Researcher of the Month: Hanna Westerlund

kuva Hanna Westerlundista

photo: Mika Federley

The Language Bank of Finland is a service for researchers using language resources. Hanna Westerlund, a doctoral student at the University of Helsinki, describes her research on the law and statute corpus in the Language Bank of Finland.

Who are you?

I am Hanna Westerlund, a doctoral student in the doctoral program of language research.

What is your research topic?

I am interested in collocations i.e. joint occurrences as a challenge in a translator’s work and the possibilities of language research to answer questions related to identifying and producing collocations. My actual research corpus consists of European Union’s statutes translated into Finnish of which I have compiled a text corpus dated around the time Finland joined the union. The comparable corpus contains similar articles of the Finnish law.

How is your research related to the Language Bank?

I find it important to find out at least in part what has happened to the occurrences I found in the corpus over time: can the collocations carried over to the Finnish legal language in translation still be found in the collection of statutes, have they supplanted the native alternatives or do they all coexist in the text. Compiling, processing and administering text corpora has proven challenging and time-consuming tasks both technically and qualitatively, and collecting a similar corpus out of the present collection of statutes would be completely impossible. Fortunately, there is no need: the Language Bank offers my research both a technically clean and reliable law and directive corpus and tools for processing the corpus. In the second phase of my research, the Language Bank’s law and statute corpora are irreplaceable.

The FIN-CLARIN consortium consists of a group of Finnish universities along with CSC – IT Center for Science and the Institute for the Languages of Finland (Kotus). FIN-CLARIN helps the researchers in Finland to use, to refine, to preserve and to share their language resources. The Language Bank of Finland is the collection of services that provides the language materials and tools for the research community.

All previously published Language Bank researcher interviews are stored in the Researcher of the Month archive.