Current research Contact Information

German Philology belongs to the Department of Modern Languages.

P.O. Box 24 (Unioninkatu 40 B)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Staff members' focus areas of research

Dietl, Cora

Cora Dietl serves as professor of the history of German literature at the University of Giessen, with a focus on the Middle Ages and early modern history. Dietl is the chair of two international societies (SITM, Société internationale pour l’ètude du théâtre médiéval and IAS, the International Arthurian Society). Her focus areas of research are early modern drama, late mediaeval narrative literature as well as the literary relations of Germany and Central Europe in the Middle Ages. The former area covers two research projects: a project funded by the German Research Foundation on 16th-century and early 17th-century Protestant and Catholic martyr drama as well as a project funded by the German Academic Exchange Service on the representation of dance in mediaeval German and Catalonian literature. A subproject of the former, Gewaltgemeinschaften (“Societies of violence”), in turn, belongs to the field of late mediaeval narrative literature. It focuses on violence in epic poetry on King Arthur and Charlemagne. The latter focus area of research, the literary relations of Germany and Central Europe in the Middle Ages, belongs to a project on mediaeval regional literature in Hungary and Romania funded by the Federal government.

Hyvärinen, Irma

  • Contrastive linguistics, syntax, word formation, (pragmatic) phraseology, learning and teaching German
  • Involved in the CoCoLaC research community and the Language Proficiency of Advanced Learners project, which focuses on the levels of foreign language skills

Kursiša, Anta

The focus areas of Anta Kursiša’s practical work and research in the field of the didactics and methodology of foreign languages as well as in the study of the teaching and learning of foreign languages: Multilingualism and the didactics of multilingualism, the teaching and learning of German as a second or third language or one of many languages with English as the first foreign language, the use of reading texts and the reading comprehension of texts written in a foreign language, as well as the use of e-portfolios in teaching.

As a researcher, Kursiša is primarily interested in the learning of language learners from their own perspective. She specialises in design research employing explorative-interpretative research methodology based specifically on the research programme of subjective theories.

Kärnä, Aino

Aino Kärnä has served as a research assistant, an assistant and a lecturer, and since 2003, as a university lecturer at the Department. Kärnä’s focus areas of research include contrastive research, German particles, adverbs, the history of grammar as well as grammaticography, a little-known field in Finland. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the history of the particle category in grammars from antiquity to the present. Kärnä has published several articles and book reviews, and edited compendiums and dictionaries. She has organised international conferences and supervised translation projects.

At the moment, she is supervising the preparation of the Handbuch frühneuzeitlicher Grammatiken online manual in cooperation with the Herzog August research library, which introduces readers to heretofore little-studied Renaissance grammars.

Lahti, Laura

The focus areas of my research are the study of German as a foreign language, second-language learning, the analysis of a learner language, spoken language and the evaluation of language skills. My doctoral dissertation project examines the spoken skills of Finnish students of the German language from the perspective of grammatical correctness. Based on the students’ performance, I analyse their mastery of verb conjugation and word order. In addition, my project utilises a pedagogic approach, as I also analyse how Finnish and German teachers of the language evaluate their students, and compare the evaluations to the results of the analysis of the learner language.

Lenk, Hartmut

Focus areas of research:

  • Contrastive media linguistics, especially text (type) linguistics. Lenk supervises the Styles of persuasion in Europe (mostly in German) international research project. This project examines the structure and linguistic features of newspaper commentaries, and involves 22 colleagues from eight different countries. The studied commentaries come from the newspapers of 13 different countries: Finland, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, France, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Spain.
  • Contrastive onomapragmatics: Anthroponyms (the names of persons) and their forms of use in German and Finnish
  • Phraseologisms in German popular music
  • German as a foreign language: The reading comprehension of those who speak German as a native and a foreign language

Möbius, Michael

Doctoral dissertation topic: Computer-assisted grammar learning and computer-assisted grammar exercises

Michael Möbius’s study focuses on the new fields of application of information and communications technology in teaching provided by Finnish institutions of higher education, especially in regard to grammar exercises. The project features the further development and revision of traditional exercises for computer use so that students will be able to benefit from self-study together with and as a supplement to traditional teaching. Möbius especially examines the significance of feedback given by the computer as the basis of self-evaluation and as support for the planning of the student’s study path. His aim is to prepare a new set of grammar exercises in German based on a comprehensive error analysis. Another objective is to offer other German teachers the opportunity to draw up tailored grammar exercises and to motivate them to do so.

Rostila, Jouni

My study focuses on morphosyntax and grammaticalisation as well as construction grammar and the further development of its theory and application in the teaching of languages.