LRDG: The contextualisation of linguistic and textual analysis

Date: 31 January 2012 Time: 1 - 2 pm

Venue: C89, County South

Henna Makkonen-Craig, University of Helsinki:

This talk will address the issue of the contextualization of linguistic and textual analysis. It will ask how we can do plausible linguistic analysis, and yet pay attention to genre, literacy event, and literacy practices in a useful way. Examples will be drawn from two projects.

The first, my current post-doctoral research, has to do with the matriculation essay and the assignment questions in the mother tongue exam taken at the end of upper secondary school in Finland, as a mandatory part of our national matriculation examination. Presently I am carrying out work on the diversity in the essay genre. The linguistic focus is on the marked, sentence-initial use of connectors, such as AND, BUT, BECAUSE. I am looking at their contexts in highly and lowly graded essays. Furthermore, I am investigating the textual, socio-cultural norms of this particular institutional genre which requires the use of multiple data sources and methods.

The second, my doctoral thesis, focused on the Finnish dialogical passive (best translated as Let's do or Let me do) and its metadiscursive, participant-oriented uses in newspaper texts. I also explored the writers' conceptualizations of such metadiscourse and the constraints involved in writing columns, "reportage" (large feature articles) and cultural reviews for the Helsingin Sanomat, a high-quality national daily published in Finland.

Event website:


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Karin Tusting (Linguistics and English Language)

Organising departments and research centres: Educational Research, Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language

Keywords: Language testing, Literacy practices