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Ulla Tiililä

Ulla Marika Elisabeth Tiililä
Born July 7, 1963, Helsinki

BA 1993 and PhD 2007 (Finnish Language), University of Helsinki

Docent at the University of Helsinki 2014
Consulting officer and researcher at the Institute for the Languages of Finland (Kotus), 2005–
Part-time work as an hourly teacher, research assistant, (senior) researcher and instructor at Kotus
Member of the Selkokeskus (‘simplified language centre’) advisory committee
Member of the editorial board of Virittäjä academic journal
Member of the Langnet supervisor pool
Member of the preparatory group for Open Government Partnership Initiative at the Ministry of Finance, 2013–14
Member of the Ministry of Education and Culture’s official languages working group, 2013
Member of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health’s insurance physician organisation development group, 2013

Research themes combine genre and official language research
Principal investigator of various Kotus projects (Tekstualisoituva julkishallinto, Perustelut päätöksissä, Ideaalikieli ja kirjoittamisen käytännöt)

Awards and special achievements
Afinlandia Prize for an outstanding Doctor’s thesis in applied linguistics, 2004–07
August Ahlqvist, Yrjö Wichmann, Kai Donner and Artturi Kannisto Foundations’ Dissertation Award, 2008
Society for the Study of Finnish’s E. A. Saarimaa Foundation Board’s Stipend for articles about the standardisation of language, 1994

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

My best memories at the University of Helsinki

When I’m asked for my best memory at the university, the first thing that comes to mind are Auli Hakulinen’s lectures and her teaching and instruction in general. So the best memories are related to the intellectual side, to sources of inspiration and realisation. Dr Hakulinen managed to have an effect on me on every course where I participated.

I began my university studies in German Philology, but I changed my major to Finnish in 1985. The lectures on language history and compulsory Estonian didn’t feel like my thing. But Dr Hakulinen’s course on pragmatics really hit the mark. I also sat through her lectures on the history of Fennistics with my eyes nailed to the board. Perhaps it was the influence of Dr Hakulinen’s conversation analysis course that led me to analyse the written texts in my Master’s thesis from a dialogical perspective. That is, an approach taken by many scholars today, over twenty years later.

I also have good memories of the so-called field trips that students of Finnish still did in the 1980s. We drove from house to house in the university’s Lada and our study mates’ Skoda and Beetle collecting examples of dialect. In addition to the language, we also became familiar with Finnish Lapland and the province of Turku.

My best memories related to social life are, I suppose, from outside my own subject. I spent a lot of time with law students, as the humanist mascot of their student association, Pykälä (‘Clause’). Now that my own daughter has burgundy student overalls, worn by members of Pykälä, I’ve had the chance to tell her that my friends provided the Pykälä students with their first overalls back in the day. My friend’s mother and my old craft teacher, Hilkka Vuori, drew the logo on the overalls based on the logo of the faculty.

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