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Riho Grünthal

Born 22 May, 1964, Helsinki

Master of Arts 1990 (Finnic Languages, joint honours in Finno-Ugric Languages, 1991), Licentiate of Philosophy 1996 and Doctor of Philosophy (Finnic Languages) 2003, University of Helsinki

Professor of Finnic Languages 2005-, University of Helsinki
Researcher, Institute for the Languages of Finland 1991–1992
M.A.Castrén seura (‘society’) and Ministry of Education project secretary 1992–1993
Finnic Languages Assistant 1993–99 and Researcher 1999–2002, University of Helsinki.
Secretary of Finno-Ugric Society 1994–2003
Professor of Finnic Languages 2003–2005 (fixed term), University of Helsinki

Publications and other academic activity

Research interests: Finnic languages and the Finno-Ugric of the Volga region, language change and change in speech communities, early history of languages, language typology, sociolinguistics and etymology.

Photo: Lena Salmi
Written by Riho Grünthal and Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta (ed.)
Translated by John Calton

Life at the University of Helsinki

Studying and working at the University has felt like a never-ending party. It is a diverse and dynamic organisation, society in miniature with networks of various age groups. During my study years, I immediately plunged into a network of older students in my freshman year, into a completely different reality. I even found my spouse in the world of the university, as did many others.

As a work community, the University is also a very stimulating environment. New students are accepted every year, and each autumn the University opens its doors to someone for the first time. The same curiosity enters the students during lectures and the big question gets repeated: what does the university have to offer for life and the future? Fortunately, the University is much more than just a production line churning out degrees. It is difficult to imagine a similar institution that would be able to bring different generations together like the University does. As a University employee, I’ve learnt a lot from sitting in the same meetings and in the same committees as the experts from other disciplines.

I appreciate the fact that the University still has time and space for tacit knowledge, the kind that connects people, time and stories. But I am also thankful that the University lives up to its name as the alma mater, with enough energy to get people moving!

Photo: Lena Salmi.​


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