The researchers collaborating in HALS are based at the Department of Languages and the Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies. They include permanent staff, post-doctoral researchers, and PhD students funded through various projects. More information about the collaborators below.
Docent/Adjunct professor Lotta Aunio (formerly Harjula) is a university lecturer of Bantu languages at UH. Aunio’s research has focused on the description of Bantu languages, particularly their phonology and tonology. More information about Aunio’s activities and publications can be found in the UH research database Tuhat.
Thera Crane is a postdoctoral researcher in the Academy of Finland project "Stability and Change in Language Contact: The Case of Southern Ndebele (South Africa)." Crane’s research interests include the semantics and pragmatics of tense, aspect, and mood expressions in Bantu languages, from both language-internal and typological perspectives. She is also interested in African language ecologies and their implications for language policy, especially in education. She has conducted extensive field research on endangered and minority Bantu languages in South Africa, Zambia, and Namibia. More information about Crane’s activities and publications can be found in the UH research database Tuhat.
Riikka Länsisalmi is university lecturer in Japanese and docent of Japanese studies at UH. Länsisalmi’s research interests include the Japanese language, language (education) policies, endangered languages and language revitalization, language attitudes and ideologies, law and language, linguistic anthropology, interactional sociolinguistics, discourse analysis and language pedagogy. More information about Länsisalmi’s publications and activities can be found in the UH research database Tuhat.
Matti Miestamo is the professor of General Linguistics at UH. Miestamo’s research interests include negation, interrogatives, language complexity, typological theory and methodology, as well as language documentation and description. His work is typological in nature, which means a broad comparative perspective using extensive world-wide language samples. The focus of his documentary and descriptive work is on the Skolt Saami language spoken in northern Finland. More information about Miestamo’s publications and activities can be found in the UH research database Tuhat and at his personal website.
Johanna Nichols is Helsinki University Humanities Visiting Professor at UH, Professor Emeritus in Slavic Languages and Affiliate Professor Emeritus in Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Research Director in the Linguistic Convergence Laboratory, Higher School of Economics, Moscow. She works on typology and linguistic history and does fieldwork on Ingush and Chechen (Nakh-Daghestanian, Caucasus). She is co-founder with Balthasar Bickel of the Autotyp databases and projects (www.autotyp.uzh.ch). See her Academia website: https://berkeley.academia.edu/JohannaNichols
Stephan Schulz is one of the coordinators of HALS and a doctoral student in African studies working on analyzing the phonology of the Southern Ndebele (isiNdebele) language spoken in northeastern South Africa. Besides phonology, tonology and phonetics, Schulz’s interests include e.g. possessive constructions and conceptual metaphor, and more generally, learning culturally, cognitively and historically informed holistic approaches to language research, as well as getting familiar with statistical and computational methods in linguistics. More information about Schulz’s activities and publications can be found in the UH research database Tuhat.
Ksenia Shagal is a postdoctoral researcher at UH. Shagal is currently involved in a typological project on (non-)finiteness in dependent clauses led by Johanna Nichols. After that, she is going to start her own postdoctoral project focusing on non-finite forms in Uralic languages from a typological, areal and contact perspective. Shagal’s background is in linguistic typology (the title of her doctoral dissertation was Towards a typology of participles, defended in April 2017). She has also done field work on a number of underdescribed languages including Kalmyk, Nanai, Erzya, Nivkh, Uilta, and Hill Mari. More information about Shagals’s activities and publications can be found in the UH research database Tuhat and at Academia.
Kaius Sinnemäki is a postdoctoral fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, the University of Helsinki. Sinnemäki’s linguistic research interests include the cross-language distribution of grammatical complexity and the ways in which linguistic structures may adapt to different sociolinguistic situations and cognitive pressures. In his 2011 dissertation Language Universals and Linguistic Complexity he developed a typological approach to language complexity and applied it to the domain of argument marking. In his latest research he has focused on case marking of the object, the distribution of morphological complexity, and on nominal classification. In 2008 he co-edited the volume Language Complexity: Typology, Contact, Change. Besides his linguistic research activities he also coordinates ProFini 2017, a multidisciplinary research network that brings together forty researchers across the humanities and social sciences to research and discuss the protestant roots of Finnish national identities as a way of honoring the centennial of Finland’s independence and the fifth centennial since the beginning of the Reformation in the year 2017. Prior to his current position he worked as an acting lecturer in general linguistics at the University of Tampere in 2012–2013. More information about Sinnemäki’s activities and publications can be found in the UH research database Tuhat.
Eeva Sippola is an associate professor at the Department of Languages at the University of Helsinki. Sippola’s research interests include contact linguistics, especially creoles, postcolonial linguistics, and Ibero-American languages and cultures. More information about Sippola’s activities and publications can be found in the UH research database Tuhat and at her personal website.
Max Wahlström is a linguist with a background in South-Slavic philology. His research deals with a range of topics within morphosyntax and information structure in South-Slavic languages, the languages of the Balkans, and across the languages of the world. His main topic is the interplay of argument marking and information structure from dialectological, historical, contact linguistic, and typological perspectives. The crosslinguistic component of the research seeks to understand the variation and areal spread of these phenomena. He conducts field work in Eastern Serbia with the speakers of South-Slavic Torlak dialects. Max Wahlström’s main international partners work at the University of Zurich, the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the University of Stockholm. In addition, his academic interests include the development of literary languages, historical and contemporary socio-linguistics of the Balkan languages, and armed conflicts in Southeastern Europe. More information about Wahlström’s activities and publications can be found in the UH research database Tuhat.