DEMLANG is a consortium project between the Universities of Helsinki and Tampere.
Minna Palander-Collin (PI, Helsinki)

Minna Palander-Collin (DEMLANG PI) is Professor and Chair of English Language at the University of Helsinki, Director of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, and Director of the MA Programme in English Studies.  Her expertise includes historical sociolinguistics, pragmatics and corpus linguistics and she studies processes of language change in relation to social change. In DEMLANG her research focuses on Work Package 5 "Changing patterns of self-reference. What has the 'self' got to do with democratization and mediatization?"

Previously, she has been the leader of the Academy funded project “Dynamics of Change in Language Practices and Social Meaning 1700–1900 (DYLAPS)”. She has co-edited e.g. The Language of Daily Life in England (1400–1800) (John Benjamins, 2009), Social Roles and Language Practices in Late Modern English (John Benjamins, 2010) and Diachronic Developments in English News Discourse (John Benjamins, forthcoming). She is also one of the original compilers of the Corpus of Early English Correspondence.

Minna Nevala (Helsinki)

Minna Nevala,  PhD, Docent, is currently Acting Professor of English at the Faculty of Communication Sciences, University of Tampere. Her research interests include historical sociolinguistics, pragmatics, and discourse analysis. Within DEMLANG, she is responsible for WP 4, “Evaluation of representation through mediatization”.

Nevala is the author of Address in Early English Correspondence: Its Forms and Socio-Pragmatic Functions (Société Néophilologique, 2004).  She has c. 50 peer-reviewed  publications, including three handbook chapters in The Handbook of Historical Pragmatics (2010),The Oxford Handbook of  the  History  of  English  (2012),  and The  Cambridge  Handbook  of  English  Historical  Linguistics  (2016). Her recent publications include studies on the news reporting of criminals in Studies on Variation, Contacts and Change in English (Issue 17, 2016) and in the forthcoming volume on historical newspaper language (ed. by Palander-Collin, Taavitsainen and Ratia, John Benjamins, 2017). She is also one of the compilers of the Corpora of Early English Correspondence (CEEC-400).

Turo Hiltunen (Helsinki)

Turo Hiltunen, PhD, Title of Docent, is a University Lecturer (tenured) at the Department of Modern Languages, University of Helsinki, where he teaches corpus linguistics and other digital approaches to the study of English. His main interests are corpus linguistics, grammar, phraseology, and scientific discourse, past and present. Hiltunen has extensive experience of corpus development, and has worked in such projects as The Corpus of Early Modern English Medical Writing, the ARCHER corpus, the corpus of Late Modern English Medical Writing (forthcoming), and the Hanken Corpus of Student Writing in Economics. In 2012– 13, he was member of the Academy Club for Young Scientists at the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters.

Turo Vartiainen (Helsinki)

Turo Vartiainen is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Languages, University of Helsinki. Vartiainen’s background is in historical corpus linguistics, and his research has focused both on grammatical change and sociolinguistic variation in the history of English. In DEMLANG, Vartiainen will study the public discourse on the attempts to improve the working conditions of factory workers in nineteenth-century England. He is particularly interested in the ways in which the debate over the use of child labour was discussed in the press and what linguistic means were used to portray the labouring children and the members of Parliament who lobbied for shorter working hours.

Päivi Pahta (Consortium PI, Tampere)

Päivi Pahta (DEMLANG Consortium PI), is Professor of English Philology, and currently Dean of the Faculty of Communication Sciences, at the University of Tampere. Her research interests include historical sociolinguistics, multilingualism, register variation, the language of science and medicine, and corpus linguistics. In DEMLANG her research focuses on Work Package 6, “Democratization, mediatization and shifting multilingual practices”.

Pahta was PI of the project on Multilingual Practices in the History of Written English, funded by the Academy of Finland in 2012–16. Her recent publications include the Cambridge Handbook of English Historical Linguistics (co-edited with Merja Kytö, CUP 2016), Dangerous Multilingualism: Northern Perspectives to Order, Purity and Normality (co-edited with Jan Blommaert, Sirpa Leppänen and Tiina Räisänen, Palgrave Macmillan 2012), Communicating Early English Manuscripts (co-edited with Andreas H. Jucker, CUP 2011) and Medical Writing in Early Modern English (co-edited with Irma Taavitsainen, CUP 2011). Forthcoming publications include Multilingual Practices in Language History: New Perspectives (co-edited with Janne Skaffari and Laura Wright, De Gruyter Mouton 2017) and Challenging the Myth of Monolingual Corpora (co-edited with Arja Nurmi and Tanja Rütten, Brill 2017).

Päivi Pahta is President of the Modern Language Society and co-editor of Neuphilologische Mitteilungen. She is a member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters.


Arja Nurmi (Tampere)

Arja Nurmi, PhD, is a University Lecturer (tenured) of English at the Faculty of Communication Sciences at the University of Tampere, and holds the Title of Docent of English Corpus Linguistics at the University of Jyväskylä. Her research interests include historical sociolinguistics, multilingual practices and modality. In DEMLANG her main responsibility is Work Package 3, “Democratization of discourse and power asymmetry”.

Nurmi is a co-compiler of the Corpus of Early English Correspondence, and contributed to the XML version of the Helsinki Corpus. Nurmi has over 30 articles in peer-reviewed publications, and was a co-editor of The Language of Daily Life in England (1400–1800), Social Roles and Language Practices in Late Modern English, Variation Past and Present and Annotating Variation and Change. She is co-editing three volumes on multilingual practices and/or historical sociolinguistics. Nurmi is a member of the international Literacies in Contact network.

Jukka Tyrkkö (Linnaeus)

Jukka Tyrkkö is Professor of English at Linnaeus University (Växjö, Sweden) and Docent in English Philology at the University of Helsinki. His research interests include corpus linguistics, in particular the analysis of non-linear trends in lexical and phraseological patterns, the language of politics, computer-mediated discourses, and historical lexicography. He is an active member of Data Intensive Sciences and Applications (DISA), a Linnaeus University Centre focused on Big Data and data-driven methods. In DEMLANG Tyrkkö has primary responsibility for the Work Package Democratization of lexis and phraseology: a data-driven study.

Tyrkkö’s most recent work has focused on historical multilingualism both in England and Finland, cross-disciplinary studies of social and political issues using linguistic data, and the application of corpus linguistic methods to various questions in book history.

International Partners

Professor Anita Auer (University of Lausanne) is a sociohistorical linguist, who contributes to the project with expertise on alternative histories of English and highly contextualized research set-ups.

Professor Birte Bös (University of Duisburg-Essen) provides expertise in 19th-century English news discourse.

Professor Elena Seoane Posse (University of Vigo) contributes to the project with her expertise on processes of linguistic democratization; her research team (ViEWs) currently studies the role of democratization in World Englishes.

Dr Erik Smitterberg (Uppsala University) works on 19th-century newspaper language and complements the project team by bringing in expertise on processes of linguistic colloquialization.

Dr Laura Wright (University of Cambridge) provides the team with expertise on multilingualism in historical data, including 18th-century newspapers.