People living in the area of Finland have never been a homogeneous group. Our cultural, genetic and linguistic heritage all have a diverse background and are in a constant state of change. People, ideas, customs and diseases have always moved from place to place and left their mark on the population. In a major research consortium, researchers are studying how these marks are still visible in people.
Keyword: Finnish Language and Finno-Ugric Languages
Please see https://www.utu.fi/en/university/SIMHE
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.
Every second or third year, a symposium on the questions related to the minority languages in the Volga-Kama region is arranged.
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.
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.