Changes and continuities in the formulaic language of letters to high authorities from imperial rule to independence: Finland, 1899–1923

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This paper presents initial findings from my ongoing research, which examines the changes and continuities in the use of formulaic language in the context of a political entity that transitioned from imperial rule to independence between the 1890s and the 1920s. The subject of research is Finland, one of the imperial borderlands in Europe that gained independence as a result of the First World War, and where the high administration was partially reconstructed after independence. The study compares letters sent by citizens supreme political authorities before and after independence. The source material consists of letters from ordinary citizens to the Governors-General of Finland during the last decades of Russian rule (1899–1917) and similar letters to the President of Finland in the years after independence (1919–1923). Around 1200 pages of Finnish text have been transcribed from this material using HTR technology and Transkribus software. In the paper, I examine the forms of address used in the two corpora and test the keyness analysis on the transcribed material.
Period8 Feb 2024
Event titleFormulaic Language in Historical Research and Data Extraction
Event typeConference
LocationAmsterdam, NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational