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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

One or more Russian languages

Although people often speak of a language as if it were a monolithic unit, in reality any language has a great number of states of existence. Even for a native speaker, it is impossible to completely master all the variety a language can provide. A further question is whether it is reasonable to speak of different national varieties of Russian as we speak of different Englishes.

The question of whether it is feasible to talk about different varieties of Russian is a purely semantic one. It is evident that there are differences in speech even between different Russian cities. Moreover, it is obvious that the Russian spoken in Minsk or Almaty differs even more sharply from Moscow Russian. Nevertheless, whether these differences signify the existence of different varieties of Russian is another question entirely. In countries like Belarus and Kazakhstan, where official documents are written in Russian, a certain local norm must either have been deliberately determined or simply appeared through practice. In other countries where some Russian newspapers and other unofficial publications are circulated, the norm has no state-level support and is less stable.

Our department has a long tradition of studying non-standard forms of the Russian language. We have published two collections with more than 40 papers on the topic. Besides Finnish scholars, we have scholars from Russia, the US, Germany, France, Italy, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tadzhikistan. As a result of a joint research project, we have also taken part in the production of a book published by the European University in St Petersburg:

View the contents page of the book here

Below is my overview of the state of the Russian language:

Разновидности русского языка: анализ и классификация [Varieties of the Russian language: analysis and classification] // Вопросы языкознания, 2013: 5, 3-17.

Ekaterina Protassova has published prodigiously on various aspects of non-standard Russian, among others on children’s Russian and Russian spoken in Finland.

Merja Pikkarainen has also recently defended her doctoral thesis on the topic:

Merja Pikkarainen. Finnish and Russian as lingua francas: Joint activity in conversations. Slavica Helsingiensia 26. 2015.

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