Every second or third year, a symposium on the questions related to the minority languages in the Volga-Kama region is arranged.
Keyword: Finnish Language and Finno-Ugric Languages
The Research Unit for Volgaic Languages has a collection of electronic language corpuses that is constantly being developed. In the future, the materials will be made available through the joint material portal of the School of Languages and Translation Studies.
Our research is focused on the Finno-Ugric languages spoken in the central Volga region in Russia, i.e. on Mari, Mordvin and Udmurt. Our research topics include the structure and history of these languages and their relation with the Turkic languages of the area, especially Tatar and Chuvash. We are working in close collaboration with scholars of the Mari, Mordovia and Udmurt State Universities.
The Research Unit was established in 1993. However, the operations of the Research Unit had already begun in the year preceding its establishment. The first director of the Research Unit until 1996 was Professor Emeritus Alho Alhoniemi (in the picture on an expedition in Mordovia).
The Research Unit for Volgaic Languages operates under the Department of Finnish Language and Finno-Ugric Languages at the University of Turku. The Research Unit studies the Finno-Ugric languages spoken in the region of the Volga River and Kama River (Erzya, Moksha, Mari and Udmurt) in Russia. In addition, the Turkic languages of the region (Chuvash, Tatar and Bashkir) are studied for comparative purposes.
We co-operate with native scholars of Mari, Mordvin and Udmurt languages and their background organisations, universities and research institutes.
The ultimate goal of linguistic studies is to find out how language works. The researchers of Finnish and other Finno-Ugric languages are especially interested in questions related to the structure of language, interaction, variation, change, and language learning.
The Department of Finnish and Finno-Ugric Languages offers expertise and services to the scientific community, as well as to the Finnish society.