Mäetagused vol. 81
Ethical conflicts during the COVID-19 pandemic
Professor of Practical Philosophy
Head of the Chair of Practical Philosophy, University of Tartu
Associate Professor of Practical Philosophy, University of Tartu
Keywords: clinical ethics recommendations for Estonian hospitals, COVID-19 pandemic, ethical choices, ethical guidelines, limited medical resources, vaccination certificate, values
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented interest in ethics, as societies are
confronted with difficult ethical choices: life versus economic well-being, individual
freedom versus health, free movement of people versus public health. All democratic
societies have witnessed disagreements concerning restrictions to the free movement
of people, vaccination policies, and distribution of healthcare resources. The adopted
policies and formulated guidelines showed that different countries prioritized values
differently. Amongst the most challenging ethical debates during the COVID-19 pandemic
were attempts to formulate clinical ethical guidelines on how limited medical
resources and services ought to be allocated should the need exceed availability. This
article provides an overview of the process of compiling the clinical ethics recommendations
for Estonian hospitals concerning the allocation of limited healthcare resources
during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article describes the stakeholder involvement,
engagements with comparable international documents, main internal debates and
lessons learned for the future.
Margit Sutrop on eesti filosoof, Academia Europaea akadeemik, Tartu Ülikooli
praktilise filosoofia professor ja eetikakeskuse juhataja. Tema peamine
uurimisvaldkond on praktiline eetika, sealhulgas bioeetika ja eetika ajalugu,
Margit Sutrop is Estonian philosopher, member of Academia Europaea, Professor
of Practical Philosophy, and Head of the Centre for Ethics at the University
of Tartu. Her main research interests lie in the field of practical ethics, bioethics,
and the history of ethics as well as the philosophy of education.
Kadri Simm on eesti filosoof ja eetikateoreetik, Tartu Ülikooli praktilise filosoofia
kaasprofessor. Tema teadustöö on seotud poliitika- ja moraalifilosoofia
teemadega, peamised uurimissuunad: eetika, bioeetika, poliitikafilosoofia.
Kadri Simm is Estonian philosopher and theoretician of ethics, Associate
Professor of Practical Philosophy at the University of Tartu. Her research is
related to the issues of philosophy of politics and morality, and her main research
fields are ethics, bioethics, and philosophy of politics.
Representing distance learning in the memes of the
first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic: Internet humour
as a way of coping and self-defence
Senior Research Fellow
Executive Manager of the Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies
Department of Folkloristics, Estonian Literary Museum
Keywords: COVID-19, crisis management, distance learning, humour, memes, school lore, visual communication
Restrictions and special measures were imposed around the world to prevent the
spread of the COVID-19 virus, one of the most important of which was certainly the
reorganization of learning and work as a home-based activity. During the first wave
of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools in Estonia remained closed from 16 March 2020
until the end of the schoolyear; further periods of countrywide distance learning were
imposed also throughout the 2020/2021 schoolyear.
The new way of life that accompanied the special situation was also reflected in widespread
folklore, including internet memes. Defining memes as “(post)modern folklore”
that expresses and shapes shared norms and values within communities, my article
analyses the depiction of distance learning in Estonian memes, highlighting different
points of view: the position of the students, the teachers, and the parents.
The source data comes from the meme collection of the research archive of the Department
of Folkloristics of the Estonian Literary Museum, which consists of more than
2,000 meme units collected during the crisis period. Some data were collected separately,
for example, Tartu Variku School organized a meme competition “My distance learning”
for the students of Tartu schools in April 2020 (541 memes). The comparative global
collection (12,000 units) comes from the international project of corona folklore and
-humour research “Humour during the global corona crisis” led by Giselinde Kuipers
(Leuven Catholic University) and Mark Boukes (Amsterdam University); the project
involves researchers from more than 30 countries.
The study addresses the following questions: What local features emerge in distance
learning memes that spread during the pandemic? How have students used other cultural
resources in these memes (e.g. pop culture elements known from literature, cinema,
music and other important cultural texts)? Whether and how these memes express,
for example, family relationships (between children/youngsters and parents), school
relationships (between students and teachers), what patterns of distance working are
The meme material which has been inspired by distance learning is a fascinating
contemporary subject that combines the challenging COVID-19 pandemic and distance
learning as a characteristic feature of this period. Students who are the main creators
of the memes regard the humorous memes about distance learning as a form of communication
which offers an alternative and multifaceted perspective on this important
method of learning during lockdown.
The Estonian material is largely based on internationally known universal meme
templates that have been adapted to the local language and cultural space. When investigating
the social networks and universal motifs reflected in the memes, it is important
to rely on the qualitative content analysis. It is worth noting that the subject
of COVID-19 and the pandemic period are rarely explicitly mentioned in the memes.
The egocentric or student-centred perspective that is characteristic of this specific
material highlights the general attitudes and shared patterns that are based on opposition,
which is typical of youth culture. The common pairs of opposition are me/classmates,
student/teacher, and student/parent.
The stereotypical roles reflected in the memes can be analysed figuratively via the ambivalent
trickster figure, known from earlier folklore studies. Students are shown as cunning
go-getters who use memes to discuss uncomfortable issues, mishaps, and problems.
Stereotypically, the image of a teacher, but also that of a parent, is that of an authoritarian
supervisor, a grade giver from the students’ perspective. This makes memes a highly
important channel for schoolchildren to make their voice heard, either consciously or
subconsciously. In the future, the material could be investigated in even greater detail
from the aspect of youth language use and emotions, the interdisciplinary aspect, etc.
Piret Voolaid on Eesti Kirjandusmuuseumi folkloristika osakonna vanemteadur,
Eesti-uuringute Tippkeskuse tegevjuht. Peamised uurimisteemad on
folkloori lühivormid (mõistatuste liigiline mitmekesisus ja sotsiokultuurilised
kontekstid, vanasõnade kaasaegsed kasutuskontekstid), laste- ja noortefolkloor
kui ühiskondlike muutuste ja hoiakute indikaator, meediafolkloor, sh interneti
sotsiaalmeedia ilmingud, multimodaalsed ja visuaalsed folkloorivormid
(nt paröömiline grafiti, piltmõistatused) kui nüüdisühiskonna sünkreetlised
kultuurinähtused. Ta on tegelenud ka spordifolkloristika ehk spordifolkloorile
keskenduva uurimissuuna arendamisega, koostanud mitmeid folkloori lühivormide
andmebaase, avaldanud teadusartikleid, toimetanud artiklikogumikke
ja ajakirjade erinumbreid.
Piret Voolaid is Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Folkloristics
of the Estonian Literary Museum, and an Executive Manager of the Centre of
Excellence in Estonian Studies. She defended her PhD (“Estonian Riddles as
a Folklore Genre in a Changing Cultural Context”) in the field of Estonian and
comparative folklore at the University of Tartu in 2011. Her current interests
include minor forms of folklore (subgenres of Estonian riddles, proverbs in
their various contemporary contexts), children’s and youth folklore, Internet,
and sports lore. She has compiled academic comprehensive databases of the
subgenres of riddles (droodles, joking questions, compound puns, abbreviation
riddles, etc.), and a database of graffiti. She has written several studies on the
topic and compiled popular editions on the basis of the database materials. She
has guest-edited special issues of the journals Folklore: EJF and Mäetagused,
and has been editor of some monographs.
Gendered nationalism in Lilli Suburg’s short story “Liina” (1877)
Senior Research Fellow
Estonian Cultural History Archives, Estonian Literary Museum
Keywords: Estonian literature, feminism, Lilli Suburg (1841–1923), nationalism, 19th century
The article deals with the representation of nationalism in Lilli Suburg’s (1841–1923)
short story “Liina” (1877). Lilli Suburg was a writer, journalist, pedagogue, and the
first Estonian feminist. “Liina” is her most famous literary work, which also belongs
among the most important works of early Estonian literature. “Liina” was published in
two editions (1877, 1884) and was also translated into Finnish (1892). It is important
in the context of Estonian national movement because it is a short story based on the
central idea which emphasizes the importance of being Estonian. It became popular
among readers and made the author famous.
“Liina” is based on Suburg’s German-language diary, and it is an autobiographical
short story about an Estonian peasant girl who struggles to remain Estonian. The national
ideas represented in “Liina” emphasize the importance of remaining Estonian in
an environment where social mobility rather implied Germanization. On the other hand,
the national theme in “Liina” represents a gendered viewpoint. Suburg understood the
woman as a national subject equal to the man and therefore the carrier of national ideas
is a woman – the protagonist called Liina. The article deals with the representation of
nationalism and gender in the short story and also with the context of the creation and
reception of the work.
Eve Annuk (PhD) on Eesti Kirjandusmuuseumi Eesti Kultuuriloolise Arhiivi
ja Eesti-uuringute Tippkeskuse vanemteadur. Tema uurimissuunad on eesti
kirjanduse ajalugu, soouuringud Eestis ja nõukogude perioodi Eesti kultuurilugu.
Ta on uurinud Eesti esimese feministi, kirjaniku, ajakirjaniku ja pedagoogi
Lilli Suburgi (1841–1923) ning luuletaja Ilmi Kolla (1933–1954) elu ja tegevust.
Tema viimaste artiklite hulka kuuluvad “Feminism in the Post-Soviet place:
the geopolitics of Estonian feminism” väljaandes Gender, Place and Culture:
A Journal of Feminist Geography (2019), koos dr. Marika Seigeliga (Michigani
Tehnoloogiaülikool) “Pregnancy, Motherhood and/as/or Dissent: The Soviet
Micro-rhetorics of Gender” väljaandes Rhetoric Review (2020).
Eve Annuk (PhD) is Senior Research Fellow at the Estonian Cultural History
Archives of the Estonian Literary Museum, and member of the Centre of
Excellence in Estonian Studies. Her research concerns Estonian literary history,
Estonian gender history, and cultural history of the Soviet period in Estonia. She
has studied the life and work of Lilli Suburg (1841–1923), a writer, journalist,
pedagogue, and the first Estonian feminist, as well as the work of the female poet
Ilmi Kolla (1933–1954). Her most recent publications include “Feminism in the
Post-Soviet Place: The Geopolitics of Estonian Feminism” in Gender, Place and
Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography (2019), and together with Dr Marika
Seigel (Michigan Technological University) “Pregnancy, Motherhood and/as/
or Dissent: The Soviet Micro-rhetorics of Gender” in Rhetoric Review (2020).
Tio, Rosi, Li(e)so and Tomas: In search of authors publishing poems in Estonian around 1780
University of Tartu
Tallinn University Academic Library
Keywords: Ehstländische poetische Blumenlese, Andreas Traugott Grahl, local tongue, poetry, Hans Wenzel von Tiesenhausen, Ottilie von Tiesenhausen, women
According to Recke and Napiersky, the first poems in Estonian from the pen of a woman
were allegedly published in 1779, in the sheet music book Oden und Lieder in Musik
gesetzt by Andeas Traugott Grahl, a private tutor in the Governorate of Estonia, but
unfortunately it is not preserved. More luckily another sheet music book by him, Lieder
und Handsachen für das Klavier und den Gesang, published in Leipzig in 1784, was
available to the researchers before World War II. Two poems by Estonian ladies were
published there: Tio, tassane ja helde and Liesole. A variant of the Tio-poem (the socalled
Rosi-poem) was published in 1787 in the 5th volume of the reader Lesebuch
für Ehst- und Livland by Friedrich Gotthilf Findeisen in Oberpahlen (Põltsamaa) in
Livonia, and a year later, in 1788, in a longer version in the German literary magazine
Der Teutsche Merkur. To the latter, the poem was mediated by Christian Hieronymus
Justus Schlegel, a private tutor in Estonia from 1780 to 1782, and then pastor, who
left Estonia in 1783. However, he did not ascribe the Rosi-poem to an Estonian lady,
but to a gentleman, von Tiesenhausen of Saus, who wrote the poem on the occasion of
the passing of his wife.
There are several manors called Saus or Sauß in Estonia. Traditionally the Rosipoem
has been ascribed to Ber(e)nd Heinrich von Tiesenhausen of Groß-Sauß (Sausti or
Kaarepere). But there was another manor called Sauß (Sauste) near Wesenberg (Rakvere),
which belonged to captain Hans Wen(t)zel(l) von Tiesenhausen from 1779 to 1781.
Based on several sources, this paper brings forth arguments to support the thesis
that the gentleman, von Tiesenhausen, mentioned by Schlegel was actually Hans
Wenzel von Tiesenhausen. This man was probably also identical with the captain von
Tiesenhausen, whom Grahl has named as his employer in the subscription call of the
Lieder und Handsachen. According to Professor Gustav Suits, Grahl acted as a private
tutor somewhere near Wesenberg.
The paper also suggests that H. W. von Tiesenhausen was the author of the poem
Der Client an seinen Sachwalter, published in the muses almanac Estländische
poetische Blumenlese for 1780. Earlier this poem has been ascribed to Johann Georg
von Tiesenhausen from Northern Latvia.
Dirk Sangmeister has guessed that the Albrechts who published the almanac mentioned
the name Wesenberg on the cover of the first issue of their periodical (for 1779) in
honour of the owner of the Wesenberg manor, judge Jakob Johann von Tiesenhausen and
his family, with whom Sangmeister believes the Albrechts stood in a cordial relationship
as Sophie Albrecht dedicated several poems to a certain Ottilie von Tiesenhausen. The
last one lets us know that on the 9th of June 1781, the news of the death of her beloved
friend had reached Sophie Albrecht.
The date 9th of June 1781 (due to calendar differences actually 11 days later) can
also be found in the archival materials concerning H. W. von Tiesenhausen – on this day
his bankruptcy proceedings were started. Already in January 1781 he had sold Sauß;
in March 1781 his other manor – Tuddo (Tudu) – was sold too; these are likely the two
manors mentioned in his German poem. The bankruptcy proceedings were evoked by
a lawsuit, initiated in March 1780 by J. J. von Tiesenhausen, who from 1774 to 1780
rented his Wesenberg manor to his second cousin Hans Wenzel. From 1779 the latter had
difficulties in paying the rent. As at the time of the publication of Estländische poetische
Blumenlese it was H. W. von Tiesenhausen who was living in the manor of Wesenberg,
the recipient of the poems by Sophie Albrecht was very likely his wife.
Neither the given nor the maiden name of this woman or her birth date and the exact
death date are preserved. H. W. von Tiesenhausen mentions his wife without her name
in his report to the court, Demüthigste Anzeige und Unterlegung der wahren Umstände
meines gegenwärtigen unglücklichen und betrübten Schicksaals (The humblest report
and interpretation of the true circumstances of my current unhappy and sad fate), signed
26 June 1781. It appears that his wife really died shortly before the composing of the
report. Frau Capitainin Tiesenhausen has also been mentioned three times in the birth
register of the Wesenberg church in 1777 as a godparent, one of the cases being as godmother
of a girl, whose mother was the sister of G. W. von Schwengelm, the employer
of mister Schlegel, who mediated the Rosi-poem to the Teutsche Merkur!
The paper also presumes that the ladies mentioned by Grahl could have been translators
and guesses who these women were, but as we lack confirmed proof, the investigation
Kairit Kaur on Tartu Ülikooli ja Tallinna Ülikooli Akadeemilise raamatukogu
teadur. Ta on õppinud saksa keelt ja kirjandust ning kaitsnud doktorikraadi
võrdlevas kirjandusteaduses. Tema huvikeskmes on baltisaksa kirjandus ja
kultuur, selle suhted Lääne-Euroopaga, maailmakirjanduse tulek Eestisse ja
siinse regiooni varane naiskirjandus.
Kairit Kaur is research fellow at the University of Tartu and Tallinn University
Academic Library. She has studied German language and literature and
defended her thesis in comparative literature. Her main focus of interest is on
Baltic German literature and culture, their relations to Western Europe, the arrival
of world literature to Estonia and the early women’s writing in this region.
Narrative and topic in Heino Eller’s “Symphonic Legend”
Karl Joosep Pihel
Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
University of Tartu
Keywords: Byron Almén, Heino Eller, music semiotics, narrative, topos
This article focuses on the narrative analysis of late-romantic instrumental music.
Having adopted the structuralist-semiotic conception of musical narrative as proposed
by Byron Almén (2008) as the transvaluation of an opposing hierarchy, and the concept
of the musical topic as musical elements with specific stylistic-cultural associations,
I analyse the expressive form of Heino Eller’s early symphonic poem “Symphonic Legend”
(1923). Narrative logic was found to permeate the musical work despite its collage
or suite-like form, as the composer introduces characteristic musical actors that reappear
in different musical contexts. These actors are largely distinguished by musical
topics, the conventional stylistic associations related with their musical characteristics
as Eller’s piece presents a wide synthesis of styles – from musical impressionism and
expressionism to lyrical or chromatic late-romantic; and various topics, such as fantastic,
ombra, apassionata, pianto, heroic, and pastoral. Further, I propose a layered narrative
structure for the “Symphonic Legend”, as the jarring and abrupt changes in musical
material, affect and topic between different movements of the piece suggest shifts in
the level of musical discourse and a framed narrative, as proposed by Hatten (1994).
The primary order-imposing hierarchy is identified as the pastoral-impressionist
topic that acts as the introduction and coda to the entire piece while the transgressive
hierarchy is carried by antagonistic musical material associated with fantastical and
dysphoric topics (whole-tone scale, chromaticism, fanfare-like brass and ombra) and with
the main theme-actor of the piece (a theme strongly resembling the main theme of the
first part of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherezade”). While the pastoral beginning and end
of the piece (1st and 11th sections) suggest a narrative trajectory of a romance or “the
victory of the order-imposing hierarchy over the transgression”, the abrupt shifts that
occur between those sections and the middle-sections of the piece suggest that these
take place at a different level of discourse, placing the narrative weight in sections 2–10,
where the primary conflict seems to be between the antagonistic material and the themeactor.
In the middle sections Eller seems to problematize the typical narrative trajectory
of dysphoric to euphoric in 19th-century symphonic poems, as the theme-actor’s heroic
apotheosis in the 9th section is undermined by its reprise in section 10 and ultimate
inability to be united with the order-imposing hierarchy in the coda, suggesting an ironic
narrative. This reading is hopefully the first of many narrative analyses of Eller’s and
other Estonian composers’ unique late-romantic and early modern symphonic poems.
Karl Joosep Pihel on Tartu Ülikooli semiootika ja kultuuriteooria doktorant.
Tema uurimisvaldkonnaks on läbivalt olnud muusikalise tähenduse ja
representatsiooni probleemid: ta on kirjutanud ruumist ja ruumi kujutamisest
muusikas ning hetkel kirjutab diagrammilistest märkidest või analoogiapõhisest
tähendusest muusikas C. S. Peirce’i märgiteooriast lähtudes. Ühtlasi on
ta õppinud kompositsiooni Tartu Heino Elleri muusikakoolis Alo Põldmäe käe
all ning muusikateadust Eesti Muusika- ja Teatriakadeemias, kus ta kirjutas
narratiivist ja toposest Heino Elleri “Sümfoonilises legendis”.
Karl Joosep Pihel completed his master’s studies in the field of semiotics and
cultural theory at the University of Tartu and is currently a PhD student in
the same field. His focus of research has been on the problems of musical signification and representation; he has written about space and representation of
space in music and is currently studying diagrammatic signs or analogy-based
meaning in music, based on C.S. Peirce’s sign theory. He has studied composition
with Alo Põldmäe at Tartu Heino Eller Music School, and music science at the
Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, where his thesis studied narrative
and topos in Heino Eller’s “Symphonic Legend”.
The learning patterns in studying a piece of music in basic piano studies
Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre
Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre
Member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: basic studies, learning, learning patterns, music, piano
This article was inspired by the first author’s observations in the teaching process,
which refer to different learning patterns in studying a piece of music. I have noticed
that although I teach all the students by using quite the same methods, part of them
remember the pieces rather quickly and they prefer to play and practise them from
memory. Some others, on the other hand, prefer to play from notes, and they continue
doing it during the whole learning process. The aim of this article is to find, by an
evidence-based method, the occurrence of the abovementioned learning patterns and
describe their characteristic features. In case peculiarities occur, which can be projected
against the typology of different learning patterns, it is possible to study connections
with the earlier learning styles and learning and information processing theories. It also
enables us to offer applications for a more person-centred approach in piano pedagogy
to enhance both the learning process, student-teacher collaboration, and the student’s
development as well as make them subjectively more pleasant for both parties. To investigate
the learning patterns in basic piano studies, I video-recorded the classes with
students of possibly similar backgrounds, giving them tasks testing their memory and
note-reading skills. Based on the analysis of the collected information, I made conclusions
about the existence and nature of hypothetical intuitive learning patterns. The
interesting observations made by formal and non-formal examination add material for
future in-depth studies, as the described phenomenon should be approached, above all,
as a continuum, which enables us to estimate students’ inclination towards one or the
other side to a greater or lesser extent, and consequently, the application of a better
adapted teaching strategies.
Veeda Kala on lõpetanud bakalaureuse klassikalise klaveri erialal aastal 2018
ning magistri muusikapsühholoogia erialal ja klaveripedagoogika kõrvalerialal
cum laude Eesti Muusika- ja Teatriakadeemias aastal 2020.
Veeda Kala has a bachelor’s degree in classical piano (2018) and master’s
degree cum laude in music psychology and piano pedagogy as a minor (2020)
from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.
Jaan Ross lõpetas 1980. aastal Eesti Muusika- ja Teatriakadeemia cum laude
muusikateadlase ja pedagoogina, 1988. a. kaitses kunstiteaduste kandidaadi
väitekirja “Konsonantsuse objektiivsed eeltingimused muusikas” Leedu Muusika-
ja Teatriakadeemias ning 1992. a. psühholoogiadoktori väitekirja Turu
Abo Akadeemias. Ross on mitmete Eesti ja välismaa teadusühingute liige. Eesti
Teaduste Akadeemia liikmeks valiti Ross 2003. aastal, aastatel 2009-2018 oli
ta Euroopa Kognitiivsete Muusikateaduste Ühingu (ESCOM) juhatuse liige.
Jaan Ross graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre cum
laude as a musicologist and educationalist in 1980, defended his first doctoral
thesis “Objective preconditions of consonance in music” in art sciences at the
Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in 1988, and his second doctoral
dissertation in psychology at Åbo Akademi University in 1992. Ross is a member
of several Estonian and international scientific societies. He was elected
a member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences in 2003; in 2009–2018 he was
a board member of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music.
The Creation Story in Philosophy: Mr Berkeley’s Response to Lady Percival
Associate Professor of History of Philosophy
University of Tartu
Keywords: Berkeley, history of philosophy, revealed religion, the Creation story, early modern period
The paper discusses George Berkeley’s metaphysical account of the Creation in his
work Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous (1713). As we know from Berkeley’s
correspondence, his detailed attempt to show that his immaterialist philosophy is
compatible with the Mosaic description of the Creation was occasioned by an objection
from the wife of his friend Sir John Percival.
According to Berkeley’s philosophy, only minds and ideas exist. Physical things such
as books and trees are mere collections of ideas in human minds. No thing can exist
unless there is a mind to perceive it. Yet the Mosaic story states that many things were
created and existed before humans came into being. Lady Percival pointed out that
Berkeley’s view makes it hard to understand how things could be created if there were
no human beings around to perceive them.
In response, Berkeley offered a sophisticated metaphysical construct in which the
creation of the physical world is interpreted as God’s decree to produce certain kinds of
ideas in potential perceivers.
The paper aims to show how Berkeley’s response to Lady Percival’s objection reflects
the complicated relationship between philosophy and revealed religion in the early
18th century. Berkeley’s commitment to biblical truth sets significant limits to his
Roomet Jakapi on Tartu Ülikooli filosoofia ajaloo kaasprofessor. Tema peamised
uurimis- ja õpetamisvaldkonnad on varauusaegne filosoofia ja analüütiline
Roomet Jakapi is Associate Professor of History of Philosophy at the University
of Tartu. His main fields of research and teaching are early modern
philosophy and analytic philosophy of religion.
We can’t get by without the pragmatics corpus. Corpus pragmatics and the pragmatics corpus
Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
University of Tartu
Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
University of Tartu
Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
University of Tartu
Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
University of Tartu
Keywords: discourse marker, Estonian language, language statistics corpus pragmatics, register, (inter)subjectivity, text type
Within the project “Pragmatics above grammar: Subjectivity and intersubjectivity in
Estonian registers and text types” (PRG341) we are studying the expression of subjectivity
and intersubjectivity in different written and spoken registers of modern Estonian.
We focus on adverbs that function as discourse markers (e.g. vist ‘maybe, probably’,
ilmselt ‘apparently, obviously’, tegelikult ‘actually’), markers that develop from main
clauses containing cognition verbs that take sentence complements (e.g. (ma) arvan
‘I think’, usun ‘I believe’, (mulle) tundub ‘it seems (to me), it appears (that)’) as well as
modal and performative verbs (e.g. võib (juhtuda) ‘can (happen)’, peaks (tulema) ‘should
(come)’; kinnitan/väidan (olevat) ‘I affirm/claim’). The analysis combines quantitative
corpus-linguistic and qualitative pragmatic approaches, thus belonging to the field of
corpus pragmatics. Unlike previous studies of related topics, the project systematically
compares the usage of markers in different registers (spoken, online communication,
print texts) and text types.
The pilot studies performed thus far have revealed several problems with the existing
Estonian corpora, important in the study of pragmatics. Firstly, some text types
are underrepresented or not represented at all, the text types cannot always be distinguished,
and the particular text may not always correspond to the nominal text type
(e.g. an academic text may contain quotes from texts of other types). All of this makes
it difficult to do comparative statistical analysis of different text types. Secondly, the
markers under examination are multifunctional and identifying their (inter)subjective
function requires consideration of context broader than a single sentence. However, the
public search systems for the existing corpora do not provide this context. For instance,
the discourse marker function of cognition verbs is indicated primarily by the fact that
the topic of the conversation or text follows through the subordinate clause, not the main
clause. Since the available search systems do not provide context larger than a single
sentence, the identification of the topic of the discourse, and therefore of the potential
discourse-marker function of the verb, is made more difficult.
To avoid these problems, the project working group is developing a new “Pragmatics”
corpus, being created in the SketchEngine environment. The corpus is made up of 10
subcorpora representing different text types and registers. Each subcorpus contains
roughly 500,000 words.
Külli Prillop (PhD) on Tartu Ülikooli eesti fonoloogia teadur. Lisaks fonoloogia
uurimisele osaleb ta pragmaatika projektirühmas, on vana kirjakeele korpuse
üks koostajatest ja on loonud korpuste märgendusprogramme.
Külli Prillop (PhD) is Research Fellow of Estonian phonology at the Institute
of Estonian and General Linguistics, University of Tartu. She is also a member
of the project team of pragmatics, one of the compilers of the corpus of old literary
Estonian, and has created tagging solutions for text corpora.
Tiit Hennoste (PhD) on Tartu Ülikooli eesti ja üldkeeleteaduse instituudi
kaasprofessor. Tema peamine uurimisvaldkond on suuline eesti keel ja suhtlus,
lisaks eesti keele allkeeled ja spontaanse netisuhtluse keel.
Tiit Hennoste (PhD) is Associate Professor at the Institute of Estonian and
General Linguistics of the University of Tartu. His main fields of research are
spoken Estonian and spoken interaction, varieties of Estonian, and the language
of spontaneous online communication.
Külli Habicht (PhD) on Tartu Ülikooli eesti ja üldkeeleteaduse instituudi
eesti keele kaasprofessor. Tema põhilised uurimisvaldkonnad on eesti vanem
kirjakeel, kirjakeele morfosüntaktiline varieerumine ja muutumine ning pragmaatikaüksuste
Külli Habicht (PhD) is Associate Professor of the Estonian language at the
Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics, University of Tartu. Her main
research areas are older literary Estonian, morphosyntactic variations and
development of the literary language, and the development of pragmatic units.
Helle Metslang (PhD) on Tartu Ülikooli emeriitprofessor. Tema uurimisvaldkondadeks
on morfosüntaks, pragmaatika, keele dünaamika, keele varieerumine,
ajalooline sotsiolingvistika, kontrastiivlingvistika ja keeletüpoloogia.
Helle Metslang (PhD) is Professor Emerita at the University of Tartu. Her
research interests include morphosyntax, pragmatics, language dynamics, language
variation, historical sociolinguistics, contrastive linguistics, and language
Rutt Hinrikus (75), Paul Hagu (75), Juri Berezkin (75), Chas S. Clifton (70), Diane Goldstein
(65), Monika Kropej (65), Urmas Sutrop (65), Aado Lintrop (65), Eva Toulouze (65),
Tatjana Minnijahmetova (Tatiana Minniyakhmetova) (60), Kadri Tamm (60), Mari-Ann
Remmel (55), Ell Vahtramäe (55), Ene Kõresaar (50), Risto Järv (50), Piret Voolaid (50),
Kanni Labi (50), Virve Sarapik (50), Katre Kikas (40), Lina Gergova (40), Jüri Metssalu
(40), Anastasiya Astapova (35), Olga Ivaškevitš (35).
Stalinism and folkloristics: Ideologies of political power in science
On 27 August 2021 Kaisa Langer defended her doctoral dissertation titled Estonian
Folklore in the Context of Late Stalinist Folkloristics to obtain the degree of Doctor of
Philosophy in Folkloristics. Her opponent Tiiu Jaago gives an overview of the dissertation.
A brief summary of the events of Estonian folklorists from July to December 2021.
A brief summary of the events of Estonian folklorists from April to July 2021.