University news

Tommi Jantunen appointed as Professor of Finnish Sign Language

The Rector of the University of Jyväskylä Keijo Hämäläinen has appointed PhD, Docent Tommi Jantunen as Professor of Finnish Sign Language from 1 December 2018. The professorship is placed in the Department of Language and Communication Studies at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Tommi Jantunen has pursued studies at the Universities of Helsinki and Jyväskylä. He achieved his doctoral degree at the University of Jyväskylä in 2008. His dissertation dealt with the nature of syllables and clauses in Finnish Sign Language. In 2012 Jantunen was appointed as a docent of Finnish Sign Language at JYU, specialising in the structure of sign languages.

Jantunen has worked at JYU, for example, as a postdoctoral researcher funded by the Academy of Finland in 2010–2012 and as an academy researcher in 2013–2018. Earlier he has also worked as a researcher in the Finnish Association of the Deaf and as a lecturer at the HUMAK University of Applied Sciences.

His research has focused on structural description of sign language from a usage-based perspective. In this research Jantunen together with his collaboration partners has used plenty of latest technologies such as computer vision and movement capturing.

In recent years Jantunen has directed his research especially into exploring the interface of language and gestures. Since autumn 2018 Jantunen has also been in charge of collecting a corpus of Finland’s sign languages at the JYU-based Sign Language Centre.

In Finland, JYU is the only university hosting an academic community of sign language users. The operation of the Sign Language Centre is based on the specific national task assigned to JYU by the Ministry of Education. The main task of the Centre is to conduct, develop and coordinate sign language research and related higher education in collaboration with other actors in this field in Finland.

Further information:

Tommi Jantunen
040 805 3185

Communications Officer Sari Laapotti
040 805 3575