Spanish philology studies the Spanish language, Spanish literature as well as Spanish-language cultures. Catalan, Galician and Basque also fall within the scope of Spanish philology.
Research in Spanish philology at the University of Helsinki has traditionally been conducted primarily from the perspective of historical linguistics: the editing of medieval texts, as well as investigation of the interaction between Arabic and Spanish. The trend in historical linguistics has been maintained, but recent additions have included the study of syntax and language contacts in modern languages, as well as lexicographical projects.
Catalan and Galician philology study the Catalan and Galician languages, as well as the literature, history and culture of Galicia and Catalonia. In addition to Spanish and Portuguese, Galician and Catalan are the most widely spoken Romance languages on the Iberian Peninsula. Galician, a close relative of Portuguese, is an official language of the autonomous community of Galicia in the northwest of Spain. In addition to these languages, the Gallo-Roman Catalan language is an official language in Catalonia, located in the northeast of Spain, as well as in Valencia and the Balearic Islands.
Basque, or Euskara in the Basque language, is a language isolate, since no firm evidence of relations to any other language has been found. Basque may be the last remnant of a language group spoken in Western Europe, displaced elsewhere by Indo-European languages. Even though many loan words from surrounding Indo-European languages can be found in Basque, grammatically it has remained quite unique, which makes it a linguistic research topic of particular interest.
Central research themes include
- Language history
- Language contacts
- Creole languages
- Preposition studies