In the Language Bank: Tiina Onikki-Rantajääskö

Kielipankki – The Language Bank of Finland is a service for researchers using language resources. Tiina Onikki-Rantajääskö tells us about the principles of the Helsinki Term Bank for the Arts and Sciences (HTB) and invites interested experts to join the collaborative terminology work.

Who are you?

I am Tiina Onikki-Rantajääskö, Professor of Finnish at the University of Helsinki. I also lead the Helsinki Term Bank for the Arts and Sciences (HTB).

What is your research topic?

I am generally interested in how vocabulary and grammatical structures construe linguistic meaning and how they function in relation to the wider textual context. Most of my published research is related to the local cases of the Finnish language. Currently, I am delighted to see how younger researchers aim to combine qualitative and quantitative research in the project Platforms and Rhetorical Group Strategies (in Finnish, ”Alustat ja retoriset ryhmästrategiat”), run by me and Eetu Mäkelä and funded by Kone Foundation. I am particularly interested in discovering whether some constructions can indicate broader discourse structures. However, during this winter, I am spending most of my time on my duties as the Finnish Language Rapporteur, appointed by the Ministry of Justice.

How is your research related to Kielipankki?

I tend to use the Finnish language resources in Kielipankki whenever I need information about the context of a word or grammatical element. Many of the corpora that I have used in the past can now be found in Kielipankki, such as the News and Comments Corpus that was compiled in one of my earlier projects.

In addition, the Helsinki Term Bank for the Arts and Sciences (HTB) is part of the FIN-CLARIAH Research Infrastructure, together with Kielipankki. This is reflected in the fact that the online service of the HTB is also accessible via Kielipankki. The HTB also has an employee funded through the FIN-CLARIAH project (FIRI funding from the Research Council of Finland). There is a need for collaboration in the field of language technologies.

The contents Helsinki Term Bank for the Arts and Sciences (HTB) are still in the construction phase. We are constantly working to involve more and more researchers from different disciplines in the terminology work and to invite new disciplines to join the HTB. Defining scientific terms and providing other background information on concepts require expertise in each field. Therefore, the selected method is niche-sourcing of experts, supported by our project planner. The aim is to promote the multilingualism of science in addition to providing openly accessible information describing the formation of scientific knowledge and facilitating the utilization of science. Scientific concepts are at the heart of research. Multilingualism can be promoted by offering translation equivalents for terms in different languages. The Finnish language is in focus, since the aim is to support Finnish as a language of science. However, it is possible to present definitions and concept pages in languages other than Finnish. The term bank thus opens up opportunities for international collaboration. Especially for multilingual and multidisciplinary research groups, the term bank provides an opportunity to shape the common terminological ground. All interested experts are welcome to participate.

My research interests in the Helsinki Term Bank for the Arts and Sciences (HTB) include the presentation of background knowledge frames and the emergence of prototypicality, as well as collaborative interactions: the network of experts in the HTB and the online service interact and form a field of action that differs from traditional research projects.


Enqvist, Johanna & Tiina Onikki.Rantajääskö & Kaarina Pitkänen-Heikkilä 2021: Terminology work as open, communal and collaborative crowdsourcing practice of academic communities. – Terminology 27:1, Pp. 56-79.

Jaakola, Minna & Tiina Onikki-Rantajääskö (eds.) 2023: The Finnish Cases System: Cognitive Linguistic Perspectives. Helsinki: SKS.

Kettunen, Harri & Tiina Onikki-Rantajääskö (tulossa): Vetenskapstermbanken i Finland i samhällets tjänst. – Publikation Nordterm 2023.

Kettunen, Harri & Tiina Onikki-Rantajääskö (tulossa): Tieteen termipankki tieteentekemisen ytimessä. – Kieliviesti 2/2023.

Onikki-Rantajääskö, Tiina & Harri Kettunen 2023: Vuosi 2022 Tieteen termipankissa: Laajenemista uusille aihealueille ja tunnustuspalkintoja avoimen tieteen edistämisestä. – Tieteen termipankin blogi. Helmikuu/2023.


More information

The FIN-CLARIN consortium consists of a group of Finnish universities along with CSC – IT Center for Science and the Institute for the Languages of Finland (Kotus). FIN-CLARIN helps the researchers in Finland to use, to refine, to preserve and to share their language resources. The Language Bank of Finland is the collection of services that provides the language materials and tools for the research community.