Download Grammatical Case in Estonian by Merilin Miljan PDF

By Merilin Miljan

During this thesis I discover the semantic underpinnings of grammatical situations in Estonian.
Estonian is likely one of the Finnic languages and has an intensive case approach which
includes alternations within the case marking of the entire center arguments. even though there is
an abundance of literature on an identical language, Finnish, during which the Finnic data
appears to be defined exhaustively and the criteria conditioning differential case
marking good illuminated, I concentration right here at the exact same subject matters – particularly grammatical
cases and case version – within the heavily comparable language Estonian. I display that
the obvious exhaustiveness of the conclusions or research isn't just simply apparent,
but that there's additionally a necessity for (re-)exploration of the information, if case is seen from a
different point of view. in particular, present debts of Finnic information (or particularly Finnish)
take basically a structuralist perspective of case (e.g. Vainikka 1993, Nelson 1995,
Kiparsky 2001, Ritter and Rosen 2001, Kratzer 2002, Svenonius 2002, Asudeh 2003,
among others), which means the alternations in case-marking are defined and
interpreted from the structuralist, morphosyntactic point of view. although, as Butt
(2006:199) notes in her finished evaluation of theories of case, there's hardly
any literature on case alternations which attempts to give an explanation for the semantically motivated
variation in case from a wholly semantic perspective. certainly, no matter if some
semantic components were pointed out (e.g. keep an eye on, point, modality) they ‘are not
well understood’; as a result there's a want for a ‘serious exploration of the semantics of
case alternations’. This exploration is undertaken during this thesis with the desire that data
from Estonian, that is a little numerous to Finnish and undeservedly much less studied
and a unique standpoint to case-marking, will give a contribution to a greater understanding
of case in Finnic specifically and case-marking extra generally.

Merilin Miljan

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Additional resources for Grammatical Case in Estonian

Sample text

Pseudo-adverbials. g. pesa ‘nest’ in (38) below (Metslang 2001:444). In instances such as (38), it is either the context which determines the aspect of the sentence or an adverbial (a similar example is (36) above). (38) a. Lind ehitas pesa. ’ b. Lind ehitas pesa. ’ Perfectivity in Estonian is often expressed by predicative possessive constructions, as demonstrated in (39). Literally, the sentence in (39) would be rendered ‘I have this book read’. (39) Mul on see raamat (läbi) loetud. ADESS. NOM.

1). g. subject, a nominal predicate), while ‘dependent’ nominals such as attributes and the 12 There are at least two plurals in Finnic: the /i/-plural and /t/-plural. 48 object were marked by the genitive and accusative, respectively. It is worth noting that the distribution of the nominative suggests that its status is best understood not as a true case but rather as an unmarked form of the nominal. The genitive, on the other hand, as Janhunen (1982:30) suggests, seemed to have a wider range of functions than marking attributes: it is also said to encode the instrumental function.

In the light of the controversial interpretations of the diachronic data, the question arises as to why a distinct accusative marker *-m is reconstructed in PU in the first place. , it was also used in adverbial function to mark the ‘instrumental qualifier of a verb’ (Janhunen 1982:30) - accusative was not used with finite verbs in the imperative mood (Janhunen 1982:31) - both genitive and accusative tended to imply that the noun was definite (Janhunen 1982:31) - there is no trace of the accusative suffix *-m in its primary form -m(-) in the Finnic languages (Künnap 2006:21) In the Finno-Ugric languages as a whole there appears to be no trace of a unique suffix (*)-m which would confirm that accusative once existed in these languages.

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