Finnish Language

Language of tuition is Finnish.

The Finnish Language study programme provides theoretical knowledge about language structure, development and variation but also practical skills with language norms and usage. Students of Finnish Language will qualify as Finnish Language experts and they can work, for example, as teachers of Finnish language and literature, teachers of Finnish as a second and foreign language, publicists, language planners or text revisers.

How to Apply

You can apply to study Finnish Language by submitting an application to the study programme of Finnish Language and Literature in the joint application system. The right to study Finnish Language as a minor subject is granted based on an entrance exam. Further information about applying for minor subject studies can be found in the Minor Subject Application Guide (Finnish).

From the Basics to Your Own Interests

During your studies you will be provided with in-depth knowledge of the language structure and you will learn to analyse both written and spoken language.

The first phase of studies in Finnish Language consists mainly of lecture- and exercise courses. As your studies advance you will work more often independently and choose study units within fennistics according to your own interests. In the seminars you will collect material for your research, apply a method of your choice, analyse your results and report them.

Research about Spoken Language, Language Contacts and Language Interaction

In our research, we are especially interested in different spoken variants of Finnish, language contacts, language acquisition and language usage. We also provide information about the connection between Finnish and its cognate languages, especially Karelian and Estonian.

The focal areas of research in Finnish Language are regional dialects and other spoken variants of Finnish, Baltic Finnic languages and language contacts, language usage and language acquisition (both children’s language acquisition and acquisition of Finnish as a second or foreign language). In addition to these areas, we are interested in, for example, descriptive grammar and its application to school teaching.

We study language from both synchronic (occurring at a specific point in time) and diachronic (historical) points of view. Our theoretical approaches include language variation, sociolinguistics and folk linguistics, historical linguistics, language typology and research of grammaticalization and language contacts.

The research of language contacts is multidisciplinary. We conduct it in collaboration with other language subjects, especially with Karelian Language. We also collaborate with the subjects of History and Cultural Studies. We participate in a nationwide sociolinguistic collaboration network called Miten Suomi puhuu. In the research on language acquisition, we are involved in the international VIRSU network with other universities, such as the University of Vienna and Tallinn University.

Recent and Current Projects:

  • Seuruututkimus itäsavolaisen yksilömurteen kehityksestä (Marjatta Palander)
  • Kompleksisuus kontaktissa. Morfofonologian säilyminen itämerensuomalaisissa kielikontakteissa (Helka Riionheimo; Academy of Finland 2010–2012)
  • On the Borderline of Finnish and Karelian: Perspectives on Cognate Languages and Dialects (FINKA) (Academy of Finland 2011–2014)
  • Language corpora of the border areas of Finland and Russia (SILK) (Kone Foundation 2013–2015)
  • Kiännä! Translation, revitalization and the endangered Karelian language (Kone Foundation 2015–2018)
  • Finno-Ugric Languages as Target Languages (VIRSU) (Coordinator - Helka Riionheimo)
  • Language contacts at the crossroads of disciplines (CROSSLING) (Helka Riionheimo, Kone Foundation 2012–2014)

Contact Information

Teaching and Research Staff
Administrative and Office Staff