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Jyrki Kalliokoski

Jyrki Tapio Kalliokoski
Born November 16, 1956, Helsinki

Master of Arts, 1982 and Doctor of Philosophy, 1989 (Finnish Language), University of Helsinki

Professor of Finnish Language, University of Helsinki, 1999
Research Fellow, Academy of Finland, 2000–1
Acting Professor, Finnish Language, University of Helsinki, 1997–99
Associate Professor (fixed term), Finnish as a Second Language, University of Helsinki, 1995–97
Acting Associate Professor, Finnish Language, University of Helsinki, 1992, 1994
Visiting Lecturer, Finnish Language and Literature, University of Groningen, 1990-91
Senior Assistant, University of Helsinki, 1990–95
Assistant, University of Helsinki, 1984–90
Lecturer in Finnish Language and Literature, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, 1983–84

Publications, Research Projects and other Academic Activity

Research interests: Finnish as a Second Language, text analysis and literary language

Gold Medal, Finnish Literature Society, 2011
Honorary Member, Suomi toisena kielenä opettajat ry (‘association of teachers of Finnish as a second language’), 2012
Academic community’s Gold Medal for 30 years’ service to advancement of knowledge (Federation of Finnish Learned Societies and Finnish Universities), 2015

Photo: Sasa Tkalcan
Written by Jyrki Kalliokoski, Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta (ed.)
Translated by John Calton

What holds a text together?

I wrote my dissertation on the Finnish word for ‘and’, ja. And I got to explain why on more than few occasions. One consequence of this is that one of the requirements in my MA thesis seminar is to formulate your topic so that you can explain it in one sentence to people who ask about it in a café or bar.

Studying ja means studying something that holds a text together. This is a topic that I have approached in various ways through my academic career in speech as well as texts written by a variety of writers. In the past few years, I have particularly concentrated on texts by second language users of Finnish: how they are constructed, how they cohere, and how the writer’s perspective is expressed.

The Academy of Finland funded a project that I led and that ended a few years ago, called Contexts of Subordination, in which we studied the hierarchical relations between sentences and parts of texts from the perspectives of cognitive linguistics, language typology and interaction. There is now an edited volume based on the project: Contexts of Subordination. Cognitive, typological and discourse perspectives (edited by Laura Visapää, Jyrki Kalliokoski and Helena Sorva).

I work as the Finnish co-ordinator for the TextLink network, funded by the EU’s COST programme, which brings together researchers working on discourse relations, corpus linguistics and language technology. The aim of the network is to gather information on the ways in which European languages express relations between parts of text and on existing theoretical frameworks and language corpora, and to develop annotation tools so that they can best describe the diversity of languages and their relations, and the means to preserve the coherence in texts.

Photo: Sasa Tkalcan.​​
Photo: Sasa Tkalcan.​​


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