photo: Ilmari Ivaska
Kielipankki – The Language Bank of Finland is a service for researchers using language resources. Ilmari Ivaska, visiting lecturer of Finnish Language and Culture at the University of Washington, tells us about his research on the Advanced Finnish Learners’ Corpus, the International Corpus of Learner Finnish (ICLFI) and the Finnish Sub-corpus of the Newspaper and Periodical Corpus of the National Library of Finland.
I am Ilmari Ivaska and I defended my doctoral dissertation at the Department of Finnish and Finno-Ugric Languages of the University of Turku in 2015. I have been working for the last three years as a visiting lecturer of Finnish Language and Culture at the University of Washington, Seattle. As of autumn of 2017 I will be working as a Post Doc researcher at the University of Bologna, Italy.
In my research so far I have studied Finnish as a Second Language and as a Foreign Language mostly with the help of corpus linguistics. On the one hand I’m interested in the key questions of second language research: how is the language use of persons communicating in a foreign language different from those using that language as their first language; what are the differences between users of different first languages; how does the language use of people using a foreign language change through time? On the other hand I have an interest in the differences between various text genres and various language use situations in general. I have however approached these questions from a quantitative perspective and mostly from a data-driven point-of-view, meaning that I have been looking for language features that typically vary depending on the language user, language use situation or text genre, without any presupposition about what exactly these features are. The results may vary quite substantially from individual lexical differences through syntactic constructions to abstract semantic aspects such as expressing possibility. This autumn I will start working as a Post Doc researcher at the Department of the Interpreting and Translation Studies of the University of Bologna, where I will participate in a project comparing in a similar way texts written by first language users (Italian, English and Finnish), translations from other languages, as well as texts written by advanced learners of the respective language.
I have been involved at the University of Turku in creating the Corpus of Advanced Learner Finnish, published in Kielipankki. This resource also constituted the main corpus data for my doctoral dissertation. I have also contributed to the Corpus of the Academic Finnish, which is being created at the University of Turku, and which will be published in Kielipankki as well. I have also used in my research the International Corpus of Learner Finnish (ICLFI), created at the University of Oulu, as well as the Finnish Sub-corpus of the Newspaper and Periodical Corpus of the National Library of Finland, both of them published in Kielipankki.
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.