Formula: Units of Speech – ‘Words’ of Verbal Art 17.-19.5.

Date(s) - 17/05/2017 - 19/05/2017
All Day

Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura

Categories No Categories

Formula: Units of Speech – ‘Words’ of Verbal Art. A multidisciplinary seminar-workshop

Registration is now open for the international, multidisciplinary event Formula: Units of Speech – ‘Words’ of Verbal Art.

Formulaic language is a topic of rising interest across researchers in diverse but related disciplines, such as anthropology, folkloristics, linguistics, philology and semiotics. Despite employing different methods and materials, their findings are often complementary or even convergent. On the other hand, a critical mass of open, interdisciplinary dialogue has yet to occur. Formula: Units of Speech – ‘Words’ of Verbal Art aims to bring different approaches to the formula into dialogue, and especially to bridge the divide between formula research on unmarked spoken or written discourse and that on forms of verbal art such as oral poetry.

Keynote speakers:
• Professor Karl Reichl (University of Bonn)
• Professor Alison Wray (Cardiff University)

A preliminary program is provided below. For updates, please visit our webpage:

Registration can be made on-line at:

The event is open to the public. We ask a participation fee of 25€ to cover the cost of lunches and a printed copy of the working papers. Keynote lectures and paper presentations may be attended free of charge.

Formula: Units of Speech – ‘Words’ of Verbal Art is organized by Folklore Studies, University of Helsinki, and the Finnish Literature Society.

Venue: the Great Hall, of the Finnish Literature Society
Hallituskatu 1, 2nd floor

Wednesday, May 17th

08:45‒09:00 Coffee and Registration
09:00‒09:15 Opening Words
09:15–10:30 Keynote lecture, Alison Wray (Cardiff University): Memorising Songs in Languages You Don’t Know: Formulaicity in the Service of Accuracy
10:30–10:45 Coffee
10:45–11:30 Jarkko Niemi (University of Tampere): Analysing Fabrics of Sung Language in Oral Tradition: A Systemic-Ecological Perspective on Performance of Culture as Skill
11:30–12:15 Heini Arjava (University of Helsinki): Rhythmic Language Adapting to Music
12:15–13:45 Lunch
13:45–14:30 Timo Kaartinen (University of Helsinki): Formulas and the Formality of Discourse
14:30‒15:15 Alexandra Arkhipova (Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow) & Elena Jugai (Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences): Several Ways to Mention “this”: The Semantics and Pragmatics of the Soviet “Eesopian Language”
15:15–15:30 Coffee
15:30–16:15 Hans Nollet (KU Leuven): Formulas in Neo-Latin Poetry as a Means to Language Enrichment and Self-Representation: Language Tips and Sociolinguistics in Justus Lipsius’ Poems
16:15–17:00 Kati Kallio (Finnish Literature Society (SKS)): Opening Formulas as Situational Interpretive Frames in Ingrian Oral Poetry

Thursday, May 18th
08:45‒09:00 Coffee
09:00–09:45 Anatoly Liberman (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities): Formulas through the Centuries
09:45‒10:30 Yelena Sessilja Helgadóttir (University of Iceland): Formulae across the North Atlantic
10:30–10:45 Coffee
10:45–11:30 Paul Kiparsky (Stanford University): Between Formula and Motif: The Theme
11:30–12:15 Chiara Bozzone (University of California, Los Angeles): Homeric Formulas between Language Acquisition and Language Change
12:15–13:45 Lunch
13:45–14:45 Poster presentations
Tatiana Bogrdanova (University of Eastern Finland): Folklore Formulas in Translation: Arthur Ransome’s Old Peter’s Russian Tales (1916)
Lital Belinko Sabah (The Hebrew University): Proverbs and Idioms in a Textual Context
Viliina Silvonen (University of Helsinki): Formulas in the Language and Music of Olonets Karelian Laments
Ilya Sverdlov (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies): Russian Scholarship on Synonyms and Formulas in Old English Poetry: Alliterative Rankings and What Varies What Where
14:45–15:00 Coffee
15:00–15:45 Sergei B. Klimenko (Institute for Linguistic Research, RAS): Rhythmic Fillers in Ifugao hudhuds
15:45–16:30 Jacqueline Ekgren (Ekgren Musikkinstitutt): Word-Accent Pairs in a Half-Line: An Essential Formula Feature for Both Old English Poetry and Norwegian stev, a Centuries-Old Tradition of Sung Accentual Poetry
16:30–17:00 Tour of the Folklore Archives of the Finnish Literature Society

Reception hosted by the Finnish Literature Society

Friday, May 19th

09:00‒09:15 Coffee
09:15–10:30 Keynote lecture, Karl Reichl (University of Bonn): Formulas in Oral Epics: The Dynamics of Metre, Memory and Meaning
10:30–10:45 Coffee
10:45–11:30 Maria V. Stanyukovich (Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Science): Anthroponymic Formulas in the hudhud Ritual Epics of the Philippines
11:30–12:15 Jukka Saarinen (Finnish Literature Society, SKS): Formula and Structure: Ways of Expressing Names in the Northern Runosong Tradition
12:15–13:45 Lunch
13:45–14:30 Daniel Sävborg (University of Tartu): Formulas in Old Norse Saga Literature
14:30‒15:15 Jonathan Roper (University of Tartu): Prefabs and Alliteration in Old English Verse
15:15–15:30 Coffee
15:30–16:15 Cristóbal Pagán Cánovas (University of Navarra): Formulaic Creativity: Connecting the Main Tenets of Cognitive Linguistics and Oral Poetics
16:15–16:45 Frog (University of Helsinki): Formulaic Language and Linguistic Multiforms
16:45–17:00 Closing Discussion