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Arto Mustajoki

Arto Samuel Mustajoki
Born, December 20, 1948, Tampere
Four children, 11 grandchildren

Master of Arts 1970 (German Philology), PhD 1981 (Russian language), University of Helsinki

Professor of Russian Language and Literature 1982–2016, University of Helsinki
Vice-Rector 1992–1998, University of Helsinki
Dean 1988–1992 and 2014–2016, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki
Member of the Board of the Academy of Finland 2001–2006, 2014-
Chair of the Research Council for Culture and Society (Academy of Finland) 2001–2006
Chair of the Board of the Academy of Finland 2010–2014
Vice-President of Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, 2006-2008, President 2008-2010
Member of the Finnish Research and Innovation Council 2011-2015
International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature (MAPRYAL), Member of Board 1981–, Secretary General 1991–2003, Vice-President 2003–

Research Student, Leningrad State University 1971–1973
Visiting Fellow, Cambridge University 1990–1991
Invited guest lectures abroad: Moscow, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Simferopol, Almaty, Ulan-Bataar, Bishkek, Tartu, Tallinn, Budapest, Warsaw, Sofia, Basel, Oxford, Gothenburg

Recent publications

Full list of publications as of 2008

Publications in PDF-format

The most cited publication

Curriculum Vitae

Honours and awards
“Orden Druzhby Narodov,” President Gorbatshov 1990
Member of Finnish Academy of Science and Letters 1991
Commander's Cross of the Order of the Lion of Finland 1992
Honorary Doctor, Russian Academy of Science 1995
Honorary Professor, Moscow State University 1999
“Orden Druzhby,” President Medvedev 2010
Commander of the Order of the White Rose of Finland 2013

Photo: Veikko Somerpuro
Written by Arto Mustajoki
Revised by Matthew Billington

Computer-aided language research

Large text collections, called corpora, have totally changed the way research is carried out in linguistics. Language production is now available to researchers in electronic format. Although corpora cover only a tiny part of total language usage, they enable much more thorough analyses of language than was earlier possible. In 2003 Finnish researchers received Integrum, a unique Russian database of 50 billion words, in a very unusual way, as part of the programme of compensation for Soviet Union debts to Finland. Thus, it was free of charge for the university. Afterwards, Russia paid the remainder of the debts in cash, and Finnish universities now have to buy a yearly license to utilise the database.

Integrum is not a linguistic database in the proper sense of the word. It is an enormous collection of texts. The most valuable part of the database is a bank of more than 3000 newspapers and journals. The texts are not annotated, but the search facilities are rich. At our department, we have created special techniques for more effective use of the material. The first large-scale study was about Russian’s exceptional “natural force” construction, which is a sort of combination between active and passive voices. Some ten scholars before us had tried to discover the conditions of using the construction. The construction, as such, is quite normal and productive in contemporary Russian and but rather rare in use. Consequently, in previous studies the same 25 instances were examined. After we received the Integrum database, we started to create a search method for finding more instances. As a result, we managed to collect 3000 examples. On that basis, we were able to make the first proper analysis of the usage of the construction:

The figurative use of the conctruction is analysed in the article below:

Subsequently, we have also studied other grammatical issues, among others, the second genitive with a -u ending, a number of names for berries and fruit and Russian conative verbs.

A large text collection like Integrum can also be used in studies of other kinds. I have also addressed questions such as “what can science, religion and economics do?”, “what do the Russians think of modernisation?” and “why do people pretend to understand?”

A general description of studies using Integrum

With Mikhail Kopotev, I have also touched on the theory of corpus linguistics.


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