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Ilona Herlin

Maria Ilona Herlin
Born April 8, 1965, Kirkkonummi

MA 1992 and PhD 1998 (Finnish Language), University of Helsinki
Docent at the University of Helsinki 2006-

Independent scholar 2006-
Doctoral assistant at the University of Helsinki 2006
Postdoctoral researcher at the Academy of Finland 1995–1998

Publications, research projects and other scientific activities

Research topics: Finnish grammar, in particular the relationship between sentences, infinitives, particles and personalities, the position of empathy in language, language and nature

Smiling Girl Statue for students with good friendship skills 1972
2nd place in the Masala school district ski and temperance writing competition 1973
Best poster at the Finnish Conference of Linguistics, Helsinki 2002

Written by Ilona Herlin (Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta, ed.)
Translated by
Joe McVeigh

My best memories from the University of Helsink

My best single memory from the University of Helsinki is from the beginning of the 1990s. While attending my Master’s seminar in 1990–91, I got to know the new side of the Main Building and the cloakroom porters Auli and Ritva. We would often chat for a few minutes before the evening light of the city faded out. The click-clack of knitting needles barely paused for a moment when one of them handed me my coat. When Christmas came, I received a pair of wool socks as a gift from Auli and Ritva. Maybe those white and blue socks, which were knit in the Main Building, represent the excessive cosiness I have experienced in that building, and with the Finnish language.

In general, the best part of being in the university is the sharing of ideas: being able to aimlessly develop ideas, for the sheer joy of developing them. I hope to bring something of that feeling to my docent teaching so that my lectures give students material for their café discussions, which are of course the best contexts for intellectual meandering.


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