Advice for Students Graduation and after Postgraduate studies Contact Information

German Philology belongs to the Department of Modern Languages.

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

Doctoral students' research topics in Germanic philology

Ama Affram

In my doctoral dissertation, I examine the transfer of linguistic knowledge to students of technical sciences from the perspective of text linguistics. My analysis focuses on literature written in German on speech technology for students in technical fields. This includes, for instance, printed self-study publications as well as lecture handouts supporting contact teaching. At the level of text, in addition to the structure of the content, the “presence” of several sciences is indicated by, for instance, the presentation of the terminology of the “foreign” field as well as by metaphorical expressions that use the concepts of the target field (i.e., the field of technical sciences) to describe linguistic phenomena (for instance, the description of the speech process using concepts from signal theory or control engineering).

Nea Auhtola

In my doctoral dissertation, I examine emergency calls to the police in German. I use the psycholinguistic quaestio model in my analysis. According to this model, every coherent conversation adheres to the communicative function of language, the quaestio. I examine why emergency calls deviate from this communicative task, as sequences discarding the quaestio may implement other functions.

Claudia Sirpa Jeltsch

Education: MA, University of Hamburg (major subject German studies, minor subjects Finno-Ugrian studies and language learning studies)

Department of Modern Languages: postgraduate student


The theoretical starting point of my study is the concept of translation culture, which has been influenced by sociology (Prunč 1997; Wolf 2006 & 2010). I examine it as a phenomenon effective at one synchronic moment and influenced by the text type of the translated text and its user group. My illustrative and diachronic material is based on the translation of classical vocal music between Finland and the German-speaking cultural area during approximately the last hundred years. Located at the intersection of translation studies and German studies, my study aims to examine the concept of translation culture as a tool of translation and cultural exchange as well as to describe and explain the historical development of sung translations between the two cultural areas.

Laura Lahti

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.

Michael Möbius

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.

Petra Schirrmann

German radio drama in Finland

Radio drama is a young genre. German radio drama has clearly influenced Finnish radio programmes during its short existence. However, the specific nature of this influence has not yet been studied systematically. Petra Schirrmann examines the influence of German radio drama on Finnish radio programmes using, for instance, documentation related to German radio drama provided by the Finnish Broadcasting Company. Schirrmann focuses, among other things, on the reception of German radio drama in Finland whilst examining the topic also from the perspective of programme policy. The study is based, for instance, on archival sources of the Finnish Broadcasting Company. She also examines the snapshot of Germany transmitted to Finnish listeners through radio drama during the almost 90-year history of the genre.

Ursin, Marja

My doctoral dissertation, which combines the approaches of literary studies and linguistics, focuses on the work of Herta Müller. The rich imagery and the original, poetic language of Müller’s novels combine with the themes of political persecution and violence in an interesting way. My study examines the relationship between the themes and certain linguistic and narrative features from the perspective of cultural studies using, for instance, the concept of subversion. Other interests: The translation of fiction.