Text types and discourses

Coordinator: Hartmut Lenk and Enrico Garavelli
E-Mail: Hartmut.Lenk [at] helsinki.fi, Enrico.Garavelli [at] helsinki.fi


In the text types and discourses subgroup research has been focusing on linguistic aspects of mass media and literary texts. The methods vary from text linguistics and discourse analysis to pragmatic and philological approaches.

A core area of linguistic media research has been the contrastive analysis of different text types (short news; leading articles, commentaries and their headlines; interviews; squibs; chats; reviews of opinions in other media; real estate advertisements; metaphors in discourse on immigration as well as lonely hearts ads).

The most important difference between Finnish and German journalistic text types is to be found in the argumentative structures of leading articles, e.g. in their headlines. The possible punch line of commentaries and squibs may also differ according to their importance and function. The prosodic analysis of French radio interviews and lectures has focused on the use of marked figures as means of the contextualization of speech. Descriptions of the Spanish Civil war have been examined from a typological point of view.

Within the project Social Deixis: Terms of address as a mirror of societal transformations in the Romance languages area, financed by the University of Helsinki (2005-2007), one doctoral dissertation, several Master’s theses, conference papers and articles have been completed on the use of terms of address in three present-day Romance languages.

The focus of philological research is on the 16th century. In addition to text editions (e.g. a play belonging to the national edition of Aretino’s works; a Spanish manual for midwives), the transmission of literary works via translations and plagiarisms has been studied. Together with traditional approaches, the investigation of internal variants within early printed texts has yielded interesting results concerning e.g. censorship in the Medici principality.


Ama Affram

Pontus Andersson

Nea Auhtola – Areas of interest: German, institutional interaction, coherence in dialogue, telephone communication, emergency calls, miscommunication, language use in medical discourses

Angela Bartens (University of Turku)

Mélanie Buchart – Areas of interest: didactics of French as a Foreign Language, intercultural communication, discourse analysis (Finnish textbooks of FFL), representations of identity/alterity, language biographies, autobiographies of intercultural encounters, rhetoric

Enrico Garavelli – Main areas of research: Italian Philology – Textual Criticism (Italian) / Textual Bibliography – Italian Literature (16th and 19th centuries) – History of Italian language – History of Italian typography – History of religious dissidence in the 16th century.
Currently I am preparing the critical edition of Lodovico Domenichi’s letters and studying the correspondence in French and Italian between some Finnish Romanists and several Italian colleagues living at the beginning of the 20th century.

Hans Giessen – Areas of interest: production of texts and media (applied – journalism etc. – and theoretical in research about media-adequateness of publications in different media), history of language(s), (historical) semantics (Michel Bréal), pragmatics, media linguistics, literature and media analysis, media effects, E-Learning

Juhani Härmä – Current research interests: Diachronic linguistics and the history of the French language; French as a lingua franca in Finland; research on historical letters; interaction, dialogue and terms of address in older written materials

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)

Johanna Isosävi – Areas of interest: intercultural politeness and forms of address

Jari Nummi

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

Elina Liikanen

Riikka Länsisalmi – Areas of interest: Japanese, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, linguistic anthropology, Japanese language pedagogy

Aida Presilla

Christian Rink – Areas of interest: inter- and transcultural literature, migration studies, narratology and collective memory/identity

Petra Schirrmann-Krapinoja

Elina Suomela-Härmä

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