Research at the Department of Modern Languages

At the Department of Modern Languages, there is research in four areas: Finno-Ugric languages, German, Romance languages and Slavic languages. There is research in both language and literature in all language areas.

Finno-Ugric languages

Staff at the Finno-Ugric section of the Department of Modern Languages have wide interests covering the whole Finno-Ugric language family, ranging from Scandinavia to Siberia. Staff publish regularly on many aspects of the major languages Estonian, Finnish, and Hungarian, though in Uppsala there is also a strong tradition of research on Saami (at present especially on North Saami, South Saami, and Lule Saami). In addition, staff are active in a number of other areas, with a focus on description and grammaticography of the smaller Finno-Ugric languages; at the moment these include the Permic language Zyrian Komi and the minor Finnic languages Livonian, Meänkieli and Sweden Finnish. Research on Finnish literature, Hungarian literature, and the literatures of the Finno-Ugric minorities of Sweden is also strongly represented, as are language pedagogy and cultural studies.

The Department of Modern Languages coordinates the strategic partnership project "Copius – Community of Practice in Uralic Studies" established by nine European universities that constitutes a community of practice within the discipline of Uralic (Finno-Ugric) Studies.

Current Research

Romance languages

We carry out research in French, Spanish, Italian and Comparative Romance linguistics, as well as on French, Spanish and Italian literature. Linguistic research at the department has two profile areas. The first deals with modality, evidentiality, conditionality, tense, mood and aspect. The second is about argumentation, discourse and interaction. The literature research also has two profile areas: theatre research and postcolonial studies and world literature.

Current research

Slavic languages

Research in Slavic languages is about general Slavistics, church Slavonic with all its redactions, Russian, Polish, South Slavic languages (Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Bulgarian and Macedonian), interpretation, translation and Polish and Russian literary studies.


German language research in Uppsala has two orientations, historical linguistics and the contemporary language. Both are based on modern linguistic theories and methods. The literature research covers a broad range from medieval literature to temporary literature. We also research didactics of social studies.


We research and teach in literature in all the department's languages. Literature plays a natural part at the department. Not only as a tool for language learning or as a conveyor of culture and society, but as a research subject in its own right.

PhD Studies

The PhD programme at the Department of Modern Languages has four specialisations: Finno-Ugric languages, Romance languages, Slavic languages and German. The programme makes you an expert in your chosen field and developes independent and critical thinking.

Both practical and theoretical skills are developed as well as a broad knowledge of your chosen field. The doctoral programme prepares students for qualified work in business, public administration and institutions of higher education.

PhD studies