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Ulla Tuomarla

Ulla Susanna Tuomarla
Born August 8, 1965, Turku

Master of Arts 1993, PhD 2000 (French philology), University of Helsinki
Docent 2002, University of Helsinki

Head of department 2014–, deputy head of department 2010–14, Department of Modern Languages, University of Helsinki
University lecturer 2009– (French translation), University of Helsinki
Acting university lecturer 2007–09 and 2000-03, postdoctoral assistant 2003–06, University of Helsinki
French teacher 1999–2000, University of Tampere

Publications, research projects and other academic activity
Research themes:
Linguistic polyphony and reported speech, argumentation, emotions and linguistic interaction (inter alia, hate speech).
The research project How to address?

Photo: Essi Lavonen
Written by Ulla Tuomarla and Tiia Niemelä
Translated by Matthew Billington

My Dream

At the moment my professional dream is to establish some kind of interdisciplinary, and preferably international, research project that could, for example, provide insight into hate speech. In addition to linguists, I would like the team to include a sociologist, a social psychologist, and a computer scientist, which would facilitate many different approaches to the phenomenon. I hope that based on our work there could be some application that would make life more pleasant for people.

I have been somewhat concerned with how so-called extra languages, such as German and French, have been side-lined in primary and secondary schools. We have been unable to create incentives that would encourage students to learn languages. For example the Faculty of Science has already decided to take matriculation examination grades into account when deciding on admission, but this is not the case at the Faculty of Arts. I would like to see more variety in people when it comes to the languages they speak as well. The labour market would also benefit from having people who could speak many languages. I have tried to influence these matters on the boards of the French-Finnish School of Helsinki and the Union of the Finnish-French Associations.

In my private life, I dream of a healthy and happy life surrounded by my family.

Family life in Lallukka. Hulda the dog paying close attention to whether the child will drop some food on the floor. Photo by Kuutti Lavonen.


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