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Fred Karlsson

University of Helsinki

Department of General Linguistics





Preface 3

1. Introduction 5

2. Linguists frequently cited in the Arts and Humanities Citation Index 1975 - 1992 6

3. Finnish linguists most frequently cited in Virittäjä 1981/1 - 1993/1 12

4. Works most frequently cited in Virittäjä 1981/1 - 1993/1 13

5. Impact of individual papers in Virittäjä 1981/1 - 1993/1 18

6. Works most frequently cited in the Arts and Humanities Index,

1976 - 1983 19

Notes 21

References 22

Appendix 1: Language and linguistic journals indexed by the Arts,

and Humanities Citation Index 23


The purpose of this small and tentative study is to explore what citation analysis can tell about some aspects of the publication and citation patterns of certain (mainly Finnish) linguists. No claims for general validity are made, nor are any far-reaching conclusions warranted.

Data of the type to be presented below are interesting basically because they provide information about the most `influential' individual practitioners of linguistics, and of their pieces of work. Such data are also potentially relevant for the purpose of evaluating research, as one source of information. However, in the course of the discussion, I point out a number of caveats and qualifications that must be kept in mind when one analyzes data from the humanities in terms of citation analysis.

A pre-final version of this report was discussed at a research seminar in General Linguistics at the University of Helsinki on October 7, 1993.

Mila Engelberg, Henna Makkonen, Pirkko Paljakka, Taina Rantala, and Sari Salmisuo have been helpful in collecting the empirical data. This was done in mid 1993. Their valuable assistance is gratefully acknowledged. I am also indebted to Docent Terttu Luukkonen, Academy of Finland, for useful comments and advice.

May 23, 1994 Fred Karlsson

1. Introduction

Citation analysis is a subbranch of bibliometrics, the quantitative study of publication activity. Citation analysis is one possible method for producing measures of scientific performance. Such measures are often called indicators. Citation analysis has been used for several purposes, e.g. (i) for investigations of the coverage of library acquisitions, (ii) for investigations of how the cognitive content and social structure of scientific theories develops, and (iii) for evaluating research (Luukkonen 1991).

The key person in the history and development of citation analysis is Eugene Garfield who founded the Science Citation Index (SCI) in 1963. Later, he founded the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI) and, from 1975, the Arts and Humanities Citation Index, henceforth abbreviated A&HCI.

Citation analysis scrutinizes how researchers refer to works of other researchers. There is a vast literature trying to define what high citation rates are indicators of. It has been demonstrated several times that high citation rates correlate significantly with peer judgements (e.g. Bayer and Folger 1966). There are many reasons why citations are used: to show familiarity with the works of the pioneers of the field, to give credit for related work, to substantiate claims, to criticise previous work, to identify equipment, to create an impression of the author's learnedness, etc. (cf. Becher 1989: 86-).

Garfield (1979: 245) has characterized the basic nature of citation analysis as "-- a very general measure of the level of contribution an individual makes to the practice of science". This could be called the impact of the individual (or of an individual piece of work). A work that is repeatedly cited is useful to the scientific community. Its utility is high and it is relevant to other researchers. One might feel tempted to characterize such a work as `significant' or `important' but the precise meaning of these attributes is not easy to specify. Citations as such are not indicators of quality and significance.

Therefore it must be emphasized that a low citation rate does not prove a work or an individual to be `unsignificant'. Poor quality could be one reason for a low citation rate but there could also be many non-negative reasons. For example, an extraordinarily pioneering piece of work that runs counter to the premises of normal science could be dismissed and forgotten at least for some time. A low citation rate could also be due to the absence of a research community in a particular rare or specialized (sub)field. There is nobody around who would be interested in and referring to your brilliant ideas. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that researchers from small and distant countries have many obstacles to overcome if they want to become peers of the leading international scholars from big countries (Luukkonen 1991).

Citation analysis thus has important social dimensions. It can be used as a tool for characterizing predominant research interests.

When citation rates are derived from indexes such as A&HCI, the outcome is fully determined by what publications are indexed in the first place. Researchers who mainly publish their results in non-indexed publications will inevitably get lower citation rates. The culture- and language-bound fragmentation of the humanities is a serious problem from the viewpoint of how citation rates should be assessed. Most `small' cultures and languages are not covered by A&HCI at all.

I am not aware of any thorough bibliometric study of linguistics in general, let alone fennistics, i.e. the study of Finnish and closely related languages. My modest aim is to provide some basic data of that type. The main focus is on Finnish linguists, with a special emphasis on linguists doing research on the Finnish language (fennists). The following remarks are based on two empirical studies.

First, citation data for Finnish linguists were collected from the Arts and Humanities Citation Index. For the sake of comparison, citation data were collected also for a number of important linguists from other countries.

Second, an empirical study was made of the citations in the 1981/1-1993/1 issues of the Finnish linguistic journal Virittäjä which is the main publication forum for fennists. The corpus contained the lists of references of the 245 papers published during the period that was covered. The reference lists were made computer-readable by optical scanning (only the first issue of 1993 had appeared at the time of the scanning in June 1993).

2. Linguists frequently cited in the Arts and Humanities Citation Index 1975 - 1992

Citation data on (hopefully) all important Finnish linguists were gathered by Mila Engelberg from the Arts and Humanities Citation Index for the years 1975 through 1992 (inclusive). For the years 1980-1989, the CD-ROM version of the index (available in the Helsinki University Library) could be used. The years 1975-1979 and 1990-1992 were covered by manual excerption. Self-citations were excluded from the counts.

The notion `Finnish linguist' has a broad meaning in this section. It refers to the set of linguists (mainly professors, assistant professors, and docents) that presently work or sometimes have worked in language, linguistics, or phonetics departments at Finnish universities, as their main affiliation. Linguists originally from Finland that have their main affiliation abroad will be separately treated below. For determining the relevant individuals, the 1993 teaching programmes of all Finnish universities were used. Some names were added, e.g. of retired and late linguists.

Table 1 displays the results, organized in terms of specialization. For each linguist, the present affiliation is mentioned, or the last affiliation in the case of retired linguists or linguists not among us any more (UH = University of Helsinki; UTA = University of Tampere; UTU = University of Turku; ÅAU = Åbo Akademi University; AF = Academy of Finland). The term `classical philology' includes Latin and Ancient Greek. The term `ancient languages' includes other ancient languages than Latin and Greek, i.e. assyriology, indology, and Sanskrit. The cut-off point was set at 14 citations. Care was taken in order to try to include also the citations where the individuals appear as non-first authors. Obviously, some oversights might have occurred in this regard.

TABLE 1. Citation rates in A&HCI 1975-1992 for some Finnish linguists (more than 14 citations).


Ancient languages

Simo Parpola, 76, UH

Asko Parpola, 38, UH

Pentti Aalto, 36, UH

East-Asian languages

G.J. Ramstedt, 65, UH


N. E. Enkvist, 167, ÅAU

Tauno Mustanoja, 111, UH

Ralf Norrman, 40, UTA

Roger Sell, 32, ÅAU

Håkan Ringbom, 27, ÅAU

Jan-Ola Östman, 24, UH

Ossi Ihalainen, 22, UH

Matti Rissanen, 18, UH

Classical philology

Iiro Kajanto, 111, UH

Heikki Solin, 108, UH

Holger Thesleff, 80, UH

Rolf Westman, 59, ÅAU

Paavo Castren, 48, UH

Maarit Kaimio, 32, UH

Toivo Viljamaa, 21, UTU

Jaakko Frösen, 15, UH

Finno-Ugric languages

Erkki Itkonen, 27, AF

Pentti Leino, 16, UH

Auli Hakulinen, 15, UH

Pertti Virtaranta, 15, UH

General linguistics

Esa Itkonen, 61, UTU

Lauri Carlson, 53, UH

Fred Karlsson, 35, UH


Kaj B. Lindgren, 40, UH

Jarmo Korhonen, 36, UH

Kurt Nyholm, 29, ÅAU

Romance languages

Veikko Väänänen, 167, UH

Arne Klum, 27, ÅAU

Slavic languages

Valentin Kiparsky, 123, UH

Barbara Lönnqvist, 31, ÅAU

Of the 34 names mentioned, 23 are affiliated with the University of Helsinki, 7 with Åbo Akademi University in Turku, 2 with the University of Turku, 1 with the University of Tampere, and 1, the late Erkki Itkonen, with the Academy of Finland (formerly with UH). One notable feature of this population is perhaps the share of linguists from ÅAU which has a comparatively small faculty of Arts. Another feature is that four faculties (Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Oulu, Vaasa) of the eight Finnish faculties of Arts are not represented in Table 1.

One of the basic insights of citation analysis is that quantitative citation data cannot be compared across different specializations, such as English, Russian, classical philology, or general linguistics. If comparisons are to be made in regard to impact and visibility of individual researchers, they must be confined to individual specialties. It would only make sense to compare the individual citation rates of e.g. scholars in English. Such comparisons presuppose great care and delicate analysis - they will not be further pursued here.

Some general observations on the composition of Table 1 are called for. Classical philology (n=8) and English studies (n=8) are the biggest subgroups. If classical philology, assyriology, indology, and Sanskrit are grouped together as ancient languages, we get n=11. The broadly conceived ancient languages thus form the biggest subgroup. Another two discernible subgroups with at least three members are German and general linguistics.

A notable feature across language areas is that many of the most frequently cited researchers are philologists, e.g. Veikko Väänänen, Valentin Kiparsky, Iiro Kajanto, Tauno Mustanoja, Heikki Solin, and Simo Parpola.

There are no scholars of Scandinavian languages on the list, and only four representing Finnish and other Finno-Ugric languages (which is the biggest linguistic subdiscipline in Finland). Of course, this reflects the well-known dilemma of so-called national sciences. Their objects of investigation are typically national or regional cultural institutions that are inextricably intertwined with the respective language. In practice, scientific results of such studies are most often published in the respective language in journals (or books) that are not indexed e.g. by the Arts and Humanities Citation Index. If such disciplines are to get a fair bibliometric analysis, they must be separately analyzed. This will be done for fennistics in section 3.

Only two journals published in Finland are indexed by A&HCI, Neuphilologische Mitteilungen (that mainly publishes philology, especially English studies, German studies, and Romance studies), and FF Communications (mainly for folklore research). Only one Swedish journal, Moderna språk is indexed by A&HCI. It goes without saying that Finnish linguists who have published on themes that are treated in these journals are more likely to appear in Table 1 than those linguists who have not treated such themes.

It is instructive to know which journals related to language study and linguistics that are indexed by A&HCI. These are listed in Appendix 1.

There seems to be an anglocentric bias, in itself easy to understand, in the selection of indexed journals, making English studies the most densely indexed domain. There is a reasonable coverage also of classical, German, French, and Hispanic studies, as well as of general linguistics. However, as already noted above, many smaller cultures and their associated languages, as well as many new specialized subfields, are not adequately covered by A&HCI. The same is true of several new multidisciplinary fields. In the best of all worlds, all items relevant to all subdisciplines should of course be indexed. It goes without saying that this generic task is utopian.

Luukkonen (1990) has noted that practitioners of medical sciences must publish in American journals if they want to gain high citation rates. Furthermore, there is a nationalistic bias inherent in the citation habits of any researcher. Researchers tend to cite colleagues from their own country more frequently than they cite more distant researchers. This makes even more headway to researchers (mostly Americans) publishing in American journals. Similar considerations seem to be relevant for the interpretation of the linguistic data presented above.

In passing, we state another methodological note concerning the use of citation analysis in the humanities. Citation indexes are normally based on the indexing of journals. In the humanities, however, a much larger share of the results are published as monographs than in the medical or natural sciences. A fully satisfying citation analysis of subjects belonging to the humanities should therefore include monographs as well. Unfortunately, such an enterprise is presently not feasible to undertake for a large population.

Citation analysis studies of the `hard sciences' frequently make crucial use of the notion impact factor. This is a relative measure of how influential a particular indexed journal is. The more frequently the individual articles of a particular journal are cited when plotted against the number of articles, the higher is the impact factor of that journal. As far as I know, nobody has attempted to determine impact factors for linguistic journals.

For the sake of comparison, Table 2 gives the citation rates for the same period (1975-1992) of a number of well-known linguists (mostly practitioners of general linguistics) from other countries, including a few Finnish linguists working abroad. This list is not comprehensive but based on subjective sampling by the present author. I compiled a fairly brief list of influential linguists representing various theories and traditions but no claim is made that this list would be comprehensive. If the specialization of an individual linguist is not mentioned, it could reasonably be interpreted as general linguistics. Despite the caveats mentioned above, we take the liberty of presenting the data in descending frequency order with all subjects areas included. Also note that secondary references are not included in Table 2, i.e. references to works where a linguist is listed as non-first author. Furthermore, self-citations have not been excluded. This makes Table 2 roughly indicative at best.

TABLE 2. Citation rates in A&HCI 1975-1992 for some linguists active outside Finland.


Noam Chomsky, 6986,

Roman Jakobson, 3332,

John Searle, 2738, philosophy of language

William Labov, 1737,

Ferdinand de Saussure, 1644,

M.A.K. Halliday, 1481,

George Lakoff, 1427,

John Lyons, 1342,

Ray Jackendoff, 1192,

Paul Kiparsky, 1088,

Otto Jespersen, 1026,

Charles Fillmore, 913,

Dwight Bolinger, 845,

Edward Sapir, 844,

Joan Bresnan, 840,

Joseph Greenberg, 820,

Leonard Bloomfield, 790,

Bernard Comrie, 760,

Wallace Chafe, 672,

Geoffrey Leech1, 659,

James D. McCawley, 630,

Gerald Gazdar, 548,

Robin Lakoff, 517,

Eleanor Rosch, 512, cognitive psychology

Louis Hjelmslev, 480,

Wolfgang Dressler, 453,

Tanya Reinhart, 402,

Manfred Bierwisch, 374,

Kenneth Pike, 372,

John Robert Ross, 351,

Bernhard Karlgren, 341, Sinology

Zellig S. Harris, 333,

Deborah Tannen, 291,

Eugene Nida, 260,

Lauri Karttunen, 258,

Simon Dik, 254,

Victoria Fromkin, 213,

Raimo Anttila, 191,

Bertil Malmberg, 181, phonetics

Östen Dahl, 161,

Henning Andersen, 159,

John Sinclair, 154,

Suzanne Romaine, 148,

Renate Bartsch, 140,

Björn Lindblom, 130, phonetics

Wolfgang Wurzel, 122,

Jan Svartvik1, 113, English

Alvar Ellegård, 109, English

Elisabeth Engdahl, 106,

Tore Janson, 101, Latin

Per Linell, 79,

Gunnar Fant, 71, phonetics

Inger Rosengren, 68, German

Björn Collinder, 65, Finno-Ugric Languages

Christer Platzack, 60, Scandinavian

Jens Allwood, 46,

Magnus Ljung, 44, English

Paul Diderichsen, 37, Danish

Even Hovdhaugen, 30,

This list of names is unsystematic and therefore no generalizations will be attempted. However, the data contain a number of interesting details. Noam Chomsky's impact on the discipline of linguistics is enormous. He is by far the most widely cited linguist and has more than twice the number of citations compared to any linguist on the list. Roman Jakobson and Ferdinand de Saussure are other persistent classics. However, both John Searle (philosophy of language) and William Labov (sociolinguistics) have higher citation rates than de Saussure.

Of linguists related to Finland, especially Paul Kiparsky (who has been working in the US since the mid 1960s) has considerable citation impact (1,088 citations). Lauri Karttunen (258 citations) and Raimo Anttila (191 citations) also have higher citation rates than those Finnish linguists displayed in Table 1.

As for other Nordic linguists, Otto Jespersen (1,026 citations), Louis Hjelmslev (480 citations), and Bernhard Karlgren (341 citations) are clearly visible. Apart from Hjelmslev, Jespersen, Karlgren, and Kiparsky, the most cited Nordic linguists tend to score 100-200 citations across the various linguistic and language subareas, cf. Anttila (historical linguistics), Malmberg (phonetics, general linguistics), Dahl (general linguistics), Enkvist (English), Väänänen (Romance philology), Andersen (historical morphology, Slavic), Lindblom (phonetics), V. Kiparsky (Slavic), Engdahl (general linguistics), Solin (Latin), and Janson (Latin).2

3. Finnish linguists most frequently cited in Virittäjä 1981/1 - 1993/1

Table 3 displays the top citation rates disclosed by analysis of the Virittäjä corpus mentioned in the introductory section. Virittäjä appears with four issues a year. The Virittäjä issues under consideration totalled 49 (1981/1 through 1993/1). These 49 issues contained 245 papers proper, or notes, observations, replies, squibs, or other items that were considered equivalent to scientific papers and contained citations of other works. Book reviews were not included.

Of the 245 papers, only 10 (4.1%) were coauthored by two or more authors. Coauthoring is thus very rare at least in fennistics, and probably throughout the humanities. Note, by way of comparison, that according to Garfield (1979: 242), "-- the Lindsey and Brown study [1977] shows that multiauthor papers accounted for only 17-25% of samples of published papers in the fields of economics, social work, and sociology, but 47-81% of samples of published papers in geronotoly, psychiatry, psychology, and biochemistry". The much discussed problem of the bias introduced into citation analysis by considering first author names only is thus not important in the humanities. In the analysis of the Virittäjä citations, secondary authors were given due credit anyway.

The 245 papers accepted for inclusion in the corpus contained a total of some 5,030 citations which constitute our basic corpus. This gives an average of some 20 citations per paper. By citation we mean an item listed in the reference section of the paper. Those papers that did not contain an ordinary list of references were read and eventual citations in the text were manually retrieved. All self-citations were excluded from the counts. The cut-off point in Table 3 was set at 20 citations.

TABLE 3. Citation rates for Finnish linguists in 49 issues of Virittäjä (1981/1 - 1993/1).

NAME, N(cit)

Terho Itkonen, 117

Erkki Itkonen, 93

Lauri Hakulinen, 92

Fred Karlsson, 89

Auli Hakulinen, 82

Martti Rapola, 80

Lauri Kettunen, 77

E. N. Setälä, 73

Jorma Koivulehto, 66

Pertti Virtaranta, 60

Osmo Ikola, 52

Lauri Posti, 50

Aarni Penttilä, 33

Heikki Leskinen, 32

Mikko Korhonen, 31

Heikki Ojansuu, 31

Veikko Ruoppila, 30

Jalo Kalima, 25

Antti Sovijärvi, 24

Pauli Saukkonen, 22

Paavo Siro, 22

Heikki Paunonen, 21

Kalevi Wiik, 21

The most cited scholar is Terho Itkonen (born 1933-), followed by Erkki Itkonen (actually a Fenno-Ugrist, 1913-1992) and Lauri Hakulinen (1899-1985). Emil Nestor Setälä (1864-1935) is the Grand Old Man of fennistics. His influence is still considerable. Lauri Kettunen's (1885-1963) scholarship generated some controversy but the verdict of history assigns him a prominent position.

The overall impression of the data is that the classical fennistic traditions - especially diachronic phonology and morphology, dialectology - have remained strong. The main (relative) newcomers include syntax and conversation analysis (A. Hakulinen), word borrowing and etymology (J. Koivulehto; as such a long-standing topic), stylistics (P. Saukkonen), sociolinguistics (H. Paunonen), (morpho)phonology (K. Wiik), syntax and morphology (F. Karlsson).

4. Works most frequently cited in Virittäjä 1981/1 - 1993/1

The following list contains those roughly 40 works, i.e. books or articles, that were most frequently cited in the 49 issues of Virittäjä 1981/1-1993/1. References to various versions, e.g. printings, of the same work are included in the same count. So are references to the individual parts of multi-part works. Each item contains the year(s) of publication (several if there are several printings, editions, or parts) and the total number of citations (self-citations excluded). The cut-off point was set at 5 citations.

TABLE 4. Works most frequently cited in Virittäjä 1981/1-1993/1


Lauri Hakulinen, 1941-1979, Suomen kielen rakenne ja kehitys [Structure and development of Finnish], 60

Auli Hakulinen and Fred Karlsson, 1979-1988, Nykysuomen lauseoppia [Syntax of modern Finnish], 41

Lauri Kettunen, 1930-1940, Suomen murteet I-III [Finnish dialects I-III], 24

Aarni Penttilä, 1957-1963, Suomen kielioppi [Finnish grammar], 20

Erkki Itkonen, 1966, Kieli ja sen tutkimus [Language and its research], 18

Daniel Juslenius, 1745, Suomalaisen Sana-Lugun Coetus [Attempt at a dictionary of Finnish], 18

E. N. Setälä, 1880-1966, Suomen kielen lauseoppi [Finnish syntax], 17

Martti Rapola, 1966, Suomen kielen äännehistorian luennot [Lectures on the historical phonology of Finnish], 16

Mikko Korhonen, 1981, Johdatus lapin kielen historiaan [Introduction to the history of the Lapp (Saami) language], 14

Jalo Kalima, 1936, Itämerensuomalaisten kielten balttilaiset lainasanat [Baltic loanwords in Baltic-Finnic languages], 13

Fred Karlsson, 1983, Suomen kielen äänne- ja muotorakenne [Phonology and morphology of Finnish], 13

Osmo Ikola, ed., 1968-1986, Nykysuomen käsikirja [Handbook of modern Finnish], 12

E. N. Setälä, 1883, Lauseopillinen tutkimus Koillis-Satakunnan kansankielestä [Syntactic investigation of the North-Eastern Satakunta dialects], 12

Arvo Laanest, 1975, Sissejuhatus läänemeresoome keeltesse [Introduction to Baltic-Finnic languages], 11

Lauri Posti, 1953, "From Pre-Finnic to Late Proto-Finnic", 11

Erkki Itkonen, 1961, Suomalais-ugrilaisen kielen- ja historiantutkimuksen alalta [Studies in Finno-Ugric linguistics and history], 10

Terho Itkonen, 1983, "Välikatsaus suomen kielen juuriin" [Preliminary overview of the roots of Finnish], 10

Heikki Leskinen, 1963, Luoteis-Laatokan murteiden äännehistoria I Konsonantit [Historical phonology of the South-Western Laatokka dialects I Consonants], 10

Paavo Siro, 1964, Suomen kielen lauseoppi [Finnish syntax], 10

Aimo Hakanen, 1973, Adjektiivien vastakohtasuhteet suomen kielessä [Oppositive relations between adjectives in Finnish], 8

Erkki Itkonen, 1946, "Zur Frage nach der Entwicklung des Vokalismus der ersten Silbe in den finnisch-ugrischen Sprachen, insbesondere im Mordwinischen", 8

Juha Janhunen, 1981, "Uralilaisen kantakielen sanastosta" [On the vocabulary of Proto-Uralic], 8

Lauri Kettunen, 1943, "Vepsän murteiden lauseopillinen tutkimus" [Syntactic investigation of Veps dialects], 8

U. T. Sirelius, 1894, "Lauseopillinen tutkimus Jääsken ja Kirvun kielimurteesta" [Syntactic investigation of the Jääski and Kirvu dialects], 8

Pertti Virtaranta, 1946, 1957, Länsiyläsatakuntalaisten murteiden äännehistoria I-II [Historical phonology of the Upper Western Satakunta dialects], 8

Valma Yli-Vakkuri, 1986, "Suomen kieliopillisten muotojen toissijainen käyttö [Secondary usage of grammatical forms in Finnish], 8

Auli Hakulinen, 1976, Suomen kielen generatiivista lauseoppia 2 [Generative syntax of Finnish 2], 7

Auli Hakulinen, Fred Karlsson and Maria Vilkuna, 1980, Suomen tekstilauseiden piirteitä: kvantitatiivinen tutkimus [Features of Finnish text sentences: a quantitative study], 7

Erkki Itkonen, 1954, "Zur Geschichte des Vokalismus der ersten Silbe im Tscheremissischen und in den permischen Sprachen", 7

Lauri Kettunen, 1962, Eestin kielen äännehistoria [Historical phonology of Estonian], 7

Matthias Martinius, 1689, Hodegus Finnicus..... eller Finsk Wägwijsare [... or introduction to Finnish], 7

Hilkka-Liisa Matihaldi, 1979, 1980, Nykysuomen modukset I-II [Moods of modern Finnish I-II], 7

E. A. Saarimaa, 1947-1971, Kielenopas [Guide to Finnish], 7

E. N. Setälä, 1891, Yhteissuomalainen äännehistoria [Historical phonology of Finnic languages], 7

Artturi Kannisto, 1901, "Lauseopillisia havaintoja läntisen Etelä-Hämeen kielimurteesta" [Syntactic observations on the dialect of South-Western Häme], 6

Sulo Latvala, 1899, "Lauseopillisia muistiinpanoja Pohjois-Savon murteesta" [Syntactic notes on the dialect of Northern Savo], 6

Viljo Nissilä, 1962, Suomalaista nimistöntutkimusta [Finnish onomastics], 6

Lauri Posti, 1942, Grundzuge der livischen Lautgeschichte, 6

Lauri Posti, 1977, "Some new contributions to the stock of Baltic loanwords in Finnic languages", 6

Martti Rapola, 1933, Suomen kirjakielen historia 1 [History of written Finnish 1], 6

Martti Rapola, 1967, "Suomenkielinen proosa Ruotsin vallan aikana" [Finnish prose during the Swedish era], 6

Alpo Räisänen, 1972, Kainuun murteiden äännehistoria I [Historical phonology of the Kainuu dialects I], 6

F. J. Wiedemann, 1875, Grammatik der ehstnischen Sprache, 6

M. Zaitseva and M. Mullonen, 1972, Slovar' vepskogo jazyka, 6

The clearly most cited work is Lauri Hakulinen's classical handbook Suomen kielen rakenne ja kehitys (SKRK, Structure and Development of the Finnish Language, 60 citations). The first part of the first edition was published in 1941. The fourth edition of SKRK appeared in 1979 and it contains more than 600 pages. SKRK is the basic source on all aspects of Finnish, especially the diachronic ones.

The second most cited work is Auli Hakulinen's and Fred Karlsson's Nykysuomen lauseoppia (Syntax of Modern Finnish, first published in 1979, second printing 1988).

It is perhaps a bit surprising to find Lauri Kettunen's Suomen murteet (Finnish Dialects) third on the list. It was published fifty years ago, in 1930-40, and is a standard source on dialect geography.

Aarni Penttilä's Suomen kielioppi (Finnish Grammar), first published in 1957, is the most extensive descriptive Finnish grammar written so far. It's appearance high up on the list is to be expected.

The four works mentioned have been cited 20 times or more. The other items on the list form a slowly declining frequency slope. It would obviously have been beneficial to have a larger corpus in order to establish eventual significant differences in these citations patterns.

Some generalizations over the listed works are called for. In terms of subject content, the most clearly discernible subarea is historical phonology (Finn. äännehistoria), normally practiced in conjunction with dialectology. Some 15 items of this type are easy to spot. Diachronic dialectology in the domain of sounds has long been part of the core of fennistics (Karlsson 1975).

The citation data indicate that this venerable tradition is still strong. Loan word research and dialectological syntax constitute other important subareas in the above list.

The influence of what is vaguely called `modern linguistics' can be most clearly seen in the advent of syntax. Some 8 items on the list belong to this group. Several of them are fairly recent, half from the 1980s, indicating that the interest in syntactic research has been growing.

It is instructive to scrutinize the publication dates of the above most cited works by decade. For works with several parts or editions, we have counted the most recent year (e.g., 1979 for SKRK). The following results are obtained:

TABLE 5. Data of Table 4 arranged by decade.

TIME, N(cit)

1745-1879, 3

1880-1889, 1

1890-1900, 1

1901-1910, 1

1911-1920, -

1921-1930, -

1931-1940, 3

1941-1950, 3

1951-1960, 3

1961-1970, 10

1971-1980, 10

1981-1990, 7

1991-1993, -

Several classics of fennistics were produced before 1900, especially by E. N. Setälä, and they are still extensively cited. But there is a kind of gap of more than 30 years in the list, from 1901 when Kannisto's "Lauseopillisia havaintoja läntisen Etelä-Hämeen kielimurteesta" appeared, to Kalima's book on Baltic loanwords (1936). It seems as if the discipline suffered a slight recession during that period.

An inspection of the works published in 1901-1936 and cited 3-5 times in Virittäjä 1981-1993 gives only five more hits: Heikki Ojansuu's Suomen lounaismurteiden äännehistoria [Historical phonology of Finnish South-Western dialects] (1901-1903; 5 citations), Karjala-aunuksen äännehistoria [Historical phonology of Karelian Aunus] (1918; 4); "Mikael Agricolan kielestä" [On the language of Mikael Agricola] (1909; 3); Martti Airila's Äännehistoriallinen tutkimus Tornion murteesta [Historical phonology of the Tornio dialect] (1912; 5); and Martti Rapola's Kantasuomen pääpainottomain tavujen i-loppuiset diftongit Suomen murteissa [Proto-Finnic unstressed diphthongs ending in -i in Finnish dialects] (1919-20; 5). All of these concern historical phonology. The first decades of the 1900s were the beginning of the normal science period of fennistic Junggrammatism.

Another factor to keep in mind is the political turmoil of Finnish history during 1900-1920. Such upheavals are likely to distract the practice of science in many ways.

The effects of World War II obviously extended almost through the 1950s. Seen in retrospect, the 1950s did not leave more works with high citation rates than the 1940s or 1930s. The 1960s started a new period, i.a. due to the rapid expansion of Finnish university education.

Of course, the picture of fennistics displayed above does not tell all there is to say. It is a picture of reality as reflected through the mirror of Virittäjä and the citation practice in its papers. The top-cited literature list above would look partly different if one undertook a detailed examination of e.g. recent Ph.D. theses (cf. the presentation by Leino 1992). This matter cannot be pursued further in the present context.

A literature list such as the one above gives some indications of the foci of research during the period covered. It also informs about the enduring classics of the discipline. It is a typical feature of the humanities that several central types of work have a long life expectancy. The growth of knowledge is more cumulative in the humanities than e.g. in natural science (cf. De Solla Price 1986: 156-). In linguistics, these enduring works would include comprehensive grammars and dictionaries as well as seminal works based on some large corpus. Jalo Kalima's 1936 book on Baltic loanwords is an example of the last type.

The list also provides hints about (some) prospective classics. Recent works that have entered the list in just a few years are influential and candidates for becoming enduring classics. Terho Itkonen's 1983 paper "Välikatsaus suomen kielen juuriin" [Preliminary overview of the roots of Finnish], and Valma Yli-Vakkuri's 1986 paper "Suomen kieliopillisten muotojen toissijainen käyttö" [Secondary usage of grammatical forms in Finnish] are relevant in this regard.

5. Impact of individual papers in Virittäjä 1983/1 - 1993/1

Of the 245 papers under consideration, published in Virittäjä between 1981/1 and 1993/1 (inclusive), only 32 (13%) have been cited at least once by another linguist in Virittäjä, during the same period. The vast majority of papers have not generated any responses in Virittäjä which might seem a bit surprising. This could be interpreted as an indication of a fragmented research community where most individual linguists work for themselves on problems that few others take an active interest in.

Of course, the time span of the period under consideration is too short for any strong conclusions to be warranted. Furthermore, extensive works such as Ph.D. dissertations should also be analyzed from this point of view before jumping to conclusions.

Table 6 shows how many citations those 32 papers had that were cited at least once. Table 7 displays how long it took (in years) for the first citation to appear.

TABLE 6. Number of citations in Virittäjä of papers published in Virittäjä 1981/1-1993/1.

N(pap), N(cit)

24, 1

4, 2

3, 3

1, 10

One of the papers published in the 1980s stands out as exceptional, Terho Itkonen's 1983 paper "Välikatsaus suomen kielen juuriin" [Preliminary overview of the roots of Finnish], which has generated 10 citations.

TABLE 7. Time required for first citation (years).

N(pap), N(years)

4, 0

6, 1

5, 2

7, 3

4, 4

4, 5

1, 6

1, 10

Average time for the first citation to appear (if it appears at all) is 2,8 years. The data also seem to suggest a somewhat depressive (and, admittedly, speculative) conclusion. If the first citation has not occurred in 5-6 years, the paper is likely to remain uncited (in Virittäjä).

6. Works most cited in the Arts and Humanities Citation Index, 1976-1983

Garfield (1987) made a study of the most cited works books and articles in the Arts and Humanities Citation Index during the period 1976-1983. His results are interesting and some of them are recapitulated here. The 10 most cited books and their number of citations during the period mentioned, all subbranches of the Arts and Humanities included, are (Garfield 1987:11):

Table 8. The ten most cited books in the Arts and Humanities Citation Index 1976-1983.


T. S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 855

James Joyce, Ulysses, 710

Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism, 699

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophische Untersuchungen, 668

Noam Chomsky, Apects of the Theory of Syntax, 640

Michel Foucault, Order of Things, 488

Jacques Derrida, De la grammatologie, 475

Roland Barthes, S/Z, 454

Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, 450

E. Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Age, 434

Twenty-three of the fifty items in Garfield's list were published in the 1960s, and seven in the 1970s. The oldest item on the list was Sigmund Freud's Interpretation of Dreams (1900). Noam Chomsky, James Joyce, and Karl Popper each wrote three of the fifty items. Jacques Derrida, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Ludwig Wittgenstein each wrote two. The predominance of works relating to literary criticism, linguistics, and philosophy, especially philosophy of language, is obvious.

Chomsky's Aspects of the Theory of Syntax currently seems to be The Classic of linguistics. It is the only purely linguistic work on Garfield's Top Ten list, with a distinctly high citation rate (which constitutes about one tenth of all citations of Chomsky's works, cf. section 2). Of course, several of the philosophically inclined works on the list also have considerable linguistic import.

Restricting the presentation to linguistics and the linguistically most relevant philosophy of language as well as logic, we find the following works in Garfield's list of 50:

TABLE 9. The linguistically relevant most cited works in Garfield (1987).


L. Wittgenstein, Philosophische Untersuchungen, 668

N. Chomsky, Apects of the Theory of Syntax, 640

J. Searle, Speech Acts, 415

N. Chomsky & M. Halle, The Sound Pattern of English, 399

J. L. Austin, How to Do Things with Words, 378

W. V. O. Quine, Word and Object, 370

L. Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 346

F. de Saussure, Cours de linguistique générale, 297

S. Kripke, "Naming and Necessity", 292

E. Benveniste, Problèmes de linguistique générale, 290

N. Chomsky, Syntactic Structures, 272

R. Jakobson, Closing Statement: Linguistics and Poetics, 262

Chomsky's overall influence on linguistics is uncontestable in the light of these data. Saussure also is a lasting classic. The occurrence of Benveniste's book from 1966 on this list is perhaps something of a surprise. The fourth linguist proper is Roman Jakobson. The influence and high visibility of philosophy of language is obvious: Wittgenstein, Searle, Quine, etc.


1. References to the well-known book Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik, A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language are not included in these counts.

2. The main focus of this paper is on citation patterns pertaining to scholars in the language disciplines and in linguistics. However, during the excerption of citation rates from the A&HCI 1975-1992 data were collected also for Finnish scholars working in other disciplines. The highest citation rates encountered were (alphabetical order by discipline, cut-off point = 30 citations):

TABLE 10. Citation rates for some Finnish scholars representing other than linguistic disciplines (A&HCI 1975-1992).


Art history

Sixten Ringbom, 143, ÅAU


Eino Jutikkala, 56, UH

Erkki Kouri, 42, UH


Torsten Pettersson, 48, UH

Timo Tiusanen, 41, UH

Clas Zilliacus, 32, ÅAU


Eero Tarasti, 48, UH


Jaakko Hintikka, 1012, Boston University

Georg Henrik von Wright, 819, AF

Ilkka Niiniluoto, 138, UH

Risto Hilpinen, 123, UTU

Raimo Tuomela, 94, UH

Esa Saarinen, 64, UH

Religion and folklore

Lauri Honko, 210, UTU

Juha Pentikäinen, 90, UH

Nils Holm, 32, ÅAU


Bayer, A. E. and Folger, J. 1966. "Some Correlates of a Citation Measure of Productivity in Science". Sociology of Education 39, pp. 381-390.

Becher, Tony 1989. Academic Tribes and Territories. Intellectual Enquiry and the Culture of Disciplines. Bristol: The Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press.

De Solla Price, Derek J. 1986. Little Science, Big Science ... and Beyond. New York: Columbia University Press.

Garfield, Eugene 1979. Citation Indexing. Its Theory and Application in Science, Technology, and Humanities. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

-- 1987. "A Different Sort of Great-Books List: The 50 Twentieth-Century Works Most Frequently Cited in the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, 1976-1983". Current Contents 16:3-7, pp. 10-14.

Karlsson, Fred 1975. "Fennistiikan tieteenparadigmasta ja sen ohjausvaikutuksesta". Virittäjä 79:2, pp. 179-193.

Leino, Pentti 1992. "Fennistiikan tohtorit". Kieliposti 3, pp. 13-22.

Lindsey, D. and Brown, G. W. 1977. "Problems of measurement in the sociology of science". Unpublished paper quoted according to Garfield (1979).

Luukkonen, Terttu 1989. "Voidaanko bibliometrialla mitata tutkimuksen tasoa?" Duodecim 105, pp. 864-871.

-- 1990. "Publication Structures and Accumulative Advantages". Scientometrics 19:3-4, pp. 167-184.

-- 1991. "Soveltuuko viiteanalyysi tutkimuksen arviointiin?" Sosiaalilääketieteellinen Aikakauslehti 28, pp. 189-196.

-- 1992. "Is Scientists' Publishing Behaviour Reward-Seeking?" Scientometrics 24:2, pp. 297-319.

APPENDIX 1. Language and linguistic journals indexed by the Arts and Humanities Citation Index

AAA - Arbeiten aus Anglistik und Amerikanistik

American Journal of Philology

American Speech


Applied Linguistics

Applied Psycholinguistics

Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies

Brain and Language

Canadian Modern Language Review - Revue Canadienne des Langues Vivantes

Canadian Slavonic Papers - Revue Canadienne des Slavistes

Classical Philology

Classical Quarterly

Classical Review

Classical World

Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics


Communication Research


Computers and the Humanities

Deutsche Sprache

Discourse Processes

English Language Notes

English Studies


European Journal of Disorders of Communication

Foreign Language Annals

French Studies

Francais Moderne

General Linguistics

Germanic Review

Germanisch-romanische Monatsschrift

Harvard Studies in Classical Philology

Hispania - A Journal Devoted to the Teaching of Spanish and Portuguese

Historiographia Linguistica


Indo-Iranian Journal

International Journal of American Linguistics

International Journal of the Sociology of Language

Iral - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching

Journal of Child Language

Journal of Chinese Linguistics

Journal of Communication

Journal of East Asian Linguistics

Journal of English and Germanic Philology

Journal of Hispanic Philology

Journal of Indo-European Studies

Journal of Japanese Studies

Journal of Linguistics

Journal of Literary Semantics

Journal of Memory and Language

Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association

Journal of Modern Greek Studies

Journal of Neurolinguistics

Journal of Phonetics

Journal of Pragmatics

Journal of Semitic Studies

Language and Cognitive Processes

Language & Communication

Langue française

Language Learning

Language in Society

Language and Speech


LILI - Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik

Linguistics and Philosophy

Lingua e Stile


Lingua Nostra

Linguistica Biblica

Linguistic Inquiry

Linguistic Review



MLN - Modern Language Notes

Modern Language Journal

Modern Language Quarterly

Modern Language Review

Moderna språk

Muttersprache - Zeitschrift zur Pflege und Erforschung der Deutschen Sprache

Natural Language & Linguistic Theory


Neuphilologische Mitteilungen

Papers on Language and Literature

Philological Quarterly


PMLA - Publications of the Modern Language Association of America

Poetica - Zeitschrift für Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft

Reading Research Quarterly

Reading and Writing

Revue de Linguistique Romane

Romanische Forschungen

Romance Philology

Russian Linguistics


Speech Communication


Studies in Language

Studia Neophilologica

Studies in Philology

Transactions of the Philological Society

Theoretical Linguistics

Topics in Language Disorders

Translation Review

Welt der Slaven-Halbjahresschrift für Slavistik

Word - Journal of the International Linguistic Association

Written Communication

Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik

Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie

Zeitschrift für Deutsche Philologie

Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik

Zeitschrift für Französische Sprache und Literatur

Zeitschrift für Germanistische Linguistik

Zeitschrift für Germanistik

Zeitschrift für Romanische Philologie

Zeitschrift für Semiotik

Zeitschrift für Slavische Philologie

Zeitschrift für Slawistik