The Finno-Ugrians are a diverse group of peoples related by an ancient common linguistic heritage distinct from that of the Indo-Europeans who surround them. Of the approximately 25 million Finno-Ugrians, the best known are the Estonians and Finns on the Eastern Baltic Littoral and the Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin. But they also include the Sámis (Lapps) in the northern Fenno-Scandian and Kola Peninsulas, the Erzas, Moksas, Maris, Udmurts, and Komis of the northern woodland zone of European Russia and the Khantys and Mansis of Western Siberia. Distantly related to the Finno-Ugrians are the various Samoyed peoples of Siberia, the Nenets, Enets, Nganassans and Selkups.
Finno-Ugric Studies at the University of Toronto is devoted to the languages, literatures and cultures of the three main groups, the Estonians, Finns and Hungarians. These areas are of interest in themselves but also because of their role in shaping the histories and cultures of their respective geographic space. Because of their centuries-long association with the Slavic peoples, in particular the Russians, Finno-Ugric Studies can be of value to students of Slavic studies. The language courses offered by the three Finno-Ugric programs will be of interest to students of general linguistics who desire to acquire knowledge of a non-Indo-European language.
Undergraduate Secretary: Professor M. Tarnawsky, 121 St. Joseph St., Room 429, Toronto, ON M5S 1J4 (416/926-2075)
Estonian Studies: Estonian is spoken by approximately one million people in present-day Estonia and some 72,000 in other parts of the world, including 18,000 in Canada. Closely related to Finnish and more distantly to Hungarian, Estonian is one of the few Finno-Ugric languages to exist surrounded by speakers of Indo-European languages.
An ancient people, the Estonians have preserved their language and culture despite centuries of domination by other nations. Not only is their heritage enormously rich in folk epics and songs, but Estonians enjoy a vigorous and diversified literary tradition which continues in Estonia proper and in their adoptive countries.
Estonian studies at the University of Toronto are concerned with the language, literature, and culture of Estonia. The language courses will be of interest to those wishing to improve their language skills, as well as to students of general linguistics who desire to acquire a knowledge of a non-Indo-European language.
Finnish Studies: A nation of five million people, Finland is situated between West and East, between Sweden and Russia, sharing for thousands of years religious, historical, political, social, and cultural influences and experiences with its neighbours and the different worlds they represent.
Finnish, a Finno-Ugric language related to Estonian and Hungarian, is spoken by 94% of Finland's population, by 300,000 in Sweden, and by large numbers in Canada, the United States, and other countries. The other constitutionally recognized group, the Finland-Swedes, comprises over six percent of the population. The Finns have a strong commitment to their languages and to their culture. Their national epic, the Kalevala, compiled in the 19th century from old Finnish epic narrative poems and incantations, soon became a national symbol and continues to this day to inspire the growth and development of the country's creative force. Today the entire world responds to Finnish achievements in music, literature, the arts and architecture, and celebrates the work of such outstanding figures as Jean Sibelius, Alvar Aalto, and Eliel and Eero Saarinen.
Finnish studies at the University of Toronto are presently engaged in teaching the Finnish language - a three-year sequence together with a linguistics course, to be introduced later, that will be of interest to all students of language - and in offering other courses on the literature and culture of Finland.
Hungarian Studies: Hungarian is spoken by ten and a half million inhabitants of present-day Hungary, about three million people in the neighbouring countries, and perhaps as many as an additional two million around the world. These figures make Hungarian, which is related to Finnish, Estonian, and Lappish, but virtually no other language in Europe, by far the largest minority language in a vast sea of Indo-European speakers.
Preserving their national identity by keeping their unique language alive has been a major concern for Hungarians ever since they settled in the Carpathian Basin over a thousand years ago. Yet far from secluding themselves, they have actively engaged in European history and politics and thereby have shaped their country into a highly cultured and, at times, quite powerful and influential nation. Many Hungarians settled abroad and contributed to the civilizations of their adopted countries. Those who achieved fame in recent decades include Bartók, Moholy-Nagy, Ormandy, Szentgyörgyi, Szilárd, and Vasarely.
Hungarian studies at the University of Toronto are concerned with the language, literature, and culture of Hungary and with the international role of the country, including the particular problem of Hungarian immigration to Canada.
Enrolment in the Estonian, Finnish, or Hungarian program requires the completion of four courses; no minimum GPA required.
ESTONIAN STUDIES (B.A.)
Minor program Minor program: R17561 (4 full courses or their equivalent)
Four full course equivalents from EST 100Y, 200Y, 210H, 300Y, 400Y, 420Y; FIN 220H
FINNISH STUDIES (B.A.)
Consult Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.
Major program Major program: M10891 (6 full courses or their equivalent)
Minor program Minor program: R10891 (4 full courses or their equivalent)
Four full course equivalents from FIN
HUNGARIAN STUDIES (B.A.)
Consult Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.
Major program Major program: M11241 (6 full courses or their equivalent)
Minor program Minor program: R11241 (4 full courses or their equivalent)
Four courses from: HUN 100Y, 200Y, 310Y, 320Y, 351H, 440Y, 450H, 451H; HIS 453H NOTE: POL 440Y is a balloted course with preference given to Political Science students
For Distribution Requirement purposes, all EST, FIN and HUN courses are classified as HUMANITIES courses.
The World Literature Program also includes EST and FIN courses; see under WLD
NOTE The Department reserves the right to assign students to courses appropriate to their level of competence in Estonian.
The basics of Estonian: elementary phonology, morphology, and syntax. Emphasis on
reading and speaking as well as writing skills. (Offered in alternate years)
Continued emphasis on basic language skills, on acquisition of both active and passive
vocabulary. (Offered in alternate years)
A comparative survey of oral traditions of peoples on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea (Finns, Carelians, Estonians, Livonians, Latvians) and their impact on these national cultures (e.g. Kalevala, Lalevipoeg, Lacplesis). No knowledge of Finnic or Baltic language required.
Advanced grammar and stylistics through study of a variety of texts; problems of
composition; translation; oral and written practice. (Offered in alternate years)
A survey of the major writers and literary periods in Estonian literature. From Käsu
Hans', Lament of Tartu to the National Awakening. Republican, Soviet, expatriate
literature, and the New Awakening. Readings in Estonian or English. (Offered in alternate
A reading and research project of significant depth in a major topic in Estonian
language, literature or culture approved and supervised by an instructor.
NOTE The Department reserves the right to assign students to courses appropriate to their level of competence in Finnish.
An introductory language course for students with no knowledge of Finnish. The acquisition of a basic vocabulary and of an understanding of elementary structural features through practice in comprehension, speaking, reading and writing. (Offered twice in a three year cycle)
The four language skills (speaking, listening, reading and writing) honed by discussion
of Finnish literary texts as well as by compositions in Finnish about these texts, by a
series of conversation exercises, and by analysis of morphology, syntax and word
formation. Translation is used to aid in language learning. (Offered twice in a three year
The historical, political, social and religious life of Finland expressed in its classical works of literature, including the Kalevala, in other major components of the cultural tradition (music, the visual and performing arts, architecture) and in national myths and symbols. Readings in English. (Offered in alternate years)
A survey of the linguistic structures of the Finno-Ugric languages including Estonian, Finnish and Hungarian. Focus is to gain insights into workings of non-Indo-European languages. No prior knowledge of Finno-Ugric languages or linguistics required.
Development of Finnish cinema from its parochial beginnings to its international recognition. The great pastoral tradition; the war memories (Laine, Kassila, Parikka); socio-political engagement of the 60s (Donner, Jarva), the paucity of the 70s (Mollberg); the universal outsider themes of the 80s (Aki and Mika Kaurismäki). Readings and subtitles in English. (Offered in alternate years)
Advanced grammar and stylistics approached primarily through the study of texts that
vary in complexity and style. Problems of composition and translation; oral and written
practice; intensive and extensive reading. (Offered twice in a three year cycle)
An examination of the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala: its relationship to the tradition of folk poetry; its quality as an epic poem; the mythological, religious, and cultural dimensions of its world view; its role in Finland's nation building in the 19th and 20th centuries. Readings in English. (Offered in alternate years)
Major issues and dimensions of the culture and experience of the Finnish immigrants to Canada, including Finnish Canadian literature, theatre, and press. Conceptual and ideological contributions to working class culture, women's lives, religious and social attitudes and values. Readings in English. (Offered in alternate years)
The course traces the construction of a unified Finnish culture over the centuries from subcultures and values which ultimately have their definitions in the regional diversity of the area now called Finland. It focuses on the main divisions into western and eastern Finland, but also explores the Swedish and the Sami (Lappish) heritage in the context of old cultural regions. The sources used are cultural history texts as well as Finnish literature.
An examination of the major Finland-Swedish authors (Rune Coerg, Tgrelicks, Sodergran, Tove Jansson) and the linguistic reality of Finland as it has changed over time. The distinctly Finland-Swedish culture is explored, analysed and assessed in its Finnish and Scandinavian context. Cultural giants are studied (Sibelius, etc.).
Historical, structural, and thematic study of the short fiction of Finland from the Romanticism of the 19th century to contemporary post-structuralism and post-modernism. Works of Runeberg, Topelius, Kivi, Canth, Aho, Jotuni, Lehtonen, Schildt, Sillanpää, Haanpää, Meri, Hyry, Salama, Mukka, Liksom, Huldén, and others. Readings in English. (Offered in alternate years)
A chronological study of the development of Finnish literature, emphasizing outstanding
writers, significant movements and trends, the emergence and transformations of the major
genres and their relationship to Finnish folklore and to the national awakening. Readings
in Finnish. (Offered in alternate years)
NOTE The Department reserves the right to assign students to courses appropriate to their level of competence in Hungarian.
The basic features and logic of the language. Development of conversational skills and the reading of easy texts. Open only to students with little or no knowledge of Hungarian. (Offered in alternate years)
Review of descriptive grammar; studies in syntax; vocabulary building; intensive oral
practice; composition; reading and translation. (Offered in alternate years)
A synchronic and diachronic survey of the Hungarian language. Conceptualized summary of grammar, syntax, and stylistics; studies in the genesis and historical stages of the language. Brief consideration of living dialects, the basics of poetics; selected problems in translation and language teaching. Readings in Hungarian. (Offered in alternate years)
A chronological study of the development of Hungarian literature since the 12th century; emphasis both on outstanding writers and on significant movements or themes. Transformations of ideas and changes in language and style. Readings in Hungarian. (Offered in alternate years)
Developments until the sixties; auteurism of the sixties (Jancsó, Szabó); documentarism of the seventies (Mészáros); new trends since the eighties. Relations with the European cinema; contributions to the international film world and to film theory. (Offered in alternate years)
Continuity and change in form and content studied from the perspective of the native literary and social tradition and in relation to the evolution of modern European fiction; analogies with other genres and arts; survey of criticism. Readings in Hungarian. (Offered in alternate years)
Hungarian theatre prior to the 19th century; birth of the national drama (Katona, Madách); populism and cosmopolitanism; post-war tendencies (Hubay, Orkény, Sütö). Hungarian drama in the European context; the theatre as a social institution. Readings in Hungarian. (Offered in alternate years)
The course scrutinizes the oeuvre of Miklós Jancsó, Márta Mészáros, and István
Szabó, tracing changes in their style and outlook.
Translation course concentrating on Hungarian prose translation
Translation course concentrating on Hungarian prose translation
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