Research Areas


The priority areas in linguistics include:

  • the grammar of interaction and conversation analysis
  • cognitive linguistics and construction grammar
  • language typology and historical linguistics
  • multilingualism and variation (minority languages and language contacts,
  • dialects and variation in spoken language
  • research into second language learning and use
  • multilingualism and language policy)
  • the written language (research into the standardisation of written language conventions and modern texts, research on writing).

Emerging research areas in linguistics include:

  • research on contact phenomena in languages and dialects
  • onomastic research from the perspective of how names are used and changes in settlement
  • the research history of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Nordic studies.

Of the priority fields, the department’s Finland Distinguished Professor Project FiDiPro (2010–2013), combines the research traditions of interactional linguistics, functional-typological linguistics and cognitive linguistics.  It is implemented in cooperation with other language departments at the University of Helsinki, the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences (Phonetics and Logopedics, Department of Teacher Education) and the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. A FiDi professor, a coordinator and two doctoral students work in the project, which is linked to several other research projects in the department.

Cooperation in conversation analysis and cognitive linguistics is a very topical issue internationally, and the department is a forerunner in this field.

The priority areas in literary research include:

  • modernism
  • genre research.

The emerging areas in literary research include:

  • a new history of literature and (auto)biographical studies,
  • ecocriticsm, research into place and space
  • research focusing on a re-evaluation of the basic concepts of poetics and rhetoric
  • research into genres of popular literature.

Literary research can be studied in the department by students of Finnish literature and Nordic literature; Estonian and Hungarian literature can also be studied. The various stages and trends of modernism in a broad context from its roots (from the literature at the end of the 19th century) to present day (post)modernism is the subject of research in several projects: in the Nordic literature’s project Early Finland-Swedish Literature: programme and practice, in several Finnish literature projects (for example, Styles of Mimesis and the Modernism of Prose), and in the Finno-Ugrian literary research project The Poetics of Modernism in the Light of Inter-Art Collaboration. Modernism projects are being undertaken in all subjects by individual researchers and postgraduate students. The field of genre research covers the active field of research into lyricism and genre history, and likewise research into the poetics of individual genres. The critical editions projects of classic Finnish and Finland-Swedish literature bring together the department’s subjects and guide research.

The priority fields in translation studies include: research on translation semiotics, multimodality and translation theory (already established priority fields), research on translated texts, especially from the perspective of the department’s priority fields in linguistics and literary research (development area).

In translation studies, cooperation between translation researchers, linguists and literary researchers and the spectrum of languages taught offer new kinds of opportunities in the new department for developing research into translations and translating, especially in the priority fields of linguistics and literary research.