, mycket) betydligt oftare i nyhetsuppläsningarna än i vardagligt talspråk. Bortfallet av slutljuden minskar från 1970-talet till 2000-talet och uttalet blir alltså mer normnära med tiden. Undersökningen visar också förändringar i två kvantitetsdrag typiska för finlandssvenskan. Kortstavigt uttal, t.ex. /vara/ i stället för /va:ra/, visar tendenser till en ökning i de upplästa nyhetstexterna, vilket för uttalet närmare vardagligt talspråk. Det andra kvantitetsdraget, uttal med lång tonlös konsonant efter lång betonad vokal (t.ex. /ba:kka/) som framför allt förekommer i det bildade Helsingforsspråket, har minskat kraftigt i nyhetsuppläsningarna under 1990-talet och 2000-talet. Journalisterna ger tydligt uttryck för en standardspråksideologi i sina åsikter och attityder och betonar att mediespråket ska vara korrekt. De lyfter också fram en önskan om större mångfald, med fler regionala drag i etern och ett mer vardagsnära språk, men den standardspråksideologi som kan sägas ingå i public service-uppdragets kvalitetsbegrepp är ändå klart dominerande. Förändringarna i uttalet i de upplästa nyhetstexterna i kombination med journalisternas språkideologi kan tolkas som en sociolingvistisk neutralisering av standardspråket. Uttalet har blivit mer normnära gällande bortfallet av slutkonsonanter i ett flertal ordgrupper, men samtidigt mer vardagsspråkligt i och med det ökande kortstaviga uttalet. Därtill har det Helsingforstypiska särdraget med lång tonlös konsonant efter lång betonad vokal minskat kraftigt, vilket gör nyhetsspråket mer allfinlandssvenskt. Standardspråket i nyheterna har således både blivit mer normnära och regionalt och socialt mer neutralt, vilket kan leda till en större acceptans bland språkbrukarna. Förändringen kan ses som en effekt av en fortlöpande standardisering av det finlandssvenska standardspråket.
  • Naarminen, Niina (Työväen historian ja perinteen tutkimuksen seura, 2018)
    The Power of Laughter. An oral history study of meanings of humour at the former industrial community of Tikkakoski arms factory. The Tikkakoski arms factory (1893-1991) village community was built around the factory during the first few decades of the 20th century, and was closed in 1991 due to “economical problems” caused by deindustrialization. The dissertation analyses the meanings of collective humour in the Tikkakoski arms factory community. The primary research material consists of the oral histories (filmed 1996-2014) of 27 interviewees in the local community, spanning three generations. The research is autoethnographical and also makes use of folklore materials from archives, literature, letters, and local publications. Forms of collectivity are analysed through microhistory and with methods of oral history research. The analytical framework of the study combines oral history and social history methods. The research approaches the issues of tradition and identity by viewing folklore as humour and narration, and also as the commitment of different generations to specific kinds of political ideologies. Carnivalization in working class culture, and forms of self-irony in particular, are ambivalent phenomena, simultaneously articulating an awareness of an opposition to inequality on the one hand, but making it tolerable on the other. The tradition of verbal and situational humour was an intrinsic part of the Tikkakoski shop floor culture, which the workers felt proud of. The reality was different to newcomers. The humour tradition in the community reveals patterns of structural discrimination. In his Prison Notebooks, Antonio Gramsci writes about workers developing a “contradictory consciousness” in which an implicit awareness of exploitation is unable to develop into a fully conscious and articulated form. This impasse is also shown in the narration of the Tikkakoski workers. One expression of this is the workers response to “paternalism”. The top managers were respected, but at the same time they were the butts of jokes. The trust that workers invested in the top management caused bitterness when the factory was closed. Interviewees felt that they had been betrayed generation after generation. The humiliation of losing work and own community, along with having deep financial and health problems, meant losing humour as well. The study shows that the workers who were retired when the factory closed, have lived active lives with good relations to former co-workers, but those who were made redundant faced difficulties. Losing laughter was a turning point and meant crisis for the ex-workers on a personal micro level but also on a macro level. Deindustrialization has changed working class culture. Instead of being proud of own community, there is a shame of losing it and a fear for the future.
  • Silde, Marja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Abstract The dissertation explores side by side two different practices of aesthetic modification of body; the practice of the so called futuristclubbers (1981-1985) and the actor training practice led by Jouko Turkka in Theatre Academy (1981-1985). The dissertation belongs to the field of theatre studies and performance studies. It utilizes habitus analysis developed here as a tool for performance analysis in an interdisciplinary manner. The work examines the aesthetic modification of the body as creative actor or artist´s habitus in the practices of everyday life and theatre. The habituses are analysed as critical cultural performances in the context of urban cultural change in Helsinki in the beginning of 1980’s and as a part of the aesthetization of everyday life and the increasing complexity of culture. Here, the habitus and the body techniques are the key concepts in exploring the practices in their own material-discursive environment. The aim is to juxtapose the creative practices of everyday life and the art practice responding to social and cultural change. In addition it questions what happens to the habitus of an artist when social stage for the performances of the self becomes available for everybody. The body of the futuristclubber was modified by taking opportunities of the city culture´s new affordances. These were for examples the new kinds of urban spaces in which people from different walks of life brought together and found each other in order to innovate creative projects. Another such affordances were new media technology and cheap travelling to European metropols and their clubs. Futuristclubbers were the first television generation affected by the transhistorial and transnational images of media, culture industry and high culture. With their creative habituses futuristclubbers deconstructed such hegemonic structures of modern society as the division between work and leisure, high and low culture and the continuity of body´s appearance and interiority. In addition, their habitus as a critical cultural performance contested the heteronormativity, the ideal of the Finnish citizen modified by agrarien-bourgeois nuclear family values and the masculine performance culture. They challenged the seriousness of the critique by utilizing irony, parody and camp attitude and they questioned the originality and sincerity of the critic by borrowing and iterating already existing material in their theatrical habituses. The body technique mediated by Jouko Turkka was based on traditions of modern psychophysical theatre and the ideal of romantic artistist with Nietzschean influences. According to these traditions the education practice excluded the urban influences and instead trusted in the emptified practicing room and body´s own power and imagery. The process of aesthetic-moral modification of the body aimed to deconstruct the influences of the institutions responsibled for socialization but it could not redefined the hegemonic structures of society because of its antagonistic relationship to it. The actor´s education practice produced the artist´s habitus that was based on inhibition towards urban influences; the uninfluenced artist was supposed to be able to resist the increasing complexity of society in which art as a separate and autonomous sphere was threatened and artist´s position and creativity was becoming commonplace.
  • Haapalainen, Riikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The everyday life of utopias: Places of participation and change in contemporary art 1980-–2011 Many processes of participatory art are utopian by definition: expressions of hope. This hope can be manifested, for instance, as care and help, as free food and services, or as unexpected gifts – just like in the participatory artworks of this study. This study examines the ways participatory art leads its participants into the transformation of everyday life and shared togetherness – in porous utopias. Often participatory artworks lack a clear form and character, which is why they have been considered challenging to critique and conceptualize. Therefore, this study asks how the transformative, utopian and relational quality of participatory art can be understood and conceptualized. I discuss this question through six contemporary artworks, which each have a very different relation to participation: Sophie Calle’s Suite vénitienne (1980), John Baldessari’s Your Name in Lights (2011), Minna Heikinaho’s Ilmainen aamiainen (Free Breakfast, 1994), the Free Shop (2011) of the Superflex artist group, Copenhagen Free University (CFU, 2001–2007) and Francis Alÿs’ When Faith Moves Mountains (2002). In the study, I also return regularly to the artistic strategies of the early 20th century European avant-garde and the experimental atmosphere of 1960s art. The processes of participatory art are dependent on their site-specific contexts. Therefore, I situate my research in the urban scene of the artworks: in the street, café, shop, school, cathedral and home. I examine the ‘Street’ as a public space of everyday life through two different artworks and urban structures: the labyrinth-like streets of medieval Venice in Suite vénitienne present a contrast to the modern and commercial streets of Your Name in Lights. Ilmainen aamiainen presents a ‘Café', where public sociability and hospitality become central. As a ‘Shop’, the Free Shop brings into focus the relational forms of humans and non-humans mediated by money. In the ‘School’, I discuss the institutional critique made by the CFU, which actualizes the notions of representation, schooling and knowledge. The ‘Cathedral’ features a temporal center that emerged during the artistic process of When Faith Moves Mountains. It opened a space for communality and communal imagination. Finally, I bring all the research themes to ‘Home’. The notions of free sharing, that is, radical hospitality, and the unfocused gift becomes crucial. This unfocusedness prompts a new understanding of the community as being-togetherness, not as a representation or description of a group. In such a case, participatory art can bring forth dissident imagination and dissident ways of being – everyday utopias.
  • Cheas, Kirsi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    My doctoral research creates and applies a methodology to systematically measure and compare the proportions of perspectives in world news. By perspectives, I mean news frames and the voices of people affiliated with different political, cultural, and economic institutions (i.e., institutional fields), quoted or paraphrased in the news. My method also assesses the relative positivity (tone) of frames. I focus on American and Finnish world news articles concerning South Africa and Brazil, as these Southern countries prepared to host the FIFA World Cup, thereby receiving global media attention. My primary sample consists of print and online news articles published in The New York Times and Helsingin Sanomat between 2006 and 2014. In their pursuit for more global democracy, South Africa and Brazil, along with other nations in the so-called Global South, have demanded a greater voice in the international public sphere. Building on Pierre Bourdieu’s field theory, I examine what the proportions of perspectives in American and Finnish news reveal about the power relations between Southern and Northern countries and the institutions involved. The findings of this research challenge the prevailing claims that the Global South is voiceless or marginalized in Northern news: in both American and Finnish news, Southern sources received between 70–80 percent of total quoting space, on average, to express their views. However, the Southern fields were also depicted more negatively than the Northern fields. I found that American journalists try to maintain a neutral tone: negative definitions of Southern institutions in American news mostly appear in quotes from other Southern institutions and anonymous sources. Finnish journalists express critical opinions toward Southern institutions more explicitly than American journalists. My study also revealed significant differences between the American and Finnish forms of news: While the American news manages to reveal the complexity of the South African and Brazilian situations at the article level, which Finnish news does not, the views in American news articles are not developed as fully as in the Finnish news articles. My study concludes by providing concrete suggestions as to how the American and Finnish forms of news could be combined to create world news that abounds in both depth and a larger quantity of diverse perspectives.
  • Cederbom, Charlotte (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Syftet med den här avhandlingen är att undersöka målsmannen och målsmanskapet i Sverige 1350–1450, med särskilt fokus på hur målsmanskapet påverkade gifta kvinnors rättsliga kapacitet. Syftet uppnås genom att jämföra lag och praxis. I Magnus Erikssons Landslag från 1350 – den första rikstäckande lagen – stod det att en man skulle vara sin hustrus målsman när de hade gift sig. Målsmannen och målsmanskapet figurerar därför flitigt i studier av medeltida och tidigmoderna kvinnor som förklaringsmodell till de genusrelaterade hierarkierna inom äktenskapet. Enligt detta skulle maken, i egenskap av målsman, vara sin hustrus lagliga ombud och representera henne i rättsliga angelägenheter, samt vara den som disponerade hennes egna och hela hushållets gemensamma jordegendomar. Genom att undersöka målsmannens historia i de lagar som föregick rikslagen, landskapslagarna, kan jag emellertid påvisa att målsmanssystemet infördes i landslagen via Östergötlands landskapslag. De enda landskapslagarna som överhuvudtaget kände till målsmanskapet och ett manligt förmyndarskap över kvinnor hörde till Götaregionen, och i Svearegionens landskapslagar fanns varken ordet ”målsman” eller själva systemet med manliga förmyndare (legal guardians) för kvinnor. Eftersom landslagen kom att baseras primärt på Östgötalagen och Upplandslagen – av vilka den senare inte kände till målsmanskapet – blev den nya lagen en tvetydig kompromiss beträffande kvinnors rättsliga kapacitet. Enligt lagen var gifta kvinnor myndiga och hade processbehörighet, men maken var likväl målsman. För att kunna jämföra lagen med praxis har jag läst över 6 000 urkunder i original, och utgående ifrån dessa skapat en databas innehållande alla urkunder som på något vis rör kvinnor från 1350–1450. Databasen, som kom att innehålla närmare 3 700 urkunder, möjliggör statistiska beräkningar av kvinnors faktiska deltagande i en lång rad rättsliga ärenden. På så vis blir det uppenbart att gifta kvinnor kunde representera sig själva på tinget och delta i juridiska ritualer, och att de därmed var myndiga och hade processbehörig så som lagen föreskrev även i praxis. Min avhandling visar också hur gifta kvinnor disponerade sin egen jord, att de var särskilt aktiva när det gällde donationer samt att kvinnor ingalunda var passiva överförare av jordegendomar mellan män utan att de hade rättslig kapacitet att själva dra nytta av vad de ägde. Avhandlingen visar dock också att kvinnor, oavsett civilstatus, deltog i rättsliga ärenden i betydligt mindre utsträckning än vad män gjorde. Även om kvinnor hade rättskapacitet var juridiska angelägenheter företrädesvis männens arena. Detta kan dock inte ännu vid 1450 knytas till målsmanskapet. Det system som kommit in i lagen från Götaregionen hade nämligen inte under de första hundra åren efter lagens tillblivande i praxis spridit sig över resten av riket. Hierarkierna inom äktenskapet hade stora regionala skillnader under hela undersökningsperioden och något enhetligt målsmanssystem står inte att finna.
  • Saarinen, Jukka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This study deals with the poetics of the Finnic tradition of oral poetry known as kalevalaic poetry, concentrating on the interplay between verse structure, syntax and parallelism. The research material consists of all recorded texts of the singer Arhippa Perttunen (1769–1841) from Viena Karelia. This material is approached from two perspectives: folkloristic research on an individual tradition bearer and linguistic analysis elucidating the poetic structures of the texts. The first perspective examines how an individual uses and moulds tradition. The second examines what traits and features in general define and characterise texts in this tradition. These perspectives overlap in the process of composition, which is treated especially by recourse to the theories of the Oral-Formulaic School. The kalevalaic tradition is a poetic register, here addressed through two concepts frequently used in contemporary research on oral poetry: the concept of "register" developed by the systemic-functional approach in linguistics, and the concept of the poetic function of language developed by Roman Jakobson. The study on the syntax of the poems takes as a starting point the theory of enjambement in kalevalaic poetry, as expounded by Matti Kuusi. Kuusi’s theory is advanced by refining his rules for enjambement and rules for combining different syntactic units within a line. Parallelism is a very characteristic feature of kalevalaic poetry. Its most distinctive form, verse parallelism, is studied in detail as a syntactic-semantic phenomenon. It is shown how a set of parallel verses functions to create a poetic picture that is richer in meaning than the verses could convey separately. The research presents and analyses all the information available concerning Arhippa. His narrative poems appear to be quite stable from one sung performance to another, but they usually diverge from the variants of other singers. From this it can be deduced that the shaping of each song for the most part occurred when he acquired it. With respect to lyrical and other non-narrative poems, Arhippa seems to have always been able to create new entities from poems with which he was already familiar or from other traditional materials, especially proverbs.
  • Kaislaniemi, Samuli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This dissertation investigates the multilingual practices of 17th-century English East India Company merchants, as revealed by the vocabulary they used in the texts they produced while stationed in the East Indies. The English East India Company (EIC) was founded in 1600. At first it was a moderately successful trading company, but in the 18th and 19th centuries the EIC rose to dominate the European trade in Indian goods, and then in Chinese tea and porcelain. During this period, it also came to control large territories in India, paving the way for the British Empire to take over the entire subcontinent. Despite the immense economic, social and cultural impact of the EIC on world history, its records have not previously been studied for their language. This thesis breaks fresh ground in this respect, by investigating letters written by early EIC employees stationed at a trading post in Japan, 1613–1623. The five studies forming the nucleus of this dissertation focus on lexis in these letters. Through a study of foreign words – of lexical borrowings from and code-switches into languages like Japanese, Spanish, Malay and Portuguese – it is shown that by charting the use of foreign words in correspondence, we can identify discourse communities of writers with shared practices. Moreover, foreign words can also be used to reveal the linguistic competence of the writers. Two of the studies use methods of historical lexicography and lexicology to look at native English vocabulary. They show that EIC records can be used to trace change over time in lexical fields, which in turn reveals that the EIC had direct influence on the development of the English lexicon. They also show that investigations of hapax legomena can yield insights into the intimate connections between early modern English merchants and contemporary literature on the one hand, and lexical ecologies of early dictionaries on the other. A central finding of this dissertation is that historical linguistics in general, and lexical studies in specific, not only can benefit from multidisciplinary methodologies, but should adopt them as a matter of course. This dissertation shows that a blend of quantitative and qualitative methods is not only convenient, but in fact necessary if we want to draw reliable conclusions about historical multilingualism.
  • Heinonen, Pilvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Evaluation as a teacher’s interactional practice: dimensions of classroom participation This thesis examines evaluation as an interactional practice adopted by teachers in classroom settings at comprehensive and upper secondary schools. The main objective of this study is to analyse teacher interactional activity in terms of evaluation and appraisal from three points of view: 1) the types of linguistic resources and structures teachers use to construct evaluative actions, 2) the role the evaluative activity has in the interactional organisation of classrooms and 3) the types of pedagogical functions teachers accomplish by evaluating pupils in classroom interaction. The theoretical and methodological framework of the study is Conversation Analysis. Teachers’ evaluative actions are analysed as situated interactional practices, which are based on the participants’ orientations and therefore constructed by the participants during classroom interaction. The data consist of 15 videotaped classroom lessons at a Finnish comprehensive school and an upper secondary school. The data were collected in 2003 and 2011 and consist of lessons on Finnish language and literature and history and civics. The analysed situations occur during teacher-led pedagogical interaction. The main objective of the study is to analyse teachers’ evaluative activity as a response to pupil initiations and unprompted participation in classrooms. The study illustrates how teachers construct evaluative actions to respond to and to deal with pupils’ initiations. A majority of past studies have examined teacher evaluations in teacher-initiated sequences, whereas this study offers an analysis of evaluative activity from a new perspective. The detailed analysis focuses on three evaluative types that have specific pedagogical functions: praise evaluation, agent-oriented evaluation and echoing evaluation. The analysis demonstrates how the teachers use evaluative actions as a pedagogical practice to reveal the relevance of the pupils’ actions and to negotiate the limits of appropriate actions in classroom situations. The evaluative action is co-constructed with the action by the pupils. This is evident in sequences where the teacher either relates pupil initiations to the pedagogical agenda or uses pupils’ voice as a resource for evaluation. The results of the study reveal that evaluative activity is reflexively tailored to the evaluated objects as well as to the interactional context that it occurs in, particularly the ongoing pedagogical activity and its goals. Evaluative activity is not only a resource that teachers use to guide pupils’ actions and participation, but it is also used to communicate the limits and dimensions of appropriate activity to pupils during classroom interaction.
  • Tallberg-Nygård, Manuela (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Med utgångspunkt i det kultursemiotiska begreppet semiosfär (Lotman) och begreppet kronotop (Bachtin) behandlar min studie intrakulturell översättning till finska och interkulturell översättning till tyska av ett urval kultur- och platsbunden finlandssvensk skönlitteratur. Materialet består av den finlandssvenska författaren Kjell Westös romankvartett Drakarna över Helsingfors (1996), Vådan av att vara Skrake (2000), Där vi en gång gått (2006) och Gå inte ensam ut i natten (2009). Alla fyra romaner har översatts till finska, Leijat Helsingin yllä (1996), Isän nimeen (2000), Missä kuljimme kerran (2006) och Älä käy yöhön yksin (2009), medan tre av dem översatts till tyska, Vom Risiko, ein Skrake zu sein (2005), Wo wir einst gingen (2008) och Geh nicht einsam in die Nacht (2013). Romanerna skildrar fiktiva personers mikrohistoria parallellt med det autentiska samhällets makrohistoria. Westö är känd för att förankra sin produktion i den finländska miljön, framför allt med betoning på det tvåspråkiga samhället, den helsingforsiska miljön och den finlandssvenska dimensionen samt mötet med det finska. Genom översättning kan minoritetslitteraturen spridas vidare till en bredare läsekrets och öka förståelsen för minoriteten. Det säregna är att det kan ske såväl intrakulturellt som interkulturellt. Undersökningen är interdisciplinär och bygger på ett kultursemiotiskt, översättningsvetenskapligt, språkvetenskapligt och litteraturvetenskapligt perspektiv. Min studie utgår från tre forskningsfrågor, varav den första är att granska med vilka inom- och utomspråkliga företeelser Westö bygger upp den fiktiva finlandssvenska semiosfären i de fyra Helsingforsromanerna. Dessa benämner jag semiosfärspecifika företeelser, som omfattar såväl fakta som fiktion och kan sorteras under fyra helheter, nämligen samhället, platsen, personerna och kulturen, som utgör de byggstenar som skapar grunden för semiosfären. Följande steg är att analysera vilka lösningar som återfinns i de finska och tyska översättningarna när det gäller dessa företeelser för att därefter kunna dra slutsatser om hurdana skillnader som kan skönjas mellan intra- och interkulturell översättning i mitt material. Den översättningsvetenskapliga analysen har styrts av frågan om vad som har bevarats och vad som har ändrats i översättningarna. På global nivå handlar det om att återge implicita och explicita hänvisningar till det finländska samhället, den tvåspråkiga miljön och den finlandssvenska dimensionen, medan lösningarna på lokal nivå fokuserar på hur de globala valen genomförs. Resultatet visar att de lokala lösningar som tillämpats vid översättning till finska problemfritt, som väntat, följer ett systematiskt mönster som ger upphov till samma illusion av samhället, platsen, personerna och kulturen som källtexten. I och med det icke-gemensamma sociokulturella rummet utgör vissa företeelser som bygger upp illusionen däremot översättningsproblem vid interkulturell översättning. De tyska översättningarna uppvisar större variation i de lokala lösningarna, vilket fjärmar måltexten från källtexten och påverkar stilnivån.
  • Belyaev, Ramil (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This research aims to study the integration experience and preservation of the ethnical identity of the Tatar ethnic diaspora in Finland. The relatively small diaspora of the Tatars from Nizhny Novgorod Province which appeared at the turn of the XIX–XX centuries, during its existence and activity has gone from consolidation and protection of religious and cultural traditions, preservation of the native language to full integration into the Finnish society. To preserve its identity the Diaspora took consistent steps on building of constructive inner policy and activity with taking into account of environmental conditions and time. The processes of integration and counteracting to assimilation proceeded within the framework of building the positive relations with the state power, the Finnish community, as well as diplomatic missions of Muslim countries. The research is based on studied sources, as well as on unpublished materials, archival data from private collections, and on interviews with fellows of the Tatar Community. The scientific value of this research is in the relevance of the chosen topic. In recent decades there are the active processes of large masses of people migration in global scale. As a rule the most part of the migrants find themselves in a new environment which different from the mother culture. In these conditions, the following tasks are topical: preserving the cultural heritage of a single ethnic group which forced to stay as a minority and opposition to the assimilation process, as well as the formation of ethnic ghettos. The experience of the Tatar Diaspora in Finland as the positive examples of identity preserving deserves the scientific attention.
  • Breier, Dorothea (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Our world has always been shaped by mobility: moving animals and people are crucial for life on earth. Despite this, the overall scale of people moving has changed significantly in the past centuries and decades. The field of migration studies has adapted to this and is no longer only about actual migrants and their seemingly permanent one-way movements. Instead, the perspective has widened and now includes various shades of mobility, both different movements as well as groups of people affected by it. The study at hand provides an innovative approach and a still rather uncommon research setting. It focusses on Germans and their descendants in contemporary Helsinki and asks about the way they (de-)construct boundaries between German- and Finnish-ness, where they position themselves within such frameworks and what personal consequences could emerge from their background and a particular self-positioning. What makes this study novel, especially in contrast to most migration-related research, is that due to the long and intense connection between Finland and Germany the group in question is not regarded as problematic by the majority society. Therefore, their way of positing and feeling of belonging must be seen and interpreted in this specific light. Such a perspective complements the majority of migration studies that often emphasise questions concerning integration of and discrimination against perceived "exotic" and thus "problematic" migrants. With the help of 32 qualitative, semi-structured interviews, the author shows how people with a German-Finnish horizon express their often rather vague feeling of (not-)belonging. Taking the interviewees’ accounts as a point of departure, it became apparent that belongingness depends on many factors including time, place and social surrounding and that it could change several times in a person’s life. The study examines when and how people draw on national categories, only to deconstruct and question them moments later, and furthermore, what impact on a person’s life his/her self-identification could have. By connecting the findings to the relevant literature and to topical issues and discussions, the aim of the study is to emphasise how important it is to see phenomena as part of the big picture, in this case, an intergenerational, societal and historic context. As people’s experiences, emotions and behaviour are heavily influenced by such factors, their understanding becomes only possible when all dots are connected and seen as the inter-connected unit they in fact form.
  • Pietikäinen, Kaisa Sofia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This dissertation investigates English as a lingua franca (ELF) in intercultural romantic relationships. The study attempts to unveil how ELF couples succeed in lingua franca communication: What do their interactions reveal about their pragmatic strategies concerning multilingualism, understanding, and silence, and how do they view their language identity? The data consists of 9h 9min of semi-structured interviews from six couples and 24h 15min of naturally occurring conversations recorded by seven couples. I use conversation analysis (CA) throughout, although the interview data has also undergone content analysis. The results concerning multilingual practices indicate that ELF couples utilise their multilingual repertoires frequently and for a range of interactional purposes, but also for no apparent reason. This implies that translanguaging within the speakers’ shared range diminishes in interactional value over time and becomes a habituated part of the “couple tongue”. The frequency of misunderstanding in ELF couple talk is generally in line with previous findings in ELF, but the closeness of the partners is a factor which both helps them understand each other, yet also causes misunderstandings because they expect to understand each other so easily. ELF couples use a vast array of understanding-enhancing practices similarly to ELF speakers in other contexts, but they also resort to extra-linguistic means such as drawing and onomatopoeia. The ELF couple identity is negotiated and shaped by their shared experiences over time. In this shaping process, the languages the couples use, including but not limited to English, become meaningful as the core around which the shared practice is built. ELF couples identify as English-speaking couples, but multilingualism is also present in their everyday life in their language practices at home and with the surrounding community. In their conflict interactions, ELF couples orient to noticeable silences as indicating troubles extending beyond disagreements. In addition to indicating a strong disagreement, withholding a response at a transition-relevance place is treated as marking avoidance of self-incrimination, resisting an inappropriate change-of-footing, taking offence, or unsuccessful persuasion. Applying CA to investigating turns that follow noticeable silences is found to be an effective methodology for examining the local inferences of noticeable silences. In sum, the findings imply that contextual factors such as the intimacy of ELF speakers and their shared history affects their pragmatic strategies; e.g., speakers in family contexts translanguage more freely and use more varied pre-emptive practices to avoid problems of understanding than ELF speakers in more transient contexts. Also, ELF partners identify as English speakers in their own right, and their naturally occurring talk is found to be valid for conversation analytic inquiry of interaction proper. The dissertation attempts to stimulate mutual understanding between ELF research, multilingualism, and CA.
  • Harinen, Kirsi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The present thesis investigates the sensitivity of the human auditory cortex (AC) to the contrast between prototype and nonprototype vowels as well as between phonemic and nonphonemic vowels. Activations to vowels were measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which was also used to analyze the effect of categorical processing on modulations in AC and adjacent inferior parietal lobule (IPL) observed during active listening tasks. A prominent theoretical view suggests that native phonemic vowels (i.e., phonemes) are represented in the human brain as categories organized around a best representative of the category (i.e., phoneme prototype). This view predicts systematic differences in the neural representations and processing of phoneme prototypes, nonprototypes and nonphonemic vowels. In three separate studies, subjects were presented with vowel pairs and visual stimuli during demanding auditory and visual tasks. Study I compared activations to prototypical and nonprototypical vowels, whereas Study II focused on the contrast between phonemic and nonphonemic vowels. Study II also tested whether activations in IPL during a categorical vowel memory task depend on whether the task is performed on phonemic (easy to categorize) or nonphonemic (harder to categorize) vowels. Study III was designed to replicate the key findings of Studies I and II. Further, Study III compared activations to identical vowels presented during a number of different task conditions requiring analysis of the acoustical or categorical differences between the vowels. The results of this thesis are in line with the general theoretical view that phonemic vowels are represented in a categorical manner in the human brain. Studies I–III showed that information about categorical vowel representations is present in human AC during active listening tasks. Areas of IPL, in turn, were implicated in general operations on categorical representations rather than in categorization of speech sounds as such. Further, the present results demonstrate that task-dependent activations in AC and adjacent IPL strongly depend on whether the task requires analysis of the acoustical or categorical features of the vowels. It is important to note that, in the present studies, surprisingly small differences in the characteristics of the vowel stimuli or the tasks performed on these vowels resulted in significant and widespread activation differences in AC and adjacent regions. As the key findings of Studies I and II were also quite successfully replicated in Study III, these results highlight the importance of carefully controlled experiments and replications in fMRI research.
  • Patronen, Outi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The purpose of this thesis is to examine how the Orthodox population in Border Karelia, who did not previously have surnames, adopted or were given surnames primarily over the decades from the 1890s to the 1920s. Border Karelia refers to the six municipalities located northeast of Lake Ladoga that were ceded to the Soviet Union after World War II: Suojärvi, Korpiselkä, Soanlahti, Suistamo, Impilahti, and Salmi. Border Karelia was a stronghold of the Finnish Orthodox church, and it had a population of 50 000 inhabitants in 1939. The adoption of surnames is studied as a part of the Fennification of the culture in Border Karelia, and the Fennification of the Orthodox Karelian population is contrasted with the history of other language minorities in Finland and in neighboring areas. The research material, consisting of 2 357 surnames of the Orthodox population in Border Karelia, was collected from the 1818 and 1820–1925 tax registers of the Salmi region in the Vyborg province. The population of Border Karelia became a target of Fennification due to the rise of Karelianism. The aim was to tie the Karelian-speaking Orthodox population of the borderlands into the central areas of Finland as much as possible. The Fennification began with the founding of the Sortavala seminar (1880) and the newspaper Laatokka (1882). The inhabitants of Border Karelia had always faced East, to Olonets Karelia, but the Western influence increased due to the independence of Finland and the closing of the eastern border. The changes in the Karelian language and culture were observed already in the 1920s. The theoretic part of the thesis examines the status of the Karelian language of Border Karelia by investigating the domains of spoken language and the writers of Karelian articles published in the newspaper Laatokka. The main hindrance to the development of Karelian as a written standard language was the fact that it was not recognized as a distinct language due to political reasons: the languages spoken in Border Karelia and in East Karelia were both considered dialects of the Finnish language due to the aim of the Fennification of East Karelia. Karelian was also not accepted as a suitable language for education. The status and issues of the Karelian-speaking population of Border Karelia, a linguistic and religious minority, can be easily compared to Skolt Sámi: both populations have been targets of Fennification and have not received support, for example, for the development of written standard languages from the mainland. Before 1880 most of the population in Border Karelia were registered in Swedish tax registers and in Russian Orthodox parish registers with only their Russian given names and patronymics; only a few had inherited surnames. The surnames in Border Karelia are divided into ten groups. The largest group is surnames based on hypocorisms of given names that were originally estate names (Reittu) and surnames based on bynames (Löllö). Other name groups include surnames evolved from Russian patronymics (Kononoff), surnames from Orthodox clergymen (Solntsev), various Russian surnames (Komaroff) and randomly assigned or adopted surnames that are similar to surnames in Savonia or Finnish North Karelia. The Finnish elementary school has been recognized as the main factor for the Fennification of the Karelian Orthodox minority in several studies in various research fields. Additional reasons for assigning surnames to the population in Border Karelia were the enclosure carried out in Border Karelia and the independence of peasants in Border Karelia.