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Browsing by department "Puhetieteiden laitos"

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  • Anttila, Hanna (2008)
    Goals This study aims to map the effect of interrogative function on the intonation of spontaneous and read Finnish. Earlier research shows that the most prominent feature in Finnish question intonation is an appeal to the listener. Question word questions typically start with a high peak which is followed by falling intonation. In yes/no questions, F0 remains on a high level until the word carrying sentence stress and then falls. Final rises are mainly found in intonation clichés such as "Ai mitä?" ("What?") These earlier results are based on read speech and enacted dialogues. In this study, questions and statements found in spontaneous dialogues were compared. These utterances were also compared with read versions of the same utterances. Fundamental frequency values were compared using a mixed model. Contours were also grouped using auditory and visual inspection. Thus it was possible to compare frequencies of contour types according to utterance type and speech style. The position of questions in the F0 distribution of the whole material was also investigated in this study. Method he material consisted of four spontaneous dialogues and their read versions. The speakers were young adults from the Helsinki metropolitan area, four females and four males. The whole material was first divided into broad dialogue function categories arising from the material and F0 curves were calculated for each category. After this, 277 questions and 244 statements were selected for closer inspection. Values reflecting F0 distribution and contour shape were measured from the F0 contours of these utterances. A mixed model was used to analyse the differences. Utterance type, question type, speech style and speaker gender were used as fixed effects. The frequencies of F0 contour types were compared using a Chi square test. Additional material in this study came from eight young female speakers in central Finland. Results and conclusions In the mixed model analysis, significant differences were found both between questions and statements and between spontaneous and read speech. Generally, utterance type affected the variables reflecting contour type while speech style affected the variables reflecting F0 distribution. The effect of question type was not clearly visible. In read speech the contours resembled earlier results more closely. Speakers had different strategies in differentiating between questions and statements. In the whole material, F0 was slightly higher in questions than in statements. The effect of dialectal background could be seen in the contour types. The results show that interrogative function affects intonation in both spontaneous and read Finnish.
  • Harjula, Hanna (2009)
    Nowadays it is impossible to deny the importance of organizational communication and business strategy. During recent years it has been understood, that these two areas are strongly linked together it is impossible to fulfill a strategy without communication. Also research in these fields has developed into the same direction. It has been widely acknowledged, that strategy implementation and organizational communication are an important part of all employees work particularly in expert organizations. However, there is only little research of strategy communication from employee perspective. This master's thesis explores employee views on strategy and strategy communication in an expert organization. The research area is approached through two research questions. The first explores employee views on strategy communication meetings, special events that were held in spring 2009. The second research question surveys the strategy knowledge and understanding of the employees as well as their attitude to the strategy. Also willingness to work according the company values is studied. The study is done using a survey method: a questionnaire is tailored to the needs of the organization. Both structured statements and open questions are included in the survey. The gathered data is analyzed using statistical and qualitative methods. The target organization is an expert company operating in five countries. The survey was sent to company's Swedish employees in June 2009. As a result a data with 313 responses(44.4 % of employees in the country) was gathered. As the result of this study the strategy communication meetings can be regarded as successful events. Thanks to this, also strategy knowledge and understanding of personnel showed quite good levels. A positive attitude towards the strategy and the values was also noticed. In the analysis besides the overall views, also views of different respondent groups were compared. In statistical tests it was noticed that managers and persons involved in the strategy process knew and understood the strategy better than average. Ages and working units also had some influences to the views. The results of the study reinforce the strong link between strategy and communication in the target organization special communication meetings have been a way to create strategy knowledge, understanding and positive attitudes towards the strategy. Also the strong role of top and middle management is emphasized in the study. Common strategy communication problems were found as well. Employees were proved to be interested in the strategy and willing to work according the company values in their work. Communication will be essential also in the implementation phase a central requisite for success is to understand communication as a way to implement strategy.
  • Vehkanen, Laura Helena (2008)
    Topic avoidance in romantic relationships has not been researched before in Finnish speech communication research, and this study was expected to increase the understanding of a phenomenon that acquires relatively dramatic attributes in everyday conversation. The aim of this study was to describe topic avoidance based on what was told in the interviews, and to describe the beliefs concerning functional or dysfunctional relational communication that can be interpreted from the interviewees' speech when they talk about topic avoidance. The theoretical reference frame of this study consists of the Communication Privacy Management Theory, relational dialectics, and earlier, mostly American research on topic avoidance. Ten Finnish people aged 22-31, who all had previous experience on one or more marital or common-law relationships were interviewed for this study. Additional material for the study was gathered from the interviewees by using the role playing method to describe interactional events where something essential is left unsaid in the context of romantic relationship. The following values were attributed to functional communication in romantic relationships: openness, equality, honesty, trust and positivity. The dialectical nature of the phenomenon being researched is evident in the way that along with openness, the interviewees talked about excessive openness that should occasionally be avoided in the context of relational communication by leaving things unsaid. Topic avoidance was seen both as a conscious strategic communication for managing privacy, and as an uncontrollable force of nature that at its worst destroys the relationship. When topic avoidance is seen as strategic communication, the choice concerning what is left unsaid is made by weighing the following dimensions against each other: risks/ benefits (for self, relationship), protects/ does not protect (self, partner, relationship), burdens/ does not burden (self, partner, relationship), honesty/ dishonesty, responsibility lies with self/ responsibility does not lie with self. Topic avoidance was acceptable if it was used in order to preserve the relationship, as opposed to gaining power in the relationship or causing insecurity for the partner. The acceptability of topic avoidance varied according to whether it differed from lying or not. When the interviewees talk about topic avoidance, their speech can be interpreted to mean that in spite of uncontrollability, communicative choices can be made in relational communication and that skills concerning communication in romantic relationships can be learned.