Karita Suomalainen

Doctoral Student, Department of Finnish and Finno-Ugric Languages (School of Languages and Translation Studies)


Hämeenkatu 1
Suomen kieli ja suomalais-ugrilainen kielentutkimus

Areas of expertise
everyday conversation; Finnish language; Finnish as second and foreign language; grammar; interactional linguistics; person; reference; spoken language


I received my MA in Finnish language at the University of Helsinki in 2015. Since 2016, I have worked as a PhD researcher at the University of Turku in 2016 in the project "Arkisyn: Morphosyntactically coded database of conversational Finnish" funded by Kone Foundation.

From 2013 to 2014 I worked as an assistant teacher for Finnish at the University of Copenhagen. From 2014–2015 I worked as a research assistant for the research project "The question of units in language and interaction" funded by a bilateral grant from the Academy of Finland and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. In 2015 I worked as an assistant teacher for Finnish at the University of Stockholm.

I have a teacher's degree in Finnish for foreigners.


My main research interests lie in the area of interactional linguistics. My reasearch concerns the way different grammatical structures are used to in interactional contexts and how they contribute to the organization of turns-at-talk. In particular, I have worked on referentially open use of personal forms as well as on the Finnish se että construction that can be used as a fixed expression for certain interactional purposes.

My PhD project focuses on the use of 2nd person singular in Finnish everyday conversations. In Finnish, 2nd person singular forms are primarly used to refer to the addressee, but they can also be used in fixed expressions (e.g. aattele 'think', arvaa 'guess', kato 'look, see', kuule 'listen', tietsä 'you know'), or to create open reference, so that they do not refer exclusively to the adressee, but rather are less specific in their reference (jos teet töitä, maksat veroja 'if you work, you pay taxes'). In my research, I examine the variation in the way second person singular is used in conversational context. My dissertation is article-based and consists of altogether four articles.


conversation analysis; Finnish for foreigners; interactional linguistics; pragmatics


From zero to ‘you’ and back: A mixed methods study comparing the use of two open personal constructions in Finnish (2018)
Nordic Journal of Linguistics
Mikael Varjo, Karita Suomalainen
A1 Journal article – refereed)

Sinä, konteksti ja monitulkintaisuus: Yksikön 2. persoonan viittaussuhteista arkikeskustelussa (2018)
Karita Suomalainen
A1 Journal article – refereed)

Sinä toiminnan keskiössä (2018) Karita Suomalainen
E1 Popularised article, newspaper article)

Last updated on 2018-24-10 at 16:57