Research at the institute focuses on the closest relatives of the Estonian language, among which Votic and Livonian hold a special place, as they were once also spoken in the area of present-day Estonia. Both Livonian and Votic are studied taking into account the needs of the development and teaching of these languages. This is done by reviewing the pronunciation, form and vocabulary of the languages and preparing educational material based on the research. In addition to Livonian and Votic, other Finnic languages with a relatively smaller number of speakers, such as Ingrian, Veps and Karelian languages, are studied. Finnish is also an important area of research, especially the links between Finnish and Estonian, taking into account historical language and dialect contacts as well as typological comparisons of the languages.