Contrastive syntax

Coordinators: Timo Riiho and Jouni Rostila
E-Mail: Timo.Riiho [at], Jouni.Rostila [at]


In contrastive syntax, the main interests have been different clause and complex sentence structures and syntactic questions within the clauses, such as verbal and adjectival constructions and prepositions. One of the main focuses in syntactic research are different types of embedded propositions: infinite constructions such as infinitives with de in Spanish, the negation of German infinitive constructions, French participial constructions in different syntactic functions and their system and/or translation equivalents in Finnish; other research subjects have been subordinate finite clauses in French (German in preparation) as well as their comparison with secondary predications and non-finite clauses (French/Finnish). These questions are often related with the expression of temporality and aspectuality (Italian) and have also been examined in different varieties of Spanish.

Research on prepositional syntax has been carried out in the field of the Ibero-Romance languages, and it aims to define and delimit the boundaries of the inventories of prepositions and prepositional clauses, to organize them hierarchically and to describe their functions in cognitive terms. Special attention is paid to the unification of the criteria used in the grammatical tradition of the languages compared. German has focused on corpus linguistic research mainly dealing with prepositional constructions: an investigation on the valence of nomina agentis in German and Finnish showed their relation to verbal constructions, the central theme of this subgroup. The results have been presented in several thematic volumes and in an international symposium.


Angela Bartens (University of Turku)

Manon Buysse (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) – Areas of interest: clause linking, complexity, syntax, semantics, syntax/semantics interface, second language acquisition

Lili Carrión-Pena

Gaïdig Dubois – Areas of interest: Cognitive linguistics; construction grammar; contrastive linguistics; preposition, case and verb semantics; grammaticalization

Anton Granvik (Hanken School of Economics, University of Gothenburg)

Mikko Haule – Areas of interest: contrastive linguistics, subjectivity, expression of cause, French and Finnish causal connectives and their translation equivalents

Eva Havu – Current research interests: a) syntax (non-finite) verbal constructions: description, use in different types of corpora, contrastive aspects, teaching); b) discourse analysis (expressions of cause/justification, (dis)agreement); c) sociolinguistics (forms of address in Computer Mediated Communication)

Irma Hyvärinen

Ciro Imperato

Ilpo Kempas (Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences) – Areas of interest: Spanish linguistics, Spanish grammar, verbal syntax, tenses, variation, prepositional relative clauses, contrastive verbal syntax in Ibero-Romance

Hannele Kohvakka

Leena Kolehmainen (University of Eastern Finland)

Jarmo Korhonen

Laura Lahti – Areas of interest: second language acquisition, German as a foreign language, acquisition of verb morphology and syntax, oral proficiency, language assessment

Alex Lazar

Hartmut Lenk – Main areas of research: Contrastive medialinguistics, especially textlinguistics, international research project Styles of persuasion in Europe; Text understanding by native speakers and foreign language learners; Personal names and the forms they are used in German and Finnish; Idioms in German popular songs including rock lyrics

Annikki Liimatainen (University of Tampere)

Michael Möbius – Areas of interest: CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) and WELL (Web enhanced LL), Didactical /Pedagogical Grammar, Online interactive Grammar exercises and courses developing different and new types of online grammar exercises, Implementation of grammar exercises in online language courses, Error analysis, “error culture”, Didaktik Deutsch als Fremdsprache (didactics German as a foreign language)

Maria Paloheimo – Doctoral thesis on the acquisition of French verb morphology by Finnish-speaking French learners

Iiris Rennicke

Ulrike Richter-Vapaatalo

Jouni Rostila – Areas of interest: construction grammar, grammaticalization, German syntax, German as a foreign language

Timo Riiho

Anna Ruusila (University of Tampere)

Begoña Sanromán – Areas of interest: Lexicography and Lexicology; Phraseology; Collocations; the relation between the lexicon and the grammar, Syntax and Semantics of light verb constructions

Marja Ursin

Marjo Vesalainen

Mari Wiklund – Areas of interest: Autism, Prosody, Gaze behavior, Misunderstanding situations, Repairs, Speech disfluencies, Speech-to-text interpreting, Audio description, Code-switching, Conversation Analysis, Phonetics