Scandinavian languages

The Scandinavian languages are Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic and Faroese. Our primary focus within the research field of Scandinavian languages is the Swedish language, but we also do research in connection to the other languages. Our research is based on various linguistic perspectives and deals with different materials and data. We are interested in language and society, language and the individual, language learning, language and school, Swedish as a second language, Swedish as a professional language, the other Scandinavian languages, and the linguistic history and relationship of the Scandinavian languages.

Scandinavian language research at the University of Helsinki has a long history of dealing with multilingualism and variety within the Swedish and the Scandinavian linguistic area. We are interested in research questions that are relevant for our society, and therefore we focus on topics such as the Swedish language in Finland, minority languages, language contact, language politics, and language varieties within both spoken and written language, as well as the teaching of Swedish both as a first language and as a second or foreign language.

Examples of our research topics:

  • the Scandinavian languages as second languages
  • Finland-Swedish sign language
  • multilingualism and integration
  • grammar and metalinguistic awareness
  • the historical development of the Scandinavian languages and historical linguistics
  • linguistic landscapes
  • material philology
  • multimodal texts and literacies
  • conversation and social interaction
  • language learning and teaching
  • language contact and linguistic variation
  • language politics and norms
  • translation

Our researchers are involved in numerous projects with a strong societal relevance and many of them have positions of trust in the society. Among those are memberships in various language boards, involvement in the matriculation examination (Sw. Studentexamen, Fi. Ylioppilastutkinto), other language exams, collaboration with associations and organisations, as well as expert assignments where we use our research-based knowledge for the benefit of the society. Some of those projects are mentioned on the researchers’ pages, while others can be found by closely reading their CVs and activities.

Discipline coordinator of Scandinavian languages is Jannika Lassus. If you are, or your organisation is, interested in collaboration, you can contact the discipline coordinator or any of our researchers. Schools or others who would like to visit us can contact Therese Lindström Tiedemann.

Feel free to watch our films in Swedish, which give some information about us and our study programmes:

Film (15 minutes) about studies in language and literature Film (1 minute) about studies in Scandinavian languages and literatures Film (3 minutes) about Master studies in Scandinavian languages and literatures
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