Go Back

Matti Miestamo

Matti Markko Petteri Miestamo
Born 3 January 1972, Lahti

Licence (=BA), 1995, Sciences du Langage, Université de Provence (Aix-en-Provence) BA, 1996, General Linguistics, University of Turku
MA, 1997, General Linguistics, University of Turku
PhD, 2003, General Linguistics, University of Helsinki
(Docent, 2008, General Linguistics, University of Helsinki)

Professor, University of Helsinki, General Linguistics, Department of Modern Languages, 2014-
Researcher, University of Helsinki, Department of General Linguistics, 2003–06
Visiting scholar, University of Antwerp, 2005–06
Researcher, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2006–11

Professor, Stockholm University, General Linguistics, Department of Linguistics, 2011–13

Publications, research projects and other scientific activities TUHAT
Research areas: Linguistic typology, negation, interrogatives, language complexity, language documentation, Skolt Saami language

Awards and special achievements
Joseph Greenberg Award, Association for Linguistic Typology, 2005
Burgen Scholar, Academia Europaea, 2004

Photo: LInda Tammisto
Authors: Matti Miestamo and Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta (ed.)
Translated by: John Calton

A researcher at work beyond the University

Professor Matti Miestamo takes an active role in the administrative and expert duties within his field of research. He is currently editor of the Nordic Journal of Linguistics (Cambridge University Press), and at an earlier stage in his career was editor of the SKY Journal of Linguistics. He has edited several collections of articles.

Miestamo is a peer reviewer for the editorial boards of several international scientific journals and series. He has also been involved in the process of evaluating research funding applications with the Research Council of Norway (Norges forskningsråd), serving on the panel of experts in linguistics in 2013 and 2014.

In addition to his work for various administrative bodies within the University, he has been both a board member and secretary of the Linguistic Association of Finland. Miestamo is also a member of scientific associations such as the Association for Linguistic Typology and the Linguistic Society of America.

He has organised numerous linguistic conferences and symposia, both in Finland and abroad. Professor Miestamo has promoted his field of research on both TV and radio as well as in print media (including the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s breakfast TV and Swedish radio). The most explicit measure of Miestamo’s societal impact however comes with the work on documenting languages.

The documentation and description of less-studied languages has a direct bearing on the language community’s opportunities to function through their own language in different areas of social life. This is of utmost importance where endangered languages are concerned; indeed, speakers are supported in their efforts to revitalise the language thanks to the documentation process.

The project to document Skolt Saami draws upon language data produced by the speakers of the language and the resulting materials are made available to the language community. Language typology and other general linguistic research helps in the documentation, but its relevance extends much further. Language is fundamental to human action and interaction, and knowledge of language and languages is needed (for language teaching, translation, language technology, language planning, language policy etc.).

Go Back