Leena Kahlas-Tarkka

Leena Kahlas-Tarkka is Docent, University Lecturer Emerita of English Philology at the University of Helsinki.

Her research interests cover various aspects of diachronic study of English, particularly Old and Middle English syntax. She was a member of the project compiling The Helsinki Corpus of English Texts, and has been an active member of the Research Unit for the Study of Variation, Contacts and Change in English (VARIENG) since its beginnings.

Contact information


PhD, Docent

Room C625, Unioninkatu 40
PL 24, 00014 Helsingin yliopisto, Finland 
Phone: +358 40 546 5187
E-mail: leena.kahlas-tarkka(at)helsinki.fi

Research interests

My research is mainly focused on diachronic study of English, particularly Old and Middle English syntax. Medieval studies in a wider sense have also been in the centre of my teaching and research interests during the past years. Indefinite pronouns, especially those conveying totality, have been a long-time focus area of my research, and I am also interested in the grammaticalisation processes within pronominal paradigms as well as in the long-term developments of connectives in English. Another area of interest, for the past 10 years or so, has been discourse, especially discourse and social behaviour in the trial documents of the 1692 Salem witch-hunt.

I am a member of the Early English Text and Corpus Studies (EETACS) project (see VARIENG eSeries volume 9). Since 2002 I have also been involved in the international Salem Witchcraft Trials project that produced a new large scholarly edition of the extant trial papers, published in 2009 (see my list of publications). 

Research profile in TUHAT

Recent publications