Researcher of the Month: Heli Tissari

Heli Tissari - photo: Kathrin Kaufhold
Photo: Kathrin Kaufhold


Kielipankki – The Language Bank of Finland is a service for researchers using language resources. Heli Tissari, docent of the University of Helsinki, tells us about her research on The Suomi 24 Sentences Corpus.

Who are you?

My name is Heli Tissari. At the moment, I am working as a substitute lecturer of English at the University of Stockholm. I am also a docent at the University of Helsinki.

What is your research topic?

I am interested in the meanings of words – in other words, in semantics. Most of all, I am interested in English historical semantics. I am also curious about the relationship between language and the mind, which is why I do cognitive linguistics. I have researched, above all, English words for emotions and their conceptual metaphors. In recent years, I have collaborated with Ulla Vanhatalo and have learned from her a method called Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM), which has been developed by Anna Wierzbicka and her colleagues in Australia.

How is your research related to Kielipankki?

Together with Ulla Vanhatalo and Mari Siiroinen, I have used the Suomi 24 Sentences Corpus in our research on the use of the Finnish words viha (‘anger, hate, hatred’), vihata (‘to hate’) and vihainen (‘angry’). We have analysed corpus data on viha both together as a team and as individuals. We considered it important to base our research on corpus materials. We received funding for our project from Stockholm University and gave a presentation on viha at the International Cognitive Linguistics Conference in Tartu in July 2017. Our next goal is to publish an article on the topic.


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.