Place Names and Identities: The Uses of Names of Helsinki

  • Terhi Ainiala University of Helsinki


The paper discusses the use of names that are used to refer to Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Three research questions are studied: Firstly, which name variants do the Helsinkians claim they use about their own home city? Secondly, how do they rationalize and explain their name use or non-use? And thirdly, in what ways do the self reported use and the spontaneous use of name variants differ from each other? The explanations for the use or non-use of specific name variants are often attached to the speaker's identity.