SKY Journal of Linguistics 24

SKY Journal of Linguistics 24
SKY Journal of Linguistics is published by the Linguistic Association of Finland (one issue
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Editors’ Addresses (2011):
Mark Kaunisto, Department of Languages, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä,
Rea Peltola, INALCO, Département Europe centrale et orientale, Section d’études
finnoises, 65 rue des Grands Moulins, F-75214 Paris CEDEX 13, France
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University of Helsinki, Finland
Katja Västi, Faculty of Humanities, Finnish Language, P.O. Box 1000, FI-90014 University
of Oulu, Finland
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Cover design: Timo Hämäläinen 1999
SKY Journal of Linguistics
Suomen kielitieteellisen yhdistyksen aikakauskirja
Tidskrift för den Språkvetenskapliga föreningen i Finland
Journal of the Linguistic Association of Finland
Mark Kaunisto
Erika Sandman
Rea Peltola
Katja Västi
Mia Raitaniemi
Kimmo Granqvist
Research Institute for the
Languages of Finland
Auli Hakulinen
University of Helsinki
Martin Haspelmath
Max Planck Institute of
Evolutionary Anthropology
Marja-Liisa Helasvuo
University of Turku
Anders Holmberg
Newcastle University
Tuomas Huumo
University of Turku
University of Tartu
Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila
University of Helsinki
Juhani Härmä
University of Helsinki
Fred Karlsson
University of Helsinki
Seppo Kittilä
University of Helsinki
Meri Larjavaara
Åbo Akademi University
Jaakko Leino
University of Helsinki
Marja Leinonen
University of Helsinki
Matti Miestamo
Stockholm University
Jussi Niemi
University of Joensuu
Urpo Nikanne
Åbo Akademi University
Martti Nyman
University of Helsinki
Krista Ojutkangas
University of Turku
Mirja Saari
University of Helsinki
Helena Sulkala
University of Oulu
Kari Suomi
University of Oulu
Ulla Tuomarla
University of Helsinki
Maria Vilkuna
Research Institute for the
Languages of Finland
Jussi Ylikoski
Sámi University College
Jan-Ola Östman
University of Helsinki
Advisory editorial board:
Werner Abraham
University of Vienna
ISSN 1456-8438
Tampere University Print - Juvenes Print
Tampere 2011
External Reviewers of SKY JoL 24 (2011)....................................................5
Mohammed N. Al-Ali & Yara B. Sahawneh
Rhetorical and Textual Organization of English and Arabic PhD
Dissertation Abstracts in Linguistics..............................................................7
Grégory Furmaniak
On the Emergence of the Epistemic Use of Must........................................41
Pentti Haddington, Jarmo H. Jantunen & Jari Sivonen
Language and Affect: Go-Say and Come-Say Constructions in Finnish.....75
Ana Ojea
On Mixed Categories: The Case of Free Relatives....................................119
Susan Schlotthauer
Kontaktinduzierter Sprachwandel im Bereich der estnischen Verbrektion?
Teil II: Verbkomplemente in Form von Adpositionalphrasen...................145
Pauli Brattico
The Diehard Extended Projection Principle...............................................181
Book reviews:
Wołowska, Katarzyna (2008): Le paradoxe en langue et en discours.
Compte rendu de Christophe Cusimano.....................................................189
Metslang, Helle (ed.) (2009): Estonian in Typological Perspective.
Reviewed by Arnaud Fournet....................................................................193
Idström, Anna & Sosa, Sachiko (eds.) (2009): Kielissä kulttuurien ääni
[The voice of cultures is in the languages], reviewed by Kalle Korhonen in
SKY JoL 23 (2010).
Response by Maria Kela............................................................................199
External Reviewers of SKY JoL 24 (2011)
In addition to members of the current advisory editorial board, the
following scholars, among a few others wishing to remain anonymous,
have acted as external reviewers for SKY Journal of Linguistics in 2011:
Rashid Al-Balushi (University of Toronto), Arto Anttila (Stanford
University), Peter Arkadiev (Russian Academy of Sciences), Antti Arppe
(University of Helsinki & University of Alberta), Dunstan Brown
(University of Surrey), Ivano Caponigro (University of California, San
Diego), Barbara Citko (University of Washington), Bert Cornillie
(Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), Yamina El Kirat (Mohammed V
University), Marja Etelämäki (University of Helsinki), Abdul-Hafeed Ali
Fakih (Ibb University), Steve Farmer (The Cultural Modelling Research
Group, Palo Alto), Daniel Currie Hall (University of Toronto), Sameh F.
Hanna (University of Salford), Cornelius Hasselblatt (University of
Groningen), Patrick Honeybone (Edinburgh University), Elsi Kaiser
(University of Southern California), Mohamed Lahrouchi (CNRS,
Université Paris 8), Helle Metslang (University of Tartu), Prashant Mishra
(Government S.V.P.G. College Neemuch), Max Möller (Åbo Akademi
University), Hazem Yousef Najjar (Bethlehem University), Felix Otter
(Universität Heidelberg), Sumru Özsoy (Boğaziçi University), Usama
Soltan (Middlebury College), Jae Jung Song (University of Otago), Richard
Sproat (University of Illinois), Peter de Swart (Radboud University
Nijmegen), Michael Szurawitzki (Universität Siegen), Ida Toivonen
(Carleton University), Mounir Triki (Université de Sfax), Chakir Zeroual
(Faculté Polydisciplinaire de Taza)
SKY Journal of Linguistics 24 (2011), 5
Mohammed N. Al-Ali and Yara B. Sahawneh
Rhetorical and Textual Organization of English and Arabic
PhD Dissertation Abstracts in Linguistics
This study compares English and Arabic PhD dissertation abstracts in the field of
linguistics in an attempt to study the rhetorical and linguistic variations between the
abstracts written in English and those written in Arabic. To this end, we have analyzed
the rhetorical components that constitute the macrostructure of fifty English PhD
dissertation abstracts written by English native speakers and those underlying fifty
Arabic PhD dissertations written by native Arabic speakers following Swales‘ (1990)
CARS model of RA introductions and Bhatia‘s (1993) IMRD move structure. The
results showed differences between the two sets of data in generic structure preferences
in terms of the type and frequency of moves and the linguistic realizations of these
moves. The rhetorical variations across the two languages are most likely due to sociocultural and academic expectations. The differences related to certain linguistic
realizations such as voice and tense choice are ascribed either to inherent linguistic
differences between the two languages or to academic practice. The study highlights the
importance of teaching abstracts writing skills to PhD candidates.
1. Abstract genre as an academic practice
The abstract that accompanies research articles and dissertations is a
notable practice in academic research as it constitutes a gateway to the
reading or publication of a research article or a thesis (Lores 2004: 281).
Salager-Mayer (1992) perceives this genre as a distinctive category of
discourse intended to communicate factual new knowledge for members of
different academic communities. The abstracts play a pivotal role in
professional reading as they help readers decide on the relevance of an
article to their interests (Busa 2005) and give researchers an adequate view
of whether a particular longer text is worth reading. Similarly, MartinMartin (2003, 2005) notes that abstracts function as a time saving device by
informing the readers about the content of the article, indicating whether
the full text merits further attention.
SKY Journal of Linguistics 24 (2011), 7–39
PhD dissertation abstract writing is an academic practice that all
candidates from different fields have to adopt when they write a full PhD
thesis while doing their postgraduate course or research. In most cases
writing a PhD dissertation is only attempted once in a graduate student‘s
career. The great majority of dissertations are prefaced by an informative
abstract, which contains a ―factual summary of the much longer report, and
is meant to give the reader an exact and concise knowledge of the full
[dissertation]‖ (Bhatia 1993: 78).
The dissertation and research article abstract, as a genre, is a
recognizable situated linguistic behavior in an institutionalized academic
setting, having a set of communicative functions mutually-understood by
established members of the academic community. Irrespective of the
subject they serve, abstracts function as being ―advance indicators of the
content and structure of the following text‖ (Swales 1990: 179). The
abstract is meant to function as a representation as in Bazerman (1984: 58),
front matters as in Swales (1990: 179), as a summary as in Bhatia (1993:
78) and Kaplan et al. (1994: 405).
Though each dissertation is prefaced by an abstract and both are
prepared by the same author, meant for the same readership and share the
same contextual configuration, the abstract is thought of as a distinct and
independent discourse genre of an associated text (i.e. dissertation or
research article). Each genre has a well-defined communicative purpose
articulated by its overall rhetorical organization. As stated by Van Dijk
(1980), the abstract can be viewed as an integral piece of discourse; it can
appear in abstracting journals and in on-line retrieval systems which
publish paper abstracts. Its appearance in abstracting journals is designed to
lead the readers back to the original text (Swales 1990). Given this merit,
information scientists have been interested in the standards that would
increase the quality and retrievability of abstracts (Chan & Foo 2004) and
that would assess the content of a publication and facilitate the retrieval
process (Lin et al. 2006). For Ventola (1994: 333), abstracts ―have become
a tool of mastering and managing the ever increasing information flow in
the scientific community‖ as they are the first part of the dissertation or the
research article to be read.
2. The features of abstracts in previous literature
Previous studies have mainly focused on investigating the rhetorical and
linguistic features of research article abstracts attempting to identify and
describe the relation between the different moves that constitute this genre
and the linguistic features that indicate each of its component moves. Some
of these studies focused on research article abstract in specific disciplines,
other studies shed light on variations across disciplines and cultures, and
others examined the possible impact of language choice in abstracts. For
instance, Salager-Meyer (1990, 1992), Busch-Lauer (1995), Anderson &
Maclean (1997) and Lin et al. (2006) focused on the rhetorical structure of
medical English abstracts; Huckin (2001) on biomedicine; Gibson (1993)
explored certain linguistic variables that affect the success of abstract in the
field of information and library science; Santos (1996), Hyland (2000),
Dahl (2004) and Lores (2004) investigated the textual and rhetorical moves
along with some of the linguistic features that express abstracts in
linguistics, and Pho (2008) considered the rhetorical moves and the
authorial stance in the fields of applied linguistics and educational
Variation of abstracts across disciplines has been studied by different
researchers (e.g. Melander et al. 1997, Hyland 2000, Huckin 2001, Samarj
2002, Stotesbury 2003, Dahl 2004, Bondi, 2005, and Busa 2005). For
example, Melander et al. (1997) examined the possible impact of language
choice in abstracts from three different disciplines and find that linguistics
and biology abstracts produced in ―the American context are different in
their overall organization‖. Huckin (2001) found that biomedical research
article abstracts often do not include the purpose move. Along the same
lines, Samraj (2002) showed that the centrality claim moves are more
crucial in the abstracts of Conservation Biology than those in Wildlife
Behavior. Stotesbury (2003) demonstrated that evaluation attributes were
twice as common in the humanities and social science abstracts as in those
from the natural sciences. Bondi (2005) found that scientific procedures are
foregrounded in economics abstracts. This tendency was also confirmed by
Busa (2005), who confirmed a preference for the thematization of discourse
products and procedures in economics abstracts. In contrast, psychology
abstracts, as reported by Busa, reflected a preference for the foregrounding
of the discourse objects over discourse products and procedures.
Martin-Martin (2005) pointed out that the choice of certain rhetorical
options to convey knowledge claims vary across a number of dimensions,
including languages and cultures. Regarding language, there has been a
number of contrastive or comparative studies that have investigated
variations in rhetorical strategies of written abstracts in English and those
in other languages (e.g. Melander et al. 1997; Martin-Martin 2003; MartinMartin & Burgess 2004; Bonn & Swales (2007). In an attempt to find the
impact of language choice in abstracts from three different disciplines in
the United States and Sweden, Melander et al. (1997) reported that
linguistics abstracts showed strong national and cultural differences, and
biology abstracts produced in ―the American context are different in their
overall organization‖. Martin-Martin (2003) investigated the rhetorical
variation between the research article abstracts written in English and those
written in Spanish in the field of experimental social sciences. The results
revealed a strong tendency on the part of Spanish writers to exclude the
Results section as opposed to the high frequency of this unit (86%) in the
abstracts written in English. Likewise, Establishing a niche was selected in
42% of English abstracts whereas it is considerably lower (15%) in Spanish
abstracts. The researcher relates the latter differences to socio-cultural
factors such as the relationship between the writer and the academic
community he addresses. In a subsequent study in the field of experimental
social sciences, Martin-Martin (2005) offered an account of how the
rhetorical practices including hedging devices, the use of first pronouns and
the expressions of criticism that academics in English and Spanish use in
the area of phonetics and psychology are a reflection of the social relations
between writers and readers within different discourse communities and
different cultures.
In a comparison between Spanish and English abstracts, MartinMartin and Burgess (2004) found that English abstracts showed more
criticism than their Spanish counterparts. In particular, English abstracts
tended to make more use of impersonal and indirect ways of criticizing
than their Spanish counterparts. In their analysis of English and French
abstracts selected from English and French monolingual journals, Bonn and
Swales (2007) found that French abstracts displayed less instances of use of
first person singular pronouns; instead, they preferred using first person
plural pronouns even though all the abstracts were single-authored,
whereas in the English abstracts, the choice was determined by the number
of authors.
All of the studies of abstracts considered so far have focused on what
has been written in English and other languages, apart from Arabic. Except,
perhaps, for books compiling PhD dissertation abstracts in Arabic (e.g. Ali
1979) and another about abstracting as a genre in Arabic (Abdel Hadi and
Zayed 2000), no published studies, as far as we know, appear to have
specifically analyzed PhD abstracts written in Arabic in terms of their
sequential component organizational patterns and the lexico-grammatical
exponents used to express these patterns. Abdel Hadi and Zayed (2000)
proposed schematic patterns as pedagogic tools that may present potential
advantages for novice writers by giving them a picture about the different
types of abstracts and their components, and how to prepare abstracts in
terms of style, length and content, as well as how information is typically
The literature review has revealed that research article abstracts have
been the focus of a number of studies. Despite the fact that writing a PhD
dissertation accompanied by an abstract is considered a formidable task for
any graduate student and as such deserves greater attention, no work of
which we are aware has attempted to analyze the rhetorical components of
the dissertation abstracts in Arabic and English linguistics or has looked for
the linguistic and socio-cultural norms and options that govern their
rhetorical organization. Therefore, this paper is an attempt to examine
comparatively the generic structure and the linguistic options in English
PhD dissertation abstracts and those written in Arabic, with the aim of
finding out the generic options and linguistic choices that characterize the
two academic communities (i.e. the writers of English dissertation abstract
and Arab writers). A further purpose of this study is to find out to what
extent the linguistic and socio-cultural factors may condition the writers‘
rhetorical and linguistic choices.
3. The construction of the corpus
A total of 100 PhD dissertation abstracts written in English and Arabic
were used in the present study. The corpus in English is made up of fifty
English abstracts written by native speakers of English and submitted
during the period 1984–2009. Seventy percent of the texts were selected
from seventeen American universities, and thirty percent were from seven
British universities. This unequal distribution of English corpus (i.e. 70%
from US universities and 30% from British ones) would be more
representative of the data than taking 50–50% if we take into consideration
the percentage of population of these two countries. It is worth noting that
the British and American writers of abstracts do not have a completely
homogeneous culture. However, they are likely to maintain the generic
structure of abstracts irrespective of cultural values in order to operate in a
manner acceptable to the members of the academic community who share
core academic discourses, textual practices and organizational generic
patterns, irrespective of stylistic or linguistic variations, which are beyond
the scope of this study. The English corpus was collected from ProQuest
Dissertations & Thesis Databases ( and The Linguistlist (
The corpus in Arabic consists of 50 PhD dissertation abstracts written
by doctoral Arabic native speakers from Jordanian universities and
submitted during the period 1994–2009. All the texts collected were in
paper-written format, most of which were collected from the Theses &
Dissertation Depository Center in the University of Jordan Library. This
Center contains thousands of PhD dissertations from different well-known
universities in the Arab world. Surprisingly, we found that not all Arabic
linguistics dissertations deposited in this center included abstracts,
especially those deposited from Arab countries other than Jordan. The
major criterion guiding the selection of Arabic abstracts was ‗accessibility‘
of the data. Since the Jordanian PhD candidates in linguistics were the only
ones who were found to include abstracts in their dissertations deposited in
the center, the Arabic sample was selected only from Jordanian public
universities that have PhD programs in Arabic linguistics, such as Yarmouk
University, The University of Jordan and Muta University.
Considering that the rhetorical structure of linguistic features of one
discipline can be different from those of other disciplines, and in order to
avoid variations across disciplinary boundaries (Al-Ali 2010), the
researchers gathered the sample only from texts belonging to the field of
linguistics. According to Gnutzmann & Oldenburg (1991), the degree of
uniformity of textual structures depends on the discipline to which the texts
4. Theoretical framework and procedure of data analysis
The present study is conducted within the framework of genre analysis.
According to Miller (1984), genres are developed by communities around
sets of communicative events. The essence of the notion of genre analysis
is to consider a genre text as a recognizable communicative event
characterized by a set of a communicative purpose(s) reflected in the
cognitive structuring of the genre (Swales 1990; Bhatia 1993).
The data analysis of this study drew mainly on Bhatia‘s (1993) fourmove model (i.e. introducing purpose, describing methodology,
summarizing results and presenting conclusions) mirroring the structure of
the research article (RA) and Swales‘ CARS (Creating a Research Space)
model for research article introductions, which consists of the following
three moves, each made up of different constituent steps:
Move 1 Establishing a territory: claiming centrality, making topic generalization,
reviewing items of previous literature.
Move 2 Creating a niche: counter-claiming, indicating a gap, question raising,
continuing a tradition.
Move 3 Occupying the niche: outlining purpose or announcing present research,
announcing principle findings, indicating RA structure.
However, the researchers found that Swales‘ and Bhatia‘s models did
not accommodate all the component moves found in the data analyzed.
That is to say, the Arabic and English texts analyzed were found to include
some component moves that have not been identified in Swales‘ and
Bhatia‘s data. Therefore, the researchers found it necessary to modify some
of these moves and add other new components to the model of analysis.
For example, the researchers added the ‗Promoting thesis‘ move to achieve
a strategic function specific to the Arabic abstracts and the ‗Introducing
benefits‘. Furthermore, we modified Step 4 of Swales model, which came
to be termed ‗Indicating thesis structure and content‘. Likewise, we
modified Bhatia‘s ‗Describing methodology‘ and ‗Presenting conclusions‘,
which came to be termed ‗Describing methodology and analysis
procedures‘ and ‗Presenting conclusions and recommendations‘,
The rhetorical structure of abstracts of the current study was analyzed
in terms of the component moves that make up each individual text. The
term ‗move‘, as used by Swales (1981, 1990), varies in length but at least
contains one proposition that may be conveyed by one sentence or more
and sometimes by a clause or a phrase, as noted by Bhatia (1993), Holmes
(1997) and Al-Ali (1999, 2004). Therefore, it is difficult to identify move
boundaries on formal linguistic criteria only. Consequently, assigning a
function for a particular move is mainly guided by both implicit knowledge
(Sandig 1986, quoted in Szurawitzki 2008) of generic conventions and
explicit lexical items and phrases signaling information contained in each
text portion (i.e. move) (Al-Ali 2009). Implicit knowledge, according to
Sandig (1986: 132), might be brought about by drawing on the textual
conventions of a particular genre, establishing relations of different textual
elements and the theme and understanding how textual elements are related
in a greater linguistic context. When we turned to the examination of the
constituent moves of this genre, we drew on our background knowledge of
the generic rhetorical organizational conventions, inference from content
and knowledge of the context. That is because, according to Bhatia (2004),
the schematic generic patterns of a text are the result of the conventions of
the socio-cultural contexts in which genres are written. However, we noted
that most of the moves have been signaled explicitly in indicative lexical
phrasal expressions. For example, lexical signals like ‗the aim or purpose
of the study‘ indicate occupying the niche move, whereas ‗the methods
used to collect data‘ signals describing methodology move. Likewise,
lexical items such as find, reveal, indicate, et ct. suggest summarizing
results move, or presenting conclusions. Since move analysis involves a
degree of subjectivity that is perhaps unavoidable (Holmes 1997: 325),
another trained linguist was asked to identify the component moves of fifty
abstracts selected randomly from the sample. Then the researchers
themselves and the other linguist set together to check the degree of
conformity in their analysis. There were slight differences found, but a
consensus was reached after discussing the differences. The researchers
compared and contrasted the Arabic corpus with the English corpus in
order to find the similarities and differences between the two groups in
terms of the type, frequency, number and language used to express the
component moves employed by the writers.
5. Results of data analysis
5.1 Component Moves of English and Arabic PhD dissertation
The results of the generic structure of dissertation abstracts revealed the
component strategic moves that tend to occur in the corpus texts analyzed
(see Table 1). Each component will be defined, illustrated and exemplified
by instances from the corpus. For purposes of illustration, examples of
linguistic exponents and signals are often italicized or underlined.
Table 1. Component Moves of English and Arabic PhD dissertation abstracts
Component moves of
English abstracts
of moves
1. Claiming centrality
2. Making a topic generalization
3. Referring to previous research
4. Indicating a gap
Component moves of
Arabic abstracts
of moves
1. Claiming centrality
2. Making a topic
4. Indicating a gap
5. Announcing present
research or Outlining purpose
6. Indicating thesis structure and
7. Describing methods and
Analysis Procedures
8. Summarizing results
10. Introducing benefits
11.Presenting conclusions
and recommendations
5. Announcing present
research or Outlining purpose
6. Indicating thesis structure
and content
7. Describing methods and
Analysis Procedures
8. Summarizing results
9. Promoting thesis
10. Introducing benefits
11. Presenting conclusions
and recommendations
5.1.1 Claiming centrality
Authors, in this move, appeal to the peer members of the academic
discourse community that ―the research about to be presented is part of a
lively, significant or well-established research area‖ (Swales 1990: 144).
The frequency of occurrence of this move in Arabic abstracts (12%) is
relatively higher than that in English corpus (6%). Our analysis of this
move indicated that the authors use more than one strategy to claim the
centrality of their work; they utilize ‗claiming importance of the research to
be reported‘ as in examples 1 and 2, and ‗indicating continuing interest‘ as
in 3. In the following examples the lexical signals indicating this move are
Neutralization is a fundamental construct in the history of phonological theory.
(EA 11)
(AA 38)
.‫ظاٌشج انخالف فً انىحُ انؼشتً مه أتشص ما ذىاَل انذسط انىحُي‬
‗The phenomenon of disagreement in Arabic grammar is one of the prominent
issues that have been dealt with in grammar research.‘
(AA 31)
‗Media is a topic of increasing importance...‘
...ً‫اإلػالمٍح مُضُع ذرىامى أٌمٍر‬
As is shown in the examples above, the writers tend to indicate the
importance of the topic by using the key signal lexical items: fundamental
or‫‗ أتشص‬prominent‘, whereas the continuing interest claims are expressed by
the lexical item ً‫‗ ذرىامى أٌمٍر‬increasing importance‘.
5.1.2 Making a topic generalization
The second option of introduction openers is making ―statements about
knowledge or practice‖ (Swales 1990:146). This component occurred in
30% of Arabic data, whereas it occurred in 24% of the English sample.
Typically, the following examples express in general terms the current state
of knowledge or techniques (i.e. tools) as in the case of example 4, or refer
to phenomena as in instances 5 and 6.
Both English and Arab PhD candidates in linguistics used subjects
that refer to a general topic in the field associated with verbs in the present
tense. In the following examples the lexical signals indicating this move are
italicized and the tenses are underlined.
Propositions are one of the tools languages can use to work and distinguish roles
associated with… (EA 23)
(AA 30)
...‫ذمثم ظاٌشج انحزف انصشفً وُػا مه انرطُس انهغُي‬
‗The phenomenon of morphological deletion represents a type of language
(AA 24)
‫ٌؼذ انؼذَل انىحُي فً انسٍاق انمشاوً ظاٌشج اسهُتٍح نغٌُح‬
‗Grammatical deviation in the Qur‘anic context is considered a stylistic
5.1.3 Referring to previous research
The aim of this move is to indicate that the thesis derives from a lively
tradition of established works in the field (Nwogu 1997: 126). This
component move was found in 20% of English abstracts, but it was not
present in the Arabic texts. The analysis revealed that English PhD
candidates in linguistics either specify the names of other researchers, as in
example 7, or refer to previous studies in general (e.g. recent debates,
previous studies…). The verb tense accompanying these subjects is the
present simple.
Bickerton (1981) and others claim that children can become proficient in a
language even when they are exposed only to non-proficient speakers. (EA 3)
5.1.4 Indicating a gap
This move points out that the previous research has some limitations that
need investigation. The data revealed that this component occurred in 12%
of the Arabic data in contrast to 16% in the English sample. Representative
abbreviated examples with the lexical signals italicized and the tense
underlined are given in examples 8 and 9.
Existing research has focused on abstract mental representation of grammar, and
little is known about…(EA 17)
(AA 34)
.‫ال ودذ دساسح َصفٍح احصائٍح َافٍح نكم مظاٌش تىاء اندمهح‬
‗We do not find a comprehensive descriptive and statistical study of the different
aspects of sentence structure…‘
To express this move, English PhD candidates in linguistics tend to use
restricting quantifiers such as little, as in example 8, or other qualifying
expressions indicating negative meaning, such as short. The Arab PhD
candidates in linguistics, on the other hand, negate the verb phrase by
making use of negative articles such as ‫( ال‬laa) as in 9, or ‫( لم‬lamm) both of
which mean ‗not‘. We also notice that English and Arab PhD candidates in
linguistics tend to use the simple present tense to express this move.
5.1.5 Announcing present research or Outlining purpose
According to Swales‘ CARS model, after indicating a gap in the related
literature, research writers are expected to fill this gap (i.e. occupying the
niche). This move was found to be almost obligatory (96%) in the English
abstracts, while it occurred in 86% of the Arabic ones.
One of the most likely options a writer could employ to occupy the
niche is to announce the research to be presented, which occurred in 76%
of the English and Arabic data. Utilizing this option, English PhD
candidates in linguistics describe what they consider to be the main features
of their research using English verbs such as investigate, describe, present
and defend, examine, address, provide, explore, survey, show, deal with,
argue, discuss and analyze, without using a purposive lexical item like aim
or purpose, while Arab candidates utilize verbs like ‫‗ ٌثحث‬investigate‘, ‫ذٍذف‬
‗aims‘, ‫‗ ٌرىاَل‬deals with‘ and ‫‗ ٌىالش‬discuss‘. The second option is outlining
the purpose of the study, where the writers tend to use purposive statements
containing lexical items such as aim, goal, purpose, ‫‗ انٍذف‬the purpose‘, ‫ٌذفد‬
‗it aimed‘ to state the purpose explicitly. This option was seen only in 24%
of the data.
The onset of this move is typically marked by the use of deictic
references to the present text, which is either the genre or the type of
inquiry. The common deictic elements used in English data are: this (86%),
and the/present (14%). The cases where the deictic refers to the genre (e.g.
dissertation, thesis (70%)) are more frequent than those where it refers to
the type of inquiry (e.g. study, investigation, research, work (30%)). In
contrast, in Arabic there is a strong tendency (70%) for the two deictic
signals (the demonstrative pronoun ‫‗ ٌزا‬this‘ and the definite article ‫‗ ال‬the‘
to occur together (e.g. … ‫‗ ذىاَل ٌزا انثحث‬This research deals with…‘),
whereas the definite article ‫( ال‬the) (e.g. …‫‗ ذىاَل انثحث‬The research deals
with…‘) was only used in 14%. It is worthwhile noting that in 16% of
Arabic abstracts the writers refer neither to the genre nor to the type of
inquiry. Furthermore, in Arabic the cases where the deictic refers to the
genre are significantly less frequent (10%) than those that refer to the type
of inquiry (90%).
According to Santos (1996: 489), the clear preference for this is
presumably to be explained in part by the author‘s effort to incorporate that
abstract into the body of the paper, while the use of the suggests that the
main article is viewed as standing apart from the abstract.
A further observation concerns the co-occurrence of inanimate
subjects with animate verbs in both languages, but it varies from one
language to another in frequency. The writers tend to use the collapsed
structure, through which they use ‗Reference to writer‘s own work macroresearch outcome‘ subjects (e.g. This dissertation examines/ provides/…)
as is shown in examples 10 and 11, instead of the standard descriptive
form, where they employ ‗self-reference‘ subjects indicated by the firstperson singular pronoun I (e.g. In this dissertation, I provide/ explore…) as
indicated in examples 12 and 13.
(10) This study explores… (EA 14)
(11) (AA 43)
‗This thesis aims at…‘
...‫ذٍذف ٌزي انشسانح‬
(12) In this dissertation, I argue… (EA 6)
(13) (AA 30)
‗In this research, I dealt with…‘
…‫ذىاَند فً ٌزا انثحث‬
It is worth pointing out that the percentage of collapsed structures (86%)
used by the writers was remarkably much more than that of the standard
descriptive form (14%). The English PhD candidates in linguistics used the
former structure more frequently (96%) than the Arab PhD candidates
(76%). However, the Arab candidates employed the standard form (i.e. the
co-occurrence of animate subjects with animate verbs) more frequently
(24%) than English PhD candidates who did so with the percentage of 4%.
This may indicate that this tendency varies in its acceptability from one
language to another.
As for the tense used in the texts analyzed, English PhD candidates in
linguistics only used the present simple tense. However, Arab PhD
candidates in linguistics used either present or past tense, but they showed a
tendency for using the present tense. Moreover, English PhD candidates in
linguistics tended to use active voice (96%) more than passive and simple
present tense more than the past tense. For example,
(14) The effects of linguistic experience on the perceptual classification of
phonological dialect variation are investigated. (EA 24)
However, Arab PhD candidates in linguistics employed both tenses, with a
percentage of 55% for present simple and 45% for past simple, and never
employed the passive voice. A further observation is that English and Arab
PhD candidates in linguistics tended to initiate this move by a general
statement of purpose followed by a more precise one. English PhD
candidates in linguistics employed this option much more frequently than
Arabs (42% vs. 8%, respectively).
5.1.6 Indicating thesis structure and content
In this move, the writers indicate the thesis structure in varying degrees of
detail in terms of the chapters constituting it and they often provide a
summary of each chapter. This component was found in 78% of the Arabic
data in contrast to 28% in the English abstracts. A detailed analysis of the
occurrence of this move showed that the onset and the type of information
included in this move differ in the two sets of data. In Arabic abstracts, this
move usually includes the following three component steps: Signposting,
Denominating and Indicating content. The first is a one sentence step
indicating the number of chapters that make up the thesis. It provides
scaffolding on which writers hang the following two steps. The second step
designates the title of each chapter, while the third usually indicates the
purpose followed by a summary of each chapter. Example 16 illustrates
this move. Sometimes, Arab PhD candidates in linguistics indicate the
number of chapters followed by the title of each chapter and its content.
Surprisingly, in 6% of the abstracts those writers employed a one-move
abstract realized by Indicating thesis structure. Seventy-percent of this
move occurs as a second move immediately after Outlining Purpose.
However, English PhD candidates in linguistics directly state the content of
each chapter, as in 15.
(15) The first chapter proposes a unifying typology for relating types of language…
Chapter 2 provides a macrosociolinguistic account of…Chapter 3 investigates the
contemporary forces promoting large-scale contact with English… (EA 38)
(16) (AA 9)
‫ اما المقدمه فقد بٌنت فٌها ان سبب دراستً موضوع االخطاء اللغوٌة عائد‬.‫تحوي هذه الرساله مقدمة وثالثة فصول‬
‫ فً الفصل االول بٌنت اهمٌة دراسة موضوع االخطاء اللغوٌة ووضحت المصطلحات االخرى الدالة على‬... ‫الى‬
‫ اما الفصل الثالث فهو‬... ً‫ وه‬:‫ فتناولت فٌة اتجاهات تحلٌل االخطاء اللغوٌة‬،ً‫ اما الفصل الثان‬. ‫المخالفات اللغوٌة‬
...‫دراسة تطبٌقٌة فً تحلٌل األخطاء الكتابٌة لدى مستوى‬
‗This thesis contains an introduction and three chapters [Signposting]. In the
introduction [Denominating], I showed that the reason for studying grammatical
errors is due to… [Content of Introduction]. In the first chapter, I showed the
importance of studying grammatical errors, and clarified the other terminologies
denoting linguistic deviations… [Content of chapter 1]. In the second chapter, I
addressed the analytical views of linguistic error analysis: They are:… [Content of
chapter 2]. The third chapter is an applied study of the analysis of written errors at
the level of… [Content of Chapter 3].‘
5.1.7 Describing methods and analysis procedures
This move includes information about the data, methods and procedures of
data analysis that are used to achieve the goals of the study. It was present
in 70% of the English abstracts in contrast to 42% in the Arabic ones. The
predominant tense used across the English and Arabic linguistics abstracts
is the past. The abstracts displayed that this generic move tends to be
realized by one or more of the following constituent components:
a) Sampling procedures: The writers tend to include information about
the population of the study related to the source, setting, size and
characteristics of the sample and the tools and criteria of data collection.
The following examples illustrate this constituent step. The lexical items
indicating this step are italicized and the verb tense and voice are
(17) Research articles from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of
London, the oldest continuing journal of general scientific research, constituted
the corpus of data in this study. (Sample source) (EA 30)
(18) The data for this subject came from map task dialogues collected from 20 native
Southern California speakers… (Source and sample size) (EA 47)
(19) (AA 10)
. ‫اسرمذخ انذساسح مادذٍا انهغٌُح مه ومارج وصٍح سٍالٍح مرىُػح‬
‗The study derived its linguistic data from a variety of contextual text models‘
(Source and Characteristics of the sample)
b) Identifying data analysis procedures: The function of this constituent
step is to specify which procedures or experimental methods and
techniques were used to analyze data. The following are examples
extracted from both types of data. The lexical items indicating this step are
italicized and the verb tense and voice are underlined.
(20) Ultrasound imaging techniques and F2 measurements were employed to see how
much further front of the articulation… (EA 4)
(12) (AA 1) CSL ‫ذُصهد انذساسح انى تؼض انىرائح تؼذ ذحهٍم ػذد مه اندمم انؼشتٍح َاالودهٍضٌح تدٍاص‬
‗The study showed some results after analyzing a number of Arabic and English
sentences using the CSL apparatus.‘
A major difference between English and Arab data is that Arab PhD
candidates in linguistics always employed the active voice, whereas
English PhD candidates tended to use the passive voice with a percentage
of 77%, as is shown in the examples above. A further observation is that
both groups of writers differ in the type of information they include in this
move. While English PhD candidates in linguistics include information
about the source, setting, size, characteristics of the sample, tools and
criteria of data collection, Arab PhD candidates restrict their choice to one
sub-component (i.e. Source Sample of the study).
5.1.8 Summarizing Results
This component highlights the achievement of some significant results. It
mentions the most salient and striking findings (Salager-Meyer 1992: 105).
The data showed that this move has a higher frequency of occurrence in
English (82%) than in Arabic data (40%).
The analysis of abstracts demonstrated that the subjects of the
sentences introducing this move differ in both groups of data. English PhD
candidates in linguistics initiate this move with subjects that refer to
writer‘s own work micro-research outcome as in example (22), or to
objects of research and their attributes as in (23). The writers also tend to
start with ‗anticipatory it‘ subjects as in (24) or self-reference subjects as in
(25). These subjects occurred with verbs such as show, reveal,
demonstrate, confirm, find and indicate:
(22) Results confirm the strong relationship between prosodic structure and care of
articulation as well as an inverse relationship between language redundancy and
care of articulation. (EA 46)
(23) Utterance-final lengthening is found to be progressive. (EA 41)
(24) It is found that occlusive realizations of intervocalic /d/ are favored in wordinitial, stressed syllables… (EA 25)
(25) We show how a verb‘s extended projection may be extended by restructuring
verbs… (EA 39)
Arab PhD candidates in linguistics, on the other hand, restricted their
choices to ‗Reference to writer‘s own work macro-research outcome‘
subjects, as in example (26), and ‗self-reference‘ subjects. Besides, they
used only the verbs ‫‗ تٍه‬showed‘, ‫‗ أظٍش‬reveal‘, ‫‗ كشف‬uncovers‘, ‫‗ َخذ‬found‘,
‫‗ ذُصم‬reached‘ to express this move.
(26) (AA 3)
...،‫أظٍش انثحث أن انخالف انىحُي انكُفً ٌكاد ٌشمم خمٍغ األتُاب انىحٌُح‬
‗The research revealed the Kufi's controversial grammar almost includes all
grammatical issues …‘
Our analysis also revealed that English PhD candidates in linguistics
utilized active voice more than passive (77% vs. 23%) respectively. While
the active voice is accompanied with ‗Reference to writer‘s own work
micro-research outcome‘ subjects, it is the passive voice that is associated
with ‗anticipatory it‘. However, Arab PhD candidates in linguistics never
employed the passive voice in this move. Moreover, the distribution of verb
tenses differs in both groups of abstracts. In English abstracts, there was a
preference for the present simple tense (66%) in contrast to the past simple
tense (73%) in Arabic corpus.
5.1.9 Promoting the thesis
In this move, the writer promotes the value of the study in an attempt to
persuade the readers to read the whole thesis. This component was only
found in the abstracts written by Arab authors with a percentage of 16%. It
was realized by the use of predicative adjectives that describe the current
research. The lexical items indicating this move are underlined in the
following examples to illustrate this move.
(12) (AA 12)
‫سغم َخُد انؼذٌذ مه انذساساخ انرً ذرىاَل انظُاٌش انىحٌُح نهرفسٍشاخ انصُذٍح نكىٍا نم ذكه تٍزا انرىظٍم‬
‫َانسؼً كما كاود ٌىا‬
‗Despite the presence of many studies that have dealt with grammatical
phenomena of acoustic interpretations, they were not as organized and
comprehensive as the study presented here.‘
(12) (AA 9)
‫اصػم ان ٌزي انذساسح اسرطاػد فً مسرًٌُ تحثٍا انىظشي َانرطثٍمً ان ذخشج تمدمُػح مه انىرائح مما‬
ً‫ٌذفؼىا انى انمُل ان ٌزا انثحث كان سائذا فً مُضُػ‬
‗I argue that this study, in its theoretical and practical levels, has come up with a
set of results that lead us to say that this research was a pioneering topic of its
5.1.10 Introducing benefits
This move comprises the intended or projected outcomes of the study
presented in terms of their benefit to the ―real world‖ outside the study
itself, or even outside the research field (Connor & Mauranen 1999,
Halleck & Connor 2006). The statement of benefit may also emphasize the
theoretical importance of the study in advancing the state of knowledge in a
specific area of research (Weissberg & Buker 1990). As pointed out by
Weissberg & Buker (1990), this component should be included in the
introductions when one writes a thesis or thesis proposal, but in reports
written up as journal articles this move is often omitted. English PhD
candidates in linguistics employed this move more often (26%) than the
Arab PhD candidates (10%). The latter start this move with a nominal
clause referring to the subject of the study itself always marked by the use
of the noun ‫‗ أٌمٍح‬importance‘. For example,
(29) (AA 38)
. ً‫نهذساسح اٌمٍح كثٍشج نؼهٍا سرهمً كثٍشا مه االضُاء ػهى مىاطك مظهمح فً انىحُ انؼشت‬
‗This study is of great importance in that it sheds lights on many controversial
issues of Kufi‘s grammar.‘
English PhD candidates, on the other hand, primarily initiate this move
either with subjects that refer to the study itself, as in example (30), or
research-related events/processes, as in (31). These subjects tend to be
followed by verbs indicating advantages or benefits such as provide,
develop, solve, support and help. The predominant tense used in this move
was the present simple, as is illustrated in the following examples:
(30) This study solves several outstanding problems that traditional phonological
constituents cannot handle. (EA 22)
(31) The interpretations which these two resultatives receive support one type of
structure within the meanings of certain verbs. (EA 8)
5.1.11 Presenting conclusions and recommendations
As is shown in Table 1, this move appears in 46% of English data, while it
is rare in Arabic texts (6%). In the conclusion move, the writers attempt to
draw either a definite and unhedged deduction (Hopkins and Dudley-Evans
1988) indicating the generalizability of the results deduced, as in instances
32 and 34, or a hedged claim that aroused from the results. In example 34,
the verb suggest carries a hedged meaning similar to that of the modal verb.
This move sometimes includes a statement about the recommendations
indicating a need for further research.
English PhD candidates in linguistics initiate this move either with
‗Reference to writer‘s own work micro-research outcome‘ subjects (57%)
or with ‗anticipatory it‘ (36%). In the following examples, the subjects are
italicized and the lexical items indicating this move are underlined.
(32) It [anticipatory it] is concluded that tone perception is language dependent and
strongly influenced by musical expertise- musical aptitude and musical theory, not
musical training as such. (EA 42)
(33) This leads to the conclusion that, within English, prosodic structure is the means
with which constraints caused by requiring a robust signal are expressed in
spontaneous speech. (EA 46)
(34) The results [Reference to writer‘s own work micro-research outcome] suggest that
the learners are by and large incapable of producing the L2 vowels accurately.
(EA 49)
However, Arab PhD candidates in linguistics tend to employ the
grammatical subject that refers to the study itself (i.e. Reference to writer‘s
own work macro-research outcome). It is usually accompanied with the
verb ‫‗ خهص‬concluded‘ that directly signals the conclusion move. The
following is an example:
(35) (AA 42)
،‫خهصد انذساسح انى ضشَسج فصم اندُاوة انىظشٌح ػه اندُاوة انرطثٍمٍح‬
‗The study concluded that it is necessary to separate the theoretical aspects from
the applied ones.‘
It was also found that while the tense used in English data was the present,
the past tense was employed in Arabic. Arab authors employed the active
voice, while English PhD candidates in linguistics employed both active
(64%) and passive (36%).
5.2 Dissertation formats
Our analysis of the two sets of data revealed that the dissertation abstracts
reflected three different dissertation formats:
a) The IMRD format: This stands for the basic structural components
that typically constitute a research article (Introduction- Methods- ResultsDiscussion) and is taken to be the standard or traditional format for the PhD
dissertations (Dudley-Evans, 1999). As pointed out by Swales (2004), this
structure is essentially a blown up version of the IMRD structure of
research articles. This type is the most representative in our corpus; IMRD
structure constitutes 86% of the total number of the English sample and
42% of the Arabic abstracts analyzed.
b) Topic-based format: The body of the dissertation is a compilation
of a series of publishable articles, each of which examines a particular topic
presented in a chapter, and the collection of these specific topics has a
coherent topic or theme. The writers utilize this type to ―report and discuss
their analysis in multiple chapters (ranging from three to seven) with topicspecific titles‖ (Bunton 1998: 114). A small percentage of abstracts (12%)
in Arabic and (10%) in English was found to follow this pattern. The
writers tended to write abstracts typically opened with a component step of
the CARS structure (e.g. the general purpose of the study followed by
indicating a gap in literature and/or indicating thesis structure, etc.)
followed by the Methods move. They then present, in sequence, the
purpose of each topic followed by the results pertaining to each topic.
Finally, the writers close the sequence of topic-specific titles with a general
conclusion. In this pattern, the Methods move is optional, depending on
whether the core methods is used for most of the topics discussed;
otherwise, the methods component, if used, is given immediately after the
purpose of each topic. This structure can be represented as follows:
General purpose + (indicating a gap) + (indicating thesis structure) + (methods) +
Specific purpose or title of each topic + (methods) + results of each topic… +
c) A third set of abstracts, with the highest representation in Arabic
corpus (46%) in comparison to 4% in English, did not match either of the
two structures indicated above. Forty percent of the Arabic abstracts were
found to include only two components, the first of which is outlining
purposes followed by indicating dissertation structure. The other 6% of the
Arabic abstracts (3 instances) included only one sub-move (Indicating
dissertation structure). A further analysis of the former sub-set of abstracts
revealed that the writers first present the general goal of the study followed
by Indicating dissertation structure, which in turn includes three
component steps; a one-sentence step indicates the number of chapters that
make up the thesis, the second step designates the title of each chapter, and
the third usually takes each chapter in sequence presenting its particular
purpose followed by a summary of its content.
6. Discussion
The analysis of the English and Arabic dissertation abstracts has shown
variations in terms of the generic components utilized by the two groups of
writers and the linguistic features used in the two sets of data.
6.1 Generic structure variations
Our analysis indicated that there are eleven component moves by means of
which the schematic structures of dissertation abstracts are built, as shown
in Table 1. A comparison between Arabic linguistics dissertation abstracts
and English abstracts shows differences in the type and frequency of the
component moves employed to articulate this genre. For example, we
identified Promoting thesis move in the Arabic texts, but not in English
data. However, this promotion move does not include factual promotional
evidence to support this strategy. This may be used to reflect a kind of
appraisal for both the writers themselves and their contribution (cf. Al-Ali
& Sahawneh 2008). For English native speakers, promotion which is based
simply on feelings or desires rather than on rational judgment lacks
credibility and is likely to be viewed by the reader as purely subjective
(Bhatia 1993: 70). As an alternative strategic component, English PhD
candidates in linguistics find it necessary to exhibit the benefits and
applications of their research in order to promote their abstracts to the
wider international academic community employing a variety of lexical
options. This component was evident in 26% of the English PhD
candidates‘ data as compared to 10% in the Arabic texts. The most frequent
rhetorical appeals found in English abstracts were to what can be glossed as
benefit, facilitate, provide, help, support, allow and solve. Such positive
attitudinal items indicate the function of ‗promotion‘ or ‗selling‘. Arab PhD
candidates in linguistics, on the other hand, make a very restricted use of
this move and utilize only the noun ‫‗ أٌمٍح‬importance‘ to signal the
importance of their work without any specification of this importance. A
further instance supporting the element of objective promotion of the
English PhD candidates‘ abstracts is the high frequency of the conclusions
and recommendations move which is used to advance the researchers‘
claims. This move occurred more often in the English data (46%) in
comparison to 6% in Arabic texts. By showing the value of the results
obtained to academics in the field, English PhD candidates in linguistics
seem to be more persuasive since the main function of this move, as stated
by Hyland (2000), is to take the reader from the text into the world by
commenting on the implications of the research or its applications.
On the other hand, the English PhD candidates employ ‗Referring to
previous research‘, a component that is not utilized in Arabic texts. The
occurrence of this infrequent move (20%) in the English data may indicate
English PhD candidates‘ preference to place their work within the context
of on-going research (Nwogu 1997: 126) in order to show that their
research derives from a lively tradition of established related works in the
field. This may be also considered an attempt by the English PhD
candidates in linguistics to situate the abstracts within a wider international
academic community (Bonn & Swales 2007; Martin-Martin 2003) in
comparison to the reduced number of Arab readers as a target community.
This distinction is evinced in the frequency of the component moves
employed by the two groups of writers. One possible justification for such
a tendency may be that English PhD candidates in linguistics find it
necessary to justify and discuss the merits of their research, as well as to
exhibit its benefits. This practice, in turn, indicates that what matters for
English PhD candidates in linguistics is why (Regent 1985) and selling
(Yakhnotova 2002). In contrast, Arab PhD candidates in linguistics tend to
use instances that embody general statements indicating either the scarcity
or unavailability of the studies that have dealt with the author‘s current
study without citing previous researches.
Another significant difference between English and Arabic texts is the
tendency to omit the results and methods moves in the Arabic abstracts.
The frequencies of occurrence of these moves in Arabic data are 40% and
42%, respectively, as opposed to 82% in results and 70% in methods in the
abstracts written in English. It is obvious that most English abstracts
include a results move foregrounding the main findings, telling the readers
what they can get of the dissertation and whether it will be beneficial to
them. Hyland (2000) points out that, as a means for gaining the reader‘s
interest and acceptance, writers are anxious to underline their most central
claims by including results statements in their abstracts. In contrast, Arabic
abstracts, for the most part, are characterized by the relative absence of this
move, which supposedly involves providing information that the readers
anticipate will be given.
Regarding the methods move, English PhD candidates in linguistics
used this component in 70% of their abstracts as a way of reporting their
methods sections, whereas this practice is used in 42% of cases in Arabic.
An English speaking reader expects that the abstract will indicate how the
study was conducted because sometimes how is seen as more important
than what is found (i.e. results) to the extent that this move replaces the
results move altogether in the hard knowledge abstracts (Hyland 2000).
One possible explanation of the relative absence of the methods move in
Arabic abstracts is that methods in Arabic data generally involve the
elaboration of concepts and arguments through analogy, explanation,
illustration and detailed exemplification rather than modes of inquiry that
adopt empirical procedures.
Unlike English PhD candidates in linguistics, Arab PhD candidates
tend to place more emphasis on what. In other words, they focus on telling
the reader about the content of their research. What illustrates this tendency
is the considerable variation between the two sets of data regarding the
frequency of Indicating thesis structure. This move was evident in 78% of
the Arabic data as compared to (28%) in the English texts. A major
difference between Arabic and English abstracts lies in the fact that 40% of
the Arabic abstracts in contrast to 4% in English were found to include only
two moves, the first of which is Outlining purposes followed by Indicating
thesis structure and content. A further analysis of the latter revealed that
Arab PhD candidates in linguistics tend to utilize three steps to articulate
this move. The first step indicates the number of chapters that make up the
thesis. The second step designates the title of each chapter, and the third
usually takes each chapter in sequence presenting its particular purpose
followed by a summary of its content. This difference in rhetorical
structure leads to the argument that Arab PhD candidates in linguistics
tend to place more emphasis on giving information, particularly in the third
step, where the writers focus on telling readers what factual or
propositional content each chapter includes. That is to say, they tend to
fulfill the transactional rather than the interpersonal function of language
(Brown & Yule 1983).
A possible explanation for the high frequency of Indicating thesis
structure in the Arabic data may be related to the claim that Arab PhD
candidates in linguistics may have not yet developed a mature view of the
component moves that are used to articulate the communicative purpose of
this discourse genre. This may lend support to Swales‘ conclusion
regarding the high incidence of Indicating article structure in Cooper‘s
(1985) study of computer technology field, who found that 10 out of her 15
IEEE introductions included this move. Swales attributed the high
frequency of this move to the absence of an established schema for
research reporting in that new and rapidly evolving field. This may apply to
Arabic texts since abstract writing in PhD dissertations in Arabic linguistics
started to surface in Jordanian PhD dissertations only in 1994. In contrast,
the abstract accompanying English dissertations is considered a wellestablished practice and an essential part of academic writing (SalagerMeyer 1992; Hartley 2003; Pho 2008).
6.2 Linguistic features variations
An examination of the linguistic choices used to express the moves
articulating the abstract genre reveals similarities and differences between
the two sets of data in terms of the use of tense and voice.
Regarding the use of tense, both English and Arab PhD candidates in
linguistics showed similarities in using tense in Making topic
generalization, Indicating a gap and Describing methods moves. They used
present tense verbs to refer to general topics in the field and to gaps in
previous studies. The use of the present tense appears to be acceptable in
the two languages since the main function of this move is to claim about
the present state of knowledge generalization (Swales 1990; Santos 1996).
Likewise, in the methods move both English and Arab PhD candidates in
linguistics utilized the simple past. This is not surprising, as the purpose of
this move is to report the research methodology that has already been
employed in the study (Salager-Meyer 1992; Martin-Martin 2003; Pho
However, the two groups of writers showed remarkable variations in
tense use in Outlining purpose, Summarizing results, and Presenting
conclusions and recommendations moves. In Outlining purpose, English
PhD candidates in linguistics only used the present tense, while Arab PhD
candidates utilized both tenses, the simple past tense with a percentage of
45% vs. 55% for the simple present. It seems that Arab PhD candidates in
linguistics tend to use simple past to report what their research was about
since they make frequent reference (78%) to the type of inquiry (i.e. study
investigation) rather than the genre (dissertation or thesis). The reference to
genre, in contrast, indicates a sense of the immediate physical object in
front of the reader and thus takes the present tense (Pho 2008).
The distribution pattern of verb tenses in Presenting conclusions and
recommendations showed a preference for present tense by English PhD
candidates in linguistics. For instance, the present was the only tense used
in the conclusions move. Present tense was also utilized with a high
frequency (66%) in Summarizing results. However, in Arabic abstracts the
past was the only tense employed in the conclusions moves and there was a
preference for this tense in the results (73%) over present tense.
According to Pho (2008), the use of present tense gives the idea that
the writer is generalizing beyond the results of the study in order to give the
impression that these are widely accepted findings. The use of past tense,
on the other hand, leaves the reader with the impression that the writer is
plainly reporting the findings of the present research. Regarding Presenting
conclusions and recommendations, the present tense was employed by
English PhD candidates in linguistics to make generalizations based on the
findings in the results move (Salager-Meyer 1992; Pho, 2008). In contrast,
the past tense was exploited in the Arabic abstracts because the study may
―have not yet entered the Pantheon of received knowledge‖ (Heslot, 1985:
214), or the conclusions do not bear directly in terms of importance on the
work described (Lackstrom et al., 1970, cited in Salager-Meyer 1992).
Regarding the choice of voice (i.e. active or passive voice), we found
significant differences between the two sets of data in using the verb voice.
The past passive is overwhelmingly used (77%) in English Describing
methods move, while the active is the only voice used in Arabic methods
moves. The frequent occurrence of passive voice conventionally functions
to depersonalize the information in the methods and procedures. Our data
analysis revealed that English PhD candidates in linguistics‘ primary
concern was placing emphasis on the entities that refer to the participants in
the study, objects studied, variables and data collected (77%) followed by
what was done to them; therefore, the passive was used. This tendency
allows writers to omit the logical agent and place emphasis on the
procedure. However, Arab PhD candidates in linguistics concentrated on
using subjects that refer either to the study itself or the researcher followed
by what those subjects did, thus, the active voice was exploited.
The passive voice was also used in the English results, and conclusion
and recommendation moves. The ‗anticipatory it‘ subjects, which is
associated with passive sentences, occurred in 21% of the results and in
36% of the conclusion moves of the English sample. Since the ‗anticipatory
it‘ is associated with passive sentences, the more frequent use of it means
the more frequent use of the passive voice. However, no instances of the
passive were encountered in the Arabic sample. One possible explanation
for the greater use of the passive by English PhD candidates in linguistics
in the conclusion moves is that the authors in this unit give their own
interpretations that may not be the only ones. Therefore, they seem to
prefer detaching themselves from the claims they made by using the
passive voice as they know their claims are to be questioned (SalagerMeyer 1992).
English passive allows both the mention and the deletion of the agent.
This means that English has two passive constructions: agentive and
agentless. In contrast, the Arabic passive, according to (Khalill 1999), is
always agentless; this means that Standard written Arabic does not allow
the agent to appear. Therefore, a possible explanation of the dearth of
passive constructions in Arabic texts might be found in the inherent
linguistic nature of passive in Arabic, which does not allow the agent to
appear, in contrast to English passive which allows the writers not only to
mention the agent but also to highlight it. The fact that the Arabic passive is
agentless also provides evidence for the non-synonymity of active-passive
7. Conclusion and implications
In this paper we have analyzed two sets of PhD dissertation abstracts in
linguistics selected from two different languages, English and Arabic,
which represent two different cultural proclivities. We have explored
English and Arab writers‘ available generic resources through which
writers textualize their discourse in order to achieve the communicative
purpose of this genre. The study has also identified generic and linguistic
similarities and variation across the same written discourse genre. At the
microlevel of analysis, we have identified the linguistic features used to
express the genre components and attempted to justify why writers from
different cultures employ different linguistic recourses. On the macrostructure level, this small scale study has shown that the generic structure
of abstracts written in Arabic and English reflect rhetorical patterns
showing similarity with the four basic move-model (Bhatia 1993) and the
CARS structure (Swales 1990), as well as the third alternative pattern
drawing mainly on both, the CARS and IMRD structures.
However, the macro (i.e. generic structure) and micro levels (i.e.
linguistic representation of genre components) have revealed some of the
ways dissertation abstracts vary across different languages and cultures.
The comparison shows differences in the type and frequency of the
component moves employed. For example, in the Arabic texts we
identified unsupported promotional claims that are not based on factual
evidence indicated by Promoting theses move. This strategic component
was not found in English. However, the English PhD candidates in
linguistics make use of objective promotion claims, especially in the
conclusions and recommendations move. They find it necessary to
foreground the value of the results obtained and exhibit the benefits and
applications of their research in order to promote their abstracts to the
wider international academic community. Another significant difference is
that English PhD candidates in linguistics tend to utilize Referring to
previous research, a component that is not utilized in the Arabic abstracts,
to show that their research derives from a lively tradition of established
related works of the target academic community. In contrast, Arab PhD
candidates do not justify their research by the naming of specific
researchers in the selected area. Instead, they tend to utilize other
alternative strategies to justify their research, such as making topic
generalizations about current knowledge in the area by using (component
move 2) and/or addressing the centrality of the general topic by means of
(component move 1); such tendencies are more frequent in Arabic texts
than in the English. A further possible explanation is that the writers of
Arabic texts tend to focus on providing information more than on justifying
their research. This was evident in the high percentage of Indicating thesis
structure (46%), which was evident in Arabic texts in comparison to (4%)
in English.
A further difference between the two sets of data is the strong
tendency to include the methods move in the English texts to indicate how
the study was conducted. Arab PhD candidates in linguistics tend to place
more emphasis on what. This tendency is reflected in the high frequency of
Indicating thesis structure move, in which Arab candidates present a
summary of the chapters constituting a thesis. This difference in rhetorical
structure leads to the argument that Arab PhD candidates in linguistics tend
to place more emphasis on telling readers what content each chapter
includes rather than on selling their research to their peer academics in the
field. Consequently, it appears that Arab PhD candidates in linguistics have
developed a practice of abstract writing different from the well-established
practice developed by English native speakers in order to articulate the
communicative purpose of the discourse genre. At the same time, Arab
PhD candidates also need to learn how to foreground objectively the value
of their research to the wider international academic community by
learning the generic options that are used to articulate this promotion
purpose. There is a need for guides which show PhD candidates the kind of
generic options that occur in authentic texts and provide a rationale for the
various choices writers might make (Swales & Feak 2000). Students also
need to be instructed on the particular values of the abstracting services and
the importance of including abstracts in Arabic dissertations.
The analysis at the micro-level carried out in this study indicates that
the abstracts written in both languages share some linguistic features as
regards the use of simple present tense in Making topic generalization,
Indicating a gap moves, and the use of simple past in Describing methods
moves. The use of present tense is acceptable in both languages to
generalize about the state of knowledge; likewise, the past tense is used in
the methods moves to report the research methodology that has already
been employed. However, there are variations in tense use in the other
moves that can be attributed to socio-cultural expectations, as indicated in
the Discussion Section. The greater use of passive in English in contrast to
its scarce use in Arabic texts might be attributed to differences in the
linguistic resources and stylistic conventions. In contrast to English
passive, which allows the writers not only to mention the agent but also to
highlight it, the inherent linguistic nature of passive in Arabic does not
always allow the agent to appear.
It is hoped that the findings of the current study can be used to
familiarize both native speakers and non-native speakers of English and
Arabic with the generic options, as non-native speakers may lack not only
the necessary level of language proficiency, but also the necessary genre
knowledge (see Bhatia 1999 and Paltridge 2002) required of PhD
candidates to succeed in writing abstracts. Furthermore, it is not enough to
teach all students from different fields the rhetorical structures suggested
by the general abstracting guidelines; instead, students should be taught
according to the conventions of abstract writing in their own fields
(Stotesbury 2003: 340). It would also be interesting to carry out cross
linguistic studies to compare the use of verb tenses and passive
constructions in other languages with their use in English.
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Contact information:
Mohammed Nahar Al-Ali
Department of English Language and Linguistics
Jordan University of Science and Technology
PO Box 3030 Irbid, Jordan
e-mail: alali (at) just (dot) edu (dot) jo
Yara Bsharah Sahawneh
Department of English Language and Linguistics
Jordan University of Science and Technology
PO Box 3030 Irbid, Jordan
e-mail: mary (dot) sahawneh (at) yahoo (dot) com
Grégory Furmaniak
On the Emergence of the Epistemic Use of Must1
This corpus-based study of the emergence of epistemic must in English aims to reassess
Sweetser‘s (1990) account of the conceptual and historical links between root and
epistemic meanings and defends an alternative view of the category of epistemic
qualification. After discussing the problems posed by the metaphorical hypothesis, it
proposes a frame-based account of modality and of the various meanings of must in the
light of which the historical data is re-examined. It is then suggested that the problems
with Sweetser‘s analysis spring from the commonly-held view that epistemic meanings
are conceptually derived from root ones. The hypothesis is formulated that epistemic
qualification, unlike root modality, does not pertain to the schematic system of forcedynamics and that there is no conceptual basis for postulating a general semantic
category (known as modality) subsuming root and epistemic meanings. The rise of
epistemic must is explained by the fact that root meanings are underpinned by complex
conceptual frames which, beside their core force-dynamic structure, also contain
components that pertain to epistemicity and which, in certain contexts, become so
prominent that they take over the primary root interpretation.
1. Introduction
This case-study of the emergence of epistemic must aims to reassess
Sweetser‘s seminal work (1990) on the conceptual and historical links
between root and epistemic meanings. Sweetser‘s use of metaphor to
explain both the evolution of the English modals and the conceptual
relationships between the two categories has often been criticised (cf.
Hopper & Traugott 1993; Bybee et al. 1994; Pelyvàs 1996, 2000, 2006;
I wish to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments on the first
version of this paper. Any remaining errors are mine.
SKY Journal of Linguistics 24 (2011), 41–73
Diewald 1999; Lampert & Lampert 2000; Goossens 1999, 2000; Traugott
& Dascher 2002, inter alia). Yet, her account of epistemicity in terms of
force dynamics is still widely endorsed – at least partially – in the field of
cognitive linguistics (cf. Achard 1998; Talmy 2000; Mortelmans 2001;
Langacker 2002; Radden & Dirven 2007, inter alia).
Beside theoretical objections, a number of critiques have also been
levelled at Sweetser‘s (1990) description on account of its empirical
inadequacy (see, in particular, Pelyvàs 1996; Goossens 1999, 2000 and
Traugott & Dascher 2002). Although some scholars (cf. Goossens 1999
and Traugott & Dascher 2002) have since provided accounts of the
emergence of epistemic must based on more solid diachronic evidence, the
absence of consensus on the origin of this use suggests that the debate is
not over.
Based on a fine-grained analysis of must in a sample of dramatic texts
from the 17th to the end of the 19th century, this study therefore proposes
an alternative account of the historical shift from the root to the epistemic
uses of must as well as new insights into the category of epistemic
qualification. It demonstrates that the data do not corroborate Sweetser‘s
metaphorical hypothesis and suggests that the rise of epistemic must was
permitted by a shift in the distribution of attention (cf. Talmy 2007) within
the semantic frame (or script) underlying root meanings. Building on
various frame-based approaches (Fillmore 1982; Lakoff 1987; Langacker
1991; Furmaniak 2010), it claims that root must refers to a complex
conceptual frame which, from the start, contained an epistemic judgement
concerning the occurrence of the modalised state of affairs and that, in
certain contexts, this backgrounded epistemic position became
foregrounded and conventionalised into a separate sense of the modal.
This hypothesis lends credence to the view held by Lampert &
Lampert (2000) and Nuyts (2001) that epistemic qualification is better
analysed as a semantic category distinct from root modality.
The first section reassesses Sweetser‘s hypothesis in the light of the
recent literature. The second part describes the methodology used in this
study. The results of the corpus-analysis are then given which add weight
to the arguments against Sweetser‘s theory and lead to an alternative
characterisation of epistemicity. In the final section, it is shown that this
new analysis provides an account of the emergence of epistemic must that
is consistent with the historical data.
2. Discussion of the metaphorical hypothesis (Sweetser 1990)
2.1 Sweetser’s (1990) account
Drawing on Talmy‘s analysis (1988) of root modality, Sweetser (1990)
suggests that the epistemic uses of modals derive from the extension of
force-dynamic values pertaining to the socio-physical domain to the
epistemic domain. She argues that
[p]ast historical changes in this domain, then, were shaped by a general semantic
linkage which probably has inherent psycholinguistic motivation. […] Thus we
view our reasoning processes as being subject to compulsions, obligations, and
other modalities, just as our real-world actions are subject to modalities of the
same sort. (1990: 50)
For instance, she claims (ibid.: 61) that (1), where must has its deontic
meaning, can be paraphrased as (2), while (3), where the modal is
epistemic, should be glossed as (4).
You must come home by ten. (Mom said so.)
The direct force (of Mom’s authority) compels you to come home by ten.
You must have been home last night.
The available (direct) evidence compels me to the conclusion that you were home.
In (3), the necessity bears neither on the state of affairs denoted by the VP,
as in (1), nor, for that matter, on an event pertaining to the socio-physical
world, but on the speaker‘s reasoning. According to Sweetser (ibid.), the
speaker is construed as being compelled, by the available evidence, to
conclude that the state of affairs holds. The main claim, then, of what can
be called the metaphorical hypothesis, is that the English modals construe
epistemic modality in terms of semantic schemas that primarily apply to
(the cognizer‘s representation of) entities belonging to the socio-physical
world and which are mapped onto entities of the mental world.
2.2 Arguments against the metaphorical hypothesis
Attractive as it may be, the metaphorical hypothesis has been challenged in
the recent literature.
From a historical perspective, first, Traugott & Dascher (2002: 111)
have questioned the role of metaphor as a factor of linguistic change.
Instead, they have argued that the main mechanism of change is metonymic
in nature and consists in the strengthening of pragmatic inferences in
certain contexts. In a similar vein, Goossens (1999, 2000) has suggested
that semantic changes originate in gradual shifts of uses.
Another problem, noted by Langacker (1991) and Pelyvàs (1996), is
that the metaphorical hypothesis only applies to a handful of modals,
namely, must, have to and may,2 while the epistemic uses of will, would,
might, should and ought to cannot be accounted for in those terms. Neither
does it apply, in fact, to the class of epistemic adjectives, adverbs and
verbs, most of which exhibit no link whatsoever with the system of force
dynamics. In that respect, the hypothesis fails to provide a unitary
description of the grammatical class of the English modals and of the
semantic category of epistemic qualification. Nor does it explain the nearsynonymy of (5) and (6).
He must be mad!
He is probably mad!
Other scholars (cf. Lampert & Lampert 2000; Nuyts 2001) express some
doubts concerning the close conceptual link between root and epistemic
qualifications that is implied by the metaphorical hypothesis and suggest
that epistemic qualification is best treated as an independent semantic
category. They argue that epistemicity exhibits properties that are
inconsistent with the metaphorical hypothesis. Among these is the
gradability of epistemic expressions (e.g. very likely/probable/probably or
may/might well3), a property which, Westney (1986) and Nuyts (2001) have
remarked, is not shared by root expressions (e.g. *very obligatory/
In fact, Pelyvàs (ibid.) also questions the validity of Sweetser‘s account of the rise of
epistemic may, which, he suggests, derives not from the sense of ―permission‖ but from
a now extinct sense of ―ability‖.
Palmer (1990: 68) argues that the role of well is to ―strengthen the possibility‖
expressed by the modal.
permitted). If epistemic meanings were just metaphorical extensions of root
meanings, Pelyvàs (1996, 2000, 2006) argues, they should preserve the
conceptual structure of the latter. Even if there is some truth in this
argument (epistemic expressions do tend to be scalar, unlike root
expressions), it could be objected that gradability is more a property of
expressions (and of the type of construals they encode) than of the semantic
category itself. After all, with the exceptions of well and just (cf. Palmer
1990: 68), epistemic modals are seldom qualified, while root modals
sometimes are (e.g. you must really/absolutely see that film!). However that
may be, even though the question of scalarity does not totally undermine
the metaphorical hypothesis, it is an issue that it fails to address.
Sweetser‘s claims are mainly based on historical evidence but she also
invokes crosslinguistic arguments, underlining ―an evident crosslinguistic
tendency for lexical items to be ambiguous between those two sets of
senses‖ (1990: 49). However, this commonly-held view is disconfirmed by
the findings of van der Auwera & Ammann (2005) who show that
polyfunctionality (i.e. the capacity for a modal expression to have both a
root and an epistemic meaning) is not the rule across languages. Of the 241
languages they have examined, 51% do not have polyfunctional
The last theoretical argument against the metaphorical hypothesis has
to do with the informal paraphrase (4) used by Sweetser to make explicit
the underlying semantic structure of epistemic must. Although her analysis
is meant as an improvement to Tregidgo‘s (1982), it is in fact liable to the
same kind of criticism. Tregidgo argues that the difference between the
root and epistemic senses of modals can be explained by a change of
predicate in the underlying semantic representation of the sentence. Thus,
while root must can be formalised as (7), where the agent (Y) is compelled
by the deontic source (X) to cause the state of affairs (ab), epistemic must
has the semantic structure in (8), where the speaker (Y) is compelled by the
evidence (X) to state that the situation (ab) holds.
Root must: a must b = X DEMAND Y – Y CAUSE ab
Epistemic must: a must b = X DEMAND Y – Y STATE ab
This, of course, does not prevent speakers of these languages from conveying
epistemic judgements.
The problem posed by this analysis – and rightly observed by Sweetser – is
that nothing forces the speaker to actually state that the proposition is true.
Stating is indeed a voluntary act and there is little sense of deciding in
sentences with epistemic must. But in fact, much the same objection can be
raised against Sweetser‘s paraphrase in (4). In (3), nothing compels the
speaker to actually conclude that the state of affairs holds. Concluding, like
stating, conveys a sense of decision which is absent from (3). As a matter
of fact, even in strict truth-conditional terms,5 (3) is not equivalent to (9).
I must conclude that you were home last night.
Given the list of arguments against the metaphorical hypothesis, it seems
justified to reassess it in the light of a more thorough investigation of the
historical data.
3. Methodology
Insofar as Sweetser‘s argument rests mainly on her own interpretation of
the historical evolution of the English modals, I re-examine her conclusions
in the light of a sample of English texts ranging from the 17th to the end of
the 19th century (cf. appendix for details about the corpus). This is all the
more necessary as Sweetser‘s analysis does not seem to be based on a
thorough and fine-grained corpus-analysis, while Goossens (1999, 2000)
and Traugott & Dascher (2002) disagree as to the origin of the epistemic
use of must.
My corpus is composed of dramatic texts by English-born authors
dated from 1600 to 1899, the period during which the epistemic use of must
is thought to have emerged (according to the OED and Goossens 1999).
Each century is divided into five spans of 20 years so that each century is
evenly covered. Each 20-year period contains two texts of equivalent size
(15,000 words  5%) by two different authors of the same generation (i.e.
aged between 21 and 40 on year 1 of the period6).
As underlined by Langacker (1991: 273), Sweetser‘s glosses ―are obviously not
intended as serious paraphrases‖. In particular, they are not meant to account for the
specific construals underlying the uses of modal auxiliaries. Yet, as glosses, they are
expected to be at least truth-conditionally equivalent to the sentences they paraphrase.
This parameter guarantees that any author whose lifetime spans over two or more
periods appears in one period only.
Thanks to the AntConc 3.2.1 software, all the occurrences of must in
the corpus were extracted. Interrogative and negative forms were excluded
because, as is well known (cf. Palmer 1990), must is never epistemic in the
interrogative and rarely so in the negative (until recently, at least). The
remaining 954 occurrences were sorted out according to their meanings.
4. Back to the data
In this section, I first present a brief overview of the literature on the origin
of the epistemic use of must. I then describe the theoretical framework I
work with and the semantic classification I use for must.
4.1 On the origin of the epistemic use of must
There is no consensus in the literature as regards the source of the
epistemic use of must and the date of its emergence.
According to Sweetser (1990), epistemic must comes from the sense
of ―obligation‖, while Goossens (1999) claims that two parallel paths may
have been involved and therefore proposes two different sources: the
deontic interpretation (―obligation‖) and a meaning he calls ―inferable
necessity‖ or ―objective inference‖ where ―must expresses an inference
which is not defeasible‖ (1999: 196). For Traugott & Dascher (2002), the
modal‘s epistemic use was derived from a meaning of ―general necessity‖,
which they however fail to define precisely.
As for the first occurrences of this use, the dates range from the end of
the 14th century (cf. Visser 1966) to the middle of the 17th century,
according to The Oxford English Dictionary. Traugott & Dascher (ibid.)
suggest that there were already instances of epistemic must in Old English
(5th to 12th century) but that they were rare, ambiguous and that they
always expressed objective epistemic modality. The unambiguous
occurrences of epistemic must they found in Middle English (13th–14th
centuries) were also of the objective type. They date the use of must as an
expression of subjective7 epistemic modality to the 16th and 17th centuries,
one century earlier than Goossens (1999).
One reason for this lack of consensus is that scholars use different
semantic categories which, moreover, are not always clearly defined.
As we shall see, subjectivity for Traugott and colleagues is concerned with the
expression of textual and expressive meanings (cf. Traugott 1989: 35).
Before embarking on the analysis of the data, I therefore find it important
to precisely characterise the various meanings I shall be referring to as well
as the theoretical framework on which this semantic typology is based.
4.2 Theoretical background
According to Talmy (1988, 2000), concepts that are connected to causation
and root modality are generated by the schematic system of force
dynamics. Deontic obligation, for instance, corresponds to the following
scenario: an antagonist (the speaker in (10)) wants the event denoted by the
modalised clause to occur and exerts some pressure (which can be physical,
social or psychological) on the agonist (denoted by the subject) to get
him/her to act accordingly. The agonist however has an opposite tendency
– which results in an opposition of forces whose outcome (called the
Resultant) is the realisation or non-realisation of the event.
Sus.: Settle here! — oh, dear me, how happy I am. […]
Chas.: Yes, we shall be so happy.
Sus.: Oh, quite: only you must promise me, now, you won't flirt with the girls,
nor dance with Sally and Mary at our village dance.
Chas.: No, no, with none but you. (Beazley, 1826) 8
Nevertheless, this basic force-dynamic configuration is nothing more than a
blueprint which fails to fully characterise the various meanings and shades
of meaning that root must can convey (cf. Antinucci & Parisi 1971; Lakoff
1972; Larreya 1984).
In order to capture the rich semantics of root modality, I therefore
propose that any given modal meaning (such as ―obligation‖) is
underpinned by a much more complex conceptual structure or frame (cf.
Fillmore 1982; Lakoff 1987) whose components (whether they are explicit
or not) are key to characterising the concept fully. As figure 1 suggests,
there is more to the sense of ―obligation‖ than a force-dynamic opposition
between two participants with opposite tendencies (a simplified version of
the frame is given here9).
The source of the example (author and date) is indicated in parentheses.
For a fuller account of the ―obligation‖ script, see Furmaniak (2010).
[SoA] ]
[Antag. ACT ON Ago.]
[Ago. ACTV]SoA
Figure 1. Frame for deontic obligation
Two types of components are at work within this frame (or script10). Those
that are related to force dynamics (in bold), which constitute the core of the
frame, and those more peripheral elements which do not pertain to force
dynamics but to what Talmy (2000, 2007) calls ―cognitive state‖11 (in
italics). The force-dynamic part, which I assume to be structured as a
causal chain, reads as follows (from top to bottom): The antagonist wants
the state of affairs denoted by the sentence (noted ―SoA‖) to take place and
therefore exerts some pressure (noted ―ACT ON‖) on the agonist. This
hypothetically (hence the dashed arrows and box) causes the agonist to
agree12 to act in the manner described by the verb (noted ―ACTV‖) and
from this compliance normally results the state of affairs.
As for the schematic system of cognitive state, a distinction must be
made between the interior of the conceptualised scene (where the
antagonist is conceived as wanting as well as expecting the event to occur)
and its exterior where the cognizer – who is often but not necessarily
identical with the speaker13 – is presented as being aware of the force10
The notion of script is due to Schank & Abelson (1977) and is used for a frame with a
sequence of events.
This schematic system generates notions like intention, evidentiality and, of course,
epistemic qualification (Talmy 2000).
On the reason why the agonist‘s agreement is a force-dynamic notion, unlike the
antagonist‘s act of wanting, see Furmaniak (2010).
It is useful to distinguish the speaker – the ―actual person physically producing an
utterance‖ (Brisard 2006: 48) – from the cognizer (or conceptualizer) who ―refers to the
instance that defines the (conceptual) viewpoint or perspective on a given scene‖ (ibid.).
Although the speaker‘s viewpoint is usually adopted (one of the exceptions being
dynamic situation and as expecting the event to happen. That the realisation
of the state of affairs is the expected outcome of its necessary character is
crucial for what comes next and has already been noted by Traugott (1989)
and Radden & Dirven (2007). As pointed out by Traugott (ibid.: 50), the
fact that You must go entails that the speaker expects that the event will
take place is evidenced by the oddness of (11).
(11) ? He must go but maybe he won’t.
I only differ from Traugott in that she sees this judgement as a pragmatic
inference, whereas I argue that it is an essential component of the concept
of ―obligation‖ and of other types of root necessity. This is supported by
the fact that if the event is not expected to take place, should or be
supposed to is used instead of must. In that respect, I follow Brisard (2006)
who considers that
[s]uch associations may have greater or lesser degrees of prominence, depending
on things like frequency and context, and thus they may vary in the necessity with
which they are felt to accompany the use of a particular item. But that is no reason
to call them pragmatic, if pragmatics is the study of particular meaning effects
related to a speaker‘s intentional, strategic behavior. (Brisard 2006: 63)
4.3 The meanings of must
I agree with Sweetser (1990) that the three root meanings of must which I
distinguish refer to force-dynamic situations in the socio-physical world: an
antagonist exerts some pressure on the agonist, which normally results in
the occurrence of the state of affairs. In order to clearly differentiate these
three uses, two parameters will be considered:
(i) The desirability of the modalised state of affairs. As shown by Larreya
(1984), Pelyvàs (2000) and Cotte (2003), volition is indeed one of the main
criteria for distinguishing between different modal meanings.
sentences in free indirect speech), it is not rare for a sentence to involve other
viewpoints and thus other cognizers. For example, in John believes that Mary is mad,
the fact that John holds a given belief is viewed from the speaker‘s perspective but the
viewpoint from which Mary‘s possible madness is envisaged is that of John.
(ii) The nature of the agonist and whether s/he (or it)14 is explicit or not.
Within a cognitive framework, the formal realisation of a sentence (e.g.
whether the agonist is expressed or not) reflects the construal of the scene
represented and therefore affects meaning.
4.3.1 “Obligation”
The sense of ―obligation‖ is exemplified by (12–14). The source of the
obligation can be deontic, as in (12), circumstantial, as in (13), or dynamic,
as in (14) (cf. Huddleston & Pullum 2002: 181–185).
(12) You must behave yourself, dear.
(13) In order to walk you must first get up and make your first steps.
(14) He must do that kind of things!
As the subject of the sentence, the agonist is explicitly presented as coerced
by the antagonist into acting in the way described by the VP. The necessary
action can be desirable per se (because the antagonist wants it to happen, as
in (12)), or as desirable relative to some purpose,15 as in (13). Example (14)
is a special case of ―obligation‖ which can be called ―compulsion‖. It is a
kind of ―obligation‖ because the agonist is explicitly staged as a potential
agent while the event is understood to be demanded by the antagonist.
What sets this use apart is that the antagonist is a part of the agonist
himself/herself (cf. Talmy‘s theory of ―Divided self‖ (2000: 431–432)).
Example (14) may indeed be glossed as (15).
(15) He can’t help doing that kind of things.
As we shall see, the roles of agonist and antagonist can be filled by inanimate and
even abstract entities.
This use, usually referred to as the anankastic conditional, has been extensively
studied in formal semantics (cf. von Wright 1963; Sæbø 2001; von Stechow et al. 2006,
inter alia). On the basis of this body of works, I consider that even though the initial
cause of the necessity may be a physical law, this type of sentences crucially involves a
mediating – albeit hypothetical – desire to reach the goal expressed by the infinitival
clause and, consequently, to accomplish the necessary action. In other words, these
sentences mean that if the goal is desirable, so is the modalised state of affairs, since it
is a necessary condition for the accomplishment of the goal.
4.3.2 “(Wide-scope) necessity”16
When the modal expresses ―wide-scope necessity‖, as in (16–18), the
modalised state of affairs can be either an event or a state.
(16) Dap.: Shall I not have it with me?
Sub.: O, good sir! There must a world of ceremonies pass;
You must be bath'd and fumigated first:
Besides the queen of Fairy does not rise
Till it be noon. (Jonson, 1610)
(17) I must and will have a kiss to give my wine a zest. (Gay, 1728)
(18) You must be 18 to enter.
As in the previous case, the state of affairs is desirable because some entity
wants it to take place, as in (16–17), or it is desirable relative to some
purpose, as in (18). However, this use differs from the sense of ―obligation‖
in that the subject does not refer to the agonist. Even when an agent can be
retrieved – as in (17), from which it is possible to infer You must and will
give me a kiss – the fact that s/he is obliged to carry out the described
action is backgrounded. The focus is therefore on the necessary character
of the situation as a whole.
Although in most cases, as in (16–17), the agonist is simply
―demoted‖ (cf. Talmy 2000: 442) but retrievable, the state of affairs is
sometimes presented as necessary without implicating any agentivity. A
case in point is example (18), which conveys no sense of pressure on the
subject (or an unexpressed agonist) to act in a given way. Yet, although
(18) might be thought to exemplify a different use of the modal, it appears,
in fact, that it owes its specificity to the meaning of the VP, which refers to
a property that cannot be acquired through a voluntary act.17 With more
prototypical states, however, sentences are always open to the implication
that the realisation of the necessary condition requires that an (implicit)
agonist act in the appropriate way. Example (19), for instance, gives rise to
the inference that it is the stage director‘s responsibility to arrange the
scene so as to make it open.
I use the term ―wide-scope modality‖ after Depraetere & Reed (2011).
Part of the same class are VPs such as be tall, be small, be white, have blue eyes, etc.
(19) Curtain rises upon the Exterior of a Country Inn, ―The Red Lion,‖ R.; back of
scene to be sufficiently open to show a considerable portion of the Village and a
Country Road, which appears and disappears winding among thick clumps of
trees; […] the entire arrangement of scene must be very open, sunny, and
picturesque, giving an idea of rural beauty and seclusion. (Phillips, 1862)
4.3.3 “Inevitability”
When it expresses the sense of ―inevitability‖, as in (20), the modal
indicates that the state of affairs is bound to occur because it is part of the
normal course of events. This use differs from the previous ones in that the
state of affairs does not appear desirable. In fact, the opposite implication is
often conveyed, as is clear from (20).
(20) A few hours more, and she will be lost to me for ever. And shall I remain to
witness the happiness which must destroy mine? No, no – my determination is
fixed. This letter to my old Colonel will secure Frederick promotion. I will
dispatch it, and depart without again seeing Cecilia. (Beazley, 1821)
In such sentences, the subject is not conceived as compelled to act in a
specific way and therefore does not refer to the agonist. Neither is there an
unexpressed agent who could be seen as under obligation to cause the
described state of affairs. On the contrary, the event is assumed to be
beyond human agency – hence the nuance of fatality – and to be caused by
some unidentified force (which can be fate, circumstances or natural laws).
Since neither the agonist nor the antagonist correspond to human entities,
the force-dynamic pattern takes on a more abstract form, which can be
accounted for in terms of Langacker‘s ―Dynamic Evolutionary Model‖
(1991: 275).
My claim is that the force-dynamic configuration that has just been
described still pertains to the socio-physical world but that instead of
involving entities belonging to the world, it concerns the world itself – or,
more accurately, the cognizer‘s representation of it. Here, I follow
Langacker‘s distinction between the world, a ―stable framework within
which situations arise and events unfold‖ (ibid.), and what happens within
it. According to him, ―there is an essential force-dynamic aspect to our
representation of [the world‘s] structure, which we see as constraining and
influencing the events that unfold within it‖ (276). In other words, the
world at a given moment is conceived as making some events possible,
others impossible and others still, necessary. In the conceptual structure
underlying the meaning of ―inevitability‖, the antagonist is therefore
equated with the world at a given time while the agonist corresponds to
evolving reality at some subsequent time, which is constrained into
conforming to the situation denoted by the proposition. However, I wish to
challenge Langacker‘s (2002: 336) assumption that the modal in sentences
like (21) – and he would probably analyse (20) in the same way – expresses
an epistemic meaning.
(21) The way things are going, we should finish by noon.
I do not deny that in (20) and (21) the state of affairs is under the scope of
an epistemic judgement. As we have seen, root must implies that the
speaker expects the necessary state of affairs to hold. But I claim that if
Langacker‘s account of (21) and my analysis of (20) along the same lines
are correct, then, these sentences are essentially about a force-dynamic
situation holding in the socio-physical world, which, in my view, is a
defining feature of root modality.
4.3.4 “(Strong) probability”
In the use illustrated by (22), must conveys a high degree of probability
which is inferred from available evidence (cf. Palmer 1990: 54). In this
example, the speaker‘s inference is explicitly based on the fact that his
master ―scrambled, neck or nothing, into this infernal place‖.
(22) Oh dear! I am half mad; my master must be quite mad, or he'd never have
scrambled, neck or nothing, into this infernal place. I'm sure I caught a glance of
him but an instant since. (Fitzball, 1827)
With this use, we leave the domain of root modality and, I argue, of force
dynamics, to enter the realm of epistemic qualification, which is concerned
with the cognizer‘s evaluation ―of the likelihood of the state of affairs‖
(Nuyts 2001: xvi).
Having thus characterised the four main uses of must, I now present
and discuss the results of the corpus-analysis with particular emphasis on
the rise of epistemic must and on the conceptual link between root and
epistemic meanings.
4.4 Results of the corpus-analysis
Table 1 gives the distribution in absolute and relative values of the different
uses of must in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. It shows that the
epistemic meaning increased significantly over the period. Starting as a
minor use in the 17th century (2.2% of all examples), it then expanded
significantly in the 18th century, to reach the proportion of 16.4% in the
19th century. Over the same period, the sense of ―inevitability‖ declined in
inverse proportion to the epistemic use.18
Table 1. Evolution of the uses of must (1600–1899)
Let us now consider the case of must followed by the perfect infinitive,19 as
illustrated by (23).
(23) Pray, tell me, Sir! You must have lost your wits or all sense of shame. How could
you think of giving Lucetta such a sum? A thousand pounds! (King, 1763)
As the construction is known to be highly compatible with the epistemic
reading of the modal (cf. Palmer 1990; Bybee et al. 1994, among others),
there is a possibility that it played a role in the emergence of the sense of
―probability‖. Evidence of this is found in table 2 which shows that the
construction developed in the 18th century (with, from the start, a high
proportion of epistemic meanings), that is, in the very same period that saw
the sharp increase of epistemic uses (cf. table 1).
The reasons for this decline are not totally clear at this stage and will be the object of
some future research. It is perhaps significant that the two meanings whose frequencies
decreased in the 19th century (namely: ―necessity‖ and ―inevitability‖) are those in
which the speaker‘s role is minimal – in the sense that s/he is construed as an external
observer of a force-dynamic situation. However, to back up the claim that the increase
of the speaker‘s role is (one of) the determining factor(s), it must be shown that, within
the sense of ―obligation‖, there was a similar decrease of occurrences in which the
speaker was not the deontic source.
The corpus contains no occurrence of must followed by the progressive form.
Table 2. Evolution of the uses of must followed by the perfect infinitive (1600–1899)
As reported in tables 1 and 2, there are a number of examples whose
meanings were found indeterminate, that is, instances where two or more
readings of the modal were possible (and compatible20). The relevance of
such cases for diachronic studies is now well-known (cf. Hopper &
Traugott 1993; Goossens 1999; Heine 2002; Traugott 2006, inter alia),
insofar as they provide the ―transitional uses‖ or ―bridges‖ showing ―what
the precise basis for the development may have been‖ (Goossens 1999:
196). Of special interest to us, therefore, are those examples in which the
epistemic sense of must co-exists with another interpretation.
Interestingly, while indeterminacy affects all the uses of the modal,
the epistemic meaning only combines with the sense of ―inevitability‖. This
partially confirms Goossens‘ (1999, 2000) finding and deals a serious blow
at the metaphorical hypothesis, since the agent/speaker mapping that was
crucial to it turns out not be supported by the data. The indeterminacy
between those two meanings is illustrated by (24–25).
(24) But I must explain to you, Sir, that my risibility, just now, was excited by the
remembrance of the stately tribe that have stalked thro' life, in that mansion. I'll
be bound that not a soul of them, from generation to generation, was ever
detected in any thing beyond a simper. Well! Rest them – merry, I was going to
say – but that is impossible – they must be grand and melancholy, even in
Paradise. (Holman, 1811)
(25) After placing the proctors at the table in the parlour, and supplying them with
necessaries for the work, I was going up the back stairs to my own apartment the
garret, when, bless my eyes! What should I see but your uncle. A scream testified
my surprise, and my immediately running from him must have increased his. I
believe he will follow me if he can muster so much strength. (King, 1763)
Although Goossens (ibid.) recognises the sense he calls ―objective
inference‖ – which is analogous to the meaning I refer to as ―inevitability‖
I distinguish ―indeterminacy‖ thus defined from ―ambiguity‖ which refers to the
possibility for an expression to convey two conflicting interpretations.
– as the main source of the epistemic meaning, he also suggests that the
deontic use may have played a role in the rise of epistemic must, arguing
that verbs that ―can be taken to be both non-controlled or controlled (or at
least controllable)‖ (1999: 199) – e.g. remember, know and, occasionally,
be – provide another type of transitional context. I find this debatable for
two reasons. First, these are clearly not cases of indeterminacy but of
ambiguity —which, I would suggest, is a consequence and not a cause of
semantic change. Although it is true that You must know p can be
interpreted either as I have to tell you that p (deontic) or as You probably
know p (epistemic), these are radically different and incompatible
interpretations (why should I have to tell you p if I think that you already
know p?) which are therefore hard to regard as metonymic bridges. Indeed,
Goossens himself defines transitional contexts as ―contexts in which the
two interpretations are simultaneously relevant‖ (ibid., 195–196). Second,
it is usually possible to disambiguate the modal by taking the wider context
into account. In (26), for instance, although You must know the first thing I
did is potentially ambiguous,21 the context leaves no doubt that the deontic
reading is the intended one.
(26) Buckthorn.: At what [were you surprised], Mrs. Matron!
Posset.: Why, Sir, as I was chafing the Ladies’ temples (as I was telling you) –
but you must know the first thing I did, was to hold a looking-glass to their
mouths. (Bacon, 1757)
The data therefore adds weight to the critique of the metaphorical
hypothesis developed in the first section, and it is therefore justified to look
for an alternative account of the epistemic category and of the conceptual
and historical links between root and epistemic meanings.
5. Redefining epistemicity
The main inconsistencies in Sweetser‘s (1990) theory stem from the
premise that epistemicity is conceptually derived from root modality. Most
of the aforementioned problems disappear if this postulate is abandoned
and if root modality and epistemic qualification are taken as two
independent semantic categories.
Although this point is hard to prove, I suspect that the ambiguity perceived in cases
like (26) may be due to hindsight bias.
Following Lampert & Lampert (2000) and Talmy (2007),22 I make the
hypothesis that root values pertain to the schematic system of force
dynamics while epistemic meanings are generated by the schematic system
of ―‗cognitive states and processes‘, which includes the structural
representation of volition and intention, expectation and affect, and
perspective and attention‖ (Talmy 2007: 267), in other words, notions
which are concerned with the cognizer‘s attitude towards the state of
affairs. That epistemic qualification belongs to this set of attitudinal
categories23 is clear from the way it is usually defined in the literature. For
instance, Palmer (2001: 8) considers that ―with epistemic modality
speakers express their judgements about the factual status of the
proposition‖, while for Nuyts (2006: 6), it ―concerns an indication of the
estimation, typically, but not necessarily, by the speaker, of the chances
that the state of affairs expressed in the clause applies in the world‖.
Note that, as Nuyts rightly observes, epistemic judgements do not
always emanate from the speaker: it is not rare for a sentence to convey
another cognizer‘s epistemic judgement on a state of affairs (e.g. Mary
thinks that John is mad expresses Mary‘s belief that John is mad).
What I would suggest, however, is that any utterance conveys the
stance (or attitude) of a cognizer who is, by default, equated with the
speaker. While this attitude is often epistemic (e.g. I believe/know/suspect
that…), it may also have to do with the speaker‘s desire to have the state of
affairs realised, as in (27).24
(27) Go to bed now!
Although Talmy (2000: 443) seems to endorse Sweetser‘s extension of the forcedynamic analysis to the epistemic domain, in his more recent work (cf. Talmy 2007), he
seems to have taken his distance from the metaphorical hypothesis.
Nuyts (2006) argues that deontic modality is also an attitudinal category. It cannot be
denied that it does contain an attitudinal component inasmuch as the antagonist and the
cognizer are presented as respectively wanting and expecting the state of affairs to hold
(see the obligation-script in figure 1). Yet, deontic meanings differ from epistemic
meanings in that they involve a force-dynamic component that is central to their
underlying conceptual structures.
Radden & Dirven (2007: 236) call this attitude ―directive‖. I believe the term is too
―hearer-oriented‖ to cover all cases where the speaker wants the situation to hold (e.g.
optative sentences). ―Volitional attitude‖ might be more fitting but this question cannot
be handled in the limits set to this paper.
In examples such as (27) and (28), the speaker‘s attitude is conveyed
explicitly. The imperative construction and the embedding clause (I
believe) encode the speaker‘s will and his/her epistemic judgement,
(28) I believe that Peter is here.
In many cases, however, it is left implicit, and my claim is that, in such
examples, the default epistemic stance I KNOW THAT is inferable (on the
basis of Grice‘s (1975) Maxim of Quality). (29), for instance, implies (30).
(29) Peter is here.
(30) I know that Peter is here.
This idea of course is not a new one. The hypothesis that there exists an
implicit embedding clause expressing the speaker‘s stance can be traced
back to Austin‘s Speech-acts theory (1962) and, in the field of syntax, to
Ross (1970), in what is known as the performative hypothesis. Hare‘s
neustic and tropic components (1970), taken up by Lyons (1977), share the
same background assumption. My analysis differs from these authors‘
however in that what, after Hare (ibid.), I shall call the ―neustic
component‖, refers to the speaker‘s mental attitude (that is, whether s/he
knows, believes or wants the state of affairs to hold) and not to the act
accomplished by the utterance (i.e. its illocutionary force). In the cognitive
framework within which I am working, this neustic component has to be an
element of the conceptual content that is communicated by – or, at least,
inferable from – the sentence. It can in no way be a speech-act, since, by
definition, speech-acts are not part of what utterances say but are
descriptions of what they do.25
Note that the above analysis of the epistemic category gets rid of the
problems plaguing Sweetser‘s theory.
First, it permits us to account for the gradability of epistemic
evaluation. I KNOW THAT corresponds to the highest degree of the scale
while I DO NOT KNOW IF marks its lowest point. There is an indefinite
number of positions between those two extremes which can be coded by
such expressions as I believe, I suspect, I strongly believe, I have a hunch
But see Brisard (2006) for an in-depth and insightful treatment of the issue.
that, the odds are that, etc. Figure 2 illustrates the conceptual structures I
propose for the epistemic modals must and may.
Ex: He must be mad.
Ex: He may be late.
Figure 2. Semantic structures underlying the epistemic uses of must and may
The cognizer, who, with modals, is typically equated with the speaker, is
represented by a circle on the left. The horizontal arrows stand for his/her
epistemic judgement (BELIEVE), which is directed at the mental image of
the state of affairs (SoA), in the circle on the right. The vertical double
arrows represent the cognizer‘s degree of belief in the truth of the
proposition. It is obviously different for must and may.
Second, the problem posed by the near-synonymy of (5) and (6) –
repeated as (31) and (32) – vanishes once we stop maintaining that (31) has
a force-dynamic component.
(31) He must be mad!
(32) He is probably mad.
Since neither (31) nor (32) refer to force-dynamic situations, they can be
analysed along the same lines as expressions of the speaker‘s strong belief
in the truth of the proposition. Although this cannot be elaborated on for
lack of space, I suggest that the modal auxiliary and the epistemic adverb
differ in at least two respects. First, they present the epistemic evaluation
from two different perspectives (cf. Westney 1986): (31) refers to the state
of belief of the speaker/cognizer relative to the state of affairs (X more or
less believes that p) while (32) describes the degree of likelihood of the
state of affairs (p is more or less likely).
Second, as pointed out by Radden & Dirven (2007: 241), unlike the
modal adverb, the modal auxiliary ―informs the hearer that the assessment
is exclusively or largely the speaker‘s‖. The epistemic assessment can
therefore be described as ―maximally subjective‖ (ibid.) in (31), whereas it
is more objective in (32). Note that the terms ―subjective‖ and ―objective‖
are here used in the technical sense defined by Langacker who considers
the entity construed subjectively is implicit and hence non salient – to use the
theatre metaphor, it remains offstage in the audience – whereas the objectively
construed entity is salient by virtue of being placed onstage as the explicit focus of
attention. (Langacker 2002: 316)26
A maximally objective construal of the speaker‘s epistemic stance may
therefore be found in (33) where the use of the first person pronoun puts
the speaker onstage and thus objectivises him/her.
(33) I think that he is mad.
Cognitive verbs in the first person, modal adverbs and modal auxiliaries
therefore express the speaker‘s epistemic attitude with increasing degrees
of subjectivity.
Note however that, if modal auxiliaries, as grounding predications
(Langacker 1991), indicate, by default, the speaker‘s stance, they can, in
certain contexts, express another cognizer‘s epistemic evaluation of the
state of affairs. (34) illustrates.
(34) John thinks you must have broken the vase.
6. An alternative account of the emergence of the epistemic use of
While this analysis of epistemic qualification overcomes most of the
theoretical objections that were raised against the metaphorical hypothesis
in the first section, its ability to account for the rise of epistemic must will
constitute the acid test.
This account of subjectivity contrasts sharply with Traugott‘s (1989) who considers
that ―subjectification implies an increase in the coding of speaker involvement or, in
other words, an externalization of the speaker‖ (Brisard 2006: 57).
6.1 Hypothesis
As we have seen, in all utterances, the speaker‘s attitude is conveyed
explicitly or implicitly. When it is not explicitly coded, I have suggested
that the default epistemic position I KNOW THAT can be inferred. Thus,
when they are used descriptively (cf. Nuyts 2001), root modals fall under
the scope of an epistemic judgement which can be explicit, as in (35), or
implicit, as in (36), paraphrased as (37).
(35) I know/I guess that John must come.
(36) John must come.
(37) I know that John is obliged to come.
In order to account for the emergence of the epistemic use of must, I make
the following hypothesis. In certain contexts (which will be described in
further details), the focus of attention shifted from the force-dynamic
situation (i.e. the existence of the necessity) to the state of affairs proper.
This logically resulted in the foregrounding27 of the speaker‘s attitude
towards the state of affairs and in the backgrounding of the default
epistemic judgement (I KNOW THAT) concerning the force-dynamic
situation. Indeed, in (36), the implicit epistemic judgement I KNOW THAT
bears on the existence of the necessity and not on the event itself. This is
evidenced by the fact that (36) does not entail (38).
(38) I know that John will come.
The question arises, then, of what the ―new‖ epistemic stance is and where
it comes from. As will be remembered, it has been shown that, in its root
uses, must implies that the cognizer expects the necessary state of affairs to
Note that Talmy‘s (2000; 2007) term ―foregrounding‖ and Langacker‘s (1991) term
―profiling‖ are not used interchangeably. Talmy‘s (2007: 272) distinction is a useful
one: the foregrounding of a semantic component of a frame consists in placing it in ―the
foreground of the hearer‘s attention‖ (ibid.: 269) thus making it more salient, while
―profiling‖ ―refer[s] to the foregrounding of one portion of the set in a morpheme‘s
direct reference‖ (ibid.: 272).
occur. This was captured by the inclusion of the epistemic predicate
EXPECT28 as a backgrounded element of the frame (see figure 1).
My claim, therefore, is that, in transitional contexts, this formerly
backgrounded epistemic attitude became more salient and started to coexist in the foreground of attention with the former default epistemic
judgement I KNOW THAT. Ultimately, it gained in prominence and
became the only epistemic stance. The result was an utterly different
conceptual structure and thus an independent meaning of the modal.
6.2 From “inevitability” to “probability”: a step-by-step evolution
As we have seen in section 3.4, the conventionalisation of the epistemic use
of must went through two stages. These stages are commonly referred to
(i) Bridging or transitional contexts. These are contexts which make the
two interpretations equally relevant. In the case of must, they are even
complementary, since the speaker‘s knowledge of the existence of the
necessity (i.e. the force-dynamic situation) can serve as the evidential
source for the epistemic judgement on the state of affairs. This semantic
relatedness can be formulated as I believe that the state of affairs holds
because I know that it is inevitable. Example (39) is an illustration of this.
(39) My daughter is at present engag’d in a way, that to her must be more agreeable
than entertaining either you or me. (Cobb, 1788)
(ii) Switch contexts. These contexts exclude the initial meaning. In the case
of epistemic must, this corresponds to sentences where the evidential
source of the epistemic judgement is no longer the speaker‘s awareness of a
force-dynamic situation but his/her observation of some consequence of
that state of affairs (noted q) from which s/he infers that it (has) probably
occurred or is occurring, as illustrated in example (40).
It might be objected that EXPECT and BELIEVE are not fully equivalent, but
although they differ in terms of temporality (the former bears on a future event, the
latter on a past or present state of affairs), they refer to the same kind of epistemic
Cf. Heine 2002, for instance.
(40) Pray, tell me, Sir! You must have lost your wits or all senses of shame. How could
you think of giving Lucetta such a sum? (King, 1768)
To summarise, the emergence of the epistemic use of must followed the
following cline:
(i) I know that circumstances make the state of affairs inevitable.
(ii) I believe that the state of affairs holds/held because (i).
(iii) I believe that the state of affairs holds/held because I know that q holds
and that q is a consequence of the state of affairs.
Stage (i) corresponds to the source-meaning of ―inevitability‖, (ii) to
cases of indeterminacy between ―inevitability‖ and ―probability‖ (or
bridging contexts) and (iii) to the conventionalised epistemic use of must
(or switch contexts).
6.3 More on transitional contexts
In order to better understand the circumstances that led to this semantic
change, it is useful to characterise bridging contexts more precisely by
examining the cases of indeterminacy in the corpus.
It is striking that 83% of the instances of indeterminacy between
―inevitability‖ and ―probability‖ contain a state verb (mainly be) and that
67% of these sentences are generic. These two parameters are examined in
6.3.1 Imperfectives
It is well-known (cf. Palmer 1990: 53) that epistemic must mainly occurs
with state verbs. By contrast, when it expresses ―inevitability‖, the modal is
typically followed by an event verb. It may be surmised, then, that the
extension of this use to state verbs contributed to the strengthening of the
sense of ―probability‖.
The rationale behind this evolution can be explained as follows. The
preceding account of the sense of ―inevitability‖ postulates two sub-frames
(SF1 and SF2 in figure 3), one of which (SF2) was originally backgrounded
and gradually gained in salience.
Figure 3. Conceptual structure for the sense of ―inevitability‖
With event verbs (which typically designate perfective processes), the
―necessary‖ state of affairs (SoA) is located in the future30, whereas the
force-dynamic situation (noted ―FD situation‖ and paraphrasable as ―the
world acts on evolving reality‖) belongs to the present. Thus, while the two
epistemic judgements (I KNOW THAT and I EXPECT THAT) are located
in the present (the point of reference from which the speaker-cognizer
assesses the likelihood of the states of affairs31), they are directed at scenes
situated in different temporal frames. With perfectives, then, the temporal
coincidence between the two sub-frames is minimal.
On the contrary, the flexible temporal profile of imperfective
processes (typically expressed by state verbs) ―can always be made to
coincide precisely with the time of speaking‖ (Langacker 1987: 259), so
that both the force-dynamic situation and the modalised state of affairs can
belong to the same (present) time-frame. Thus, with imperfectives, the
temporal coincidence between the two sub-frames is maximal. This
temporal realignment, I suggest, increased the conceptual contiguity
between the two sub-frames and reduced the semantic difference between
the two interpretations, thereby favouring cases of semantic indeterminacy
where the two sub-frames were equally relevant and salient (see figure 4).
As pointed out by Langacker (1987: 254), perfectives cannot be coincidental with the
moment of speaking.
The neustic component is necessarily coincidental to the time of speaking.
Figure 4. Conceptual structure for cases of indeterminacy (bridging contexts)
There are two reasons why this conceptual realignment affected the sense
of ―inevitability‖ and not other root senses. First, as we have seen, the
sense of ―inevitability‖ is the most abstract of the root meanings and the
lightest in terms of conceptual content.32 This minimizes the semantic
differences between the two interpretations and facilitates indeterminacy.
Second, and more importantly, the meaning of ―inevitability‖ differs from
other root meanings in that the necessary state of affairs is not presented as
desirable (cf. supra), which makes it compatible not only with future events
but also with present and past states of affairs, that is, with both perfectives
and imperfectives.33
Note that the observed results concerning must followed by the perfect
infinitive (see section 3, table 2) are fully consistent with this account. As
evidenced by (41), the sense of ―inevitability‖34 could already combine
with the perfect construction, just as it could combine with a state verb.
(41) Brief as you please – you shall have the trials in epitome – I am an excellent
fellow at shortening. And so, in the first place, there was Aaron an old Jew, you
must certainly have taken notice of an old greazy fellow upon the 'Change, with a
The underlying semantic frame indeed makes no reference to a deontic source that
wants the state of affairs to hold or to a purpose relative to which it is necessary.
Root must occurs mainly with event verbs and when it combines with a state verb (as
in You must be kind), the process is, so to speak, perfectivized so as to denote an activity
located in the future.
Example (41) clearly means ‗You cannot not have taken notice of the fellow‘ and not
‗You have probably taken notice of the fellow‘.
SHYLOCK FACE – who is said to have raised an immense fortune by stockjobbing and lottery-tickets – he is one that is adjudged to be DEPARTED THIS
LIFE , I assure you. (Bacon, 1757)
My contention is that, just like state verbs, the perfect infinitive makes the
modalised situation coincide with the time of reference, thereby causing the
temporal coincidence of the two sub-frames. This may seem paradoxical
insofar as, traditionally, the perfect infinitive is assumed to locate the state
of affairs denoted by the past participle in the past or, at least, prior to the
time of reference. Yet, as noted by Langacker (1991: 222–223), if the
function of the past participle is indeed to indicate the anteriority (relative
to the reference-point) of the situation described by the main verb, the
auxiliary have construes the whole scene (i.e. the current relevance of the
past situation) as coincidental with the time of reference and should
therefore be analysed as an imperfective process.
6.3.2 Genericity
The fact that many of the sentences exhibiting indeterminacy are generic is
also relevant and can also be seen, I argue, as a factor of temporal (and
conceptual) realignment. As noted by Traugott (2006: 113), genericity is
―another contributor to the indeterminacy, since present as well as future
temporality is implied‖. Indeed, generic sentences also present the forcedynamic situation and the necessary state of affairs as part of the same
temporal frame, which makes them conceptually contiguous and,
consequently, equally likely to be foregrounded.
6.4 Towards switch contexts
The evolution from bridging contexts to switch contexts must have been
gradual and it is likely that to a stage where the two interpretations were
equally salient succeeded a stage where the epistemic interpretation became
more and more prominent while the original interpretation gradually fell
into the background of attention to be viewed as nothing more than the
evidential source for the newly foregrounded epistemic judgement (cf.
stage (ii) above).
The ultimate development of this evolution (which corresponds to
switch contexts) was the complete erosion of the meaning of ―inevitability‖
(i.e. of the force-dynamic component) and the autonomisation of the sense
of ―probability‖. At that stage, the judgement of probability ceased to be
based on the (cognizer‘s knowledge of the) existence of a force-dynamic
situation and the reason for the state of affairs‘ strong likelihood (i.e. the
basis of the speaker‘s inferential reasoning) was often made explicit.
Example (42) is an illustration of this.
(42) No, thank ye, Mr. Capias; but you must be doing pretty well too, I always see Mr.
Wormwood employed. (Beazley, 1826)
The reference to an evidential source other than the existence of a forcedynamic situation (the underlined segment in (42)) reflects the fact that the
underlying semantic structure bears no trace of the initial force-dynamic
component and that the epistemic reading has become the only
interpretation available.
6.5 Subjectification
This study would be incomplete without a consideration of subjectification,
a process that has been largely discussed in the field of historical linguistics
and to which Traugott (1989), Langacker (1991, 2002) and Goossens
(2000) explicitly relate the extension of root meanings to epistemic uses.
The problem is that Langacker and Traugott (followed by Goossens)
use the term in different ways which Brisard (2006) has shown to be
incompatible. Thus, for Traugott (1989: 31), subjectification is the process
by which meanings ―become increasingly situated in the speaker‘s belief or
attitude toward the proposition‖, while, as we have seen in section 4,
Langacker uses the term in a more technical sense to refer to the
―attenuation of the speaker‘s prominence within a given scene‖ (Brisard
2006: 57).
It is not clear to me whether what I have described as a shift of
attention to a backgrounded epistemic judgement should be analysed as
resulting in a more subjectified construal in Langacker‘s sense. As a
grounding predication, must – whether it be deontic or epistemic – is more
―subjective‖ than, say, a modal periphrasis like have to, to the extent that
although it is formally – and thus conceptually – related to the Ground, it
leaves it unprofiled (cf. Langacker 1991: 270–271). I feel that calling
epistemic must more ―subjectified‖ than root must (on the ground that, as
Langacker (ibid.: 274) says ―[t]he speaker is involved (…) as the person
responsible for assessing the likelihood of reality evolving in a certain
way‖) betrays a slight terminological move from Langacker‘s technical
definition of subjectivity towards Traugott‘s use of the term.
In order not to add to the terminological confusion, I would rather say,
following Sweetser (op. cit.), that root and epistemic meanings pertain to
different domains (without of course endorsing the idea of a metaphorical
link between the two): the socio-physical world and the mental world,
respectively. Thus, the force-dynamic situation to which a root expression
refers is conceptualised as part of the socio-physical world (there is
something in the external world that makes the state of affairs necessary)
while an epistemic expression refers to the cognizer‘s degree of confidence
in the reality of the state of affairs.
The reason why epistemic must may seem more ―subjective‖ (in
Traugott‘s sense, this time) is that the shift of attention described above
was accompanied by a shift of the reference of the modal to the neustic
component. With the force-dynamic situation (and the default epistemic
attitude towards it) gradually fading out, the reference of the modal had to
be redirected to another part of the frame. The formerly backgrounded
epistemic judgement (I EXPECT/BELIEVE THAT) then logically came to
replace the default judgement (I KNOW THAT) and therefore took the
place of the neustic component. However, in the absence of a specific
linguistic form to refer to the neustic component, we have seen that the
default epistemic stance is inferred. This explains why the reference of
must, whose original reference35 had fallen out of the picture, naturally
(because of its grounding function) came to be reallocated to the neustic
7. Conclusion
We have seen that it is possible to account for the emergence of the
epistemic use of must without relying on Sweetser‘s metaphorical
hypothesis and even without positing that the categories of root modality
and of epistemic qualification are subsumed by one unified semantic
The principal claim of this paper is that the various meanings of an
expression (e.g. ―obligation‖, ―necessity‖, ―inevitability‖) are underpinned
Note that if must does not refer directly to the force-dynamic situation (in its root
meaning) or to the epistemic judgement (in its epistemic reading) – as only the state of
affairs is profiled, it does refer to them indirectly, i.e. schematically.
by complex semantic networks (or frames) and that certain contexts permit
the foregrounding of some components of the frame which, until then, had
been backgrounded.
I therefore take seriously the claim that there may not be such a thing
as a unified semantic category of modality subsuming root and epistemic
meanings. Although this hypothesis challenges the commonly accepted
view that the two categories should be semantically related, its supporters
(Lampert & Lampert 2000; Nuyts 2001) have advanced a number of
theoretical and empirical arguments that are worthy of consideration.
Moreover, as Nuyts suggests, breaking the traditional unity of modality
may help gain a better understanding both of epistemicity itself and of its
interaction with other categories such as aspect or evidentiality. This area
of investigation, in fact, can be considered to be among the most promising
directions for future research in the study of TAME categories.
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Sources of data
Bayle Bernard
Watts Phillips
The Tempest
The Northern Lasse
’Tis Pity She’s a Whore
The Queen of Arragon
Love and honour
Wild Gallant & others
The English princess
The Lancashire-Witches
The Banditti
Farewel Folly
The Busie Body
The Disappointment ; The Honest YorkshireMan ; Hanging and Marriage
The beggar’s Opera
The Gamester
The Insignificants
The Lame Lover ; The Mayor of Garret
Wit's Last Stake ; Love at First Sight
The Doctor and the Apothecary ; The
The New Cosmetic ; Fire and Frost
The Free Knights
The Gazette Extraordinary
The Lottery Ticket, and the Lawyer's Clerk ;
Love's Dream
The Flying Dutchman ; The Floating Beacon
Wolves and the Lamb
The Evil Genius
Camilla's husband
The Favourite of Fortune
A Pair of Spectacles
The Importance of Being Earnest
Contact information:
Grégory Furmaniak
Département du Monde Anglophone
Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3
5, rue de l'Ecole de médecine
75006 Paris, France
e-mail: gregory (dot) furmaniak (at) univ-paris3 (dot) fr
Available online at
Available online at
Available online at
Available online at
of words
Gutenberg Project
Gutenberg Project
Gutenberg Project
Gutenberg Project
Gutenberg Project36
Gutenberg Project
[email protected]
Gutenberg Project
Gutenberg Project
Gutenberg Project
Pentti Haddington, Jarmo H. Jantunen and Jari Sivonen
Language and Affect: Go-Say and Come-Say Constructions in
This paper studies two linguistic constructions in Finnish, the go-say construction and
the come-say construction. Both constructions contain a motion verb and a speech act
verb in the 3rd infinitive illative case. The article focuses specifically on how the
constructions express a speaker‘s or writer‘s affective stance. The analysis in this paper
is inter-linguistic and it relies on the theories and methods used in corpus linguistics,
interactional linguistics and cognitive semantics. This paper analyses, describes and
explains the collocational, social and cognitive motivations behind the affective
meanings of these constructions. Finally, it discusses the benefits and challenges of
combining three different linguistic theories and methodologies in the analysis of a
linguistic construction.
1. Introduction1
In this article, affect is understood as an element of the broader
phenomenon of stance and stance taking in interaction and discourse. By
affect we mean the ways in which speakers or writers express their own or
describe someone else‘s emotional attitude through language, in talk or
writing. Affect has interested linguists broadly and studies have shown how
language can be used to express a speaker‘s or writer‘s affect in different
ways. For example, studies have shown how such linguistic markers as
some adverbs, verbs and adjectives, inherently express affect (see e.g.
Biber & Finegan 1989; Martin 2000; Precht 2003). Others have shown how
certain markers, grammatical forms or linguistic practices are functionally
used to express a speaker‘s affective stance in discourse (e.g. Du Bois
The authors thank the two anonymous reviewers for their important and constructive
comments. Any remaining inadequacies and mistakes are our own.
SKY Journal of Linguistics 24 (2011), 75–117
2007; Englebretson 2007; Keisanen 2007).2 This article analyses two
linguistic constructions in Finnish whose individual formal structures do
not inherently have an affective meaning, but which based on our empirical
analyses belongs to the structures‘ meaning potential. Thus the structures
are used for expressing affect. In general this paper uses several linguistic
methodologies to explain why and how the two structures possess affective
We call these two constructions the go-say construction and the comesay construction. They are composed of a motion verb, either mennä ‗go‘
or tulla ‗come‘, which is accompanied by a speech act verb (such as kertoa
‗tell‘ or sanoa ‗say‘) in the 3rd infinitive (or so-called MA-infinitive)
illative case, as in mennä kertomaan ‗to go and tell‘ and tulla sanomaan ‗to
come and say‘. Their formal structure is described in (1) and (2).3
mennä ‗go‘ + speech act verb in the 3rd infinitive illative case
e.g. mennä kerto-ma-an
‗go and tell‘
tulla ‗come‘ + speech act verb in the 3rd infinitive illative case
e.g. tulla
come say-INF-ILL
‗come and say‘
This study focuses exclusively on these two deictic motion verbs for the
following three reasons. First, according to Saukkonen et al. (1979) and the
list of the most frequent words in Finnish newspapers,4 they are the most
frequently used deictic verbs of motion in Finnish. Second, according to
our corpus data only these verbs among motion verbs (compared to others
such as lähteä ‗to leave‘, rientää ‗to hasten‘, and rynnätä ‗to burst‘) are
repeatedly used with speech act verbs in affective constructions. In other
words, if other motion verbs occur together with speech act verbs they tend
to maintain the concrete meaning of motion. Third, by concentrating on
these two structures we can analyse them from a detailed, inter-linguistic
and multi-methodological vantage point.
For overviews see Englebretson (2007) and Haddington (2005).
See Appendix 2 for gloss conventions.
See (accessed
August 29, 2011).
These types of structures have been studied in different languages and
labelled under the terms of hendiadys (Hopper 2001), pseudo-coordinative
structures and simple juxtapositions (Stefanowitsch 1999; Payne 1997:
337–338; Airola 2007). However, as Stefanowitsch (1999: 123) argues,
these studies tend to focus on the structures‘ formal properties. In this
paper, we study how these structures can be seen to be combinations of
form and meaning, and for referring to this combination we use the notion
―construction‖. According to Goldberg‘s (1995: 4) definition, an essential
criterion for a construction is that its semantic properties are not strictly
predictable from the construction‘s individual elements. Consider example
(3) below.
Kaveri-ni Roope laske-e
maailma-lla ainakin
friend-1PX Roope count-3SG drink-PTCP-3PX world-ADE
kahviplaatu-a. Vain Suome-ssa
five.hundred-PTV different coffee.brand-PTV only Finland-INE he-ALL
naama-a selittä-mä-än, että meikäläinen
be.3SG come-PTCP against face-PTV explain-INF-ILL that our
coffee be.3SG world-GEN
‗My friend Roope estimates that he has drunk at least five hundred different
coffee brands around the world. Only in Finland people have come and claimed to
him that Finnish coffee is the best in the world.‘
The example exhibits the following syntactic form: a motion verb tulla
‗come‘ followed by a speech act verb in the 3rd infinitive illative case.
However, although the structure contains the motion verb, it seems that
here the verb has lost its meaning of concrete movement. One explanation
is that in the described situation the Actor5 (not specified in (3) due to
passive voice),6 who has produced the speech act (selittää ‗explain‘) that
We use the notion ―Speaker‖ to indicate a person who has produced the analysed
utterance and who through this utterance evaluates another person‘s speech act. For
example, the person who has uttered example (3) is the Speaker. ―The Actor‖, on the
other hand, refers to the person whose speech act is retrospectively referred to by the
Speaker. The Actor‘s speech act is thus evaluated by the Speaker via the go-say and
come-say constructions. In example (3), the Actor is the implicit person who has told
Roope that Finnish coffee is the best. ―The Addressee‖, for its part, is the person the
Actor is talking to in the examples. In example (3), the Addressee is Roope.
Passive voice in Finnish allows the (human-agent) subject to remain unspecified yet
existing (for Finnish passive, see Shore (1988)). This explains the presence of an
implicit Actor in the example.
the Speaker reports, is positioned next to Roope and talking to him about
Finnish coffee brands and therefore has not moved before producing his
utterance. Consequently, rather than expressing motion, the verb tulla in
this construction has another semantic function: the Speaker‘s affective
evaluation of the Actor‘s conversational manner as belligerent. Of course,
this aggressive tone gets supplementary emphasis in (3) from the adverbial
modifier päin naamaa ‗at his face‘.
Such semantic change in motion verbs is not a new finding. Givón
(1973) notes that in the world‘s languages motion verbs frequently undergo
semantic developments: they lose the meaning of motion and start to
express other semantic properties. It seems that the go-say and come-say
constructions stand as good examples of such changes. It should be borne
in mind, however, that the go-say construction and the come-say
construction do not have affective meanings as such, because they may also
refer to concrete motion which is followed by a speech act, and these are
quite neutral per se. Thus, the affective readings studied in this paper are
due to different (textual or social) contexts in which these constructions are
used. In the following, the aim is to describe how these constructions‘
affective meanings are evident in the data and to explain possible reasons
behind such semantic change.
Although the verbs mennä ‗go‘ ja tulla ‗come‘ are basic deictic verbs
in Finnish and form an intrinsic semantic pair, they are by no means
semantically symmetric. They differ in meaning both in their concrete and
figurative usages. For example, in the concrete sense, the verb mennä is
said to express more extensive motion along the path than the verb tulla
(Huumo & Sivonen 2010: 113). Also in dictionaries these two verbs are
listed to have clearly different sets of meaning types. For instance, a recent
and comprehensive dictionary of Finnish gives more figurative meaning
types to the verb tulla compared to the verb mennä (KS s.v. mennä, tulla).
The analysis in this paper is inter-linguistic. It relies on theories and
methods used in three different linguistic paradigms: corpus linguistics,
interactional linguistics and cognitive semantics. It uses corpus linguistic
methods to study the frequencies and phraseological uses of the
constructions and in that way sheds light on the constructions‘ affective
meanings. The interactional linguistic method is used to investigate the
social and interactional contexts in which the constructions are used and to
see whether these contexts of use, for their part, can explain the affective
meanings of the constructions. Finally, by using cognitive semantics, this
article tries to provide an explanation of the constructions‘ affective
meanings. The analysis will also show that although both of these
constructions express affect, they differ in how frequently they do that, in
what contexts they appear and what the cognitive motivations behind the
affective meanings are.
This paper is divided into six sections. After the introduction, Section
2 describes the used databases and provides some further background to
our approach. Section 3 gives a corpus-based analysis of the go-say and
come-say constructions. In Section 4, we analyse how the constructions are
used in everyday conversation. Then, in Section 5, our focus turns to the
semantic motivation of these constructions within the framework of
cognitive semantics. In the last section we briefly sum up our conclusions
and then discuss the benefits and challenges involved in using three
methodologies for studying the same linguistic constructions.
2. Data and methodologies: three approaches to form and meaning
The analysis in this paper is empirical and relies on several digital language
databases. In Sections 3 and 5, the examples come from written language
data collected from The Finnish Language Bank.7 This material consists of
volumes of four Finnish newspapers and the size of this database is approx.
60 million words. The newspapers are published in different dialect areas
in Finland. The normed frequency of the constructions (i.e. the structures
with affective meaning) in written data was 4.8 per million words
(1/205479), the absolute frequencies being 196 for the go-say construction
and 93 for the come-say construction.
The spoken language data come from several audio corpora. The first
database is the corpus of conversational Finnish located at the Department
of Finnish Language and Literature at the University of Helsinki.8 It
consists of face-to-face and telephone conversations from various dialect
areas in Finland. These data are supplemented by a collection of mobile
phone recordings and two short audio recordings located at the University
of Oulu. The overall duration of the everyday conversational data is 10
hours and 3 minutes, which amounts to approximately 120 000 words
(approx. 200 words per minute). We have also made a search for the
See (accessed
August 29, 2011).
In all, the corpus contains approximately 340 hours of conversational Finnish. See (accessed August 29, 2011).
constructions in the Finnish Broadcast Corpus,9 which contains approx. 17
hours of broadcast talk and unfinished recordings of various radio and TV
monologues and dialogues. The normed frequency of the constructions in
spoken data was 141.7 per million words (1/7060). All the constructions
were collected from the databases and transcribed.
The analysis in the article relies on the methods used in corpus
linguistics, interactional linguistics and cognitive semantics. The basic
starting points of these approaches are different. Corpus linguistics uses
large corpora to unravel how the meanings of linguistic forms emerge from
their frequent use in discourse. Interactional linguistics studies how social
actions and activities are accomplished through different linguistic
practices and thus how different linguistic items receive their meaning
through frequent use in everyday interaction. Finally, cognitive semantics
shows how language use and meaning reflects the ways in which
individuals conceptualise their perceptual experience in the world. Despite
the differences, these approaches are all usage-based and empirical, and
aim to investigate the relationship between form and meaning.
Our aim is to put these three linguistic approaches together on the
same ground with the hope that through the analysis of the two
constructions we can take a small step towards improving our
understanding of the relationship between linguistic constructions,
cognition and language in use. This is not the first paper to undertake such
a task. For example Biber & Jones (2005) and Fillmore (1992) have
discussed how different linguistic approaches could be used or merged for
the benefit of getting a better understanding of language.10 More in line
with the current paper, Etelämäki et al. (2009) provide an important
theoretical discussion of the possible ways to integrate the cognitive
linguistic and conversation analytic terminological toolbox (e.g.
―conceptualisation‖ and ―social action‖) for getting a more elaborated
understanding of the relationship between form and meaning. One of the
major advantages of such inter-linguistic studies is that the analyses are
based on different types of corpora (large corpora and more detailed
interactional data). This means that the findings are potentially more
generalisable than findings based only on introspection and provide a
detailed understanding of their use in discourse. Conversely, empirically
informed introspection as the main methodology of cognitive semantics can
See (accessed August 29, 2011).
See also Arppe & Järvikivi (2006), Gilquin & Gries (2009) and references therein,
and Couper-Kuhlen & Kortmann (2000).
provide an understanding of the cognitive motivation behind the meanings
of the constructions, i.e. how the individuals‘ experiences as beings in the
world contribute to the meanings of these constructions.
3. Come-say and go-say constructions in corpus data
In this section, the come-say and go-say constructions are analysed as
cotextual units, and both the variation in the constructions themselves and
in their cotext are taken into account. It is argued in line with Sinclair
(1991, 1998), Tognini-Bonelli (2002) and Stubbs (1995a, 2001) that form
and meaning are systematically interconnected and that words and
expressions ―do not live in isolation but in strict semantic and functional
relationship with other words‖ (Tognini-Bonelli 2002: 91) or structures.
The analysis of so-called extended units of meaning, i.e. words or
structures with their contextual and functional information, challenges the
traditional view that words are memorised as single units. Rather, corpus
linguistics assumes that they are memorised as prefabricated phraseological
units with lexical, grammatical, semantic and functional information
encoded in them (see e.g. Erman 2007: 26). The latter view to words and
structures follows Sinclair‘s (1991) hypothesis of the idiom principle,
which stresses the fixedness in language and strong co-selection of items.
During the last 20 years, corpus linguistic research has shown that the use
of large databases reveals different kinds of ―hidden‖ lexico-grammatical
and lexico-semantic choices in a language. These idiomatic patterns do not
seem to be as marginal phenomena in language as has been assumed. On
the contrary, prefabricated structures and fixed expressions, i.e. structures
following the idiom principle, are core elements in native speakers‘
language production and stored as wholes in native speakers‘ memory
(Sinclair 1991; cf. also Erman 2007).
The co-selectional approach to investigating words and expressions
involves at least five levels of analysis: the core itself, its collocational and
colligational choices, and the semantic preference and semantic prosody of
the item. The collocational choice is a rather concrete co-occurrence of
words in the syntagmatic dimension, and it is usually analysed using
statistical methods (cf. Stubbs 1995a, 1995b; Barnbrook 1996). The other
syntagmatic relations are more abstract: Colligation is not a relation
between two words, but a relation between a word and grammatical classes
in its cotext. Semantic preference, in turn, refers to a word‘s regular cooccurrence with items that share a certain semantic feature, and semantic
prosody is usually defined as a co-selection of an item and a negative or
positive (or neutral) meaning (or cotext) that surrounds that item. (Sinclair
1998; Stubbs 2001).11
The following sections focus on collocations and the semantic
syntagmatic patterning (i.e. semantic preference and prosody) of the comesay and go-say constructions. It is claimed that corpus analysis is able to
reveal repeated syntagmatic cotextual patterns that are typical to these
constructions and that these patterns can be used to explain the affective
meanings of the constructions. Before doing the cotextual analysis, it is
worth investigating the lexical meaning of the speech act verbs used in both
3.1 The lexical meanings of speech act verbs in the come-say and gosay constructions
In the following, the 93 speech act verbs that are used in the come-say
constructions are arranged into different semantic sets (see Table 1). The
most common speech act verb used in this construction is SANOA12 ‗to say,
tell‘. When SANOA is related to other semantically close verbs (like PUHUA
‗to speak‘, SELITTÄÄ ‗to explain‘, KERTOA ‗to tell‘ and ESITTÄÄ ‗to
suggest‘), we get a semantic preference13 ‗telling‘ which is the most
common semantic preference of the verbs used in the come-say
construction: 44% of all the speech act verbs share this meaning. The
concordance lines also provide evidence of other, but less frequent,
semantic sets. The verbs that belong to the semantic preference of ‗telling‘
have a relatively neutral lexical meaning in terms of how they indicate
speaker attitude. Another set of neutral verbs constructs a semantic
preference of ‗asking‘. The other verb sets, however, include verbs which
clearly express speaker attitude. The semantic preferences ‗asking for
trouble‘, ‗complaining‘, ‗criticising‘, ‗demanding‘ and partly ‗dictating‘ are
all verb sets that consist of lexemes containing unpleasant or negatively
For more precise definitions of the cotextual restrictions, see, for example, Stubbs
(1995a), Sinclair (1996, 1998), and Tognini-Bonelli (2001). For semantic prosody, see
also Whitsitt (2005) and Hunston (2007).
Capitalised forms denote a lemma, i.e. the abstraction of all word forms.
Semantic preference is originally a relation between the node and a set of
collocations. Here the verb tulla is perceived as the node and speech act verbs as its
collocates; later in Section 3.3, the whole structure (tulla/mennä + speech act verb) is
seen as node.
evaluative meanings. Thus, it seems that verbs used in the come-say
construction are mostly either neutral or negative in their meaning: the
proportion of verbs counted in the sets listed in Table 1 is as high as 99%
(n=92) of all the verbs in the construction. Verbs expressing positive
attitude (only KIITELLÄ ‗to thank‘ and HEHKUTTAA ‗to boost or cheer in a
positive manner‘ in the data) are, then, very rarely used in the come-say
Table 1. Semantic preferences of the verb
(frequency and per cents)
‗come‘ in the come-say construction
Semantic preference
‗telling‘ 41 (44%)
Speech act verbs in come-say construction
SANOA ‗to say‘ 25, PUHUA ‗to speak‘ 6, SELITTÄÄ
‗to explain‘ 5, KERTOA ‗to tell‘ 4, ESITTÄÄ ‗to
express‘ 1
‗asking for trouble‘ 15 HAUKKUA ‗to tell off‘ 2, VÄITTÄÄ ‗to insist‘ 2,
HAASTAA RIITAA ‗ask for trouble‘ 1, RYPPYILLÄ ‗to
argue against, gripe‘ 1, RÄHISTÄ ‗to brawl‘ 1,
SOITTAA SUUTA ‗to blather‘ 1, HUUTAA ‗to yell‘ 1,
RÄKYTTÄÄ ‗to blather‘ 1, INTTÄÄ ‗to argue‘ 1,
INISTÄ ‗to whine‘ 1, SÖNKÄTÄ ‗to stutter‘ 1,
NIMITELLÄ ‗to call sb names‘ 1, SYYTTÄÄ ‗to
blame‘ 1
‗complaining‘ 11
VALITTAA ‗to complain‘ 9, KITISTÄ ‗to whine‘ 1,
RUIKUTTAA ‗to whine‘ 1
‗asking‘ 9 (10%)
KYSYÄ ‗to ask‘ 6, KYSELLÄ ‗to ask around‘ 2,
TIEDUSTELLA ‗to ask‘ 1
‗dictating‘ 7 (8%)
SANELLA ‗to dictate‘ 2, KOMENTAA ‗to command‘
2, JAKAA OHJEITA ‗to brief‘ 1, MÄÄRÄTÄ ‗to
command‘ 1, NEUVOA ‗to advice‘ 1
‗criticising‘ 5 (5%)
ARVOSTELLA ‗to evaluate‘ 2, KRITISOIDA ‗to
criticise‘ 1, HUOMAUTTAA ‗to remark‘ 1,
HUOMAUTELLA ‗to make remarks‘ 1
‗demanding‘ 4 (4%)
MANKUA ‗to implore‘ 1, VAATIA ‗to demand‘ 1,
PYYTÄÄ ‗to request‘ 1
The verb MENNÄ in the go-say construction also has a clear preference for a
more or less neutral semantic preference of ‗telling‘: 46% (n=90) of all the
verbs in that construction share a meaning of ‗telling‘ something. Similarly
with the come-say construction, the verb SANOA is overwhelmingly most
frequent. Table 2 displays the speech act verbs that belong to this semantic
set and the other semantic preferences of MENNÄ. However, none of the
other preferences is as frequent as the semantic preference of ‗telling‘.
Semantic preferences listed in Table 2 cover as much as 83% (n=163) of all
the meanings of the verbs used in this construction.
Table 2. Semantic preferences of the verb
(frequency and per cents)
Semantic preference
‗telling‘ 90 (46%)
‗promising‘ 16 (8%)
‗suggesting‘ 14 (7%)
‗criticising‘ 12 (6%)
‗predicting‘ 11 (6 %)
‗swearing‘ 6 (3%)
‗confessing‘ 5 (3%)
‗praising‘ 5 (3%)
‗denying‘ 4 (2%)
‗go‘ in the go-say construction
Speech act verbs in go-say construction
SANOA ‗to say‘ 72, KERTOA ‗to tell‘ 10, PUHUA ‗to
speak‘ 5, LAUSUA ‗to pronounce‘ 1, MAINITA ‗to
mention‘ 1, SELITTÄÄ ‗to explain‘ 1
LUVATA ‗to promise‘ 13, LUPAILLA ‗to promise‘ 3
ESITTÄÄ ‗to present‘ 5, NEUVOA ‗to advise‘ 4,
EHDOTTAA ‗to suggest‘ 2, SUOSITELLA ‗to
recommend‘ 1, KEHOTTAA ‗to urge‘ 1
ARVOSTELLA ‗to evaluate‘ 4, MOITTIA ‗to blame‘
3, TUOMITA ‗to denounce‘ 2, KOMMENTOIDA ‗to
comment‘ 1, VÄHEKSYÄ ‗to belittle‘ 1, KRITISOIDA
‗to criticize‘ 1
ARVIOIDA ‗to estimate‘ 4, ARVAILLA ‗to guess‘ 3,
ENNUSTELLA ‗to predict‘ 2, ENNAKOIDA ‗to
foresee‘ 1, SPEKULOIDA ‗to speculate‘ 1
VANNOA ‗to swear‘ 6
TUNNUSTAA ‗to confess‘ 5
KEHUA ‗to praise‘ 2, KEHAISTA ‗to praise‘ 1,
KIITELLÄ ‗to thank‘ 1, LEUHKIA ‗to boast‘ 1
KIISTÄÄ ‗to deny‘ 3, KIELTÄÄ ‗to deny‘ 1
Tables 1 and 2 clearly show that the semantic sets of verbs in the go-say
construction differ from the ones of the come-say construction. First of all,
in the go-say construction there are only two sets of verbs that have a clear
negative lexical meaning: verbs denoting the meanings ‗to criticise‘ and ‗to
deny‘. Other semantic preferences of this construction are more or less
neutral or positive in lexical meaning; in fact, the semantic preference
‗praising‘ is a surprisingly positive, yet a relatively small group of verbs
compared to the semantic preferences of the come-say construction.
Consequently, it seems that the come-say construction tends to contain
more negatively evaluative speech act verbs than the go-say construction.
3.2 Collocations of come-say and go-say constructions
The initial collocation sets for both constructions were retrieved within the
span of four words from both sides of the constructions. In order to avoid
idiosyncrasies and rare word combinations, only words occurring at least
five times in the span are counted. This filtering generates 25 collocation
candidates for the come-say construction and 17 for the go-say
construction. To find the statistically significant collocates, i.e. to avoid
taking into consideration collocations which might exist in the span due to
chance, also statistical tests are computed. This analysis follows Stubbs‘s
(1995a: 40–41) suggestion that the results of two significance tests, e.g.
MI-test (Mutual Information test) and t-test, are probably needed to identify
linguistically interesting collocations. Using more than one significance test
can balance the picture of collocates (Barnbrook 1996: 101).14 Table 3
displays the collocates that have passed both of the two significance tests.
Table 3. The significant collocates of come-say and go-say constructions
Collocates of come-say
KUKAAN ‗no-one‘ 19
JOKU ‗someone‘
ME ‗we‘
SITTEN ‗then‘
MITEN ‗how‘
TURHA ‗futile‘
Collocates of go-say
4.32 PAHA ‗bad, difficult‘
3.68 MIKÄÄN ‗nothing‘**
3.16 VAIKEA ‗difficult‘
2.91 PITÄÄ ‗must‘
2.35 JULKISUUS ‗publicity‘
2.09 TURHA ‗futile‘
2.20 KUKAAN ‗no-one‘*
TIETYSTI ‗of course‘
JULKISESTI ‗in public‘
Also ‗anyone‘. **Also ‗anything‘.
The analysis shows that the come-say and the go-say constructions share
To measure the significance and strength of collocations, there are several tests
available, of which t-test and Mutual Information test are suggested e.g. by Stubbs
(1995a) and Barnbrook (1996). The MI-test underlines the significance of cooccurrence of low frequency items, and the t-score measure picks up collocations that
are relatively frequent in the data. Since there are differences between the tests
themselves and the information they provide, it is important to use more than one test to
get a proper assessment of the collocational diversity. The threshold for MI-test is set at
3.00 and for t-test at 2.00.
only two statistically significant collocates: KUKAAN ‗no-one, anyone‘ and
TURHA ‗futile‘. Thus, these two constructions differ collocationally. The
come-say construction‘s collocates are mainly pronouns (JOKU ‗someone‘,
MINÄ ‗I‘, ME ‗we‘, KUKAAN ‗no-one, anyone‘), whereas the go-say
construction‘s collocates seem often to be adjectives (PAHA ‗bad, difficult‘,
VAIKEA ‗difficult‘, TURHA ‗futile‘). The collocational profiles indicate that
the latter construction is used more often in a cotext that includes an
affective adjective meaning ‗difficulty‘ or ‗futility‘. Some instances
selected from the data are reported in Concordance 1.
Concordance 1. Adjectives PAHA ‗bad, difficult‘,
in the cotext (4L–4R) of go-say construction
‗difficult‘ and
Kun tsekinkielestä on paha
Tässä pimeydessä on paha
ja häviäjistä on paha
arvailemaan mitään, vinkit puoltavat
arvioimaan, miten nokista jälkeä
sanomaan etukäteen mitään varmaa
Leikas korostaa, on vaikea
kuuluu musiikissa, onkin vaikeampi
yhdenkään kansanedustajan on vaikea
vannomaan, että terveillä elämäntavoilla
määrittelemään, sillä sukupuolta
sanomaan, että minä tein
on auktoriteettien aivan turha
riehuessa baijerilaisille lienee turha
vireessä. Sitäpä on turha
kommentoimaan, tämänhän tiedämme jo
sanomaan, että paavilta viedään
ennustelemaan ennen kuin pääsen
The come-say construction‘s pronoun collocates, in turn, illustrate that the
Addressee is often mentioned in the cotext. This is shown in Concordance
2, which includes examples of pronouns MINÄ ‗I‘ and ME ‗we‘ in allative
(minulle ‗to me‘, meille, ‗to us‘), ablative (minulta ‗from me‘), genitive
(meidän ‗our‘) and partitive (meitä ‗us‘) cases.
Concordance 2. Pronouns MINÄ ‗I‘ and ME ‗we‘ in the cotext (4L–4R) of the come-say
Tuukkaa. Aikaisemmin kukaan ei
mutta minulta ei tarvitse
puolella. Reilun tuntuinen kaveri.
kiinnosti ihmisiä, kun minulle
palloilla? Mutta ajanhukkaa olisi
sanomaan minulle minkälaisia meidän
kysymään. Tykkään olla taiteilija
punttisalillakin minulta kysymään, saanko
siitä puhumaan kaupan jonossakin
minulle inttämään, että maailmassa
paljon. Olemme vahvistuksia. Meille tullaan heti sanomaan, jos pelit
esimerkiksi meille nuorille kukaan
sanomaan, mitä ja miten
se rohkaisevaa, kun meille tultiin sanomaan, että miksi tällainen
ajatuksia, että ei pidä tulla meitä arvostelemaan ja johtamaan
oli suopea. Kukaan ei tullut meille räkyttämään, vaikka jotkut
Stubbs (1995a: 42) claims that statistical tests can help identify not only
individual collocations, but also semantic sets in cotext. This can be proven
also here, since the statistically significant collocates seem to group, at least
partly, semantically. However, to get a wider picture of the semantic sets
occurring in the cotext we also need to analyse the semantic preferences of
the whole constructions.
3.3 Semantic preferences of come-say and go-say constructions
Sinclair (1996, 1998) shows that words belonging to a certain semantic
preference can be found in different positions in the cotext of a node and
they may even belong to different word classes. Thus, rather than studying
only the constructions themselves and their collocations, it is also worth
studying their semantic cotext. By consulting the concordances, we are able
to find the following semantic preferences.
Of the 93 cases of the come-say constructions retrieved from the
corpus, in 38 (40%) the cotext includes a word that expresses ‗quantity‘.
Quite often the word is either an indefinite pronoun KUKAAN ‗no-one,
anyone‘ or JOKU ‗someone‘. Also the go-say construction has this semantic
preference but it is clearly less common (16%), the most common collocate
being MITÄÄN ‗nothing, anything‘.15 Another semantic preference that
dominates in the cotext of the come-say construction is ‗time‘: 36% of the
concordance lines has a word expressing ‗time‘. As regards the go-say
construction the proportion is again smaller, 18%. The constructions also
See also Table 3 for the collocates.
share a semantic preference ‗futility‘: the proportions are 9% for the comesay and 6% for the go-say construction. The go-say construction also has
semantic preferences of its own: the most common is ‗difficulty‘ (as many
as 24% of all the occurrences in the data), while others are ‗being able to‘
(10%), ‗stupidity‘ (8%), ‗publicity‘ (7%), ‗must not‘ (7%), and ‗daring‘
The analysis of semantic preference reveals that although the speech
act verbs in these constructions can be more or less neutral in lexical
meaning (e.g. belonging to the semantic set of ‗telling‘), the cotext often
includes semantic preferences that render a very negative overall meaning
of the said thing. For example, even when a neutral speech act verb (e.g.
SANOA ‗say‘) is used in the go-say construction, we may find words
indicating negative semantic preferences in the context – such as
‗difficulty‘ (VAIKEA, PAHA ‗difficult‘; lines 1–5), ‗stupidity‘ (TYPERÄ,
HÖLMÖ ‗stupid‘; lines 6–7) or ‗futility‘ (TURHA ‗futile‘; lines 8–9) (see
Concordance 3). Consequently, it seems that even if the speech act verbs
themselves carry a neutral meaning, the cotextual patterning of the
constructions may convey a negative attitude. This can clearly be seen in
the case of the go-say construction which, in the first place, seems to be a
neutral or positively used construction, but which, however, is often used in
negative contexts as well. However, the analysis of the semantic
preferences does not give a thorough picture of the cotextual patterning of
these constructions. The following analysis completes the description by
investigating the semantic prosodies of the constructions.
Concordance 3. Examples of semantic preferences ‗difficulty, stupidity, futility‘ with
neutral speech act verbs in the go-say construction
suomalaiseen systeemiin. On vaikea
kunnosta on hyvin vaikea
jäsenten kanssa. Vaikea kuitenkin
laumasta otuksia on paha
on tässä yhteydessä paha
sanomaan, että se on
sanomaan mitään. Jos tietäisi
sanomaan mitään varmaa kollegoiden
sanomaan mitään yleistävää, edes
puhumaan. Todella hienoa ja
tai sukupuolesta riippumatta. Typerää
mukaan vaikea, jopa hölmöäkin,
edes esittämään tuollaista. Ehdotus
sanomaan. Tarkkaa tavoitetta hänestä
ainakin sille porukalle turha
riehuessa baijerilaisille lienee turha
kenenkään selittämään. Yhden tai
sanomaan, että paavilta viedään
3.4 Semantic prosody of come-say and go-say constructions
Semantic prosody (or discourse prosody (Stubbs (2001)) is a consistent
positive or negative (or sometimes neutral) ―aura of meaning with which a
form is imbued by its collocates‖ (Louw 1993: 157). The come-say and gosay constructions themselves seem to be evaluative, since the speech act
verbs, especially in the come-say construction, carry mostly a negative
meaning. Furthermore, we have noted that also the collocates and semantic
features often show a negative meaning. The last analysis, i.e. the analysis
of the semantic prosodies of these constructions reveals, undoubtedly, that
both constructions have a clear unfavourable or negative semantic prosody:
in the case of the come-say construction 89% (n=83) of the occurrences in
the data show a clear negative prosody, and in the case of go-say
construction the proportion is as high as 93% (n=183).
The items indicating the negative prosody may be the speech act verb
itself (syöttää puppua ‗to feed rubbish‘, example (4)), collocates that show
a certain negative semantic preference (turha ‗futile‘, ei kannata ‗to be not
worth of‘, examples (4)–(6)) or other items with a negative meaning (ero
‗divorce‘, example (5); katua ‗to regret‘, example (7); vetää turpaan ‗to
beat up‘, example (8)).
Sii-nä miele-ssä on
it-INE sense-INE be.3SG completely unnecessary anyone-GEN=PART
yrittä-ä tul-la
syöttä-mä-än mitään puppu-a.
try-INF come-INF feed-INF-ILL any
‗In this sense, it is completely unnecessary for anyone to come and feed [us] any
sitten kannata
s/he-GEN to-TRA-3PX NEG.3SG then
complain-INF-ILL when divorce come-3SG
‗It‘s no use to go and complain to him when they [will] split up.‘
mu-lle kannata
puhu-ma-an Jumala-sta
neg.3SG=PART I-ALL be.worth.CNG come-INF talk-INF-ILL God-ELA
and heaven-ELA
‗Nor is it of any use to come and talk to me about God and heaven.‘
Sibelius itse
myöhemmin katu-i,
että ol-i
Sibelius himself later
regret-PST.3SG that be-PST.3SG go-PTCP
mainitse-ma-an teokse-sta mitään.
mention-INF-ILL work-ELA anything.
‗Sibelius himself later regretted that he had gone and mentioned anything about
the work.‘
Westerlund ja
minu-a varmasti
Westerlund and Summanen beat-COND-3PL I-PTV probably
turpa-an, jos men-isi-n
ehdotta-ma-an jotain.
go-COND-1SG suggest-INF-ILL something
‗Westerlund and Summanen would probably beat me, if I went and suggested
To sum up, the data-based analysis of the go-say and come-say
constructions illustrates that both constructions carry a clear negative
meaning on both paradigmatic (the choice of speech act verbs) and
syntagmatic (collocations, semantic preferences and prosodies) dimensions.
According to Stubbs (2001: 65–66), semantic (discourse) prosodies express
speakers‘ attitudes and reasons for making the utterances. It seems that one
way for the Speaker to say that the Actor has said something in vain,
wrongly or in an otherwise bad or inconvenient manner is to use the comesay or go-say constructions. Nevertheless, these constructions differ in
terms of how the affective stance is expressed: in the come-say construction
the speech act verbs themselves are more negatively evaluative than in the
go-say constructions, whereas the latter construction is used in a more
negative cotext, which became evident in the semantically negative
collocations and in the higher proportion of negative semantic prosody.
4. Grammatical structures in interaction
Interactional linguistics analyses how linguistic structures are used in
naturally-occurring talk in their actual interactional contexts (Ochs et al.
1996; Couper-Kuhlen & Selting 2001: 1–3; Ford et al. 2002; Keevallik
2003). For interactional linguists ―language system‖ and ―everyday
language use‖ are inextricably intertwined (Thompson 2001: vii). Its main
starting point is to investigate ―how certain syntactic and other structures
can be attributed to, and motivated by, the accomplishment of interactional
tasks in situated use of language‖ (Keevallik 2003: 23). Interactional
linguistics investigates the relationship between linguistic detail and
interaction from two starting points. On the one hand, it studies ―what
linguistic resources are used to articulate particular conversational
structures and fulfil interactional functions‖ and, on the other hand, what
interactional function or conversational structure is furthered by particular
linguistic forms and ways of using them (Couper-Kuhlen & Selting 2001:
3). In this section, we take the latter approach. We start from the two
structures and study the social activity contexts in which they are used in
everyday interaction.
4.1 The go-say and come-say constructions in spoken discourse
As the corpus linguistic analysis in Section 3 shows, the studied
constructions tend to carry negative affective meanings. This became
evident either in the meaning of the speech act verbs (especially come-say
construction) or in the cotextual patterning of the construction (especially
go-say construction). The interactional linguistic analysis below provides
further evidence for this by showing how the constructions‘ negative affect
is closely tied to the social activity context in which they are used: in
everyday conversations they are used for trouble-telling and gossiping.
Although the normed frequency of the go-say and come-say constructions
is higher in spoken discourse than in written discourse, they are not very
frequent in spoken discourse. All in all, we found 11 examples of the
linguistic forms in the 10-hour database of everyday discourse and 6
examples in the institutional discourse corpus. Generally speaking, the
examples from everyday discourse were used for expressing negative
affect, whereas in institutional discourse three of the six occurrences were
non-affective and expressed either concrete movement or future tense.
In general, these findings align with the corpus linguistic analysis in
which the cotextual patterning, semantic preferences and semantic prosody
were seen contribute to the constructions‘ negative affective meaning,
although the construction and the elements in it may not be affective. It
should be borne in mind, though, that although the majority of the go-say
and come-say constructions expressed affect, we found that in naturallyoccurring talk they rarely had an affective meaning alone with no
indication of movement. In general, it was, across the examples,
challenging to tease out those structures that were affective from those that
profiled movement. In fact the only example that does not profile
movement comes from political discourse. This example was recorded
from the Finnish Broadcasting Company‘s main TV news broadcast in
autumn 2003. The news item deals with whether and with what schedule
Finland should participate in the European Union‘s (EU) new common
defence policy. The example is the Finnish Foreign Secretary‘s response to
the opposition‘s Parliamentary question. The go-say construction is used
twice (see lines 11 and 14 with arrows).16
1DB-225613.TextGrid: [Finland‘s defense policy in 2003], 1 min 52 s
ET: Erkki Tuomioja, Foreign Secretary
ET: (H)Jos nämä ehdotukse-t,
these suggestion-PL
‘If these suggestions
2 ?
3 ET: niinkun toista-n
repeat-1SG still
as I repeat once more
<HI> men-isi-vät ^sellaisenaan lävitse</HI>,
go-COND-3PL as.such
would be accepted/ratified as such
kun ne
they conventionally
be.3SG write-PTCP
as they have conventionally been written
(H)niin ne
’tule-vat ^voima-an,
they come-3PL
they will come into operation
sillon kun tule-e
’tämä perustuslaillinen ^sopimus.
when come-3SG this constitutional
at the same time with the EU constitution
...(0.5) Se on
it be.3SG two.thousand-PTV six
which is in two thousand and six
... Jos noudate-taan
comply.with-PASS it-PTV exactly right-PTV
If one complies with the exactly right
.. teidä-n ’logiikka-a-nne sii-tä että,
logic-PTV-2PL.PX it-ELA that
your logic that
11 →
<A> nyt ei
men-nä sano-ma-an et
now NEG.3SG must.CNG go-INF say-INF-ILL that NEG-1PL
one must not go and say that we
The data in this section have been transcribed by using the intonation unit-based
transcription system (Du Bois et al. 1993) in which each line represents one intonation
unit. The transcription conventions can be found in the Appendix 1.
14 →
mukana ehdottomasti</A>,
be.CNG with
now are definitely not in on this
(H)niin yhtä
logiikka-a on
equally clear-PTV logic-PTV
so equally obvious is the logic
meidä-n pidä
men-nä sano-ma-an
that NEG.3SG we-GEN must.CNG either=PART go-INF say-INF-ILL
that we must not go and say
me ^ol-isi-mme jossain
that we be-COND-1PL somewhere with
that we would take part in something
(H)sellaise-ssa jo-ta
me em-me
which-PTV we NEG-1PL consider.CNG union-ALL=PART
that we do not consider
(H)öö toivottava-na kehitykse-nä.
desirable development for union either.’
In his response, the Foreign Secretary uses the go-say construction twice.
However, it does not seem to communicate strong negative affect, but
rather what problematic consequences two hypothetical, alternative and
future political stances could have, if they were made carelessly. The fact
that the constructions do not profile movement could in fact be a feature of
and specific to institutional talk which resembles planned or written
discourse. However, it is hard to make a definite claim about this and
further analyses are required.
In the following, we focus on the use of the constructions in everyday
conversation. As regards the occurrences of the go-say construction in
these data, it was sometimes difficult to tell apart the affective, the
motional and future tense meanings. The come-say constructions in turn
frequently expressed both motional and affective meanings. In the
following sections we focus more specifically on the interactive context in
which these constructions are used, and the meanings they convey. As we
will show, the structures are used primarily as resources for expressing a
speakers‘ affective action, such as trouble-telling (4 examples out of 11)
and gossiping (7 examples out of 11). These actions are also usually part of
longer sequences of action, such as stories, narratives or accounts.
4.2 The go-say construction in everyday conversation: negative affect
in trouble-telling and gossiping
In everyday conversation, the go-say construction is used in storytelling
sequences, and mostly as part of gossips and trouble-telling. In 8 out of the
9 examples, the speaker used a zero (3 cases) or first person (5 cases)
pronoun or affix in the construction, which shows that this construction is
used either for expressing the Speaker‘s own action or an unidentified
Actor‘s action. Furthermore, in these sequences the construction usually
refers to a hypothetical or likely future action, e.g. whether to file a
complaint or snitch on somebody in the future and not something that has
happened (cf. the uses of the come-say construction). In these interactional
contexts, the go-say construction is indeed an element of affect display,
either displaying positive (a recount of a happy incident, in one example) or
negative affect (8 examples). However, rather than expressing affect only,
the construction tends to communicate motion, i.e. the Speaker moving
towards the Addressee in order to say something, which is also evident in
the distribution of person in this construction. Moreover, although none of
the examples are used merely for marking future tense, some of this
meaning is retained as part of the more prominent affect display.
All this is evident in the next example, in which three young women,
Emma, Ira and Vera, are gossiping about their mutual male acquaintance,
Pekka. After telling the others that Pekka has moved into his own
apartment, Emma tells that he has a German girlfriend. The girl is currently
in Germany, and Pekka is planning to move to Germany to play ice hockey.
After this Ira says ‗Well he did act like a bachelor, there at least when I saw
him in the restaurant‘ (lines 1–2) and thereby questions Pekka‘s credibility
as a faithful boyfriend. Then Emma responds and uses the go-say
construction twice (see lines 13–14).
(10) SG 151: [The New Year conversation], 25 min 50 s
IRA_1:Kyl se niin ^poikamiehel-t näytt-i,
yes it so
‘Well he did act like a bachelor
siel ainaki
mie ^Kantikse-s si-tä
there at.least what-PTV I
it-PTV see-PST-1SG
there at least when I saw him in the restaurant
EMMA: No=.
<HI> Mikä=s
what=PART it-INE
So what
.. tyttöystävä asu-u
girlfriend live-3SG Germany-INE
The girlfriend lives in Germany
se saa
ikinä mitää tietä-ä,
NEG.3SG it get.CNG never any
She will never get to know anything
[ku]kaan Suome-s
puhu-u –
Finland-INE NEG.3SG can.CNG speak-INF
Nobody in Finland can speak
EMMA: (H)Yks viiesosa
one fifth.part can.3SG Savonlinna-INE probably speak-INF
One-fifth of the population in Savonlinna probably speaks
kansalais-i-st @niinku saksa-a,
citizen-PL-ELA like
like German
tuskin si-lle kukaa
that hardly it-ALL anyone go-3SG
So it is unlikely that anyone will go and say
niinku [et] selittä-mä-ä,
that like
that explain-INF-ILL
that or like explain [to her]
[ nii?]
16 EMMA: jos se tänne joulu-ks
it here Christmas-TRA
if she comes to Finland for Christmas
Pekka täällä on
puuhail-lu (H).
that know-2SG-INT=PART what-PTV Pekka here be.3SG
that do you know what Pekka has been doing here.’
In lines 1–2, Ira says that she has recently seen Pekka acting like a single
person in a local restaurant. Her gossipy turn implicates that for a person
going steady with somebody, Pekka‘s behaviour is questionable. In the
next turn, Emma disaffiliates with Ira and provides an ironic explanation: it
is unlikely that he will be caught for being unfaithful, because the girlfriend
is in Germany, and even if she came to town it would be unlikely that
anyone (an unidentified Actor) would tell (i.e. snitch) her (the Addressee)
about Pekka‘s behaviour, because few people in town speak German. It is
in this interactional context in which Emma uses the go-say construction.
She says in lines 1–17 ‗So it is unlikely that anyone will go and say that or
like explain to her, if she comes to Finland for Christmas, that do you know
what Pekka has been doing here‘. Emma uses the go-say construction
(instead of sanoo ‗says‘) as part of gossipy discourse and in a disaffiliative
response to a previous speaker‘s turn for describing the mere conjectural
likelihood that anyone engages in such a highly affective action as telling
the girlfriend about his boyfriend‘s behaviour (i.e. reveals information, see
Section 5). It is worth noting that the design of Emma‘s utterance conforms
to the construction‘s collocational patterns in written language. The particle
että ‗that‘ and the pronouns se ‗it‘ and kukaan ‗no-one, anyone‘ collocate
frequently with this construction, and the latter is also statistically
significant (see Table 3). Kukaan also belongs to the semantic set
indicating ‗quantity‘, which is frequent in this context. In sum, the go-say
construction is used as part of gossiping and for evoking not only an
unlikely future action but also an affective situation in which the speech act
(snitching) in itself is questionable. This also supports the findings made in
Section 5 (see below), in which the Speaker considers a speech act as a
questionable action.
In example (11), the go-say construction occurs in a similar
interactional context. The example comes from a phone conversation. Mika
has called his friend Jami, who is a lawyer, to seek advice. Mika has
recently bought a new computer monitor which has broken down for the
second time. Mika produces a long complaint and trouble-telling sequence
in which he criticises the warranty service and then finally asks whether it
would be useful to file a complaint to the consumer ombudsman: ‗Is it
worth the effort to go and complain to the fucking ombudsman‘ (lines 5–7).
(11) SG 122_A2: [The monitor], 0 min 40 s
MIKA: (H) ni
can.3SG-INT like.that-INE
‘So can one like in that kind of a
mi- -o- -e- -PART
10 JAMI:
^mitää hyöty-y
be.3SG-INT any
benefit-PTV like
Is it worth the effort to
(H) men-nä marise-ma-a
mi-lle=kää vitu-n
go-INF grumble-INF-ILL any-ALL=PART fuck-GEN
go and complain to the fucking
tai ^mi-llä vo-is
niinku ^uhkail-la
what-ADE can-COND.3SG like
threaten-INF there
or with what could I threaten [the people]
at the service
nyt ^varamonitor[i-n,
that I
get-COND-1SG now spare.monitor-ACC
so that I would now get a spare monitor
[kyllä si-tä
Yes it would be a good idea to threaten them somehow.’
After the trouble-telling, Mika in line 1 starts a turn that seeks advice or
confirmation in form of a yes-no interrogative. Our target utterance, the
question in lines 5–7, contains linguistic evidence for Mika‘s (the Actor
and the Speaker) strong affective stance. He uses the verb marista ‗to
grumble‘ to describe a possible complaint to the ombudsman (the
Addressee). He also uses the expletive vitun ‗fucking‘ for displaying his
frustration with the situation. In other words, the go-say construction cooccurs with linguistic elements that display the speaker‘s affective stance.
So similarly with example (10) (see also example (8)), the go-say
construction is used in a context which describes a hypothetical and
negative situation in the future, in this case the filing of a complaint.
Mika‘s utterance in lines 5–6 is also structurally similar with the go-say
constructions in written language, since the olla verb ‗be‘ is a frequent
collocate and the pronoun mitään ‗anything, nothing‘ is a statistically
significant collocate (Table 3). The structure mitää[n] hyötyy also belongs
to the semantic set of ‗futility‘, which occurs frequently in this context and
contributes to the general negative cotext of the construction.
In sum, in spoken language the go-say construction is used in various
kinds of telling sequences as a resource for displaying the speakers‘
understanding that if they (the Speaker and the Actor) do the action or take
the described stance, they can in the future be held accountable for that
action or stance. It is therefore used in irrealis mode for describing a speech
act which is presented as occurring in a contingent world (Payne 1997).
Furthermore, by using the go-say construction, speakers also display their
negative affect involved in producing a speech act that has not yet been
produced. In other words, they communicate a meaning that the still
hypothetical affective action is possibly problematic or inappropriate. ―To
go and grumble‖ to the ombudsman basically does the action of filing a
complaint and ―to go and say‖ something about a boyfriend‘s questionable
behaviour in the local pub to his girlfriend equals snitching. All in all, by
using the go-say construction in social interaction, the speakers display
their negative affect towards the hypothetical speech act and orient to
potential trouble in the future.
4.3 The come-say construction in everyday conversation: reporting a
dubious action
Similarly with the go-say construction, the come-say construction in
everyday conversation is used in stories and tellings. However, in contrast
to the go-say construction, the come-say construction is used for describing
the realis actions of a third person (the Actor) in the past. In these cases, the
Addressee is the Speaker (see Section 3.2 for similar findings). This
coincides with the fact that all 8 occurrences of the go-say construction are
produced with a 3rd person pronoun, indicating an action done by
somebody to the Speaker. In example (12) below, Teppo is telling a story
of how he and his friends were robbed twice during the same evening in
Amsterdam. After he has told about the first attempted robbery, he tells
about the second one.
(12) SG 020 A_03: [He came and explained], 4 min 4 s
se kundi
t- t- –it
be-PST.3SG it guy
‘It was the guy who came
siihen selittää,
come-PST.3SG there
came there to explain
vittu-a et,
something fuck-PTV that
fucking something like
Joo ei,
yes no
yeah no
Tai sit
silleen että,
then happen-PST.3SG little like
Or then what happened was slightly like.’
As part of the story of how he and his friends got robbed, Teppo describes
the actions of one of the robbers (lines 1–3): ‗It was the guy who came
there to explain fucking something like‘. The come-say construction is used
to describe the attacker‘s movement toward the Speaker, as well as the fact
that the attacker‘s actions were aggressive and hostile. Thus, the incident is
clearly troubling for the Speaker, which explains the use of the come-say
construction and the expletive vittu ‗fuck‘ in line 3 that are indicative of the
Speaker‘s affective stance. The construction is also used in a reporting
clause, which is followed by indirect speech. All in all, Teppo uses the
come-say construction for describing the actions of a third person (the
Actor) in the past in a situation in which he was the target (the Addressee)
and which was frightening, and which still raises strong emotions in him.
Example (13) is similar to the previous example in that it describes the
past actions of a third person (the Actor) in a somewhat dubious light. The
example comes from a phone conversation between two young women
who are both dog enthusiasts. Mari (the Speaker) is currently telling a story
of how her mother (the Addressee), also an active dog person, had recently
attended a dog show and seen a slim dog, unlike any dog she had seen
before. This particular dog did not thrive in the show, after which the
owner of that dog (the Actor) had gone to talk to Mari‘s mother.
(13) SG122 B_01: [Dog conversation], 16 min 8 s
1 → MARI:
vaan meiä-n mutsi-lle tul-lu
then it
be-PST.3SG only we-GEN mother-ALL come-PTCP
‘Then she had just come to my mother and said
se omistaja että,
say.INF.ILL it owner
the owner that
(H)(TSK) Nii et
that well this come-3SG
like that well this will come
tonne Kokkola-n
there Kokkola-GEN
to the puppy show in Kokkola
(H) Ööh,
ens .. sunnuntai-na,
next Sunday
and that
and that
<VOX> Ja
Maria sitten esittä-ä
se-n siellä? </VOX>
and Maria then
perform-3SG it-ACC there
And then Maria performs with it there.’
Mari‘s utterance in line 1 is a reporting clause that precedes direct reported
speech in lines 3–5. It precedes the description of the dog owner‘s actions,
i.e. proudly coming and talking to Mari‘s mother after her dog has not done
well in the show. In this storytelling and gossipy context, the utterance
(including the otherwise neutral speech act verb sanoa ‗to say‘) therefore
expresses both movement and displays the Speaker‘s (Mari, telling the
story) affective stance towards the Actor (the dog owner) and her actions.
As in the examples above, the cotextual features between written and
spoken language are again very similar (cf. sit ‗then‘, se ‗it‘ and oli ‗was‘).
All in all, Mari‘s telling indeed conveys the dog owner‘s reported talk and
actions as dubious and questionable. These contextual features act as
further evidence for the fact that the investigated constructions in reporting
clauses tend to occur in gossipy contexts, and to be part of talk in which a
Speaker expresses negative affective stance towards an Actor‘s talk and
4.4 Summary of the go-say and come-say constructions in everyday
The above analysis suggests that in everyday conversation the go-say and
come-say constructions are used in tellings (storytelling, trouble-telling,
etc.), either in the actual story or in the reporting clauses that precede direct
reported speech. Telling stories of past incidents to a co-participant, and
talking about one‘s troubles are both very frequent and central features of
human social interaction (e.g. Jefferson 1978, 1988 inter alia). Stories,
tellings and reported speech are also ways in which tellers communicate
their stances toward the reported event (see e.g. Besnier 1993; Niemelä
2005; Stivers 2008). The go-say and come-say constructions are linguistic
resources for doing that. These constructions are also used, although less
frequently, as affective comments to something that someone has either
said or done in the immediately preceding interactional context. Indeed, 14
of the 17 examples that we found of this construction in spoken data were
used for displaying affect or stance. In addition, with only one exception
(not presented), all the reported speech acts were presented in a dubious,
questionable or otherwise negative context. It suggests that as part of
narratives and tellings the construction is used metaphorically to describe
the actual difficulty of doing the speech act, or the dubiousness that is
related to producing it. However, it is also possible to provide an
explanation from a social perspective, and as it relates to the status of
participants in social situations. In fact, Goffman (1963: 135) would
perhaps argue that the construction describes a social situation that involves
an undesired form of social gathering or regrouping, i.e. a ―non-with‖, in
which someone, who is not part of a ―with‖, enters and trespasses a border.
In the case of the go-say construction, it is the Speaker or the Actor
trespassing a boundary and in the come-say construction, someone
trespassing the boundary that includes the Speaker or the Actor. Further
evidence for this was provided by the use the pronominal forms in these
constructions: zero and 1st person forms co-occurred with the go-say
construction and 3rd person forms with the come-say construction.
Furthermore, none of the examples expressed affective meaning alone, but
the affective meaning often coincided with the meaning of motion, thus
communicating an idea of entering or trespassing a border. In sum, the
construction grammatically marks unwanted social participation and
involvement, i.e. ―coming too close‖. Also, the personal affective stance
expressed through this construction is both based on a social situation and
made socially salient in a narrative.
In addition to the similarities between the go-say and the come-say
construction, they do possess some distinct differences. The go-say
construction is primarily used for describing a hypothetical and
questionable action in the future, whereas the come-say construction is
mostly used in contexts which report a dubious action that has taken place
in the past. In other words, the go-say construction tends to be used for
describing a speech act in an irrealis world, whereas the come-say
construction profiles a past action in realis world.
5. Cognitive semantics of the go-say and come-say constructions
Both the corpus linguistic and the interactional linguistic analyses of the
go-say and come-say constructions show that the mennä ‗go‘ verb and the
tulla ‗come‘ verb have partly lost their meaning of motion and began to
express negative affect. As Sections 3 and 4 above show, this becomes
evident through the meaning of the verbs in the constructions, their
cotextual patterning and also through the social activities in which they
appear (trouble-telling, gossiping, complaining) or which they report and
describe (revealing information, snitching, complaining, quarrelling,
As the corpus linguistic analysis shows, sometimes the negative
meaning of either construction can be explained by the speech act verb
which itself conveys the meaning of an affective or even inappropriate
saying (for example, mennä möläyttämään ‗blurt out‘ [go + blurt in the 3rd
infinitive illative case]). However, this does not explain the affective use of
the construction mennä kertomaan [go + tell in the 3rd infinitive illative
case] in which the speech act verb kertoa ‗tell‘ itself is not affective.
Kertoa is, according to Finnish dictionaries (e.g. KS s.v. kertoa), a
polysemous verb that profiles a set of different meanings, but it is a rather
basic speech act verb and highlights the message itself, not the manner of
communication (Pajunen 2001: 345–346).
Consider example (14) which is taken from The Finnish Language
Bank. A larger context of the example shows that a cleaning lady (the
Actor) has told an implicit Addressee how a politician with a reputation of
a lady´s man (the referent of it) had tried to have sexual intercourse with
her but failed due to impotence.
(14) Ja yks siivvooja
kerto-ma-an, jotta kyllä se
and one cleaning.lady go-PST.3SG tell-INF-ILL that yes it
hän-tä=kin kerran elustussaunna-n
laattija-lla yritt-i.
she-PTV=PART once
representation.sauna-GEN floor-ADE try-PST.3SG
‗And one cleaning lady revealed that he also tried to make an attempt at her once
on the floor of a representation sauna.‘
In example (14) the Actor‘s motion is downplayed and instead the sentence
conveys the meaning of ‗revealing‘ or ‗snitching‘ and thereby the
Speaker‘s affective and disapproving position about the reported speech act
(see analyses in Sections 3 and 4). If the mennä ‗go‘ verb was removed
from the above example, the construction would lose its affective meaning.
One could therefore argue that the negative affect that the construction
expresses is related to the lexical semantics of the verb mennä ‗go‘. OnikkiRantajääskö (2001: 207) and Airola (2007: 56) indeed argue that the mennä
verb is often associated with expressions of non-canonical or negative
states. For example, ‗to break down‘ in Finnish is mennä rikki (lit. ‗go
broken‘). However, this feature of the mennä verb does not alone explain
the negative meaning of the construction, because examples can be
postulated in which mennä ‗go‘ is associated with neutral tone as in Miten
menee? ‗How are things [going]?‘ and even with a positive change, as in
Kaikki meni hyvin ‗Everything went well‘.
As regards the sanoa ‗say‘ verb, on the other hand, Routarinne (2005:
84–85) has noted that it is generally used as a rather basic and unmarked
speech act verb. However, according to a dictionary (KS s.v. sanoa), when
it is used in infinitival form, such as in olla sanomassa [be say-INF-INE], it
can also express ‗remarking, criticising‘ and ‗carping‘. Therefore, it is no
surprise that when sanoa is used in the come-say construction, it frequently
gets the meaning of aggressive speaking. Consider example (15) which is
again taken from The Finnish Language Bank.
(15) Suome-n
maa-ssa ja
tä-ssä maailma-ssa ei
Finland-GEN land-INE and this-INE world-INE
NEG.3SG find-CNG
joka vo-isi
sano-ma-an, että minä
person-PTV who can-COND.3SG come-INF say-INF-ILL that I
ol-lut nä-i-den kyseis-ten
tai mi-n=kään
be-1SG be-PTCP this-PL-GEN that-GEN.PL stuff-PL-GEN or
kanssa tekemis-i-ssä.
other-PL-GEN=PART forbidden-PL-GEN stuff-PL-GEN with
‗In Finland and in this whole world, there is not a single person to be found who
could argue against me that I have had anything to do with these or any other
illegal substances.‘
The above example reports a situation in which a famous Finnish crosscountry skier was asked in a press conference if he had used illegal doping
substances. In the press conference, he denied such accusations strongly
and insisted that no-one could accuse him of using doping. By using the
construction tulla sanomaan, the skier (the Speaker) is most likely not
anticipating any concrete motion towards him but rather expressing that he
would consider any accusations, delivered for example through mass
media, as aggressive and hostile actions against him. Again, if the tulla
verb was removed, the meaning of blaming, accusing or criticising (see
semantic preferences in Section 3) would be downplayed and the sentence
would emphasise the process of saying.
Consequently, what we see here is that there is something in the
constructions themselves that contribute to their negative affective
meaning. This semantic phenomenon has been acknowledged before but
there is little research that tries to explain how the construction gets its
affective reading. For example, the recent reference grammar of Finnish
(VISK § 470) only briefly states that when the verb mennä is followed by
another verb in the 3rd infinitive illative form the structure expresses that
the activity is not hoped for (see also Kiuru 1977: 263). In addition, one
may ask if there is a reason for the presence of these motion verbs in this
context, or is it just an unexplainable coincidence? From the point of view
of cognitive semantics these are not trivial questions. A basic tenet in
cognitive semantics is that linguistic forms are to a great extent
semantically motivated. Even idioms, which in other paradigms are often
considered to be difficult to analyse, are from the cognitive viewpoint seen
to be motivated, not arbitrary (Lakoff 1987: 450). Based on this
assumption, we can expect that also the deictic motion verbs mennä and
tulla, when used in the go-say and come-say constructions, are not devoid
of semantic motivation even though they do not express overt motion. The
core of our claim is that in these cases motion is understood metaphorically
through the dynamic conceptualisation of a change in a semantic dominion
of control.
As Givón (1973) has shown, in the world‘s languages, deictic motion
verbs easily get semantic extension, for example, in the form of temporal
and modal meanings. Consequently, it is no surprise that what first catches
one‘s eye in the constructions is precisely the deictic directionality of the
motion verbs. In Finnish, the motion verb tulla ‗come‘ profiles motion
towards a stationary deictic centre, and the verb mennä ‗go‘ motion away
from it. Here we assume that the deictic centre is set to the location of the
speaker, and thus that the Finnish mennä ‗go‘ is associated with a motion
away from the speaker, whereas the verb tulla ‗come‘ profiles motion
towards the speaker.
However, the speaker is capable of imagining herself into different
positions of the referred situation and then to describe the event from these
viewpoints. This process which utilises our mental capacity to conceive of
a situation from different perspectives (compare John is going to the hall
vs. John is coming to the hall when the sentences refer to the same situation
but from opposite vantage points) can be seen as one manifestation of a
phenomenon called ―conceptualisation‖. The ―new‖ observation point can
be called a Shifted Deictic Centre (Langacker 1991: 266–267).17 We
believe that the Speaker‘s ability to choose different vantage points for
describing a situation explains why precisely the deictic motion verbs so
easily get semantic extensions: especially in figurative expressions
containing motion verbs the Speaker often sets the deictic centre away from
its own observation position into the location of the Trajector (represented
by syntactic subject) or the Landmark (object or adverbial complement).
Deixis is important for yet another reason. As pointed out by Hopper
(2001: 169), the constructions that contain deictic motion verbs typically
express the speaker‘s attitude, and, we would like to add, not only attitude
but also affective evaluation of the referred situation. For these reasons, it
is not enough to base the explanation of the meanings of these
constructions merely on the concept of motion, but also the deixis of these
verbs needs to be taken into account.
Humans characteristically aspire to control the situations and actions
around them. Lakoff & Johnson (1980: 117–118) even propose that control
is one of the basic human experiences, a natural kind of experience.
Following Lakoff & Johnson (1980: 117–118), we assume control to be
one fundamental dominion in human interaction and in how it is coded
linguistically. Langacker (1993: 6, 1999: 173–174) defines ―dominion‖ as
the conceptual region to which a particular reference point affords direct
access. A prototypical situation that involves dominion is possession. For
instance, the sentence He deeded the ranch for his daughter can be seen as
an example of abstract motion18 where the ranch metaphorically leaves the
agent‘s (referent of he) dominion and enters the recipient‘s dominion
(Langacker 2008: 394). In other words, possession is a dominion which
encloses all those entities that are directly owned by the possessor. In
addition to possession, other types of dominions may be postulated. For
example, Huumo (2006: 41, 43) characterises a cognitive dominion which
consists of what the sentient reference point perceives, thinks or knows at a
particular point of time. Correspondingly, a control dominion includes
things which are directly controlled by the reference point (or agent), which
lie in its spherical domination, such as decision making between moving
vs. non-moving and speaking vs. non-speaking etc.
For similar discussion on Finnish, see Larjavaara (1990: 259–260).
In abstract motion, a motion verb (or some other expression normally referring to
concrete movement) is metaphorically used for describing a change in some entity‘s
state as in the sentence The milk is about to go sour (Langacker 1990: 155–156).
The control dominion links the directional lexical semantics of the
deictic verbs mennä and tulla to the affective meanings of the go-say and
come-say constructions. When the verb mennä is used in this construction,
the meaning of the following infinitive speech act verb is interpreted as a
place or, more generally speaking, as a ‗container‘. According to Lakoff &
Johnson (1980: 30–32), it is common that activities (here the speech acts)
are metaphorically conceived as substances and therefore as ‗containers‘
which have the capacity to ―take in‖ other entities. Thus, the action of
telling something represented by the go-say construction is metaphorically
conceived as motion where the entity occupying the Shifted Deictic Centre
(the subject of the mennä verb) is abstractly moving towards the ‗container‘
(the speech act). The infinitive‘s illative case supports the assumption of
abstract motion towards a ‗container‘ since the basic meaning of illative
can be characterised as ‗movement into‘ (cf. Huumo & Ojutkangas 2006:
The affective meanings of ‗revelation‘, ‗snitching‘, and so on (see
Sections 3 and 4), which are expressed by the go-say construction, utilise a
metaphorical conceptualisation where the act of telling is conceived as
abstract motion away from control dominion. If the control of an activity or
situation is lost, the result may be something that is not hoped for. This we
saw in the interactional analysis of the go-say construction in Section 4.
Our assumption gains support from observations of various other
metaphorical Finnish expressions containing the verb mennä, which, as
mentioned earlier, have a strong tendency to be associated with negative
states or negative results in general. Indeed, it seems that Finnish utilises a
conventional metaphor where a change into an inferior situation is
conceived as motion (away from the deictic centre) into a negative state. In
addition, many of these expressions seem to intuitively involve some sort
of loss of control (for instance, mennä pieleen ‗go wrong‘). Also Larjavaara
(1990: 261) points out that expression mennä noloksi ‗go shamefaced‘
profiles a change ‗away-from‘ something ―primary‖ or ―normal‖. Based on
our analysis, we can define these observations by arguing that these
metaphors often include abstract motion away from the control dominion.
This hypothesis seems to provide a reasonable explanation for why the verb
mennä, which profiles motion away, is often associated with negative
As regards the come-say construction, our suggestion to motivate the
affective reading of this construction is based on an assumption that one
does not tolerate another active entity close to one‘s own control dominion.
In the come-say construction, the Actor‘s speech act is metaphorically
conceived as abstract motion in which the Actor moves towards the control
dominion of the Addressee (again see the interactional analysis in Section
4). This process is understood as a threat against the Addressee, a kind of
abstract penetration. In other words, the come-say construction can be seen
as an infringement of privacy or personal space.19 Due to this, the speech
act of this ―intruder‖ gets an aggressive or arrogant reading even though it
is not the lexical meaning of the speech act verb in question.
6. Conclusion and discussion
This paper has analysed two constructions in Finnish: the go-say and comesay constructions. By using different linguistic theories and methods, we
found that across written and spoken corpora, the come-say construction is
frequently used to display negative affect despite the fact that nothing in
the construction itself suggests this. The corpus analysis partly confirmed
the negativity of the come-say construction in that many speech act verbs
(apart from verbs meaning ‗to tell‘) in this construction were semantically
negative. The go-say construction‘s meaning was less negative but its
cotextual preferences (collocations and especially semantic prosody) were
more negative. Consequently, these two constructions partly differed in
how negative affective meaning is generated. The interactional linguistic
part of the study was able to confirm the above findings. Although the
spoken data did not reveal any purely affective uses of the construction, but
rather combinations of affective, motional and temporal meanings, both
constructions were frequently used for expressing negative affect in
different kinds of telling sequences. The cognitive semantic part of the
study suggested that the cognitive motivation for the purely negative
affective meaning in the come-say construction is that it is an example of
abstract motion towards a control dominion of the actual or Shifted Deictic
Centre of the motion verb. This fictive movement is then considered as a
threat against the Addressee and therefore the come-say construction has
gained an affective meaning. The go-say construction was less negative
with the meaning of revealing but it nevertheless emphasises that the
referred speech act is considered inappropriate or regrettable. This meaning
can again be seen as metaphorical conceptualisation in which the control
over the speech act is lost. The result is that the Speaker or the Actor utters
See also the idea of ―non-with‖ discussed in Section 4.4.
something that should not be uttered. In general, rather than expressing a
neutral meaning (e.g. ‗X said‘) or the Speaker‘s or the Actor‘s motion
towards an Addressee, these constructions tend to convey negative affect
towards the reported actions.
In this paper, we have relied on theories and methodologies used in
three different linguistic approaches. The aim has been to see what kinds of
results their differing starting points provide for the analysis of two
constructions. All of these approaches are first and foremost interested in
meaning and usage. They also start from the assumption that form and
meaning are systematically interconnected. Moreover, they all suggest that
constructions (in general and the ones studied in this paper) are memorised
as larger functionally motivated chunks, i.e. phraseological units. Indeed,
Sinclair‘s (1991) ―idiom principle‖, Goldberg‘s (1995) notion of
―construction‖ and the interactional linguistic idea that linguistic
constructions are stored and retrieved from memory as schematic patterns
(Thompson 2002) all seem to address similar and quite fundamental
aspects about linguistic constructions. They also share the idea that
meaning is functionally motivated and emerges from recurrent and
repetitive uses. In addition, by using the three methods rather than only a
single one we were able to fortify findings that were made with one
method. For example, the interactional linguistic analysis was in line with
the findings regarding the constructions‘ lexical and semantic collocations
that were based on a written language corpus and studied with corpus
linguistic methods. Also, the study of spoken language was able to confirm
the cognitive linguistic hypothesis that the construction is used in gossip
sequences as well as other negatively saturated interactional contexts.
Consequently, in many ways, each approach fed into the others,
supplemented and improved our individual understandings of the go-say
and come-say constructions.
What is different – some would say even contradictory – between
these three approaches is that they have different understandings of where
meaning resides or where it is located. Corpus linguistic research often
focuses on a construction‘s immediate linguistic context (collocations,
semantic preferences and semantic prosodies) and explains its meaning
with this cotext in mind. Cognitive semantics, on the other hand, explains
meaning mainly as a product of a person‘s cognitive knowledge base and
mental, unconscious processes. Finally, for interactional linguists, meaning
arises from the repeated uses of a construction in particular functionally
motivated contexts and is closely intertwined with the social action that is
produced with the help of a construction. In addition, in interactional
linguistics, meaning is understood to be negotiated and constructed
between and by conversationalists, for the practical purposes of
accomplishing social actions.
Nevertheless, these differences perhaps were the reason why we have
been able to identify features of the construction‘s structure as well as its
use that would not have been possible with one method only. We hope to
have provided a broad view of the functional, social and cognitive reasons
that motivate the constructions‘ meaning. More specifically, the corpus
study, which was based on a large written language corpus, was used for
getting an idea of the constructions‘ frequency and usage as phraseological
units. Indeed, it is less likely that a cognitive or an interactional study
would have been able to shed light on these questions. The interactional
approach, with data coming from naturally-occurring, real-life interactions,
was able to show that the constructions are used in particular, recurring
interactional contexts in everyday conversations, i.e. in narratives and
tellings, which cognitive semantics and corpus linguistics would not have
been able to show. The major advantage of the cognitive approach, on the
other hand, is that it deals with the semantic motivation of linguistic
expressions. Accordingly, the cognitive semantic view makes the Finnish
go-say and come-say constructions sensible by explaining why there is a
motion verb, but no actual motion and also by giving a cognitive
explanation to the constructions‘ affective meanings. Answering these
questions would be difficult if only corpus linguistic or interactional
analytic methods were used. However, despite the different approaches and
the dissimilar angles to the analyses of the constructions, the findings were
in some respect remarkably similar. This would seem to provide evidence
for the multifaceted nature of language; that language inherently contains a
functional, social and cognitive dimension.
We do argue that three methods together are better than one method
alone, but not in the sense that by using them together we are simply able
to obtain a richer account of language. Although we believe that three
methods together supplement each other when the aim is to achieve a
general view of a linguistic construction, there has also been another lesson
to be learned. Linguists are no doubt aware of the strengths of their own
approaches. However, we have noticed during this work that the true
challenge has been to understand and acknowledge that our approaches do
not answer everything, but address and emphasise different aspects of
language form and language in use. One debate that the authors had, for
example, concerned whether the come-say construction can have a purely
affective and non-motional reading. Since no examples were found from
the spoken data, the existence of this meaning was questioned, although
such examples can of course be postulated. However, during the next week,
the sceptic witnessed three uses of the construction with that meaning.
With respect to the cognitive semantic explanation, on the other hand, we
also noticed that its method is not sufficient for explaining and motivating
the constructions‘ use. In many ways, cognitive explanations and analyses
presuppose a social situation, and thereby seem to demand social accounts
and explanations of the situations in which they are used. Also, since
humans do not act or make decisions in isolated vacuums, but in a dialogic
relationship with their world, cognitive motivations have to be seen to be
occasioned and played out in social interaction. If there are intentions and
cognitive strategies at work with the use of linguistic constructions, as there
at least sometimes have to be, they have to be fluid and able to respond the
contingencies of social interaction. Further, we have to ask, whether the
postulated examples can be found in real life and whether they are frequent,
which is rarely done in cognitive semantic research. Consequently, all
analyses of linguistic constructions have to critically consider what type of
data is being used (e.g. large written corpora, introspection or spoken data)
and how they influence or even skew the findings.
In sum, an important lesson to be learned in the writing of this paper
has been to see what questions our approaches cannot answer, or to which
they can only provide partial answers. The different approaches used in this
paper emphasise very different aspects of language and they are not
necessarily able to reveal the same things; in fact, it would be a surprise if
they did. And if they did, the need to have different theories could be
questioned. Along with other similar studies conducted in the recent years,
we think that through discussion, debate and critical reflection they can be
used in order to get an informed understanding of, for example, a particular
linguistic construction.
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reporting clauses in conversation]. In Markku Haakana & Jyrki Kalliokoski (eds.),
Referointi ja moniäänisyys [Referring and Polyphony], Tietolipas 206, pp. 83–
113. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura.
Saukkonen, Pauli; Haipus, Marjatta; Niemikorpi, Antero & Sulkala, Helena (1979)
Suomen kielen taajuussanasto [A Frequency Dictionary of Finnish]. Juva:
Shore, Susanna (1988) On the so-called Finnish passive. Word 39: 151–176.
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Nordquist & Catie Berkenfield (eds.), Proceedings of the Second Annual High
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with quantitative studies. Functions of Language 2: 23–55.
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(eds.), Studies in Interactional Linguistics, Studies in Discourse and Grammar 10,
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Appendix 1. Transcription conventions.
Based on Du Bois et al. (1993).
Intonation unit
Truncated intonation unit
Truncated word
{line break}
-– (en dash)
Transitional continuity
Appeal (seeking a validating response from listener)
Speech overlap
(numbers inside brackets index overlaps)
[ ]
[2 two words 2]
Accent and lengthening
Primary accent (prominent pitch movement carrying
intonational meaning)
Secondary accent
Long pause (0.7 s or longer)
Medium pause (0.3–0.6 s)
Short (brief break in speech rhythm)(0.2 s or less)
Vocal noises
Alveolar click
Laughter (one pulse)
Special voice quality
Higher pitch level
<VOX>two words</VOX>
<HI> </HI>
Allegro: rapid speech
<A> </A>
Transcriber’s perspective
Researcher‘s comment
(( ))
Appendix 2. Gloss conventions.
The morpheme-by-morpheme glosses are based on the Leipzig Glossing
1 = first person
2 = second person
3 = third person
ABL = ablative
ACC = accusative
ADE = adessive
ALL = allative
CNG = connegative (verb)
COND = conditional
ELA = elative
ESS = essive
GEN = genitive
ILL = illative
INE = inessive
INF = infinitive
INT = interrogative
NEG = negation (verb)
PART = particle
PASS = passive
PL = plural
PST = past tense
PTCP = participle
PTV = partitive
PX = possessive
SG = singular
TRA = translative
Contact information:
Pentti Haddington
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
P.O. Box 4
FI–00014 University of Helsinki
e-mail: pentti(dot)haddington(at)helsinki(dot)fi
Jarmo H. Jantunen
Finnish Language / Faculty of Humanities
P.O. Box 1000
90014 University of Oulu
e-mail: jarmo(dot)jantunen(at)oulu(dot)fi
Jari Sivonen
ELTE BTK Finnugor Tanszék
Múzeum krt. 4/i VIII
e-mail: jari(dot)sivonen(at)oulu(dot)fi
Ana Ojea
On Mixed Categories: The Case of Free Relatives
Free Relatives (FRs) are constructions that share the essentials of core relative sentences
but have no lexical antecedent (i.e. they are headless) and are subject to a matching
condition which forces the relative operator to satisfy the selectional restrictions of both
the matrix and the embedded verb. This paper focuses on nominal FRs in English and in
Spanish, and proposes a syntactic analysis of the construction as a mixed category made
out of a CP layer and a DP layer connected through a nominalizer SWITCH, the
functional category NomP. FRs are therefore treated here as complex nominals whose
underlying structure coincides with that of headed and semiheaded relatives (i.e. the socalled Semifree Relatives in Spanish), and whose structural peculiarities follow from
the particular role that the WH-constituent plays in the activation and interpretation of
the nominalizer.
1. Introduction
Standard syntactic analyses canonically make use of a number of lexical
categories (VP, NP, AP, etc.) implemented by some functional projections
that encode their relevant grammatical features (tense, aspect…). However,
one should also consider certain categories that are not uniform (i.e.
consistently verbal, nominal, adjectival…) but combine properties of two
or more lexical projections. This seems to be the case of Free Relatives
(FRs), which are constructions that, despite their sentential structure,
display a nominal distribution and can actually appear in syntactic positions
excluded to canonical sentential categories (cf. Huddleston 2002: 1069):
Is [what she suggests / that idea / *that she proposes to go alone] unreasonable?
I am indebted to the anonymous reviewers of the journal for very insightful comments
and suggestions. Needless to say, all remaining errors are my own.
SKY Journal of Linguistics 24 (2011), 119–143
Complement of a preposition:
I am sorry for [what I did / that situation / *that you were inconvenienced]
Subject of a Small Clause:
They considered [[what she suggested / that idea / *that she proposes to go alone]
As the examples above show, FRs (in italics) appear in DP positions and
are subject to the same structural requirement than standard DPs, i.e. the
need to appear in Case sensitive positions. This explains why they cannot
be extraposed (4), and also why they can be the complement of a
preposition as in (2), but not of a non Case licensing category such as an
adjective (5):
It is unreasonable *what she suggests / *that idea / that she proposes to go alone.
I am sorry *what I did / *that situation / that you were inconvenienced.
The main goal in this paper is to account for the distribution and syntactic
peculiarities of FRs, analyzing them as mixed categories which combine a
CP and a DP projection. In Section 2, I describe the main structural
properties of the construction and the standard analyses that have attempted
to account for them in the generative tradition. Section 3 presents my own
analysis of FRs under a theory of mixed projections along the lines of
Panagiotidis & Grohmann (2005), testing it on facts of both English and
Spanish. Section 4 offers some conclusions.
2. Syntactic properties of FRs
Traditionally, the semantic typology of relative clauses has included
basically two types, restrictives and non-restrictives. The former are always
syntactically bound to a DP, and restrict the class of entities that can be
denoted by this DP. As for non-restrictive relative clauses, they modify a
wide range of categories adding further qualifications to their reference;
however, they do not narrow down, nor expand, their extension. Despite
their semantic and structural differences, what both types of headed relative
clauses have in common is that they are introduced by a relative operator
which is anaphorically linked to the antecedent:2
Please, return [the bookx [whichx [you have taken whichx from here]]]
As (6) shows, the relative clause has two occurrences of a variable X
connected via the relative operator which, its (simplified) reading being
‗Please, return the book X such that you have taken X from the library‘. In
this case the relative operator is lexical, but (restrictive) headed relative
clauses may also allow for non-lexical operators in English when the
relativization affects the object of a verb or a preposition in the
subordinated clause:
Please, return [DP the bookx [Opx (that) [you have taken Opx from here]]]
In the generative tradition, the relative operator has customarily been
generated in its corresponding argumental position and moved to the left
periphery of the clause for interpretative reasons (i.e. to be in a local
relation to its antecedent). This left periphery is articulated in the sense of
Rizzi (1997) and comprises at least two obligatory projections: ForceP,
which encodes the illocutionary force of the clause and has a feature [REL]
in relative clauses, and FiniteP, which signals its tense/mood features; for
convenience, here I will use the standard term CP[REL] to subsume the
relevant features of the two.
Free relatives are constructions which share the essentials of core
relatives (i.e. they are sentential modifiers which involve a relative
operator), but do not fit in the traditional binary typology. In particular,
they differ from the canonical types in that they have no lexical antecedent
(i.e. they are headless), and thus the relative operator has to satisfy a dual
set of requirements: those of the matrix clause and those of the relative.
Two types of constructions have been most exhaustively described in
the relevant literature under the term Free Relative: the so-called
Concessive Free Relatives (CFRs) and Standard Free Relatives (FRs).
Despite their label, it is rather misleading to treat the former as a subgroup
of free relatives. They are sentence-level adjuncts introduced by a WHelement of the -ever type, but this is the only characteristic they have in
common with proper free relatives:
From now on I restrict to restrictive relative clauses (and accordingly the term headed
relative will just apply to them), since only these are structurally and semantically
connected to free relatives.
Whatever you buy in that store, you always pay too much.
As the example in (8) shows, the WH-ever phrase in the concessive
sentence does not satisfy any semantic/syntactic requirement of the matrix
predicate, a defining property of FRs, as will be argued below. Besides, as
van Riemsdijk (2006) has noted, they can even contain multiple WHphrases, a possibility attested in questions, but not in relative clauses of any
kind (see Bošković 2002 for an account of multiple WH-fronting crosslinguistically):
Whichever CD you buy in whatever store, you always pay too much.
Therefore I will not treat these concessive structures on a par with the other
type of FRs and simply assume that they have a uniform sentential
structure (i.e. that they are CP modifiers).
As for Standard Free Relatives, Bresnan & Grimshaw (1978) define
them as pluri-categorial constructions, relying on data such as (10)–(14)
below, where the relative operator (and, according to the authors, the whole
FR) is a DP (10)–(11), an AP (12), an AdvP (13), or a PP (14):
(10) Please, return what you have taken from here.
(11) I’ll sing whichever songs you want me to sing.
(12) I’ll sing however erect you want me to sing.
(13) I’ll sing however carefully you want me to sing.
(14) I’ll sing in whatever town you want me to sing.
Larson (1987, 1998) argues against this view and proposes that FRs can
only be nominal, analyzing examples like (12) and (13) as ―free
comparatives‖, and (14) as a preposition with a nominal FR complement. I
will ignore the controversy here (see Grosu 2003 for details) and merely
focus on Nominal Standard Free Relatives, because they are the best
exponent of the core properties of the construction; I will accordingly
restrict the term FR to refer to them.3
Schematically, the derivation of FRs will be as in (15):
(15) Please, return [whatx [you have taken whatx from here]]
The relative pronoun what in the sentence is not only understood as the
internal argument of taken, but also as the complement of the matrix verb
return; that is, it plays the same role that the antecedent the book has in
headed relatives like (6). However, despite this nominal interpretation (and
distribution; cf. (1)–(5)), FRs still bear a close structural resemblance to
embedded WH-Questions like (16):
(16) I wonder [whatx [you have taken whatx from here]]
Although WH-Questions describe states of affairs and not entities, the
internal structure of the complement of wonder in (16) basically coincides
with that of the FR in (15). Both are sentential categories which comprise a
thematic layer (roughly vP and VP), an inflectional layer (crucially TP) and
an illocutionary layer (an articulated CP). Derivationally, they are both
subject to a movement operation which moves an operator of a given kind
(interrogative or relative) to the left periphery of the clause, that is, to CP. It
should be noted that there are languages like English, Spanish, or Finnish
(cf. Manninen 2003) that basically have the same set of (WH-) elements to
introduce headed relatives, FRs and WH-Questions. However, there are
others, like German, which use WH-elements only to introduce FRs and
WH-Questions, whereas their headed relatives are inaugurated by
morphologically unrelated elements; FRs pattern in these languages with
WH-Questions and not with headed relatives in this particular respect.
In view of the above, one could claim that FRs are a subset of
relatives with much in common with embedded questions and with clear
DP-like properties. Together with this mixed syntactic nature, another
salient characteristic of FRs is the so-called matching effect, that is, the fact
that the WH-phrase has to satisfy the selectional restrictions of both the
matrix and the embedded verb:4
There is yet another group, the so-called Transparent Free Relatives, as in He made
what may appear to be a radically new proposal. See Grosu (2003) for an analysis that
treats this construction as a special case of nominal FR.
In languages with a rich Case system WH-phrases also match in Case, but this seems
to be a surface phenomenon tightly linked to the morpho-phonological form of the word
(17) English:
a. I will take whatever you give me.
b. *I will take for whatever you ask.
(18) Spanish:
a. Prefiero
prefer.PRESENT.1SG at[ACC-mark] who
‗I prefer whom I met yesterday.‘
meet.PAST.3SG yesterday
b. *Prefiero
con quien viniste
prefer.PRESENT.1SG with who
come.PAST.2SG yesterday
‗I prefer the one with whom you came yesterday.‘
The examples in (17) and (18) show that the WH-phrase functions as a
constituent shared and selected by two predicates, one in the embedded FR
and another in the main clause and this peculiarity, along with the mixed
categorial status of the construction, has been dealt with differently in the
relevant literature.5
In general, formal analyses of FRs have adopted two different
approaches to explain them:
A the FR is a complex nominal with an antecedent and a subordinate clause.
B the FR is a clausal constituent with a WH-phrase which can be somehow
accessed from outside.
Among the A type analyses, there have been two competing views. On the
one hand, the so-called Head-Hypothesis (cf. Bresnan & Grimshaw 1978;
Larson 1987, 1998; Citko 2002), where the WH-phrase is considered the
antecedent of the FR, either because it is externally merged in its surface
position outside CP (with the gap inside the FR being occupied by a
pronominal element deleted under referential identity with the WH-phrase,
as in (19a), or because it raises from inside the CP to occupy a position
outside, as in (19b):
in question (cf. Groos & van Riemsdijk 1981; Suñer 1984; van Riemsdijk 2006;
Graĉanin-Yuksek 2008, among others). In fact, as van Riemsdijk (2006) notes, Case
mismatches are quite readily tolerated whenever they can be resolved under syncretism
or Case attraction.
Since, as stated above, I restrict here to Nominal Standard FRs, the matching condition
implies that the FR must be introduced by a DP compatible with the selectional
restrictions of both, the matrix and the subordinate predicates.
(19) a. Please, return [[DPwhati] [CP [you have taken proi from here]]]
b. Please, return [[DPwhati] [CP what [you have taken whati from here]]]
On the other hand, the COMP Hypothesis (cf. Harbert 1983; Suñer 1983,
1984; Grosu & Landman 1998; Grosu 2003), where the link between the
relative clause and the matrix predicate is not direct because there is an
empty head (PRO or pro) that acts as the antecedent. The WH-phrase in
these analyses eventually occupies the specifier position of the CP, as it
would in headed relatives:
(20) Please, return [[DPPRO/pro]i [CP whati [you have taken whati from here]]]
As for the B type analyses, the underlying assumption is that the FR is not
a complex nominal, but a sentential category, that is, structurally equivalent
to embedded interrogatives. Initially, it was defended that what makes FRs
syntactically different to interrogative clauses is that the specifier of CP
could be accessed and, therefore, potentially selected from outside (cf. the
COMP accessibility hypothesis of Groos & Vam Riemsdijk 1981;
Hirschbühler & Rivero 1981, 1983):
(21) Please, return [CP what [you have taken what from here]]
But an analysis like (21) runs counter the standard assumptions on thematic
restrictions since a single argument, the WH-phrase, would have to be
connected to two different predicates. This is why more recent analyses do
not approach the accessibility of the WH-phrase in terms of selection into
CP, but in terms of the role that WH-phrase plays in the connection
between that CP and the matrix predicate. For example, van Riemsdijk
(2006) proposes a multidimensional structure where the WH-phrase is
shared by the matrix predicate and the relative CP; Citko (2011)
implements his approach, proposing that this structure undergoes a further
Merge operation whereby the WH-phrase eventually occupies a CPexternal position (the final structure being then a variant of the HeadHypothesis).
Other authors focus on how the WH-phrase directly contributes to the
final interpretation of the relative CP as a nominal. In this respect, Donati
(2006) argues that the WH-element moves as a head into C0 to check the
WH-feature present there and in doing so endows the clause with the Dfeature required for its nominal interpretation. Similarly, Ott (2011)
assumes that the WH-constituent is responsible for the relabeling of the FR
into a nominal category, not because it moves as a head, but as the result of
the cyclic transfer of syntactic structure. Her proposal is that the WHcategory as a phrase moves to the edge of a CP whose head C 0, contrary to
what happens in interrogative sentences, bears no interpretable formal
features. This forces C0 to be transferred, together with its complement, to
the interface components (in order for the remaining syntactic object to
conform to the principle of Full Interpretation), and leaves the WHconstituent as the only visible element at the next phase. In this analysis,
the WH-phrase will also be selected by two different predicates but at two
different derivational cycles, thus circumventing the conflict with the
thematic-criterion provided this is understood as an interface condition that
applies at the vP phase level.
In general, all the analyses above seek to offer a principled
explanation of the main properties of Free Relatives (i.e. their DP-like
properties and the matching condition), but only A type relates headed
relatives and FRs structurally. Since the relation between (6) and (10) is
quite straightforward, an analysis that captures their syntactic parallelism
seems preferable in principle.6 However, such an analysis must also
formalize the role of the WH-phrase, which cannot be the structural
antecedent of the relative clause in its internal structure but must serve to
identify it and, at the same time, connect the subordinate CP to the matrix
predicate.7 This implies that the WH-phrase must somehow contribute to
the relabeling of CP into a nominal category, as B type analyses
presuppose. Significantly, this situation (i.e. a category of a given type
turning into a DP) has been attested cross-linguistically in a number of
constructions, and therefore the analysis of FRs can be plausibly
undertaken under a more general theory of such mixed projections. This is
what I would like to propose here: an analysis of FRs that connects them a)
with headed restrictive relatives and b) with other nominalized
Apart from their semantic and distributional equivalence, FRs have also been proved
to pattern with headed relatives, and not with embedded questions, with respect to
reconstruction effects (cf. Citko 2002).
If the WH-constituent were the structural antecedent of the relative clause, one would
have to provide ad hoc mechanisms to prevent sentences like (i) or (ii), which should be
possible under current assumptions on relativization:
*Please, return what.
(cf. Please, return the book.)
*Please, return what that you have taken from here.
(cf. Please, return the book that you have taken from here.)
constructions, while still accounting for the crucial syntactic properties of
the construction (among them, the matching effect).
3. The mixed category analysis of Free Relatives
Mixed categories are those that combine properties typically associated
with two distinct grammatical projections. Quite recently Panagiotidis &
Grohmann (2005) have drawn on previous analyses of non-uniform
projections (cf. Bresnan 1997; Borsley & Kornfilt 2000; Malouf 2000,
among others) to investigate the exact nature of the constituents that make
them up. They crucially rely on two notions: a) the existence of a SWITCH
and b) the principle of Phrasal Coherence (as initially defended in Bresnan
(1997) and Malouf (2000)).
A SWITCH is a recategorizer which allows the transition from one
category to another, and which constitutes a syntactic (functional) category
itself. As for the principle of Phrasal Coherence, it implies that the two
parts of the mixed category connected through the SWITCH must be
phrasally coherent; that is, the SWITCH must relate two categorially
uniform subtrees. This way, mixed categories need not be ruled by
extraordinary conditions on projection, since they just consist of two
standard categories ―glued‖ together by a SWITCH.
In their study, Panagiotidis & Grohmann (2005) focus on the size and
the nature of the categorially uniform constituents that make up mixed
projections. They argue that SWITCHes can only take complements of the
size of a Prolific Domain, this being understood as a sub-part of the
derivation that spans projections sharing contextual information (cf.
Grohmann 2003):
Prolific Domains:
Thematic domain (Θ-Domain): the verbal projections, roughly vP and VP
Agreement domain (Φ-Domain): the inflectional projections, crucially (a
split) TP
Discourse domain (Ω-Domain): the illocutionary projections, an articulated
As for the grammatical status of the SWITCH itself, they note that there is
a conspicuous absence of mixed projections in which the SWITCH takes a
nominal complement and converts it into a verbal one. This implies that
SWITCHes are in fact nominalizers which recategorize a non-nominal
Prolific Domain into a DP:8
Panagiotidis and Grohmann (2005) also contend that the SWITCH has a
dual categorial specification from which the dual character of the mixed
projection derives: it has an uninterpretable [uV] feature that makes it a
probe searching for a V target to agree with (and entails that it will not
appear without a verbal/clausal complement), and also possesses an
interpretable [N] feature that renders it as a nominalizer and guarantees the
nominal behaviour of the whole projection and its selection by a DP. They
therefore see the SWITCH as a functional category which allows from the
transition from one (verbal) category to another, but they do not provide
any mechanism to restrict its appearance and the particular complements it
may have.
Since it is clearly not the case that any Prolific Domain may serve as
the complement of a SWITCH (i.e. not every verbal or clausal complement
can be nominalized), I would like to propose here that for a nominalizer
SWITCH to be possible (i.e. activated), it must be licensed by a nominal
category of some sort in an adequate agreement configuration, a necessary
move to render it a legible object at the interfaces. Besides, since the
resulting DP needs to conform to the principle of Full Interpretation, it
must also be somehow provided with relevant semantic features.
In what follows, I will analyze FRs along this view, treating them as
mixed categories made up of a clause (the biggest possible Prolific Domain
in Grohmann‘s (2003) classification) switched into a DP under the
conditions just explored. In particular, I suggest that the derivation of a FR
will schematically be as follows:
Panagiotidis & Grohmann (2005) explore different constructions which could
exemplify the combination of the SWITCH with a) a thematic domain (POSS-ing
gerunds in English, or Dutch nominal infinitives) b) an agreement domain (clausal
gerunds in English or Spanish nominal infinitives) and c) a discourse domain (Greek
nominalized clauses). As mixed categories, Nominal Free Relatives will group with the
latter, since they also result from the nominalization of the biggest possible Prolific
[DP -WH]
[DP -WH]
[DP -WH]
Figure 1
FRs consist of two categories, a DP and a CP, connected through a
nominalizer SWITCH that I will call NomP. The complement of NomP is a
full clause with a relative operator that moves to Spec-CP under current
assumptions, and this is what the FR has in common with headed relatives
and with embedded WH-Questions.
However, FRs crucially involve a further step in the derivation: the
WH-element must land in Spec-NomP and enter in a Spec-head relation
there to license (and thus activate) the SWITCH. Since the head of NomP
has a [N] feature, the class of WH-phrases that can sit here will be
restricted to those which are nominal; therefore only WH-DPs occur in
Nominal FRs, the matching condition following from this (see fn. 5).
Besides, unless the language has some other independent means to do so,
the WH-phrase will have to provide NomP with relevant semantic features:
this is what forces this constituent to be a referential (non-anaphoric)
expression itself, a restriction that equates the type of introductory elements
in FRs with those in interrogative clauses. This need to identify the
functional category NomP semantically may also be the reason why Dlinked relatives (i.e. relative pronouns which require a nominal restriction;
cf. Citko 2004) are excluded.9
One of the advantages of the analysis just sketched is that it allows for
a unified treatment of headed and free relative sentences. Both types of
relative sentences consist, under this view, of a CP[REL] attached to a
nominal category (a lexical NP or a functional NomP, respectively)
complement of a functional DP projection:10
headed relatives
free relatives (FRs)
Figure 2
The process of relativization is also the same for both: the WH-phrase
moves to Spec, CP to check the [REL] feature there, and FRs only differ
from headed relatives in that they involve a further movement into Spec,
NomP for interpretative reasons. Predictively it will also be possible for
FRs to employ a covert operator under appropriate conditions (cf. (6) and
(7)), a situation that is found in Spanish, as I will discuss in Section 3.2.11
This explains why FRs introduced by relative specifiers like whose or which are not
grammatical in English:
*I shall buy which books / whose books I like.
The forms whatever and whichever, in their use as specifiers, constitute apparent
exceptions to the generalization that D-linked relatives cannot appear in FRs (cf. I shall
buy whatever books / whichever books I like. (See Donati 2008 and references therein
for a particular account of the issue.) In fact, FRs with WH forms of the -ever type (or
their equivalent -quiera in Spanish) differ from FRs with plain forms in significant
ways. Since I will not deal with the issue here, I refer the reader to Jacobson (1995),
Dayal (1997), Grosu & Landman (1998), Grosu (2002) and van Riemsdijk (2006),
among others, for precise accounts of their properties.
An analysis of this sort where the relative clause attaches just to the NP, excluding the
determiner, has been standardly defended in the literature for restrictive relative clauses
(cf. Ross 1967; Partee 1976; Smits 1989, among others).
Caponigro (2002) and Citko (2004), among others, defend an analysis of FRs where
the relative clause directly attaches to a DP which has a covert head and an empty
3.1 FRs in English
Assuming the analysis of FRs as mixed categories that I have proposed
above, the derivation of a sentence as (10) would be as follows:
(10) Please, return what you have taken from here.
Please, return [DP [uAcc] [NomP [DP what]x Nom[N] [uV] [CP whatx C[REL] [TP you
have [vP taken[V] whatx from here]]]]]
The complement of NomP is a full clause with a relative DP what, which
moves to Spec-CP under current assumptions, and then to Spec-NomP
where it licenses the SWITCH. As argued, what also provides the covert
category NomP with the grammatical features [3rd person] and [singular],
and the semantic feature [non-human]. As for the DP subtree of the mixed
category, it has an uninterpretable Case feature that needs to be valued in
one of the positions accessible to Case valuation, that is, in Subject or
Object position, thus ensuring the nominal distribution of the FRs.
This analysis thus accounts for the double nature (nominal and
clausal) of FRs. The other salient property of the construction, the matching
effect, also follows from the DP status of FRs and from the aforementioned
Spec-head relation between the WH-phrase and the head of NomP with no
need to weaken the thematic criterion, since the matrix DP is selected (and
assigned Case) inside the matrix clause and the WH-phrase inside the
relative clause. To license the nominalizer, this WH-phrase must be a
nominal category (DP). When this situation holds, as in (10), a grammatical
sentence results; otherwise ungrammaticality is expected, as in (17b)
(repeated here for convenience), with a PP in Spec-NomP:12
specifier to which the WH-phrase eventually moves. In my approach there exists a
nominalizer NomP in between the two, which apparently makes the structural
representation less economical. But, as argued above, this category NomP serves to
capture the syntactic relationship that exists between FRs and headed relatives, on the
one hand, and FRs and other nominalized constituents, on the other. Besides, the
analysis posited here does not need to weaken the c-selection requirements of DP,
which in English always takes a NP complement.
As reflected in (10) and (22), the derivation will be convergent in the narrow syntax if
the specifier and the head of NomP agree in syntactic features. The syntactic object is
then sent to the PF component and will only be legible at that level if the morphophonological shape of the WH-phrase matches the requirements of the matrix clause (or
if mismatches are resolved in an appropriate way; see fn. 4).
(22) *I’ll take for whatever you ask.
I‘ll take [DP [uAcc] [NomP [PP for whatever]x Nom[N] [uV] [CP for whateverx C[REL] [TP you
[vP ask[V] for whateverx ]]]]]
In English, one can also find FRs after verbs that select PPs as
complements (cf. van Riemsdijk 2006):
(23) Tomorrow I will speak to whomever you spoke last night.
(24) Children worry about whatever their parents worry.
The analysis of FRs as mixed categories will imply a derivation of (23)–
(24) along the following lines:
(25) I will speak toi [DP [uAcc] [NomP [DP whomever]x Nom[N]
C[REL] [TP you [vP spoke[V] [[to]i whomeverx]]]]]]
[CP whomeverx
(26) Children worry abouti [DP [uAcc] [NomP [DP whatever]x Nom[N] [uV] [CP whateverx
C[REL] [TP their parents [vP worry[V] [[about]i whateverx]]]]]]
The matrix preposition takes a FR as its complement. Since for the Spechead agreement to be preserved in NomP the relativization process can
only involve WH-DPs, the preposition in the relative clause will have to be
stranded. My analysis thus coincides, mutatis mutandis, with the approach
defended in Larson (1987, 1998) for this construction (see Grosu 1996,
2003 for an alternative view). Subsequently, the preposition can be
optionally deleted under matching conditions (or understood as elliptical
and reconstructed in the sense of Larson (1987)).13
Lastly, a stranded preposition (covert this time) also seems to be
involved in the derivation of FRs introduced by where(ever) or when(ever).
As is well known, in English there are a number of constituents that can be
considered adverbial DPs, that is, locative and temporal DPs (that day,
yesterday, home etc.) that can have an adverbial reading as if they were the
object of a preposition (cf. Emonds 1976, 1987; Bresnan & Grimshaw
As van Riemsdijk (2006) notes, this preposition-stranding analysis is substantiated by
the variants of examples (23) and (24) where the preposition has not been deleted:
Tomorrow, I’ll speak to whomever you spoke to.
Children worry about whatever their parents worry about.
1978; Larson 198; McCawley 1988, among others); this lexically restricted
class of adverbial DPs can license not only Nominative or Accusative Case,
but also Oblique Case in contexts like those in (28):
(27) He frequently remembered [DP that day]
(28) They met [PP [P Ø] [DP that day]]
Significantly, FRs introduced by where or when, behave distributionally
(and semantically) like adverbial DPs (examples from Caponigro & Pearl
2009: 156):
(29) Lily adores where this very tree grows. (i.e. FR understood as a DP: ‗that place‘)
(30) Lily napped where this very tree grows. (i.e. FR understood as a P + DP: ‗in that
If one assumes with Caponigro & Pearl (2009) that where and when are
bare DP adverbs, the possibilities in (29) and (30) follow from my analysis
of FRs with no further stipulation:
(31) Lily adores [DP [uAcc] [NomP [DP where]x Nom[N] [uV] [CP wherex C[REL] [TP this
very tree [vP grows[V] [[Pe] wherex]]]]]]
(32) Lily napped [Pe] [DP [uOblique] [NomP [DP where]x Nom[N] [uV] [CP wherex C[REL]
[TP this very tree [vP grows[V] [[Pe] wherex]]]]]]
The WH-phrase where is base generated as the object of an empty
preposition which will be necessarily stranded for the Spec-head agreement
to be preserved in NomP.14 There where identifies the nominal projection
as [locative]; as a [locative] DP, the FR will now be able to license not only
Accusative Case, as in (31), but also Oblique Case in contexts like (32).
3.2 FRs in Spanish
Free Relatives in Spanish share most of their structural and semantic
As in the case of (23) and (24) above, examples where the stranded preposition is
lexical empirically support an analysis along these lines: Jack dislikes where we just ran
past (cf. Caponigro & Pearl 2009).
properties with English FRs and therefore can be approached under the
same lines, that is, as mixed categories involving a Discourse Domain
(CP), a SWITCH (NomP) and a resulting DP. The clause contains a
relative operator which, as in English, is lexical; it moves to Spec-CP in the
usual fashion, and then to Spec-NomP, where it has to identify the [N]
feature of the head. This is what forces it to be nominal itself (a DP), and
thus explains the matching restrictions that exist with respect to the matrix
predicate (cf. examples in (18), repeated here for convenience).15 The only
non-anaphoric non D-linked WH-DP in Spanish is quien ‛who‘ (and its
plural form quienes), which identifies NomP as a singular/plural [human]
(33) Prefiero a [DP [uAcc] [NomP [DP quien]x Nom[N] [uV] [CP quienx C[REL] [TP pro [vP
conocí[V] a quienx ayer]]]]]
(34) *Prefiero [DP[DEF] [uAcc] [NomP [PP con quien]x Nom[N] [uV] [CP con quienx C[REL]
[TP pro [vP viniste[V] con quienx ayer]]]]]
As English, Spanish also has a set of adverbial WH-DPs (donde[locative]
‛where‘, cuando[temporal] ‛when‘, como[manner] ‛how‘, cuanto[quantity] ‛how
much/many‘), and here again the FR they introduce may behave
distributionally (and semantically) like a DP or a PP. The structure
involved coincides with the one proposed for the English examples in (29)
and (30):
The FR can be non-matching in Spanish in subject or left dislocated positions, that is,
in positions which are not subcategorized, but even there their status tends to be rather
marginal (see RAE 2010 where they are legislated again, favoring instead the headed
version of the relative):
Me gusta
con quien viniste
me like.PRESENT.3SG with whom come.PAST.2SG yesterday
‗I like the one with whom you came yesterday.‘
If my analysis is on the right track, these non-matching FRs must be understood as nonnominalized CP constituents (cf. Caponigro 2002 for an approach along the same lines).
Spanish relatives include not only quien(es) but also Art (el/la/los/las) + cual(es) ‛the
which‘ and cuyo, -a, -os, -as ‛whose‘, but of the three quien is the only non D-linked
WH-element that can be non-anaphoric, as required in FRs (and accordingly, the only
one that can also introduce WH-Questions). For a justification of the D-linked nature of
el cual, see Ojea (1992).
(35) No me gusta
no me like.PRESENT.3SG where
‗I don‘t like where (s)he lives.‘
No me gusta [DP [uNominative] [NomP [DP donde]x Nom[N] [uV] [CP dondex C[REL] [TP
pro [vP vive[V] [[Pe] dondex]]]]]]
(36) Vive
donde nació.
live.PRESENT.3SG where be.born.PAST.3SG
‗(S)he lives where (s)he was born.‘
Vive [Pe] [DP [uOblique] [NomP [DP donde]x Nom[N] [uV] [CP dondex C[REL] [TP pro
[vP nació[V] [[Pe] dondex]]]]]]
Together with this, Spanish allows for a construction, sometimes termed
Semifree Relative (SFR), whose interpretation and distribution is
equivalent to that of FRs. It consists of the definite article in any of its
possible grammatical forms (el [MASC, SG], la [FEM, SG], lo [NEUTER, SG],
los [MASC, PL], las [FEM, PL]), followed by a clause introduced by the
complementizer que:
(37) Prefiero
que vino
prefer.PRESENT.1SG the.MASC.SG that come.PAST.3SG
‗I prefer the one [= male/thing] that came yesterday.‘
(38) Prefiero
que vino
the.FEM.SG that come.PAST.3SG
‗I prefer the one [= female/thing] that came yesterday.‘
(39) Prefiero
que vi
the.NEUT.SG that see.PAST.1SG
‗I prefer the one [= thing] that I saw yesterday.‘
FRs and SFRs can be freely coordinated:
(40) Saludó
que llegaron
at(ACC-mark) the.MASC.PL that arrive.PAST.3PL
at(ACC-mark) who.PL
enter.PAST.3PL more
‗He greeted those that arrived early and those who entered later.‘
And they are alternative options in all contexts:17
(41) Prefiero
que vino
prefer.PRESENT.1SG who.SG/the.MASC.SG that came.PAST.3SG
‗I prefer who/the one that I saw yesterday.‘
This is why grammatical tradition from Bello(1981) [1847] to the RAE
(2010) has customarily treated this construction as a special case of FR (see
also Plann 1980; Ojea 1992; Brucart 1999, among others). In fact, SFRs
structurally occupy a position intermediary between headed and headless
relatives, sharing with the former the type of introductory elements they
allow for, and with the latter the fact they are subject to the matching
Actually, non-adverbial FRs in Spanish necessarily refer to human entities since, as
argued above, they can only be introduced by quien(es) ‗who‘. This implies that SFRs
have to be employed otherwise, and, consequently, will serve to translate all the
sentences with a FR introduced by what in English:
Please, return WHAT you have taken from here.
Por favor, devuelve LO QUE has cogido de aquí.
Citko (2004) argues for a distinct group of relative clauses, which she calls ―Lightheaded relatives‖, with the following properties: a) they have a (semantically light)
lexical head, b) can be interpreted as definite, indefinite or negative, c) show the same
introductory elements than FRs and d) are not subject to the matching requirement.
Contrary to what she contends, SFRs do not belong to this class, since, as noted, they do
not share any of these properties; in particular, they are always interpreted as definite,
they have the same introductory elements than headed relatives and they are subject to
the matching condition. It is precisely this matching requirement that distinguishes
SFRs from other relative constructions with light heads which could more accurately be
grouped with those described by Citko (2004) for Polish:
quien vino.
with whom come.PAST.3SG
‗The one with whom she came.‘
quien vino.
with whom come.PAST.3SG
‗That one with whom she came.‘
Table 1. Types of (restrictive) relative clauses in Spanish
Type of
Free relative
Introductory elements in
Overt Overt OP[REL] que
*quien / *el cual
P + quien / P + el cual
Overt Covert OP[REL] que
*quien / *el cual
*P + quien / *P + el cual
Covert Covert *OP[REL] que
quien / *el cual
*P + quien / *P + el cual
As Table 1 shows, Spanish has a complementizer que ‛that‘ which is
obligatorily projected in the head of CP in relative sentences whenever the
relative operator is covert (OP[REL]), and excluded otherwise. The conditions
that force the relative operator to be covert in headed relatives in Spanish
do not coincide with those that apply in English. In English, the relative
operator may optionally be covert depending on the syntactic function that
it plays in the subordinate clause (cf. 7). In Spanish, it is the category of
this operator that forces the option, and thus DP relative operators must
always be covert in headed relatives unless they are the complement of a
preposition (that can never be stranded in Spanish):19
(42) *Prefiero
candidato quien
prefer.PRESENT.1SG the candidate who
‗I prefer the candidate who came yesterday.‘
Accordingly, adverbial DPs can only introduce headed relatives when they have an
adverbial reading in the subordinate clause (i.e. when they are the complement of an
empty abstract preposition in the terms explained above):
Me gusta
lugar donde nació.
me like
the place where be.born.PAST.3SG
‗I like the place where he was born.‘
(43) Prefiero
candidato OP[REL] que
prefer.PRESENT.1SG the candidate OP[REL] that
‗I prefer the candidate that came yesterday.‘
(44) Prefiero
candidato con quien viniste
prefer.PRESENT.1SG the candidate with whom come.PAST.2SG
‗I prefer the candidate with whom you came yesterday.‘
This situation is reversed in the case of FRs. The reason for this, as I argued
above, is that the operator in this construction needs to be lexical, not only
to license NomP but also to endorse it with the relevant semantic features.
But if a mechanism existed which could ensure that once licensed (i.e.
categorially identified) NomP could be adequately interpreted, the option
of the covert operator would again be the most economical, and thus the
one to be predicted. This is precisely the case of SFRs in Spanish.
Assuming a common structure for all types of restrictive relative
clauses (i.e. those with a lexical antecedent, those with a partially lexical
antecedent and those with a non-lexical antecedent), the syntactic
configuration of SFRs will be (Figure 3), repeated here for convenience:
Figure 3
For the nominalizer NomP to be activated it must enter into an agreement
relation with a nominal category. This implies that only DP operators can
move into its specifier (matching condition), and, in this, SFRs coincide
with FRs:
(45) *Prefiero
con quien viniste
prefer.PRESENT.1SG the.MASC.SG with whom come.PAST.2SG
‗I prefer the one with whom you came yesterday.‘
However, even if this matching restriction holds, the operator cannot be
lexical, as shown by the impossibility of (46):
(46) *Prefiero
prefer.PRESENT.1SG the.MASC.SG who
‗I prefer the one who came yesterday.‘
come.PAST.3SG yesterday
The reason for this is that in SFRs DP projects an agreeing determiner
which allows its complement NomP to be properly interpreted at the
interface. This means that the relative operator will only have to license the
SWITCH categorially, the covert option being the most economical for the
English, more impoverished morphologically, lacks agreeing determiners
of this sort and therefore SFRs are not a possible option here:
(48) *I prefer the that came yesterday.
Finally, since the definite article in Spanish only possesses (and transfers)
the phi-features of gender and number, SFRs will ambiguously be
interpreted as [human], as in (37) and (38), unless the determiner is [neuter]
(as in 39). For the same reason, the article cannot identify NomP as
[locative], [temporal], [manner] or [quantity], and therefore SFRs
equivalent to the FRs in (35) and (36) do not exist:
(49) *Vive
en el
que nació.
live.PAST.3SG in
the.MASC.SG that be.born.PAST.3SG
‗He lives where he was born.‘
4. Concluding remarks
Free Relatives have proven to be a fertile ground for research given the
particularities of their structure. Here I have treated them as complex
nominals on a par with other restrictive relative sentences and I have
posited a unified analysis of all the possible types, namely headed, partially
headed and headless. I have contended that they share not only the same
underlying structure (repeated here as Figure 4), but also the same process
of relativization, including the possibility to employ in that process a
lexical or a non-lexical operator given appropriate conditions:
headed relatives
(semi) free relatives (FRs)
Figure 4
I argue that what makes FRs different from the other types of relatives
generated by the structure in Figure 4 is the role that the WH-constituent
plays in the activation and interpretation of NomP, a nominalizer SWITCH.
In this respect, my analysis also captures the intuition behind most of the
proposals that treat FRs as sentential categories with the same underlying
structure than embedded interrogatives: that the WH-phrase introducing
them is responsible for the relabeling of CP into a nominal category.
Assuming the existence of a SWITCH in FRs, my proposal also
integrates them into a wider group of constructions with which they share a
mixed nature as verbal-sentential categories with DP properties. This
means that, despite the many overt differences existing among them, FRs
will be grouped with constructions like POSS-ing gerunds in English or
nominalized infinitives in Spanish, among others (see fn. 8). In this respect,
I have adopted the basic tenants in Panagiotidis & Grohmann (2005) to
approach mixed projections in terms of a SWITCH which takes a verbal
category of the size of a Prolific Domain and allows its transition as a DP.
However, I have implemented their analysis, proposing that this
nominalizer SWITCH must be restricted to those contexts where it can be
licensed by a [N] category of some sort that enters with it into an
agreement relation. Ideally, the contexts for this relation will be reduced to
Spec-head agreement, as in the case of FRs, and head-head agreement,
probably the case in other constructions.20 Of course, many details of an
integrating account like this remain to be worked out, but hopefully further
cross-linguistic research into the exact nature of mixed projections will
help to clarify them.
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Contact information:
Ana Ojea
Departamento de Filología Anglogermánica y Francesa
Facultad de Filosofía y Letras
Universidad de Oviedo
e-mail: aojea (at) uniovi (dot) es
Susan Schlotthauer
Kontaktinduzierter Sprachwandel im Bereich der estnischen
Verbrektion? Teil II: Verbkomplemente in Form von
Die sprachliche Beeinflussung des Estnischen durch das Deutsche wird in neueren
Publikationen zur Sprachkontaktforschung (Thomason & Kaufman 1988; Thomason
2001; Aikhenvald 2006; Heine & Kuteva 2006) gern als ein gut dokumentiertes Beispiel
für langfristige strukturelle Interferenzen herangezogen, illustriert wird dies u.a. an
Interferenzen in den Bereichen Wortfolge, Partikelverben, Artikelsystem, Instrumental/Komitativbedeutung. Allein eine Betrachtung der synchronen Verhältnisse beider
Sprachen lässt kontaktinduzierten Sprachwandel im Estnischen als evident erscheinen,
so möchte man die Forschungslage erklären. Tiefergehende, in die diachronen
Verhältnisse einsteigende Untersuchungen fehlen bis auf wenige Ausnahmen
(Hasselblatt 1990; Habicht 2000). Der vorliegende Beitrag geht der Frage nach,
inwieweit der Bereich der estnischen Verbrektion von deutschem Einfluss erfasst
wurde. Nachdem in Schlotthauer (2010) Verbkomplemente in Form von
kasusmarkierten Nominalphrasen analysiert wurden, folgt nun eine Untersuchung von
Komplementen in Form von Adpositionalphrasen.
1. Einleitende Bemerkungen
Angesichts des Vorkommens von Adpositionen in allen finnisch-ugrischen
Sprachen reicht allein die Tatsache ihres Gebrauchs im Estnischen in
keinem Fall aus, um daraus fremden Einfluss herleiten zu können. Zwar hat
der estnische Sprachreformer Aavik (1936: 92) Adpositionalphrasen mit
peal ‘auf’, sees ‘in’, juures ‘bei’ etc. als Germanismen bezeichnet, die es
aus der Sprache zu verdrängen gelte, doch deutschen Einfluss für ihre rein
lokale Funktion nachzuweisen, erscheint wenig erfolgversprechend. Ein
Blick in die estnische Dialektologie zeigt, dass die Verwendung von
Adpositionalphrasen mit peale ‘auf [+AKK]’, peal ‘auf [+DAT]’, pealt ‘von
(…) herunter’ etc. anstelle der äußeren Lokalkasus in den nördlichen
SKY Journal of Linguistics 24 (2011), 145–179
Dialektgebieten verbreitet ist, von wo sie auch in die Schriftsprache gelangt
sei (Palmeos 1973: 15). Diesen Gebrauch erwähnt auch Wiedemann (WGR
339). In Südestland sind auch die Adpositionen sisse ‘in (…) hinein’, sees
‘in’ und seest ‘aus (…) heraus’ anstelle der inneren Lokalkasus verbreitet
(Palmeos 1973: 21). In der heutigen Schriftsprache sind beide
Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten parallel in Gebrauch, wobei sie in den meisten
Fällen in freier Variation vorkommen (Lamp on laual [ADE] ~ laua peal.
‘Die Lampe ist auf dem Tisch.’ Klaasis [INE] ~ Klaasi sees on vett. ‘Im
Glas ist Wasser.’). Eine Analyse des Sprachgebrauchs im 20. Jh. (Ehala
1994: 182-183) ergab, dass hinsichtlich der Frequenz von
Adpositionalphrasen ein starker Rückgang zu verzeichnen ist: 1905 waren
noch 4,4% aller vorkommenden Wörter Adpositionen, in den 90er Jahren
nur noch 2,4%. So ist das Vorkommen der Postposition peale, die 1905
noch die häufigste Postposition war (worauf auch die zahlreichen pealeRektionen in Wiedemanns Wörterbuch hindeuten, deren Häufigkeit die der
mit anderen Adpositionen verbundenen Verben deutlich übersteigt), bis
1972 um das Sechsfache gesunken. Die Ursache hierfür ist sicher in der
Spracherneuerungsbewegung Aaviks zu suchen, die darauf abzielte,
analytische durch synthetische Konstruktionen zu ersetzen.
Erwartungsgemäß noch häufiger waren Adpositionalphrasen in der
Anfangszeit der estnischen Schriftsprache:
It is understandable that in the earlier translation tradition, where morpheme-tomorpheme translation was standard practice, it was easier to translate the German
prepositional constructions into the Estonian postpositional construction than to
replace them by synthetic forms (Habicht 2000: 23).
Für die sekundären Postpositionen asemel ‘anstatt’, heaks ‘zugunsten’,
kätte ‘in die Hände von’, nimel ‘im Namen’, pärast ‘wegen’, viisi ‘-weise’
und weitere, deren Herkunft an den in der Gegenwartssprache noch
vorhandenen Grundwörtern wie ase ‘Stelle’, käsi ‘Hand’ etc. ablesbar ist,
hat Habicht (2000) nachgewiesen, dass ihr Vorkommen und ihre
Übersetzungstradition bedingt ist. Nicht betrachtet wurden von ihr aber
Adpositionen, deren Grundbedeutung eine rein lokale ist (wie eest ‘vor’,
sisse ‘in’, peale ‘auf’ etc.). Zu fragen wäre nun, ob es als wahrscheinlich
gelten kann, dass sich auch deren Gebrauch durch deutsche Interferenz
ausgeweitet und damit ihre Grammatikalisierung verstärkt bzw.
beschleunigt hat. Ausgehend von ihren primären, lokalen Bedeutungen
ergeben sich die nachfolgend angeführten Entsprechungen für deutsche
Präpositionen im Estnischen. Betrachtet werden dabei nur die
Präpositionen, die im Deutschen in Präpositionalobjekten enthalten sind
(Breindl 1989):
aus, von
Adessiv, Allativ
peal, peale
Ablativ, Elativ
järel, järele
all, alla
ees, eest, ette
juurde, poole, Allativ
Diese semantischen Übereinstimmungen in ihren konkreten Bedeutungen
Grammatikalisierungsweges, wie er schon am Beispiel des Komitativs
aufgezeigt wurde (Schlotthauer 2010: 287ff.). Die geschilderten Probleme
für die Unterscheidung einer „Replikagrammatikalisierung― von einer
„Lehnübersetzung― bestehen bei den estnischen Adpositionalphrasen in
gleicher Weise.
2. eest ‘vor’
Die Postposition eest – der Form nach ein Elativ eines für das
Ostseefinnische rekonstruierten Nomens *ete ~ *eδe ‘Vorderseite’ – wird
in vielen Funktionsweisen als Äquivalent sowohl der deutschen Präposition
vor als auch der Präposition für verwendet. In einigen Fällen tritt als
Übersetzungsäquivalent in den Belegen Wiedemanns auch das direktionale
Pendant ette auf. Die deutschen Präpositionen vor und für entstammen
beide derselben Quelle, es handelt sich um zwei verschiedene Kasusformen
derselben Wurzel germ. *fur- (daraus ahd. fora ‘vor’, furi ‘für’). In frnhd.
Zeit fallen auf mitteldeutschem Sprachgebiet beide Formen in vor
zusammen, der gleiche Prozess ist auf niederdeutschem Sprachgebiet mit
der Form voor zu beobachten. So erwähnt denn auch das Grimmsche
Wörterbuch (GRWB Bd. 4, Sp. 639) „eine seltene bei norddeutschen
schriftstellern hier und da vorkommende bedeutung― von für, „in welcher
man schriftdeutsch sonst stets vor mit dem dat. setzt―, und zwar die
Verwendung in Komplementen von Verben wie bewahren, fürchten, hüten.
Die Abgrenzung beider Präpositionen mit der Zuschreibung der jeweiligen
Gebrauchsweisen wird erst im 18. Jh. durch offizielle Sprachregelung
vorgenommen (Pfeifer 1993: 385). Hier engagiert sich speziell Adelung,
der zur Geschichte von für und vor schreibt: „(…) es ist gewiß, daß man
vor Luthers Zeiten keinen Schriftsteller aufweisen kann, der beyde
Vorwörter beständig und mit Bewußtseyn unterschieden hätte― (Adelung
1811: 362). Dieser Zusammenfall im Mittelniederdeutschen (und weiteren
Teilen des dt. Sprachraums) und die im Estnischen ebenfalls nur durch eine
einzige Postposition ausgedrückte Entsprechung ist sicherlich schon als
Hinweis auf tatsächlich vorliegende Interferenzen (i. S. von
Lehnübersetzungen) zu werten.
Für die Präposition vor lassen sich im heutigen Deutsch die folgenden
Bedeutungsaspekte ausmachen:
– eine lokale Bedeutung mit einer lokativischen (mit Dativergänzung) und einer
direktionalen Variante (mit Akkusativergänzung)
– eine temporale Bedeutung: vor zwei Stunden, vgl. es. kahe tunni eest ‘vor zwei
– eine (im weiteren Sinne) kausale Bedeutung (GDS 2149ff.): zittern vor,
erschrecken vor.
Der Ausdruck von Kausalität durch Lokalausdrücke ist ein universal
anzutreffender Grammatikalisierungskanal, präferiert werden dabei
Ausdrücke zur Angabe von Quellen (von, aus, vgl. dt. aus Angst ~ fi.
pelosta [ELA]). Darüber hinaus bietet aber z.B. das Deutsche eine größere
Menge an Präpositionen, die kausale Beziehungen ausdrücken können
(lachen über, leiden an/unter, erkennen an). In diesem eher peripheren
Bereich der Kausalität zeigen sich wiederum am ehesten
übereinzelsprachliche Unterschiede, die auch schon nahverwandte
Sprachen betreffen, vgl. engl. laugh at neben about, suffer from (anstelle
dt. lachen über, leiden an/unter). Wenn wie hier die Entsprechungen mit
geringerer Wahrscheinlichkeit auf universalen Prozessen beruhen, ergibt
sich u.U. eher die Chance, Lehnübersetzungen sicher zu bestimmen.
Die kausale Verwendung von vor geht von der Vorstellung der
lokalen Konfrontation aus, der Konfrontation „von Angesicht zu
Angesicht― (GDS 2152). Betrachtet man die finnischen Entsprechungen,
spiegelt sich die konkrete lokale Ausgangsbedeutung deutlicher wider, was
sich darin äußert, dass die Kasusform der Ergänzung im Finnischen
zwischen Ablativ und Elativ variiert (z.B. suojella joltakin [ABL] / jostakin
[ELA] ‘vor jemandem / vor etwas schützen’, ebenso lukita ‘verschließen
vor’, paeta ‘fliehen vor’, salata ‘verbergen vor’). Es sind hier also nicht die
Verben, die einen bestimmten Kasus oder eine bestimmte Adposition
fordern, sondern die Entscheidung, ob im Finnischen Ablativ oder Elativ
benutzt wird, hängt von der Semantik des Nomens ab: Der Ablativ
kennzeichnet Personen, der Elativ Nicht-Personen. Ausgenommen hiervon
ist das Verb pelätä ‘sich fürchten’, dessen Partitivergänzung eine solche
lokale Komponente nicht zuzuschreiben ist (wenn man die ursprüngliche
separativische Bedeutung des Partitivs außer Acht lässt).1 Für das Estnische
kann dagegen von einer tatsächlichen Valenzbedingtheit der Adposition
eest gesprochen werden. Mögliche Vorbilder zeigt auch das
Mittelniederdeutsche: sik höden „meist mit vör― (MNDHWB Bd. 2/1, Sp.
325), sik bewāren vör, beschutten vor (Lübben 1888: 490); vrüchten vör
(MNDHWB Bd. 1, Sp. 1015), gruwen/sik sorgen vor (Lübben 1888: 490);
vlên vor (Lübben 1888: 490).
(1) hoidma ‘behüten’: jumal hoidis kahju eest ‘Gott schützte vor Schaden’
(WWB 105)2
(2) kartma ‘fürchten’: ärge kartke minu ette ‘fürchtet nicht für mich’ (WGR
(3) lukutama ‘verschließen’: ma pean kõik tema eest lukutama ‘ich muss
alles vor ihm verschließen’ (WWB 551)
(4) mõõnama ‘ebben, abfließen’: kivi eest mõõnad ära, kurja suu eest ei
mõõna (Sprichw.) ‘einem Steine weichst du aus, einem boshaften Munde
nicht’ (WWB 622)
Die Verwendung einer Adposition im Zusammenhang mit Verben wie ‘fliehen’ ist, da
die lokale Bedeutungskomponente noch deutlich sichtbar ist, auch dem Finnischen nicht
unbekannt, wie diese Beispiele zeigen: mies läksi toisten edeltä ‘der Mann ging vor
(d.h. aus dem Raum vor) den anderen weg’ (Eliot 1890: 207); kansa pakeni vihollisen
edeltä ‘das Volk floh vor dem Feinde’ (Fromm 1982: 242).
Alle Belege aus Wiedemanns Wörterbuch (WWB) und Grammatik (WGR) sind mit
Ausnahme der Belege aus dem südestnischen Dialektgebiet der heutigen estnischen
Orthographie angepasst worden. Jedem Verb ist mindestens ein Beleg zugeordnet, der
Aufschluss über die formale Realisierung seiner Ergänzungen gibt. Die Übersetzungen
stammen allesamt aus den Wiedemannschen Quellen, wurden aber ebenfalls der
aktuellen Orthographie angepasst. Aus Platzgründen wird zu jedem Verb im Regelfall
nur eine Übersetzung geliefert, im Ausnahmefall auch zwei oder drei, und zwar dann,
wenn die im zugehörigen Beleg realisierte Bedeutung stark von der im WWB als erste
genannten Bedeutung abweicht.
(5) põgenema ‘fliehen’: põgenes minu eest ära ‘er floh vor mir’ (WWB 105)
(6) varjama ‘beschatten, verbergen’: silmade eest ära varjama ‘unsichtbar
machen’ (WWB 1312), wörtl. ‘vor den Augen verbergen’
Die Anbindung von Komplementen mittels eest hat sich offenbar schon zu
Beginn des 17. Jh.s fest in das estnische Sprachsystem eingebürgert,
zumindest zeigt das Verb hoidma eine durchgängige Verbindung mit eest:
Tæma hoÿab meidt keicke Hedda eddest ‘Er schützt uns alle vor der Not’
(Müller 30.4.5).3 Beim Verb põgenema variiert der Gebrauch zwischen
dem Elativ (Pagkene minust [ELA] erra ‘Flieh vor mir’; Müller 7.9.6) und
der Adpositionalphrase (ninck piddi iße sen Kuñingka Herodiße eest erra
pagkenema sen Ægÿpti Maa sisse ‘und musste selbst vor König Herod
fliehen ins Land Ägypten’, Müller 7.4.4), wobei letztere überwiegt.
Möglicherweise spielt hier der Umstand eine Rolle, dass im Deutschen um
1600 die Genitivrektion gerade beim Verb fliehen noch weit verbreitet war,
nach einer Auszählung von Fischer (1991: 289) mit einem Anteil von 50%.
Variation zeigt auch die Form der Ergänzung beim Verb kartma: Teils
verwendet Müller hier die Adpositionen eest oder ees (wobei letzteres
sozusagen die direkte – lokativische – Entsprechung des deutschen vor
darstellt), teils den Partitiv, teils die Postposition pärast ‘wegen’: keickest
süddamest Iumala wiha eddest kartma ‘aus ganzem Herzen vor dem Zorn
Gottes fürchten’ (Müller 38.9.14), Ninck meÿe eb piddame hend se Kurrati
ninck keicke tæma Selschoppÿ eddes mitte kartma ‘Und wir müssen uns
nicht fürchten vor dem Teufel und seiner Gesellschaft’ (Müller 21.7.29).
Der Präposition für sind in der deutschen Gegenwartssprache die
folgenden Verwendungsweisen zuzuschreiben (GDS 2130ff.):
– eine temporale Verwendungsweise: für zwei Jahre
– finale(-benefaktive) Verwendungsweisen: verwenden für, sich eignen für,
ausreichen für; (austauschbar mit gegen) kämpfen für, sich entscheiden für „Nur
noch schwach ausgeprägt ist die finale Note― (GDS 2132) z.B. bei sich
begeistern, sich interessieren für und „fast vernachlässigbar ist der finale Aspekt―
bei charakteristisch für, Voraussetzung für
– restriktive Verwendungsweisen (Nennung von „Zielgruppen―): interessant für
Alle Belege aus den Predigten Müllers sind dem Korpus zur alten estnischen
Schriftsprache der Universität Tartu entnommen (
– repräsentative Verwendungsweisen: für jemanden etwas erledigen, stehen für;
(im Sinne von „Austausch―) für etwas bezahlen, für etwas loben, für etwas
danken, sich für etwas entschuldigen4
Eine Eins-zu-eins-Entsprechung von dt. für zu es. eest liegt nicht vor: Für
die temporale Verwendungsweise dient im Estnischen der Translativ
(kaheks aastaks ‘für zwei Jahre’), für finale Verwendungsweisen stehen in
erster Linie der Translativ und der Allativ zur Verfügung. Bei der finalbenefaktiven Gebrauchsweise, welche die Substitution durch gegen
ermöglicht, ist das es. eest durchaus üblich (oft in freier Variation mit poolt
‘von, seitens; für’, jaoks ‘für, zwecks’). Bleibt die repräsentative
Verwendungsweise, die sowohl kommutative (saime uued passid nende
eest ‘wir bekamen neue Pässe für, gegen diese, statt dieser’, ostis wilja
kümne rubla eest ‘er kaufte Getreide für zehn Rubel’, WGR 547) als auch
komparative Nuancen umfassen kann (lehm ei anna mitte kitse eest piima
‘die Kuh gibt nicht für eine, d.h. so viel wie eine, Ziege Milch’, ebd.); hier
ist die Übereinstimmung mit dem Deutschen am deutlichsten, während das
Finnische je nach Verb einen Anschluss des Partitivs (z.B. palvella
jotakuta ‘jemandem dienen’) oder des Elativs (z.B. kiittää jostakin ‘für
etwas danken’) zeigt.
(7) kahetsema ‘bedauern’: ma kahetsen tema eest ‘ich bedauere ihn,
empfinde Mitleid für ihn’ (WWB 183)
(8) kostma ‘hallen, sprechen’: ma tahan kosta teie ette ‘ich will mich
verantworten vor euch’ (WGR 344)
(9) mõistma ‘verstehen; zuerkennen’: mis teie selle eest mulle mõistate ‘was
werdet ihr mir dafür bewilligen, zugestehen’ (WWB 615)
(10) muretsema ‘sorgen’: ta on paremine minu ette muretsenud, kui et ta tuhat
rubla oleks annud ‘er hat besser für mich gesorgt, als wenn er hundert [sic!,
eig. ‘tausend’] Rubel gegeben hätte’ (WGR 660)
(11) orjama ‘dienen’: maa eest orjama ‘für eingepachtetes Land Frondienste
leisten’ (WWB 714)
Die GDS (2135) weist darauf, dass die Abgrenzung zwischen Komplementen und
Supplementen hier besonders schwerfällt: Die für-Phrase bei loben sei wohl eher dem
Supplementbereich zuzuordnen, die bei danken, sich entschuldigen eher dem
(12) põlastama ‘bedauern’: põlastas küll tema eest ‘er bedauerte ihn wohl’
(WWB 861)
(13) seisma ‘stehen’: külap seisab kalja eest ‘es kann wohl für Dünnbier
gelten’; ma tahan see eest hea seista ‘ich will dafür bürgen’ (WWB 1027)
(14) tänama ‘danken’: tänan leiva rooa eest ‘ich danke für Brot und Speise’
(WWB 106); tänas öömaja eest/ette ‘er dankte für das Nachtlager’ (WGR 547)
(15) taganema ‘zurückgehen; bürgen’: teise eest taganema ‘für einen anderen
Bürgschaft leisten’ (WWB 1106)
Von den genannten Verben kommt bei Müller lediglich tänama ‘danken’
vor, dessen Ergänzung durchgängig mit eest angeschlossen wird: Meÿe
tahame seÿe iure iettada, ninck Iumala tæma Armu eddest tænnada. ‘Wir
wollen bei ihm bleiben, und Gott für seine Liebe danken.’ (Müller
Das Deutsche bevorzugt zu jener Zeit allerdings noch eindeutig den
Genitiv (zu 80%, Fischer 1991: 290) gegenüber den präpositionalen
Varianten mit um oder für, wobei für laut Ebert (1986: 72) hier überhaupt
erst seit dem 16. Jh. im Gebrauch sei. Für das Mittelniederdeutsche ist die
Ergänzung mit vör (neben van oder dem Genitiv) ebenfalls bezeugt
(MNDHWB Bd. 1, Sp. 395).
Obwohl die geringe Anzahl der sowohl bei Wiedemann als auch bei
Müller nachgewiesenen Verben eine Verallgemeinerung nur eingeschränkt
stützt, kann man davon ausgehen, dass die adpositionale Ergänzung mit
eest schon zur damaligen Zeit gängig war, denn auch weitere Verben
zeichnen sich durch sie aus, so kaitsma ‘jemanden vor etwas schützen’ oder
kiitma ‘jemanden für etwas loben’: Kohnretti eddest kaitze meidt ‘Vor
dem Satan schütze uns’ (Müller 15.1.6); sesama hee tegkomeße eddest,
olkut Iu˜al kÿtetut em˜is igkewest ‘für diese gute Tat sei Gott gepriesen,
bis in alle Ewigkeit’ (Müller 1.12.34).
Die Übereinstimmungen der Verwendung von es. eest und dt. vor/für,
mnd. vör sprechen stark dafür, dass eine Beeinflussung durch den
deutschen Sprachgebrauch vorliegt. Wie auch im Falle des Komitativs
Grammatikalisierungsweg nachgezeichnet werden, vielmehr stehen stark
und weniger stark grammatikalisierte Verwendungen bereits in den
frühesten überlieferten Schriftdenkmälern nebeneinander, so dass das
Vorliegen von Lehnübersetzungen nahe liegt. Auch die Tatsache, dass als
Entsprechungen der deutschen Präpositionen sowohl das lokativische ees,
das direktionale ette und (mit klarem Vorsprung) das separativische eest
nebeneinander stehen, kann als Hinweis auf fremden Einfluss gewertet
werden. Das favorisierte eest ist mit seiner separativischen
Grundbedeutung eigentlich nicht das „natürliche― Äquivalent der deutschen
Präpositionen, das direktionale ette und das lokativische ees liegen da
näher. Eest wiederum steht dem angenommenen Ausgangspunkt, nämlich
der Verwendung des Partitivs oder Elativs (wie im Finnischen anzutreffen)
näher. Diese Grundstruktur einer separativischen Rektion konnte auch
durch den anzunehmenden deutschen Einfluss nicht überdeckt oder
verdrängt werden.
Ein Umstand, der gegen eine monokausale Erklärung für die
Herausbildung dieser adpositionalen Verbergänzungen spricht, betrifft die
anderen ostseefinnischen Sprachen, die den Belegen nach zu urteilen die
übertragenen Bedeutungen von eest, wie wir sie im Estnischen vorfinden,
alle kennen. Auch das finnische edestä ‘vor (...) weg’ kennt neben der
lokalen auch die repräsentative (tee se minun edestäni ‘tue es an meiner
Stelle, für mich’; Eliot 1890: 206, iloita jonkin edestä ‘sich für jemanden
freuen’) sowie die kausal-finale Bedeutung (edestä kunniansa ‘für seine
Ehre’; NSSK, Bd. 1: 184). Zu vermuten ist natürlich, dass es sich hierbei
um vom Schwedischen beeinflusste Konstruktionen handelt. Auch die
livische Verwendungsweise erlaubt keine Aussage darüber, ob hier
indigene ostseefinnische Entwicklungen vorliegen, denn im Falle des
Livischen ist immer von einer starken lettischen Beeinflussung auszugehen.
Der Gebrauch von liv. jedst ‘vor (...) weg, vor (...) heraus’ in übertragener
Bedeutung ist sichtbar in Sätzen wie sin jedst se äb uo midaagist
(midaagid) ‘für dich ist es nichts’ (Sjögren 1861: 211) oder ma vostis
krinngil’i kuollm rubil’ jetst(õ) ‘ich kaufe für drei Rubel Kringel’
(Kettunen 1938: 90). Da aber auch das Wotische, das von den
ostseefinnischen Sprachen als die am wenigsten fremd beeinflusste gilt,
ähnliche Verwendungsweisen seiner Adposition eessä ‘vor (...) heraus’
kennt (möö sinuu eess vassaamma ‘wir antworten statt deiner’; Ariste
1968: 110; pitämä praaznikka tütö eesse ‘um für das Mädchen ein Fest zu
feiern/halten’; Mägiste 1959: 188), müssen wir davon ausgehen, dass
Ansätze zur Ausbildung dieser übertragenen Bedeutungen allen ostseefinnischen Sprachen gemeinsam sind.
3. järele und taga ‘nach’
Bei der Adposition järele handelt es sich um die Allativform des heute
noch gebräuchlichen Substantivs järg ‘Reihe, Folge’. Neben ihrer lokalen
(genauer: direktionalen) Bedeutung ‘hinter (...) her, nach’ hat sie auch
modale Bedeutungskomponenten ausgebildet, die denen der deutschen
Präposition nach gleichen (vgl. Ausdrücke wie reeglite järele käima ‘nach
den Regeln gehen’, kellegi pilli järele tantsima ‘nach jemandes Pfeife
Folgende Belege aus Wiedemann zeigen diese modale Verwendung in
der Bedeutung ‘entsprechend, gemäß’, in denen durch die Adposition das
Muster bzw. Vorbild für eine Handlung angeschlossen wird. Diese
Verwendung ist auch für das Mittelniederdeutsche belegt: nâ dem willen
gōdes (MNDHWB Bd. 2/1, Sp. 1047).
(16) koolduma ‘sich biegen’: kondid koolduvad selle töö järele ‘die Knochen
gewöhnen sich an diese Arbeit’ (WWB 357)
(17) koolutama ‘biegen’: kingad jala järele koolutama ‘den Schuhen die Form
des Fußes geben’ (WWB 358), wörtl. ‘die Schuhe nach dem Fuß biegen’
(18) lööma ‘schlagen; gelangen’: inimesed löövad siis selle tahtmise järele
‘die Menschen gewöhnen sich dann an diese Vorschrift’ (WWB 534)
(19) paenduma ‘sich biegen, sich fügen’: mu keel ei paenu selle järele ‘ich
kann es nicht aussprechen’ (WWB 747), wörtl. ‘meine Zunge biegt sich nicht
(20) riivima ‘reiben; sich bewegen’: laev riivib tuule järele ‘das (vor Anker
liegende) Schiff treibt vor dem Winde’ (WWB 964)
(21) talbuma ‘sich biegen’: jalad ei talbunud selle tantsu järele ‘die Füße
waren zu steif für diesen Tanz’ (WWB 1112), wörtl. ‘die Füße bogen sich
nicht nach dem Tanz’
Äquivalent zu der deutschen Präposition nach weist järele auch kausalfinale Verwendungsweisen auf (vgl. dt. nach etwas fragen), wobei es sich
dann um verbsubklassenspezifische Ergänzungen handelt. Als
Entsprechung von nach tritt in dieser Verwendung auch die
bedeutungsähnliche Adposition taga ‘hinter’ auf. Hinzuweisen ist darauf,
dass die finnische rein kausal-finale Postposition takia ‘wegen, für’
derselben Herkunft wie es. taga ist, hier also ähnliche Prozesse der
Bedeutungserweiterung vorliegen. Doch ist diese Ableitung vermutlich
eine jüngere Bildung und lässt nicht unbedingt Aufschluss auf das Alter der
entsprechenden Verwendungsweise im Estnischen zu. Mittelniederdeutsche
Vorbilder lassen sich ebenso leicht finden: mî langet nâ ‘mich verlangt, ich
habe Verlangen nach’ (MNDHWB Bd. 2/1, Sp. 730), vrâgen nâ ‘fragen
nach, sich kümmern um, Rücksicht nehmen auf’ (MNDHWB Bd. 2/1, Sp.
1047), stân, wesen na ‘trachten nach, ausgehen auf’ (Lübben 1888: 239),
sik sâten nâ ‘streben nach’ (MNDHWB Bd. 2/1, Sp. 1047).
Bei der Behandlung der adpositionalen Ergänzungen mit järele und
taga ergibt sich ein Problem, das uns in dieser Form bei den bisher
behandelten Ergänzungen nicht begegnet ist: das der Abgrenzung zwischen
Simplexverb mit Adpositionalergänzung und Partikelverb. Bei einigen der
bei Wiedemann vorkommenden Verben bleibt zunächst unklar, ob es sich
um ein Simplexverb mit Adpositionalergänzung oder ein Partikelverb
handelt. So werden die Belege järele mõtlema ‘nachdenken’, järele
valvama ‘beaufsichtigen, überwachen’ und järele katsuma ‘nach etwas
sehen, nachprüfen’ von Hasselblatt (1990) als Partikelverben klassifiziert,
wie es auch der modernen estnischen Grammatikschreibung entspricht. Bei
einer Übertragung der Beispielsätze ins Deutsche erscheint die Annahme
von deutschen zusammengesetzten Verben als sprachliche Vorbilder
zumindest auf den ersten Blick ebenfalls naheliegender. Wiedemann hat
die Beispiele jedoch den Simplexverben zugeordnet (anders als in der
heutigen estnischen Lexikographie üblich), weshalb davon auszugehen ist,
dass er järele in diesen Fällen als Postposition und nicht als Verbpartikel
angesehen hat. Außerdem spricht der Genitiv des dazugehörigen Nomens,
der in allen aufgeführten Fällen anzutreffen ist, eher dafür, dass dieser von
järele und nicht vom Verb regiert ist, da in der Mehrzahl der Beispiele die
Semantik des Verbs eher für ein Partial- (also ein Partitiv-)Objekt als für
ein Total- (also ein Genitiv-/Akkusativ-)Objekt sprechen würde (vgl. z.B.
mõtle selle järele ‘denke darüber nach’). Zweifellos Komplement der
Adposition sind die Pluralformen des Genitivs (vgl. z.B. passisid laevade
järele ‘sie lauerten den Schiffen auf’), denn mögliche Kasus zum Ausdruck
des direkten Objekts im Plural sind nur der Nominativ (für das Totalobjekt)
und der Partitiv (für das Partialobjekt). Derartige Konstruktionen als
Partikelverben zu klassifizieren erscheint somit verfehlt.5
Die finnischen Bedeutungsäquivalente zeigen keine Komplemente in
Form von Adpositionalphrasen, die Regel sind hier Verben mit einem
partitivischen Objekt (z.B. miettiä jotakin ‘über etwas nachdenken’, pilkata
jotakuta ‘über jemanden spotten’). Nur Verben, die selbst lokale Bedeutung
tragen, erlauben eine Ergänzung mit jäljessä ‘hinterher; nach, hinter’ oder
jälkeen ‘nach, hinter’ (z.B. katsoa jonkun jälkeen ‘jemandem nachblicken,
nachsehen’). In Einzelfällen sind aber auch im Finnischen Ergänzungen mit
jälkeen anzutreffen: So verzeichnet das NSSK (1951–) Phrasen mit jälkeen
als Alternativen zum Partitivobjekt bei den Verben surra ‘trauern’ und
itkeä ‘weinen’; im neueren Kielitoimiston sanakirja (2008) seien diese
Angaben aber nicht mehr zu finden – darauf weist Kolehmainen (2010:
117) hin. Dagegen zeigt die finnische Gegenwartssprache eine weitere
Alternativkonstruktion, und zwar eine mit der Postposition perään ‘nach’.
Wie eine aktuelle Untersuchung von finnischen Zeitungstexten zeigt
(Kolehmainen 2010: 110), sind speziell bei den Verben itkeä ‘weinen’,
kysellä/kysyä ‘fragen’, surra ‘trauern’, ikävöidä ‘sich sehnen’ gehäuft
Ergänzungen mit perään zu finden – wiederum Beleg für sich gleichende,
aus ähnlichen Quellen speisende Grammatikalisierungsprozesse, wobei
offen bleiben muss, inwieweit für den finnischen Fall Sprachkontakt eine
Rolle gespielt hat.
(22) älitama ‘nachspotten’: teise järele älitama ‘nachspotten’ (WWB 68)
(23) arvama ‘denken’: ühe asja järele arvama ‘einer Sache nachdenken’
(WWB 47)
(24) kaebama ‘klagen’: teise järele kaebama ‘sehr nach einem verlangen’
(WWB 178)
(25) kahetsema ‘bedauern’: ma kahetsen selle järele ‘ich bereue es, ich trauere
dem nach’ (WWB 183)
(26) katsuma ‘versuchen, anschauen’: töö järele katsuma ‘nach der Arbeit
sehen’ (WWB 223)
Näheres zur diachronen Entwicklung von Partikelverbverbindungen im Estnischen in
Müller & Schlotthauer (2011).
(27) mõtlema ‘denken’: mõtle selle järele ‘denke darüber nach’ (WWB 148)
(28) mõõnama ‘ebben, abfließen’: kirg mõõnab selle järele, kelle käest ta on
välja paesend ‘das Feuer folgt dem nach, durch dessen Hand es entstanden ist’
(WWB 622)
(29) nõudma ‘trachten’: teise järele nõudma ‘nach einem fragen, sich um
einen bekümmern’ (WWB 688)
(30) haukuma ‘bellen’: koer ei haugu tema taga ‘kein Hund bellt nach ihm’
(WWB 54)
(31) inisema ‘wimmern’: lehm iniseb vasikat taga ‘die Kuh schreit nach dem
Kalbe’ (WWB 122)
(32) kurtma ‘klagen’: lojus kurdab oma karjas-maad taga ‘das Vieh trauert,
hat Heimweh nach seiner Weide’ (WWB 417)
(33) lükkama ‘stoßen; sich bewegen’: lesed lükkavad poiste taga ‘die Witwen
gehen den Burschen nach’ (WWB 558)
(34) mälestama ‘gedenken’: inimest taga mälestama ‘einen Menschen im
Andenken behalten’ (WWB 585)
(35) manama ‘heruntermachen’: ta manab sind / sinu taga ‘er verleumdet
dich, redet dir Böses nach’ (WWB 570)
(36) nutma ‘weinen’: nuttis meest taga ‘sie weinte um ihren Mann’ (WWB
(37) vaakuma ‘krächzen, schreien’: mis sa vaagud mu taga ‘was schreist du
mir nach, lässt mich nicht in Ruhe’ (WWB 1323)
(38) varastama ‘stehlen’: ta varastab mu taga ‘er bestiehlt mich’ (WWB
(39) varuma ‘Vorsorge tragen’: teise järele varuma ‘einem auflauern’ (WWB
Dass uns hier zwei unterschiedliche Adpositionen (järele und taga) als
Entsprechung des nhd. nach begegnen, findet seine Parallele im
Mittelnieder- und Mittelhochdeutschen. Hier stehen die beiden
Adpositionen mnd. achter / mhd. after ‘hinter; nach’ und mnd. na / mhd.
nach noch nebeneinander (in späterer Zeit hat mnd. na / mhd. nach die
Nebenform verdrängt), wobei insbesondere das mnd. achter durch eine
ganze Reihe von Partikelverbbildungen der Bedeutung ‘verleumden, Übles
nachreden’ hervortritt: achterklappen, achterkôpen, achterkôsen,
achterlâken, achterrēden, achtersprēken (MNDHWB Bd. 1, Sp. 9). Diese
Parallele ist zumindest als bemerkenswerter Hinweis darauf zu werten, dass
dem estnischen Nebeneinander zweier Adpositionen/Partikeln ein (nieder-)
deutsches Vorbild zugrunde liegen könnte.
Auffallend bei den folgenden Beispielen sind die Beobachtungen, dass
erstens in mehreren Fällen offensichtlich eine freie Varianz zwischen den
Postpositionen järele ‘nach’ und peale ‘auf’ besteht und zweitens die nhd.
Entsprechung die Präposition auf enthält (und somit auf den ersten Blick
nicht als Vorbild für eine Lehnübersetzung in Frage kommt). Die
finnischen Äquivalente zeigen allesamt Partitivrektion.
(40) ootama ‘warten’: teise järele ootama ‘auf jemand warten’ (WWB 725)
(41) oskama ‘verstehen’: oskavad kavalaste küll mõne-suguse töö peale/järele
‘sie verstehen sich geschickt genug auf allerlei Arbeiten’ (WWB 715)
(42) passima ‘passen; abpassen, auflauern’: passisid laevade järele/peale ‘sie
lauerten den Schiffen auf’ (WWB 773)
(43) valvama ‘wachen’: teise järele valvama ‘einem auflauern, einen heimlich
beobachten’ (WWB 1303)
(44) varuma ‘Vorsorge tragen’: teise järele varuma ‘einem auflauern’ (WWB
Im Frühneuhochdeutschen und Mittelniederdeutschen haben wir es
allerdings in der Tat auch mit einem Schwanken zwischen den
Adpositionen auf und nach zu tun: Dem frnhd. trachten kann sich eine
Ergänzung mit auf anschließen (FRNHDWB Bd. 2), ebenso variieren auf und
nach in Verbindung mit stellen in der Bedeutung ‘nach etwas trachten’
(Reichmann & Wegera 1993: 380). Beim Verb warten hat sich im
Hochdeutschen noch sehr lange der Genitiv als Rektionskasus gehalten,
erst seit dem 16. Jh. sei laut Ebert (1986: 41) die Konstruktion auf
jemanden warten in der heute üblichen Bedeutung gebräuchlich. Nach
Fischers Auszählungen war um 1600 das Genitivobjekt noch mit einer
Häufigkeit von 35,2% vertreten gegenüber 64,8% Präpositionalobjekten
(Fischer 1991: 291). Das mnd. Bedeutungsäquivalent bê(i)den ‘warten’
zeichnet sich aber gerade durch eine Ergänzung mit na, nâ ‘nach’ aus:
bê(i)den nâ ênem ‘auf jem. warten’ (MNDHWB Bd. 2/1, Sp. 1047). Auch
andere mnd. Belege deuten darauf hin, dass die estnische Alternanz
zwischen järele und peale kein Zufall ist: Belegt sind u.a. die
Partikelverben nâspören ‘nachspüren, die Spur verfolgen’, nâslîken
‘lauern, nachspüren’ (die sich aus dem Simplexverb mit der adpositionalen
Ergänzung entwickelt haben) oder die Ergänzung mit na beim Verb horen
(mnd. horen na ‘hören auf’; Lübben 1888: 239).
Die Texte Müllers lassen keinerlei Aussage darüber zu, inwieweit die
Konstruktionen mit järele in der Anfangszeit der estnischen Schriftsprache
verbreitet waren, denn diese Adposition findet bei ihm überhaupt keine
Verwendung. Klarheit kann nur eine weiterführende Analyse anderer Texte
bringen. Ebenfalls keinen großen Aufschluss geben Müllers Textbelege
über die Verwendung der Konstruktionen mit taga, für Wiedemanns
Angaben finden sich bei Müller keine Entsprechungen. Zum Ausdruck
kausal-finaler Sachverhalte verwendet Müller stattdessen die Adposition
pärast ‘wegen’: Minckperrast [sest] et neet Pöhadt Patriarchit ninck
Prophetidt sen eike toiwutuße Meßiame perrast omat igkewetzenut ‘Daher
dass sich die heiligen Patriarchen und Propheten nach dem wahren Messias
des Versprechens gesehnt haben’ (Müller 1.4.11).
Von den anderen ostseefinnischen Sprachen zeigt das Livische einige
mit dem Estnischen übereinstimmende Konstruktionen, deren Beweiskraft
dafür, dass eine eigenständige ostseefinnische Entwicklung vorliegt,
aufgrund des engen Kontakts zum Lettischen nicht sehr stark ist: liv. niem
iigõb vaaškiz tagaan ‘die Kuh schreit nach dem Kalbe (wörtl. hinter dem
Kalbe her)’ (Sjögren 1861: 219), liv. ma īlg∂p_tä`m tagān ‘ich sehne mich
nach ihm’ (Kettunen 1938: 71), liv. ta tīkk∂b_eńtš jelàmis_tagań ‘er strebt
danach, eine eigene Wirtschaft zu haben’ (ebd.: 423).
4. käest kätte ‘von der Hand / in die Hand’
Bei beiden Adpositionen, deren konkrete Verwendungen den Übergang in
jemandes Besitz (kätte ‘in die Hand’) bzw. den Übergang aus jemandes
Besitz (käest ‘aus der Hand’) ausdrücken, spricht ihre semantische
Transparenz, ihre deutlich sichtbare Herkunft von dem Substantiv käsi
‘Hand’, dafür, dass es sich hierbei um Adpositionen jüngeren Datums
In den finnischen Äquivalenten der folgenden Belege entspricht der
separativischen Variante käest regelmäßig der Ablativ (vgl. fi. vaatia
joltakulta ‘von jemandem fordern’):
(45) ahvatama ‘anlocken, weglocken’: raha teise käest ahvatama ‘einem sein
Geld ablocken’ (WWB 10)
(46) kuulama ‘nachfragen’: kuulas naise käest ‘er erkundigte sich bei dem
Weibe’ (WGR 551)
(47) küsima ‘fragen’: küsi tema käest ‘frage ihn’ (WWB 435); ma küsisin,
ostsin, sain tema käest ‘ich fragte od. verlangte, kaufte, bekam von ihm’
(WGR 551)
(48) nõudma ‘trachten, fordern’: ühe käest nõudma ‘von jemandem fordern’
(WWB 688)
(49) paistma ‘scheinen; dringen’: ta paistis seda minu käest ‘er drang es mir
ab’ (WWB 753)
(50) petma ‘betrügen, heimlich entwenden’: teise käest midagi petma ‘einem
etwas abschwatzen’ (WWB 804)
(51) usutama ‘beschuldigen’: minu käest usutati ‘ich wurde inquiriert’ (WWB
(52) vingima ‘zwingen’: teise käest vingima ‘einem abzwingen’ (WWB 1366)
Dem lativischen kätte steht im Finnischen der Illativ oder Allativ
gegenüber, in Abhängigkeit davon, ob das Ziel der Handlung unbelebt oder
belebt ist (alistua johonkin/jollekin ‘sich einer Sache [ILL] / jemandem
[ALL] ergeben’.
(53) andma ‘geben’: ta andis raamatud mu kätte ‘er übergab mir die Bücher’
(WGR 324); ennast joogi kätte andma ‘sich dem Trunke ergeben’ (WWB 32)
(54) surema ‘sterben’: haavade kätte surema ‘an den Wunden sterben’ (WWB
(55) uskuma ‘glauben’: ennast teise kätte uskuma ‘sich jemandem anvertrauen’; ei ma usu tuld teiste kätte mitte ‘das Feuer überlasse ich anderen
nicht’ (WWB 1262); temal on luba teize kätte oma õiguzi uskuda ‘er hat die
Erlaubnis, seine Rechte einem Anderen zu übertragen’ (WGR 638)
Somit haben wir es hier mit einer bloßen Ersetzung einfacher Kasus durch
entsprechende Adpositionalphrasen zu tun, eine Umgestaltung der
Rektionsmuster wie z.B. bei der Ausbreitung des Komitativs liegt hier
nicht vor.
Für den Gebrauch von käest in Verbindung mit den oben aufgeführten
Verben finden sich in Müllers Texten keinerlei Nachweise. Zwei Belege
deuten an, dass Müller diese Adposition nicht unbekannt war, doch
verwendet er sie noch in einem sehr konkreten Sinn in Wendungen wie
‘aus jemandes Hand retten’ und ‘aus jemandes Hand nehmen’, von einem
adpositionalen Gebrauch kann man hier kaum sprechen: ninck keicke tæma
Wainlaße kæddest errapæstma ‘und alle aus der Hand des Feindes
retten’ (Müller 21.7.19). Von den in Rede stehenden Verben taucht auch
nur küsima mit einer Verbergänzung auf, die den Adressaten der
Handlungen bezeichnet. Dieser wird mit dem auch heute parallel
verwendeten bzw. üblicheren Ablativ ausgedrückt: Waidt Pharao küßÿ
Iacobilt: Kuÿ waña ollet sina? ‘Aber der Pharao fragte Jakob: Wie alt bist
du?’ (Müller 23.1.8).
Gleiches gilt für das lativische Pendant kätte. Von den Verben, die
laut Wiedemanns Belegen mit kätte verbunden werden, kommt nur surra
‘sterben’ in Müllers Texten vor, und dieses verbindet sich, wie auch
alternativ im modernen Estnischen üblich, mit dem Illativ: moñe auwus
Am˜et|mees, oma Naÿse, Lapse ninck Perræ kaas nelgka [ILL] surnut
‘mancher ehrbare Prediger, mit Frau, Kind und Familie an Hunger
gestorben’ (Müller 9.4.20).
Allein die lokativische Variante käes ‘in der Hand’ im Sinne von ‘ist
da’ ist bei Müller häufig anzutreffen: Sesama Ayck (A. R.) on io nüith
parrahellis meddy kæes ‘Diese Zeit, liebe Gemeinde, ist jetzt schon da’
(Müller 9.3.22).
In der modernen Schriftsprache steht kätte in vielen Fällen in freier
Variation mit dem Illativ bzw. Allativ (Suri sõjas saadud haavade kätte ~
haavadesse [ILL]. ‘Er starb an seinen im Krieg davongetragenen
Wunden.’); in gleicher Weise besteht oft eine freie Variation zwischen
einer Konstruktion mit käest und dem Ablativ (Laenasin temalt [ABL] ~
tema käest 3 krooni. ‘Ich lieh mir von ihm 3 Kronen.’). Vom
ostseefinnischen Wort *käsi abgeleitete Adpositionen existieren auch in
den anderen Sprachen des südlichen Zweiges der ostseefinnischen
Sprachen, d.h. im Wotischen (tšäessä ‘von (...) her, von (...) weg’, tšäezä
‘in, an, bei’, tšätee ‘in, an [ad locum]’; Stoebke 1968: 150) und im
Livischen (kädst ‘von (...) her, von’, käds ‘in, an, bei [in loco]’, käddõ ‘an,
zu [ad locum]’; ebd.: 227−228). Den Belegsätzen nach zu urteilen
unterscheidet sich der Gebrauch dieser Formen nicht von der im
Estnischen, so wie dies auch Tsvetkov (1995: 360) für das Wotische
explizit erwähnt. Die Skala reicht von Verwendungen in konkreter, lokaler
Bedeutung wie in liv. aanda (anda) tään min kädd ‘gib es mir her’
(Sjögren 1861: 212) und läpps sai jema kätst riid’lõttõt ‘das Kind wurde
von der Mutter gescholten (wörtl. das Kind bekam von der Mutter Schelte)’
(Kettunen 1938: 113) bis zu abstrakteren Verwendungen, wie sie sich auch
bei Wiedemann finden: wot. teizè tšättè uskoma mitä ni buit ‘jemandem
etwas anvertrauen’ (Tsvetkov 1995: 338), liv. ala kiz min kätst sieda ‘frage
mich nicht danach (wörtl. frage das nicht von mir)’ (Kettunen 1938: 113).
Eine solche Grammatikalisierung des käsi-Kognats beschränkt sich
übrigens nicht allein auf den ostseefinnischen Bereich: Piikkilä (2001, zit.
nach Ojutkangas 2001: 94) weist auf die Verwendung der Elativform
k’ed’ste in Verbindung mit Sprechaktverben im Erzjamordwinischen hin.
Diese eindeutigen Parallelen zwischen dem Estnischen und seinen am
nächsten verwandten Sprachen sprechen eher gegen eine deutsche
Einflussnahme. Das völlige Fehlen dieser Adpositionen bei Müller in den
bei Wiedemann anzutreffenden, abstrakteren Verwendungen kann im
Gegenteil sogar in der Weise ausgelegt werden, dass diese der estnischen
Volkssprache entstammen und dem nur mit der Tallinner Umgangssprache
vertrauten Müller unbekannt geblieben sind. In diese Richtung
argumentiert auch Ross (1999: 17), indem sie angibt, im alten
Schriftestnisch bei Müller und Stahl (in seinem Hand- vnd Haußbuch 16321638) seien die käsi-Formen sowohl als eindeutige Übersetzungen als auch
„typisch estnisch― (d.h. in grammatikalisierter Form) gebraucht worden. In
letzteren Fällen seien frühere Quellen zitiert worden, die von Personen
stammen, die das Estnische besser beherrscht haben als Müller und Stahl
selbst.6 Habicht (2000: 33) geht allerdings in ihrer Untersuchung zu den
Adpositionen in Texten Müllers und Stahls davon aus, dass sich diese
Konstruktionen erst durch die Übersetzungstradition aus dem Deutschen im
Estnischen etabliert haben. Denn in der deutschen Bibelsprache gibt es
Dargelegt hat dies u.a. Krikmann (1992: 150): Unter früheren – auch katholischen
Pfarrern – seien auch estnische Muttersprachler gewesen, worauf auch die teils „echte
estnische Phraseologie― bei Müller hinweise.
zahlreiche Ausdrücke dieser Art: Haben wir das gute empfangen von der
Hand deß Herren – Ollemme meije se heh sahnut / sest Issanda kehjest.,
die wortwörtlich ins Estnische übertragen wurden. So wie in diesem
Beispielsatz kommen in den älteren Texten diese Ausdrücke in erster Linie
in ihrer konkreten Bedeutung vor, woraus Habicht (2000: 33) folgert, dass
die Grammatikalisierung dieser Adposition damals noch nicht
abgeschlossen gewesen sei.
Davon, dass wir es heute im Falle der Formen käest und kätte mit
vollständig grammatikalisierten Verwendungen zu tun haben, wie
Ojutkangas (2001: 191) formuliert, kann aufgrund ihrer Variation mit
Kasusformen, somit ihrer Nicht-Obligatorik, allerdings keine Rede sein.
Dennoch bleibt festzuhalten, dass das Estnische in der Ausnutzung dieses
übrigens überaus verbreiteten Grammatikalisierungskanals zum Ausdruck
der Possession (Heine 1997: 50–53) um vieles stärker vorangeschritten ist
als das Finnische. Hier sind Wendungen mit den Flexionsformen käsiin ‘in
die Hände’ und käsiltä ‘aus den Händen’ (joutua jonkun käsiin ‘einem in
die Hände fallen’) zwar ebenfalls seit über 450 Jahren gebräuchlich, in
dieser Zeit ist aber kein Wandel in ihrer syntaktischen Rolle eingetreten
(Ojutkangas 2004: 190). Ersichtlich ist die im Vergleich zum Finnischen
weitergehende Grammatikalisierung dieser Formen im Estnischen v.a.
daran, dass sie hier in Verbindung mit Sprechakt- und „Mental―-Verben
nutzbar sind und der Possessor (des Possessivverhältnisses im weiteren
Sinne) auch unbelebt sein kann, wohingegen im Finnischen schon im Falle
nicht-menschlicher Possessoren deutliche Beschränkungen bestehen.
Weiteres Kennzeichen ihres unterschiedlichen Status ist ihre stilistische
Neutralität im Estnischen (gegenüber den äußeren Lokalkasus), die so im
Finnischen nicht gegeben ist (Ojutkangas 2001: 98). Der Status im
Finnischen ist somit durchaus vergleichbar mit dem der entsprechenden
Konstruktionen im Neuhochdeutschen und früheren Sprachstufen des
Deutschen: Nhd. aus jemandes Händen fordern verfügt über einen anderen
stilistischen Wert als einfaches von jemandem fordern, anders bei es.
küsima/nõudma kelleltgi [ABL] vs. kellegi käest ‘erfragen/fordern von
jemandem’. Belege des Mittelniederdeutschen (vgl. MNDHWB Bd. 2/1, Sp.
221) zeichnen sich auch durch Bezug auf eher konkrete
Possessivitätsverhältnisse aus: an de hant lâten ‘jem. (einen Besitz)
überlassen’, an hant gân / sich in ênes hant gân ‘sich in jmds. Hand geben,
sich ergeben’, ênem etw. van der hant bringen / van handen bringen ‘einen
ein Gut entwenden, fortführen, fortbringen’. Weit verbreitet sind darüber
hinaus Wendungen mit Hand, die sich von einem possessiven Verhältnis
weit entfernt haben (mnd. Belege ebd., nhd. GRWB Bd. 10, Sp. 348): mnd.
tô handes, tôhant ‘sogleich, sofort’, mnd. vör der hant ‘vor der Hand,
gegenwärtig, zunächst; vorhanden, bereit’, nhd. vor der Hand ‘zunächst,
vorläufig’, mnd. vör handen ‘nahe bevorstehend’, mnd. nâ der hant, nhd.
nach der hand ‘später, nach und nach’, mnd. bî der hant wēsen ‘da,
zugegen sein, im Lande’. Die letztgenannte Wendung kommt in ihrer
Bedeutung dem es. käes olema ‘da sein’ sehr nahe, dieser Gebrauch war
auch dem nhd. vorhanden sein eigen, wird aber für das Neuhochdeutsche
als veraltet bezeichnet, vgl. mein abschied ausz der bösen welt und ausz
den schweren banden ist nun einmal vorhanden (GRWB Bd. 26, Sp. 1159).
Die (abgesehen von der Numerusdifferenz) wörtliche Entsprechung von
käes olema, nämlich nhd. in Händen sein, trägt eine eindeutig possessive
Bedeutung; als Vorbild für eine Lehnübersetzung kommt es somit nicht in
Frage. Auch Ojutkangas (2004: 115) stellt fest, dass z.B. bei Stahl auch
solche grammatikalisierten Fälle anzutreffen seien, bei denen ein deutsches
Vorbild nicht auszumachen ist, und somit eine reine Lehnübersetzung
auszuschließen sei. Sie weist auch auf die weite Verbreitung in den
estnischen Mundarten hin und auf die nicht außer Acht zu lassende
Tatsache, dass Aavik derartige Wendungen nicht ausdrücklich als
Germanismus bekämpft hat (Ojutkangas 2001: 117). In Bezug auf die
Grammatikalisierung der käsi-Formen hebt Ojutkangas zunächst
innersprachliche Gründe hervor (S. 86), in erster Linie die
Funktionserweiterung des Adessivs im Estnischen. Der Adessiv hat im
Estnischen auch Funktionen des Allativs und Ablativs übernommen,
nämlich die Signalisierung des Beginns und des Endes eines
Possessionsverhältnisses, und sich in Richtung eines allgemeinen
Dativkasus entwickelt. Dadurch sei eine Lücke für neue Ausdrucksweisen
entstanden, die durch das direktionale kätte und das separativische käest
gefüllt worden seien. Hinweis darauf sei auch, dass gerade kätte und käest
deutlich häufiger in Bezug auf Possessivität gebraucht werde als käes (S.
89). Ojutkangas (S. 188) kommt schließlich zu dem Schluss, dass die
Grammatikalisierung der Kasusformen von käsi auf sowohl
eigensprachlicher Entwicklung als auch Lehneinfluss beruhe, die
Abgrenzung voneinander erweise sich naturgemäß als schwierig.
5. peale ‘auf’
Der Großteil der Belege von Wiedemann mit der Postposition peale ‘auf
(ad locum)’ zeigt eine rein lokale Bedeutung, in deren Fall die
Adpositionalphrase ohne Bedeutungsveränderung durch einen lativischen
Kasus ersetzt werden kann.
Bei einer Reihe von Verben, deren Bedeutung unter dem Begriff
‘diktivisch’ zusammenzufassen ist, drückt eine durch peale angeschlossene
Ergänzung den Adressaten der Handlung aus. Diese Konstruktion ersetzt
somit den ansonsten bei solchen Verben zu erwartenden Allativ; ihr
Vorkommen kann als Ausdruck einer Verstärkung gedeutet werden. Auch
die moderne Schriftsprache weist hier eine Varianz zwischen dem bloßen
Allativ und der Adpositionalphrase auf, so beim Verb käratama
‘anschreien’ (ÕS 1999: 371). Teilweise haben sich hier auch Partikelverben
etabliert, erkennbar an dem Nebeneinander von Allativ und peale: koerale
[ALL] peale käratama ‘den Hund anherrschen’. So interpretiert Hasselblatt
(1990: 97) die Verbindung põrutama + peale als Lehnübersetzung des dt.
‘anherrschen, anfahren, andonnern’ und die Verbindung kaebama + peale
als Lehnübersetzung des dt. ‘anklagen’. Zumindest aus heutiger Sicht lässt
sich ein Großteil dieser Verben tatsächlich als Lehnübersetzung eines
deutschen Partikelverbs mit der Verbpartikel an deuten. Auf den
Zusammenhang zwischen Partikelverben und Verben mit adpositionaler
Ergänzung wurde bereits bei der Behandlung von järele und taga
hingewiesen. Und auch hier begegnen uns wieder Konstruktionen, in denen
das genitivische Nomen (speziell im Plural) eine Behandlung als
Partikelverb nicht nahe legt; dies trifft auch auf die estnische
Gegenwartssprache zu: kissade [GEN.PL] peale haukuma ‘die Katzen
anbellen’, hotellide [GEN.PL] peale kaebama ‘über die Hotels klagen’.
Anzunehmen ist also weniger die Lehnübersetzung eines deutschen
Partikelverbs in ein estnisches Partikelverb, sondern eine ursprüngliche
Struktur Simplexverb + adpositionale Ergänzung, aus der sich u.U. ein
Partikelverb entwickelt hat.
Für das Mittelniederdeutsche weist Lübben (1888: 448) bei der
Beschreibung der modalen Verwendung von up, uppe („Thätigkeit bez.
sowol im freundl. als besonders im feindlichen Sinne: zu, über etc.―)
explizit darauf hin, dass es besonders häufig „nach Verben des Klagens,
Streitens, Raubens etc.― in Sinne von „wider, gegen etc.― gebraucht werde.
Dies steht ganz im Einklang mit den im Folgenden aufgeführten
Verbindungen, die wir im Estnischen vorfinden:
(56) ammuma ‘den Mund aufsperren, brüllen’: mis sa ammud mu peale ‘was
zankst du mit mir’ (WWB 31)
(57) ängama ‘anbieten’: sa ängad seda minu peale ‘du beschuldigst mich
dessen’ (WWB 71)
(58) hakkama ‘ergreifen’: teise peale hakkama ‘einen anfallen, angreifen’
(WWB 20)
(59) haukuma ‘bellen’: ühe peale haukuma ‘einen anbellen’ (WWB 54)
(60) hüüdma ‘rufen’: laste peale hüüdma ‘die Kinder berufen, ermahnen’
(WWB 1278)
(61) kaebama ‘klagen’: kui su mõtted su peale kaebavad ‘wenn dein
Gewissen dich anklagt’ (WWB 178); kas mina olen sinu peale kaewand ‘habe
ich gegen dich geklagt’ (WGR 578)
(62) kärastama ‘zanken’: kellegi peale kärastama ‘einen andonnern’ (WWB
(63) kärgatama ‘auffahren’: ta kärgatas mu peale ‘er fuhr mich an, schrie
mich an’ (WWB 247)
(64) kohutama ‘aufblähen, aufregen’: kohutas ennast mu peale ‘er fuhr mich
an’ (WWB 327)
(65) pattama ‘beschuldigen’: meie pattame selle peale ‘wir messen ihm die
Schuld bei’; se pattab küll mu südame peale ‘ich mache es mir wohl zum
Vorwurf’ (WWB 775)
(66) põrutama ‘erschüttern, schelten’: põrutas mu peale ‘er fuhr mich an’
(WWB 868)
(67) röökima ‘brüllen’: kellegi peale röökima ‘einen anschreien, heftige
Vorwürfe machen’ (WWB 979)
(68) taplema ‘zanken’: mis sa tapled mu peale ‘warum schiltst du mich’
(WWB 1119)
(69) tülistama ‘zanken’: ta tülistab mu peale ‘er macht mir Ungelegenheit,
erhebt Ansprüche an mich’
(70) ütlema ‘sagen’: ta ütles minu peale ‘er schob es auf mich, sagte auf mich
aus’ (WWB 1277)
(71) vilistama ‘pfeifen’: ühe peale vilistama ‘einen verspotten’ (WWB 1359)
(72) vingima ‘zwingen, bedrängen’: ta hakkab vingima mu peale ‘er fängt an
in mich zu dringen’ (WWB 1366)
Die im Falle dieser Verbgruppe außerordentlich raren Belege bei Müller –
nur das Verb kaebama ist nachgewiesen – deuten auf einen zwischen peale
und dem Allativ schwankenden Gebrauch hin.
Daneben erscheint eine Vielzahl von Verben, die eine
Adpositionalphrase mit peale als Komplement bei sich haben und an
übertragene Verwendungen von nhd. auf erinnern. Im Falle einer
Komplementsfunktion von auf wird laut GDS (S. 2123) an die lokale
Bedeutung angeknüpft, indem „der Aspekt eines stützenden, eine
Grundlage konstituierenden Oberflächenkontaktes― als Übertragungsmotiv
dient (GDS 2124); bei Verben wie fußen auf, bestehen auf ist diese
Übertragung noch recht transparent. Die Inhalte, die diejenigen
Komplemente vermitteln, deren Übertragungsweg weniger durchsichtig ist,
lassen sich in verschiedene Kategorien einteilen, die hier kurz referiert
werden sollen (GDS 2125f.):
– „künftige Basis― bei Verben wie sich verlassen auf, sich einstellen auf, sich
einlassen auf
– „Gewolltes― bei kognitiven Verben und Einstellungsverben wie dringen auf,
hoffen auf, spekulieren auf
– „Ziel― bei Verben wie abzielen auf, richten auf, wirken auf
– „Ziel/Stimulus einer Emotion― wie in böse auf, Zorn auf, Eifersucht auf
– „zeitliches Nacheinander/Ursache― wie in reagieren auf, antworten auf, folgen
auf, hören auf.
Für jede dieser inhaltlichen Kategorien lassen sich auch im Estnischen
Beispiele finden, die mit peale angeschlossen werden. Eine tatsächliche
Valenzbedingtheit der Adposition peale, wie sie für ihre deutschen
Entsprechungen zutrifft, ist in diesen Fällen nicht zu beobachten; in der
estnischen Gegenwartssprache ist sie immer durch den Allativ ersetzbar.
Der auch bei diesen Verben hervortretende Gegensatz zwischen einer
allativischen Gebrauchsweise im Estnischen und einer illativischen im
Finnischen stimmt mit den schon getroffenen Aussagen zur Vermeidung
des Illativs im Estnischen überein (Schlotthauer 2010: 277).
(73) halastama ‘sich erbarmen’: halastab minu peale ‘er erbarmt sich über
mich’ (WGR 560)
(74) harima ‘bürsten; sich gewöhnen’: ta on harinud se peale ‘er ist es
gewohnt’; vale peale harinud ‘im Lügen geübt’ (WWB 40)
(75) ihkuma ‘wetzen’: on se peale ihutud ‘er ist darauf geübt’ (WWB 113)
(76) jääma ‘bleiben’: kellegi nõuu peale jääma ‘jemandes Rat annehmen’;
ühe usu peale jääma ‘bei einem / auf einen Glauben beharren’ (WWB 152)
(77) julgema ‘zuversichtlich sein, sich getrauen’: ühe asja peale julgema ‘sich
an eine Sache wagen’ (WWB 167)
(78) kihutama ‘erregen, antreiben’: kuri kihutab iga asja peale ‘das Böse
reizt, treibt zu allem’ (WWB 279)
(79) kinnitama ‘befestigen; sich verlassen auf etwas’: ma kinnitan teie peale
‘ich verlasse / baue auf euch’ (WWB 285)
(80) lootma ‘hoffen, vertrauen’: ma loodan selle peale ‘ich verlasse mich,
vertraue darauf’ (WWB 530)
(81) märkama ‘verstehen, merken’: asja peale märkama ‘auf eine Sache acht
geben’ (WWB 589)
(82) mõistma ‘verstehen; zuerkennen’: vene-keele peale ma mõistan küll ‘auf
das Russische verstehe ich mich wohl’ (WWB 615); see on teie peale
mõistetud ‘das ist euch beschieden’ (WWB 616)
(83) mõtlema ‘denken’: mõtleb minu peale ‘er denkt an mich’ (WGR 560)
(84) õpetama ‘lehren’: ühe asja peale õpetama ‘zu etwas abrichten’ (WWB
740); mitme tarkuze peale õpetama ‘vielerlei Wissenschaften lehren’ (WGR
(85) õppima ‘lernen’: ühe asja peale õppima ‘etwas studieren, zu erlernen
suchen’ (WWB 741)
(86) oskama ‘verstehen’: oskavad kavalaste küll mõne-suguse töö peale/järele
‘sie verstehen sich geschickt genug auf allerlei Arbeiten’ (WWB 715)
(87) paenduma ‘sich biegen, sich fügen, sich gewöhnen’: selle asja peale
paedund ‘darauf geübt, daran gewöhnt’ (WWB 747)
(88) pakkuma ‘bieten’: ennast ammati, kiriku peale pakkuma ‘sich um ein
Amt, eine Predigerstelle bewerben’ (WWB 757)
(89) panetama ‘sich schicken in etwas’: panetand selle järele/peale ‘darauf
erpicht, versessen’ (WWB 765)
(90) passima ‘passen; abpassen, auflauern’: passisid laevade järele/peale ‘sie
lauerten den Schiffen auf’ (WWB 773)
(91) suurustama ‘groß tun’: suurustama teise peale ‘auf einen anderen sich
verlassen’ (WWB 1097)
(92) tähendama ‘bezeichnen; hinweisen, anwenden auf etwas’: kes teab,
kumma peale tema tähendab ‘wer weiß, auf welchen von beiden er zielt,
anspielt’; enese peale tähendama ‘auf sich beziehen’; sõna teise asja peale
tähendama ‘ein Wort anders anwenden, deuten, für etw. anderes gebrauchen’
(WWB 1128)
(93) truuvima ‘trauen’: mina ei või ennast selle peale truuvida ‘ich getraue
mich dessen nicht, wage es nicht’ (WWB 1201)
(94) uskuma ‘glauben’: kes usub minu ühe peale ‘wer glaubt mir allein,
meiner alleinigen Aussage’; ei või neid enese peale uskuda ‘man kann sie
nicht sich selbst überlassen’ (WWB 1262)
(95) vanduma ‘schwören’: asja peale vanduma ‘eine Sache beteuern’; ma
vandun oma vere ja hinge peale ‘ich schwöre auf mein Blut und Leben’
(WWB 1305); vandus oma õiguse peale ‘er beschwor sein Recht’ (WGR 560)
Von den genannten Verben sind in Müllers Texten allein lootma ‘hoffen’,
mõtlema ‘denken’ und märkama ‘verstehen’ belegt; diese bestätigen die
Verwendung von peale: sinu pæle laße meidt lotada ‘auf dich lass uns
hoffen’ (Müller 15.1.7), et meÿe meddÿ Ißanda Ihesuße Christuße
tullemeße peele piddame motlema ‘damit wir an das Kommen unseres
Herrn Jesus Christus denken werden’ (Müller 1.1.16).
Die Beleglage kann durch die Einbeziehung weiterer Verben, welche
im Deutschen ebenfalls die Präposition auf fordern, aufgebessert werden.
Prägnantestes Beispiel dafür ist ootama ‘auf jemanden warten’, das bei
Müller ohne Ausnahme durch eine Ergänzung mit peale gekennzeichnet ist
(Iumala pæle piddame othma ‘auf Gott müssen wir warten’; Müller
34.3.23), was sich aber nicht in die Volkssprache eingebürgert hat, in der
wie im Finnischen ein Partitivobjekt üblich ist. Auf die mnd. Entsprechung
bê(i)den ‘warten’, deren Ergänzung mit na ‘nach’ angeschlossen wird,
wurde bereits hingewiesen‘; mnd. warden mit up ist ebenfalls belegt: (…)
de ok dar up ghewardet hadden (Gloyer 1973: 136).
Für das Verb denken, das heute nur noch die Ergänzung mit an kennt,
ist in früherer Zeit auch die Ergänzung mit auf belegt: vgl. darauf denken
(FRNHDWB Bd. 5, L. 1, Sp. 180) und mnd. to denkende up god (Ahldén
1952: 146), mnd. denken + GEN, an, up (Nissen 1884: 56). Gleiches gilt für
die Verben wagen und getrauen (vgl. GRWB Bd. 27, Sp. 398). Für reizen
ist in heutiger Zeit nur die Ergänzung mit zu üblich, früher aber durchaus
auch die Ergänzung mit auf: reizen auf etwas (GRWB Bd. 14, Sp. 797).
Dem Verb kõlbama ‘taugen’ kann jedoch keine deutsche
Entsprechung zugeordnet werden, die eine Ergänzung mit auf enthalten
würde. Vielmehr lässt es sich in die bereits erwähnte Verbgruppe
einordnen, die im Estnischen eine Allativ- und im Finnischen eine
Illativergänzung fordert. Dies wird auch durch den heutigen
Sprachgebrauch bestätigt, der an dieser Stelle den Allativ favorisiert (vgl.
igale tööle [ALL] kõlbama ‘zu jeder Arbeit geeignet sein’; ÕS 1999: 303).
Der Wiedemannsche Beleg zeigt demnach die häufig zu beobachtende
Ersetzung des Allativs durch eine Adpositionalphrase mit peale.
(96) kõlbama ‘taugen’: iga asja peale kõlbama ‘zu Allem taugen, brauchbar
sein’ (WWB 368)
Diese übertragenen Verwendungsweisen von ‘auf’ sind den anderen
ostseefinnischen Sprachen nicht unbekannt: wot. vätši tämää päälee
suuttuuB ‘die Leute werden böse auf ihn’ (Ariste 1968: 110), wot. minu
pääle elä loottaa ‘hoffe nicht auf mich’ (VKS 3: 149), wot. täm minun
päälee õõhkaab ‘er ist wütend auf mich’ (VKS 4: 391); liv. jumal päl
luotte7 ‘auf Gott vertrauen’ (Kettunen 1938: 208), liv. usk jumàl päle
‘Glaube an Gott’ (ebd.: 458).
Die Tatsache, dass dem Estnischen, Wotischen und Livischen diese
Gebrauchsweisen gemeinsam, der finnischen Gegenwartssprache diese
aber völlig fremd sind, kann auf zweierlei Weise gedeutet werden. Falls
man ihr Vorkommen im Wotischen als Zeichen ihrer ostseefinnischen
Herkunft wertet, ist davon auszugehen, dass diese auch dem Finnischen
eigen waren, sie im Prozess sprachpflegerischer Bemühungen aber
aufgrund der Annahme, sie seien durch fremden Einfluss in die Sprache
gelangt, verdrängt wurden. Häkkinen (1994: 481) führt als „fremdartige―
Verbrektionen des alten Schriftfinnischen explizit Beispiele aus diesem
Anwendungsbereich an: luottaa, uskoa, vihastua jonkun päälle ‘vertrauen,
glauben, böse sein auf jemanden’. Andererseits lässt sich eine
Interferenzerscheinung des Russischen selbstverständlich auch im Falle des
Wotischen nicht ausschließen.8
6. sisse ‘in’
Die Adposition sisse ‘in (...) hinein’ besitzt rein lokale Bedeutung, was
auch für ihre Entsprechungen in den anderen ostseefinnischen Sprachen
gilt. Wie bereits erwähnt, ist sie als Alternative zum reinen Illativ in
mehreren estnischen Dialekten gebräuchlich. In der Anfangszeit der
estnischen Schriftsprache war die Vorkommenshäufigkeit des Kasus Illativ
derartig gering (Ross 1997: 187), dass sisse für diese Zeit als alleinige
Realisierung eines illativischen Verhältnisses anzusehen ist. So ist es nicht
verwunderlich, dass auch bei Wiedemann zahlreiche Wendungen
vorzufinden sind, denen im Finnischen ein reiner Illativ entspricht. Der
Großteil dieser Beispiele besitzt rein lokale Bedeutung, z.B. veri langeb
silmade sisse ‘das Blut steigt ins Gesicht, zu Kopfe’ (WWB 455), teised
pöörsid selle meele minu sisse ‘andere haben mir dies eingegeben’ (WWB
856). Auch die Konstruktionen mit sisse, denen eine abstraktere Bedeutung
eigen ist, unterscheiden sich in ihrem Rektionsverhalten nur unwesentlich
vom Finnischen, da die lativische Verwendung beibehalten wird. Wenn ein
deutscher Einfluss vorliegen sollte, dann beschränkt er sich darauf, dass der
reine Illativ durch eine Adpositionalphrase mit sisse ersetzt wurde.
Liv. päl ist zugleich Adessiv und Allativ.
Vgl. das russische сердиться на ‘auf jemanden böse sein’ und vergleichbare
Verwendungen mit на ‘auf’.
Abweichend vom heutigen Deutsch war im Mittelniederdeutschen und
im Frühneuhochdeutschen die Verwendung von in in Verbindung mit dem
Verb glauben gebräuchlich (FRNHDWB Bd. 8, L. 1, Sp. 60), so dass hier
von vornherein Konvergenz zwischen dem Deutschen und
Ostseefinnischen vorliegt.9 Im Estnischen hat sich hier der Gebrauch einer
Adposition, im Gegensatz zu den zahlreichen Konstruktionen mit peale,
eest und järele, nicht bis in die Gegenwart erhalten; eine vollständige
Grammatikalisierung, die eine Verwendung als obligatorische Ergänzung
bedeuten würde, ist nicht eingetreten. Üblicher ist heute der Illativ, vgl. es.
uskuma jumalasse [ILL] ‘an Gott glauben’.
(97) andma ‘geben’: ennast hoora-elu sisse andma ‘sich einem lüderlichen
Leben ergeben’ (WWB 32)
(98) jätma ‘lassen’: ta on ennast jätnud viina-joomise sisse ‘er hat sich ganz
dem Trunk ergeben’ (WWB 151)
(99) uskuma ‘glauben’: jumala sisse uskuma ‘an Gott glauben’ (WWB 1261)
Erwartungsgemäß verwendet Müller anstelle des Illativs in allen Fällen die
entsprechende Adpositionalphrase:10 Ke Iumala sisse vssub, ninck tæma
pæle lotab. ‘Wer an Gott glaubt, und auf ihn hofft.’ (Müller 15.6.11).
Bei der Verwendung von sisse in Zusammenhang mit dem Verb
muutma als Alternative zu der in den ostseefinnischen Sprachen sonst
üblichen Translativrektion (fi. muuttua ihmiseksi [TRA] ‘sich in einen
Menschen verwandeln’), liegt es nahe, eine Lehnübersetzung aus dem
Deutschen anzunehmen, denn Parallelen in den nahverwandten Sprachen
existieren keine.
(100) muutma ‘verwandeln’: muudab ennast inimese näu sisse / inimeseks
‘er verwandelt sich in einen Menschen’ (WWB 636)
Aus diesem Grund erscheint es auch nicht gerechtfertigt, die Lutherbibel (LB 1545)
mit Belegen wie vnd wer da lebet vnd gleubet an mich als direktes Vorbild der
estnischen Konstruktion mit sisse (vgl. nink ussub minno sisse ‘und er glaubt an mich’;
WT 1686: Joh. 11:26, zit. nach Suutari 2006: 417) anzusetzen, wie von Suutari (ebd.)
Neben der lativischen Ausdrucksweise im Zusammenhang mit dem Verb uskuma, die
der deutschen Konstruktion ‘in/an etwas glauben’ entspricht, existiert sowohl im
Estnischen als auch im Finnischen eine Verwendungsweise mit Partitivrektion im Sinne
von ‘etwas glauben’, die auch in Müllers Texten vorkommt.
7. üle ‘über’
Die Postposition üle ‘über, über (...) hin, über (...) hinweg’ drückt neben
ihrer lokalen Bedeutung auch abstraktere Inhalte aus, die denen ihrer
deutschen Entsprechung über gleichen. So wird über als Ergänzung
gebraucht von
(1) Verben für mentale und kommunikative Tätigkeiten, bei denen sie das Thema
der Äußerung (reden über) anschließt,
(2) Verben der emotionalen Einstellung, bei denen sie den Gegenstand der
Emotion anschließt (sich ärgern über, sich freuen über, sich wundern über), hier
kommt auch eine „kausale Note― hinzu (GDS 2129), sowie
(3) Verben, die ein Abhängigkeitsverhältnis ausdrücken (herrschen über).
Diese Verwendungsweisen sind der finnischen Adposition yli, die als Postwie auch als Präposition benutzt wird, völlig unbekannt, deren Vorkommen
ist auf lokale und temporale Zusammenhänge beschränkt. Je nach Verb
entspricht dem es. üle im Finnischen ein Partitivobjekt oder eine elativische
Ergänzung (ausgenommen das Verb nauraa ‘lachen’, das über eine
allativische Ergänzung verfügt: nauraa jollekulle [ALL] ‘über jemanden
(101) kohkuma ‘erschrecken’: kohkusin selle rõõmu üle ‘ich erschrak über
diese Freude (d.h. hatte einen freudigen Schreck)’ (WWB 322)
(102) naerma ‘lachen’: ühe asja üle naerma ‘über eine Sache lachen’
(WWB 644); mis sa naerad mu üle ‘warum lachst du über mich’ (WGR 568)
(103) vihastama ‘ergrimmen, böse werden’: ärge vihastage minu sõnade üle
‘zürnet nicht über meine Worte’ (WGR 568)
Der Gebrauch von üle in kausalen Zusammenhängen, d.h. speziell in
Verbindung mit Emotionsverben, ist bereits in Müllers Texten anzutreffen,
neben vihastama ‘zürnen’ u.a. bei rõõmustama ‘sich freuen’, heituma ‘sich
ängstigen’, imestama ‘sich wundern’: Tahat sina sÿß igkewest v¨lle meidt
wihasta ‘Willst du nun ewig über uns zürnen’ (Müller 32.3.33).
Im Deutschen gehören gerade die Emotionsverben zu den Verben, bei
denen sich das Genitivobjekt noch bis ins Frühneuhochdeutsche und
darüber hinaus gehalten hat. Gleichzeitig sind Präpositionalphrasen mit
über als Ergänzung zu Verben der (Gefühls-)Äußerung wie weinen, klagen,
sprechen bereits im Mittelhochdeutschen belegt (Waldenberger 2009: 161).
Bei sich wundern z.B. ist der Genitiv noch bis ins 19. Jh. anzutreffen,
neben den bis ins Frühneuhochdeutsche zurückzuverfolgenden
Präpositionalobjekten mit ob, von, in, an und auch über (Ebert 1986: 41).
Eine Ergänzung mit über für das Verb spotten lässt sich mindestens bis
Adelung zurückverfolgen (Adelung 1811: 225), die Genitivergänzung hat
sich daneben aber bis in die Gegenwartssprache erhalten.
In anderen ostseefinnischen Sprachen sind kausale Gebrauchsweisen
dieser Adposition ebenfalls, wenn auch in geringem Ausmaß,
auszumachen. Wie der wotische Beleg bei Tsvetkov (1995: 417) üli sellè
nagri ‘er lachte darüber’ zu werten ist, erscheint nicht eindeutig;
hingewiesen sei zumindest auch auf das russische Rektionsmuster
смеяться над чем-нибудь ‘lachen über etwas’, das ebenfalls die lokale
Präposition ‘über’ enthält. Auch die livische Adposition ül’ hat die kausale
Komponente inne: ül’ nant sõnaad veežõs sai kõzizõks ‘über diese Worte
(wegen dieser Worte) wurde der Krebs böse’ (Sjögren 1861: 221).
Für Verben, die ein Herrschafts-/Hierarchieverhältnis ausdrücken, ist
der Gebrauch von üle ebenfalls in den Texten Müllers nachzuweisen (et
tæma v¨lle keicke aßiade piddab wallitzema ‘dass er über alle Dinge
herrschen muss’; Müller 36.11.8). Im Deutschen lässt sich ein derartiger
Gebrauch von über wiederum bis ins Mittelhochdeutsche zurückverfolgen
(so für gebieten, herrschen, richten, wachen; Waldenberger 2009:
(104) kaitsma ‘schützen’: kaitse oma rahvast / oma rahva üle ‘behüte dein
Volk’ (WWB 188)
(105) muretsema ‘sorgen für etwas’: ta muretseb selle üle ‘er hat dafür zu
sorgen, darüber zu wachen (als Vorsteher)’ (WWB 631)
(106) valitsema ‘herrschen’: valitseb meie üle ‘er regiert über uns’ (WWB
1273); ta valitseb teiste üle ‘er ist, herrscht über die Anderen’ (WGR 568)
8. Schlussbemerkung
Ausgangspunkt für die Untersuchung waren die starken Abweichungen, die
zwischen den Verbrektionen des Estnischen und des Finnischen zu
beobachten sind. Charakteristikum dieser Unterschiede ist, dass der
überwiegende Teil der vom Finnischen abweichenden Rektionsmuster des
Estnischen eine Entsprechung im Deutschen haben. Vor dem Hintergrund
der langwährenden deutsch-estnischen (bzw. deutsch-lettischen)
Zweisprachigkeit im Baltikum und des starken lexikalischen Einflusses des
Deutschen auf das Estnische, der sowohl die direkte Entlehnung von
Lexemen als auch Lehnübersetzungen umfasst, liegt es nahe, auch im
Bereich der Verbrektion Interferenzerscheinungen anzunehmen.
Für die wesentlichsten Unterschiede im Kasus- und Adpositionsgebrauch des Estnischen und Finnischen konnte deutscher Einfluss auf das
Estnische in unterschiedlichem Maße als Ursache nachgewiesen werden:
Hintergrund der Bevorzugung des Allativs gegenüber dem Illativ ist wohl
eher die allgemeine Präferenz der äußeren Lokalkasus im Estnischen.
Ebenso beruht der Adessivgebrauch bei deontischen Sprechaktverben und
dem Verb aitama ‘helfen’ eher auf innersprachlicher Entwicklung: Belege
aus den anderen ostseefinnischen Sprachen weisen in diese Richtung,
während Müllers Sprachgebrauch nur bedingt deutschen Einfluss spiegelt.
Mit dem Komitativ hat sich im Estnischen ein neuer Kasus zur
Markierung von Verbkomplementen etabliert. Ein deutsches Vorbild liegt
hier aufgrund der weitgehenden Parallelität zu deutschen Mustern nahe,
wenngleich auch anderen ostseefinnischen Sprachen derartige „Mit―Bedeutungen bekannt sind. Beim Komitativgebrauch wie auch beim
Grammatikalisierungswege, die sich im Deutschen und Estnischen gleichen
und deren Anfänge – nimmt man die Belege aus dem Wotischen und den
anderen kleineren ostseefinnischen Sprachen ernst – durchaus auch vor
Einsetzen des Kontakts mit dem Deutschen liegen können.
Wichtig ist festzuhalten, dass beim Ersetzen von einfachen Kasus
durch eine Adpositionalphrase im Estnischen die Gerichtetheit des im
Finnischen anzutreffenden Kasus erhalten bleibt. Steht ein Trennungskasus
im Finnischen, entspricht dem im Estnischen eine Postposition mit
separativischer Bedeutung (vgl. tänama millegi eest vs. kiittää jostakin ‘für
etwas danken’), womit die Eigenheit der ostseefinnischen, wie auch der
finnisch-ugrischen Sprachen insgesamt, erhalten bleibt, lativische und
separativische Konstruktionen den lokativischen, wie sie in den
indogermanischen Sprachen vorherrschen, vorzuziehen. Eine Eins-zu-einsBeziehung zwischen angenommenem deutschen Vorbild und estnischer
Nachbildung besteht somit nicht.
Mit den zahlreichen Alternativen, die das Estnische als freie Varianten
im Bereich der Verbrektion bietet, stellt es sich als ein Sprachsystem dar,
welches sich in einer Art Übergangsstadium vom synthetischen zum
analytischen Sprachbau befindet. Dieses Phänomen ist als Ergebnis eines
Jahrhunderte währenden Verschmelzungsprozesses, einer gegenseitigen
Beeinflussung und Angleichung der traditionellen Volkssprache und der
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ELA – ELATIV, es. – estnisch, fi. – finnisch, frnhd. – frühneuhochdeutsch,
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– neuhochdeutsch, PL – PLURAL, TRA – TRANSLATIV, wot. –wotisch
Anschrift der Autorin:
Susan Schlotthauer
Institut für Deutsche Sprache
Postfach 10 16 21
D-68016 Mannheim
E-Mail: schlotthauer (at) ids-mannheim (dot) de
Pauli Brattico
The Diehard Extended Projection Principle
Ever since it was originally proposed by Chomsky (1981, 1982), the
Extended Projection Principle (EPP) has puzzled at least one full
generation of linguists. 1 Originally the principle stipulated that finite
clauses (in English at least) must have a grammatical subject. The
stipulation may furthermore be satisfied in a number of ways – for instance,
by inserting an expletive, raising a thematic object DP, having the thematic
subject occupy that position, inserting a locative phrase, or even by head
movement. An even more mysterious generalization emerged later, which
required that the specifier positions of functional heads of any type may be
in need of filling, optionally or obligatorily (Chomsky 2000).2
Faced with this sort of descriptive hodgepodge, many linguists have
tried to explain it away either by means of reducing it to something that
makes more sense (Brattico & Huhmarniemi 2006; Martin 1999; Holmberg
2000; Moro 2000; Rosengren 2002) or by pulverizing the EPP from the
theory of grammar (Grohmann, Drury & Castillo 2000; Bošković 2002; see
Landau 2007 for a recent summary). At any rate, while a substantial
volume of controversy has evolved around this matter, the Principle itself
has proven resistant. Thus, the ―mysterious property EPP (...) has been an
annoying problem ever since it was originally formulated‖ (Chomsky 2008:
I will use the following abbreviations in this article: EPP = Extended Projection
Principle; GEN = genitive case; phi = phi-features like number, gender and person; PRT =
partitive case; SG = singular number.
A reviewer of this article points out, correctly, that this generalization follows if the
EPP is reinterpreted as a feature, not as a principle of grammar.
SKY Journal of Linguistics 24 (2011), 181–188
In this squib, I would like to argue that the reductionist approaches are
futile; instead, as suggested by Chomsky (2000), functional heads arrive to
the derivation as irreducibly marked for the EPP diacritic that requires their
Spec to be filled. But beyond that, there is no further logic. In other words,
we have to learn to live with the EPP as an irreducible quirk of the human
ways of speaking.
As a preliminary to our argument, we need an uncontroversial
grammatical prism to recognize the presence/absence of the EPP itself. The
following two conditions below (1a–b) will achieve this for us. Note,
however, that we will not be giving the necessary and sufficient conditions
for EPP itself, only certain overt characteristics which will allow us to
detect the EPP.
We begin from the fact that when a functional head H has the EPP
property, it triggers movement to Spec-H. In one incarnation, that element
is a full DP. It may well be something other than a DP (Holmberg 2000;
Alexiadou & Anagnostopoulou 1998), but certainly if it is a DP we have
minimized the risk of misdiagnosis.
Second, in several cases the EPP is correlated with Agree in the sense
of Chomsky (2000, 2004), such that the Case feature of the moved element
and the phi-set on the target head H change as a function of the EPP.
EPP/Agree may not need to be constitutively tied to each other, but it
nevertheless adds credibility to the claim that H has the EPP property if
filling of Spec-H comes with full Agree.3 Note that it is for this reason that
many of the reductionist approaches to the EPP rely on Case and/or phiAgree. Let us therefore stipulate that in addition to DP-movement to SpecH, we would like to see Agree(H,DP) as well (Condition 1b below). In
summary, I propose looking for the following two properties:
Conditions on EPP
A functional head H can be suspected of having the EPP property if
a. H triggers DP-movement to Spec-H,
b. Agree(H,DP) takes place (Case valuation for DP and phi-valuation for H).
Note once more that I do not wish to imply that (1a–b) constitute a
definition for the EPP; rather, they deliver a conservative method for
recognizing it, whatever its underlying implementation. Some instances of
Landau (2007) proposes a generalization according to which Case- and phi-features
constitute only one type of ―anchor features‖ on which the EPP may dwell, like a
EPP may violate these conditions, as they sometimes do,4 but clearly if we
have something that satisfies (1a–b) we have at least minimized the risk of
false positives. I will also hold that if some functional head H fails all these
tests, then the chances are that it does not have the EPP feature.
With an EPP gauge now at hand, let us look at the behavior of Finnish
adpositions. Here we look at three varieties of Finnish adpositions that can
be described as follows (Manninen 2003; Vainikka 1989). 5 In the first
group, there are adpositions which behave similarly to the English
equivalents. They involve a particle-like adposition (or preposition)
followed by a DP-complement that takes the object Case, the partitive
(Vainikka 2003). Example (2) illustrates this.
towards house.PRT
‗towards a house‘
In the second group, we have adpositions, which take an overt DPargument in (what looks like) the Spec-P position. The DP-argument takes
the genitive Case, and it bestows full phi-features to the adposition (3). In
Finnish a prehead DP argument of an adposition can therefore agree with
the adposition in full phi-features. The DP-argument cannot normally occur
in a postadpositional position (4a) and it can never take the object partitive
Case (4b).
minun kanssa-ni
I.GEN with-1SG
‗with me‘
a. *kanssa-ni
For one, there are many ways in which EPP can presumably be implemented without
accompanying Agree (Collins 1997; Holmberg 2000; Miyagawa 2001), successivecyclic movement being the prime example. This violates condition (1b). Second, some
authors have argued that the EPP can be satisfied via head movement (Alexiadou &
Anagnostopoulou 1998). This violates condition (1a) in the sense that then there is no
DP that is moved to Spec-H.
A reviewer points out that similar facts are attested in many other languages, e.g.
Dutch, German or Afrikaans.
b. *kanssa-ni
The third category contains expressions which allow both strategies.
a. lähellä minu-a
‗near me‘
b. minun lähellä-ni
I.GEN near-1SG
‗near me‘
Notice, in particular, that (5a–b) are synonymous. In addition, these PPs
have virtually the same syntactic distribution: whenever one can occur, so
does the other.
There is a logical connection between the third group and the first two
groups. The third group appears to be a disjunction of the other two groups.
This leaves us with a binary choice of (2) or (3). That binary choice is
between two types of behaviors: one, in which the argument of the
functional head remains stationed in its complement and there is no Agree;
and another, in which the argument occurs at Spec-H and is accompanied
by Agree. According to conditions (1a–b), the first characteristic satisfies
-EPP behavior while the second characteristic satisfies +EPP behavior.
As far as descriptive adequacy is concerned, the hypothesis that
adpositions fall into three groups – +EPP, -EPP and EPP – leaves very
little room for complaint. Since this behavior profile is not restricted to
adpositions (Chomsky 2000), it gains independent support that is hard to
resist. Yet, the descriptive victory comes with a difficulty in the
explanatory agenda.
At the heart of the problem lies the observation that the pair (5a–b) in
particular shows that the EPP constitutes a primitive choice that the
grammar must make for its functional head(s), such that the choice affects
necessarily neither the distribution nor the semantics of the PP. It is a
primitive and phrase-internal affair with no function, no purpose, and
nothing to offer to, or gain from, its grammatical surroundings. It may be
lexicalized, as is the case with the first two groups, or it may be just
grammaticalized but not lexicalized, as is the case with the third group.
Either way, it represents lexical entropy.
Suppose, for instance, that we propose to reduce this behavior to the
theory of Case by positing that DPs move to the Spec-P in order to ―check‖
the genitive Case. Still each adposition needs an irreducible mark that
determines whether it allows a genitive DP in its complement; this is just
the same EPP again, cloaked in different terminology.
Could we navigate out of this problem by proposing reduction to
something extra-linguistic? There may exist a neurobiological or general
supramodal cognitive rationalization for these facts, but since a binary
decision has to be made for each adposition, either in the lexicon or freely
during the derivation, we are always left with the to-EPP-or-not-to-EPP
Could it be that something in the grammatical context of the PP causes
the EPP behavior, as argued for Finnish by Brattico & Huhmarniemi
(2006) and Brattico & Saikkonen (2010)? It would be hard to demonstrate
any effect of this type, it seems, as the distribution of the two PPs – one
with EPP and another without – is identical. (On the other hand, bear in
mind that this is not to say that EPP is never correlated with a change in
grammatical context; the present data shows that such correlations cannot
constitute the EPP.)
One possibility is to accept the conclusion that the EPP behavior must
be specified lexically, but deny the claim that it is irreducible or
unexplainable. This might be a viable alternative, because one could still
maintain that the EPP behavior is an instance of some mechanism or
requirement that has a broader application in grammar. Suppose, for
instance, that it is speculated to be part of linearization. We could then
conclude that while functional heads must be marked idiosyncratically by a
feature determining whether their specifier must be filled, such marking has
a much broader application. We would be claiming that the ―EPP features‖
are not just a privilege of functional heads, but found from many other
places and in many guises. On the other hand, even under this proposal the
original EPP property – namely, that the specifiers of certain functional
heads must be filled, optionally or obligatorily – would remain an
irreducible and annoying quirk. Whether some functional head has this
property cannot be derived, and hence justified, from any independent
property or principle, and it is this difficulty that linguists have been trying
to solve by invoking various reductive strategies.
There is much literature and speculation that the EPP effects can be
reduced to independently motivated semantic properties. Some EPP
operations do have clear semantic effects, mostly certain surface effects
that have to do with definiteness, scope, or information structure. The
adposition data speaks against the view that EPP reduces to a semantic
mechanism. As the adpositions in the third category exhibit mixed
behavior, we can examine whether EPP indeed has an effect on semantic
interpretation. It does not have any effect, as the expressions in (5a–b) are
synonymous (see the translations). In other words, it does not necessarily
matter in terms of semantic interpretation if the argument of the adposition
is in Comp-H or in Spec-H(+Agree). 6 I suspect that much of the same
could be true of many other functional heads, such as Spec-T. This
vindicates the intuition that has surfaced in so many guises over the years
in connection with the EPP theorizing – namely, that the EPP constitutes a
grammatical quirk that lacks direct participation in semantics.
What else is there to try? Perhaps nothing. The EPP is not
disappearing from linguistic theorizing. Where does that lead us?
Of course, it is important to know that we have reached the bottom of
things. We learn that EPP may be optional or lexically specified. I think
this too was always suspected to be the case. The finite tense node in
English, for instance, behaves like the adpositions in the second group,
both being lexically specified as +EPP. But this is not a predetermined
outcome; a functional head may have a negative specification for its EPP,
or it may be freely associated with either choice during lexical insertion
and/or derivation. This leaves considerable room for description and
explanation of word order facts and agreement patterns, both crosslinguistically as well as within a given language. It may be a liberation that
leads to insights regarding other parts of grammar (Landau 2007;
Holmberg 2000).
And the prospects for genuine explanation are not as gloomy as they
first seem. What these facts suggest is that the EPP is irreducible; to begin
with it does not force us to make the same conclusion for Agree. The
correct direction of a putative reduction between EPP, Case and phifeatures, if we suspect that such a reduction is desirable in the first place,
must consider taking the EPP diacritic as a primitive property and deduce
the rest from a theory which includes EPP in its axiom block. This may
help to disambiguate the explanatory labyrinth leading towards the correct
There is evidence that, particularly regarding A-bar movement, fronted constituents
are associated with topic/focus interpretation (Huhmarniemi 2009, 2010). This may well
be true of Finnish adpositions as well, but it appears not to be true of the examples
discussed here. Therefore, it may be that such operations sometimes have semantic
consequences, but not semantic causes.
theory of such matters. And, as pointed out by a reviewer, we can pose
further questions concerning the EPP, even if it were irreducible: why does
it trigger overt, and not covert, movement; why does it involve case
alternations and phi-agreement; how is it implemented; and how is the
mechanism constrained?
Preparation of this manuscript was supported by a Finnish Academy Grant
(131234), which allowed me to spend a sabbatical semester in Italy. I thank
Professor Rita Manzini for the invitation and the opportunity to stay at her
department at the University of Firenze during my visit.
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Brattico, Pauli & Saikkonen, Taija (2010) Grammatical movement and functional
heads: Evidence from Child Finnish. Nordic Journal of Linguistics 33 (1): 5–29.
Chomsky, Noam (1981) Lectures in Government and Binding: The Pisa Lectures.
Dordrecht: Foris.
—— (1982) Some Concepts and Consequences of the Theory of Government and
Binding, Linguistic Inquiry Monograph 6. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
—— (2000) Minimalist inquiries: The framework. In Roger Martin, David Michaels &
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Howard Lasnik, pp. 89–156. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
—— (2004) Beyond explanatory adequacy. In Adriana Belletti (ed.), Structures and
Beyond: The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Volume 3, Oxford Studies in
Comparative Syntax, pp. 104–131. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
—— (2008) On phases. In Robert Freidin, Carlos P. Otero & Maria Luisa Zubizarreta
(eds.), Foundational Issues in Linguistic Theory, Current Studies in Linguistics
45, pp. 133–166. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
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MA: MIT Press.
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Roger Billerey & Brook Danielle Lillehaugen (eds.), WCCFL 19: Proceedings of
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MA: Cascadilla Press.
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become an expletive. Linguistic Inquiry 31 (3): 445 483.
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Working Papers 1: 21 78.
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Manninen, Satu (2003) Finnish PPs and the Phase Impenetrability Condition. In Diane
Nelson & Satu Manninen (eds.), Generative Approaches to Finnic and Saami
Linguistics: Case, Features and Constraints, CSLI Lecture Notes 148, pp. 295–
320. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.
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Contact information:
Pauli Brattico
Department of Computer Science and Information Systems
FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä
e-mail: Pauli(dot)Brattico(at)jyu(dot)fi
Wołowska, Katarzyna (2008) Le paradoxe en langue et en discours,
Sémantiques. Paris : L’Harmattan. Pp. 276.
Compte rendu de Christophe Cusimano
Dans cet ouvrage récent qui traite du paradoxe,1 comme son titre l’indique,
Katarzyna Wołowska, rejetant tout d’abord une approche pluridisciplinaire
trop délicate à mettre en place, propose de s’inscrire dans une perspective
interprétative. L’auteur se situe alors dans la droite lignée des auteurs
comme Culler (1973) et Smith (1996) pour qui le paradoxe n’existe pas en
lui-même, si l’on peut dire, mais en tant que produit d’une interprétation.
Le risque de tomber dans un regard subjectif des faits est un des reproches
que l’on pourrait alors envisager de formuler. Mais le support théorique
solide de la sémantique interprétative de Rastier (1987), théorie de tradition
herméneutique et donc onomasiologique qui définit les signifiés en langue,
permet de le réduire à sa portion congrue ; d’autant que le paradoxe est une
unité de discours, même si celui-ci se construit aussi à partir des lexies et
de ce fait, répond aussi de la langue : le titre de l’ouvrage trouve donc sa
justification dans cette introduction. Il n’en reste pas moins, comme dans
tout procédé abductif (cf. Cusimano 2010/2011), que le recours à l’intuition
demeure primordial dans la recherche de paradoxes, ce que l’auteur
reconnaît volontiers (pp. 75–76) :
« (…) pour constituer un corpus d’analyse et ensuite pour dégager les traits
pertinents du phénomène décrit, il est nécessaire d’avancer certaines
hypothèses. Celles-ci peuvent se fonder soit sur des intuitions, soit – ce qui est
le plus fréquent et même indispensable dans les textes de recherche – sur le
contexte intertextuel englobant la littérature spécialisée consacrée au problème
analysé. La présente étude systématise ainsi un travail analytique préalable, et
les hypothèses avancées avant d’être illustrées d’exemples sont en réalité le
résultat de ce travail analytique, et non pas de véritables hypothèses. »
Il est intéressant de noter que cette difficulté est centrale dans ce début
d’ouvrage, et a des répercussions dans tous les travaux en sémantique ou
« Affirmation surprenante en son fond et/ou en sa forme, qui contredit les idées
reçues, l'opinion courante, les préjugés », selon le Trésor de la Langue Française
SKY Journal of Linguistics 24 (2011), 189–192
presque. Mahmoudian (1997) avait déjà fait plus qu’effleurer la question de
la place du sémanticien face à son objet. Selon Wołowska, c’est à la fois
l’intuition et l’intertexte qui, dans le cas du paradoxe, guident
l’interprétation (p. 76).
Après le passage obligé par les différentes disciplines qui ont traité du
paradoxe, point trop long, l’auteur en vient à traiter de la question du point
de vue de la sémantique textuelle. Tout en présentant les différents courants
de cette discipline, Wołowska essaie de ne pas perdre de vue son objet
d’étude et maintient son cap avec rigueur. On aurait apprécié un
éclaircissement sur la notion de sémème (pp. 68–70), du fait que toutes les
analyses qui suivent la prennent pour socle. Au lieu de cela, Wołowska
propose de fines précisions sémiques, complexifiant plus encore que
François Rastier la classification couramment admise : sèmes inhérents /
afférents, d’une part, et d’autre part sèmes micro-, méso- ou macrogénériques / spécifiques. Pour mieux décrire la « tension sémantique »
opérée par le paradoxe, l’auteur se dote en effet de plusieurs paramètres qui
viennent s’appliquer à ces deux dichotomies qui, rappelons-le, sont
combinables. Wołowska se dote alors des termes nié, neutralisant et
évaluatif. Ces distinctions l’aideront à remplir les objectifs qu’elle
s’assigne. En effet, l’intérêt de l’ouvrage réside surtout dans (i.) une réelle
méthodologie interprétative pour isoler les paradoxes ; (ii.) une définition
sémantique des paradoxes ; et (iii.) une typologie remarquable des
oppositions sémiques qui produisent les paradoxes. C’est donc ce qu’il
convient de développer ici.
Le premier objectif, réalisé sur la base d’un exemple-type, en
l’occurrence Il n’y a de honte qu’à n’en point avoir, donne lieu à une série
d’étapes : il faut tout d’abord isoler les sémèmes dont l’opposition est
potentiellement porteuse de tension. Ceci amène Wołowska à poser deux
sémèmes ‘honte’, en d’autres termes à reconstruire à partir de en un
sémème ‘honte1’. La négation ne…point vient compléter le tableau. Il
convient ensuite de repérer les sèmes des sémèmes qui produisent la
tension. Selon l’auteur, « quant au Sm ‘honte1’ (=‘en’), il diffère de
‘honte2’ par le fait d’entrer dans un autre taxème, avec des Sm comme
‘modestie’, ‘pudeur’, ‘décence’, etc. liés par le SMicroGI /retenue/ ; dans
cet ensemble, ‘honte1’ se distingue des autres éléments grâce aux SSI
/désagréable/, /infériorité/, /humiliation/, /troublant/ ». La négation n’a pas
vraiment pour rôle de faire disparaître le contenu de en mais d’en nier la
partie positive des sèmes : c’est pourquoi l’auteur préférera parler de sèmes
afférents niés plutôt que virtualisés. L’étape suivante, si l’on omet la
recherche de nouveaux réseaux d’afférence, consiste dans le repérage
d’oppositions sémiques : dans le cas de cet exemple, le fait que ‘honte1’
(=‘en’) soit nié le différencie de ‘honte2’, comme nous l’avons vu.
L’énoncé relève donc du paradoxe dont on peut désormais risquer une
définition, que nous abrégeons faute de place (v. pp. 120–121) :
« Le paradoxe de langue apparaît ainsi comme une tension sémantique locale
(…) qui présente les caractéristiques suivantes :
(i) ses éléments constitutifs sont des sèmes validés / actualisés dans le contexte
(ii) ils sont considérés en paires,
(iii) ils entrent dans des oppositions binaires constituées à base des relations
sémantico-logiques (…)
(iv) les sèmes pertinents peuvent être de différente nature (…)
(v) au moins une des paires sémiques oppositives doit comporter des sèmes
spécifiques ;
(vi) la séquence paradoxale doit être isotope (…),
(vii) les sèmes opposés doivent être discursivement joints (…). »
La suite de l’ouvrage, dont l’essence se situe selon nous dans cette
citation, n’est pas d’une teneur aussi théorique et se situe dans une
démarche typologique : il s’agit alors de dresser un inventaire plutôt
exhaustif des différentes structures permettant d’engendrer un paradoxe, ou
si l’on préfère, le voir d’un point de vue interprétatif, des structures qui
permettent d’inférer un paradoxe. Sont tour à tour envisagés les différents
coordonnants (et, ni, mais, etc.) puis les constructions (selon qu’elles
prennent pour pivot un substantif, un adjectif…), mais encore les
marqueurs discursifs qui jalonnent les paradoxes. Enfin, Wołowska offre au
lecteur une série de remarques très pertinentes sur les procédés
d’assimilation et de dissimilation sémantiques par lesquels un paradoxe
peut notamment se trouver neutralisé. Ces procédés, bien connus en
sémantique interprétative mais finalement peu usités, sont ainsi revisités.
Bref, cet ouvrage grouille de remarques pertinentes et la conclusion
rappelle habilement les enjeux posés dans le titre : « Le paradoxe apparaît
ainsi comme une tension sémantique nouée – et ensuite dénouée – en
discours (…). Lié au social (opinion contraire à l’opinion commune) au
même titre qu’au sémantique (union de contraires), le paradoxe de langue
apparaît en fait comme un phénomène complexe et multidimensionnel »
(pp. 237). Ces enjeux semblent avoir donné lieu, grâce à l’optique
interprétative adoptée par l’auteur, une délimitation du périmètre d’action
sémantique du paradoxe qui interdit de fait toute confusion avec l’absurde,
notamment. La rigueur des investigations menées devrait ainsi en faire à la
fois un ouvrage utile pour un panorama interdisciplinaire de la question,
mais aussi un bel exemple des possibilités d’application, toujours plus
nombreuses, de la sémantique interprétative.
Culler, Jonathan D. (1973) Paradox and the language of morals in La Rochefoucauld.
The Modern Language Review 68 : 28–39.
Cusimano, Christophe (2010/2011) Visée interprétative : Lecture de deux descriptions
de Amerika par F. Kafka. Texto XV(4)/XVI(1). <
de_amerika_par_f._kafka_c._cusimano_.pdf> (consulté le 20/10/2011).
Mahmoudian, Morteza (1997) Le contexte en sémantique. Louvain-la-Neuve : Peeters.
Rastier, François (1987) Sémantique interprétative. Paris : P.U.F.
Smith, Paul J. (1996) « J’honnore le plus ceux que j’honnore le moins » : Paradoxe et
discours chez Montaigne. In Ronald Landheer & Paul J. Smith (éds.), Le
paradoxe en linguistique et en littérature, pp. 173–197. Genève : Droz.
Trésor de la Langue Française informatisé. <> (consulté le
Coordonnées :
Christophe Cusimano
Université Masaryk de Brno
Institut des Langues et Littératures Romanes
Faculté de Lettres et Philosophie
Arna Nováka 1
602 00 Brno
République tchèque
Courriel: ccusim(arobase)phil(point)muni(point)cz
Metslang, Helle (ed.). (2009) Estonian in Typological Perspective,
Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung (Language Typology and
Universals). Volume 62, issue 1/2. Berlin: Akademie Verlag. Pp. 164.
Reviewed by Arnaud Fournet
As the title indicates, the work under review is a thematic issue of the
journal Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung (STUF) dedicated to
the Estonian language. To some extent it has intermediary features between
a journal and a book. It focuses on a particular language but remains
structured like a journal, with no numbered chapters and papers having
their own references after their conclusions. A first impression about the
copy in hand is that the papers could have been presented in a different –
and possibly more logical – order, for example: phonology, then parts of
speech and morphology, then grammatical issues, etc. No apparent
rationale for the order of the papers can be found.
Rather conventionally the journal comprises a preface and eight
articles, for a total of 164 pages, the table of contents being on the fourth
cover. The preface shortly describes Estonian and the history of the
language, and offers a summary of each paper. Generally speaking, the
papers are both descriptive of Estonian and address specific issues at the
same time. There are numerous examples, some of them being data taken
from actual sources. Most of the papers are data-oriented and not theoryoriented, which makes them definitely informative about Estonian. It is not
absolutely necessary to be familiar with Estonian prior to reading the
papers but not infrequently it is not clear how words in examples should be
parsed. Extra lines with a detailed parsing would have been welcome.
Sometimes one wishes descriptions were more detailed with more data so
that issues and relevant data could be more easily and more thoroughly
understood. Maybe this situation is due to space limitations and guidelines,
each paper having approximately 20 pages at most. On the whole, the
papers provide an extensive overview of Estonian both as a language per se
and in comparison with Finnish, its closest relative, and (Indo-)European
languages, which are used as a kind of absolute and/or areal reference.
Although published in a journal expected to focus on typology, several
papers do not have a truly typological content but an areal comparative
perspective or even amount to describing Estonian on a synchronic basis.
SKY Journal of Linguistics 24 (2011), 193–197
Several papers mention the fact that the standard literary language is
different from the regional varieties and also (slightly) different from an
emerging common Estonian spoken koine. From a sociolinguistic point of
view, Estonian would then seem to know a double-deck diglossia. This
situation could have been dealt with in a separate paper on a typological
“Typological overview of Estonian syntax” by Mati Ehelt is a very
dense article that nearly amounts to a grammatical digest. It is highly
informative, although the absence of parsing in the examples is a very
infortunate hindrance. The survey often relies on a “top-down”
semasiological approach: for example, it divides clauses as existential,
possessive, experiential, etc. and examines their formal, typological and
semantic features. “Bottom-up” formal criteria are also used: regular or
inverted, adverbial, etc. So is sometimes semantics: modality, measure
adverbial, etc.
“Linguistic strategies and markedness in Estonian morphology” by
Martin Ehala assesses to which extent Estonian can be considered
agglutinative or inflectional when it comes to nouns, adjectives and verbs.
Morphology is to be understood as marking case, degree, or tense.
Derivational morphology is conspicuously absent when the same issue
could be raised in the case of words derived by affixes from other items
(with similar or different lexical classes). The methodology followed in the
paper is cleanly and linearly described: it hinges on stem alternations and
segmentability between the stems and the suffixes. The word strategy is
used but it is not clear what in particular is thereby implied. The second
part of the paper surveys whether and how a number of grammatical
categories, such as case, tense, mood, persons, etc. are indicated or
“marked” by explicit segments. Estonian is at the same time compared to
universal tendencies (as first surveyed by Greenberg, etc.). The paper
reaches the conclusion that verbs follow an agglutinative pattern while
nouns follow a mainly inflectional one.
“Estonian grammar between Finnish and SAE: some comparisons” by
Helle Metslang examines typological features of Estonian when compared
to its genetic relatives like Finnish, or to its neighbors or superstrates. It
begins with a painful reminder that Estonian has been under foreign
influence for centuries, by Low German, Russian and now English. The
first part compares Estonian with Indo-European languages and does so
through the grid of SAE features of Haspelmath, which in my opinion is
not clearly representative and focuses on details rather than the most
prominent features: for example, it does not include grammatical gender or
resort to a copula like to be. In all cases Estonian does not appear to be
SAE according to that grid, and neither does Finnish. The second part
examines the differences between Estonian and Finnish and endeavors to
show they may be caused by direct influence from either German or
Russian. To some extent the paper deals with two issues at the same time.
It might have been interesting to deal only with the second issue and then
to add regional forms of Estonian or Baltic German to the picture. On the
whole, these issues are extremely complex and would need much more
space to be addressed. Some examples are striking: Estonian relative
pronoun sina, kes sa = German du, der du, a clear calque. An interactionist
or structuralist approach may also add a causalist perspective to the paper.
“The voice system of Estonian” by Reeli Torn-Leesik examines the
relationships between the so-called personal (or active), impersonal and
passive “voices” or verbal forms in Estonian. It is different from the other
papers both in tone and purpose. The style appears somewhat critical and
opinionated, and the issues are more theoretical. It contains sentences taken
from real sources, although cited in indirect and incomplete ways (as far as
I checked some), but it is not clearly as descriptive as the others and aims
to “prove” personal stances on a topic that the references intuitively reveal
as a complex and controversial one about Estonian, and more generally
Balto-Finnic. The issues discussed are indeed stimulating but on the whole
the paper does not enable the reader to figure out what the issues really are
and what to conclude. To begin with, it would have been interesting to
define and discuss what a “voice” is, in general and in Estonian. As the
issues are complex, typological insight would have been most fruitful. It is
also odd to read that the Active or Personal voice is not listed among “the
two main voices” of Estonian. In addition one of the premises underlying
the conclusions of the author is that “the passive voice is a valencereducing operation, whereas the impersonal merely constraints argument
realization” (p. 72). This sounds like a postulation, as formal, semantic,
pragmatic, grammatical features and considerations are not so easy to
distinguish and disentangle. In all cases it would have been interesting to
compare Estonian with Celtic (mentioned in the paper) and Latin (not
cited) where a similar formal and semantic porosity between passive and
impersonal forms exists. In Celtic, Impersonal forms are not a separate
voice but belong to the Active voice. The reasons to posit Estonian
Impersonal forms as belonging to a full-fledged separate “voice” are not
obvious on the basis available in the paper. The trichotomy of Personal
(instead of Active), Passive and Impersonal “voices” nearly amounts to a
lexical artefact. In addition, the so-called Impersonal formative akse is
apparently cognate with Mokshan frequentative kšni, used for multioccurences of the process, so that one is left to think whether one issue is
not that the term Impersonal itself is inadequate and should be replaced by
Collective, Indefinite or the like, which incidentally happens to be already
proposed by Shore (p. 75). I do not speak Estonian but it seems to me that
in most examples indefinite agents like people, somebody, one, they are
potentially adequate translations of the so-called Impersonal, which is
anything but “impersonal” or “subjectless”. The paper indeed stresses the
“humanness constraint” of this form. Ultimately the premise of the author
above seems false and I would favour exactly the opposite conclusion: the
so-called Impersonal is a valence-reducing form (not voice), whereby the
subject is determined a priori as indefinite, hence no longer available to a
free choice, as is the case for the unrestrained Active voice.
“Acquisition of Estonian: some typologically relevant features” by
Reeli Argus develops interesting crossfertilizing considerations between
native-language acquisition and typological features. This seems to be a
recent topic, with fewer than 15 years’ traceability. The paper discusses the
speed of acquisition of Estonian morphology, which is rather inflectional,
in comparison to other languages like Finnish or Turkish, which are more
transparently agglutinative. It also indirectly discusses how adults tend to
facilitate acquisition of Estonian morphology and features by their
offspring: for example, by replacing gradational stems with non-gradational
ones. As a mirror, the underlying issue raised by the paper is to understand
what kind of “child-oriented speech” adult speakers produce, as it would
seem that Estonian parents adapt their utterances to the competences of
their children following (conscious) schemes or some (intuitive) scale of
difficulties. This seems to be a completely uncharted territory.
“Dynamics of Estonian phonology” by Karl Pajusalu first presents a
number of phonological features of Estonian dialects. Considering the
complexity of Estonian phonology and morphology, it is unsurprising that
the language has a significant dialectalization. The standard spelling
appears not to represent gradation faithfully. Estonian is gradually
acquiring voiced consonants as marginal units thanks to loanwords. At the
same time loanwords tend to be nativized and show consonantic gradation.
A recurrent problem with the paper is the unclearly phonetic or phonemic
status of the data and issues discussed. More data and more minimal pairs
would have been advisable in a phonological survey. The grapheme <ä> is
not a phonetic symbol either.
“Pronouns and reference in Estonian” by Renate Pajusalu first
describes Estonian pronouns and anaphorics and then examines the use of
see and üks as instable definite and indefinite articles. The framework is
traditional and purely semantic. The paper is conspicuous for addressing
issues that are typical of enunciation theories: anaphora, deixis, hic-et-nunc
markers and not mentioning them in any way.
“Taboo intensifiers as polarity items: evidence from Estonian” by
Peter Kehayov is a corpus-based study of a number of phrases and
sentences involving “taboo” words like gods, devils, deities, illnesses built
according to the pattern of taboo-word + knows + wh-question word. Polish
provides a first sample of cases following that pattern. The paper then
shows that the items thus patterned tend to have implicit negative value. It
ends with a comparative survey of similar examples from Latvian. This
paper is unusual because of its mix of corpus-based, apparently classical
linguistics and its unexpected semantic inferences and consequences. In my
opinion this is the most perplexing paper of the journal. It is intriguing that
a topic so innocuous at first look can raise so many questions of practical
and theoretical scope at the same time. The paper only sketches a Pandora’s
box of issues.
On the whole, I would say that the reviewed issue Estonian in
Typological Perspective is a very pleasant, informative and stimulating
reading. It provides an extensive overview of Estonian from a mainly
synchronic and areal point of view. Ultimately one would like to read more
about the Estonian language.
Contact information:
Arnaud Fournet
6, Avenue Colombier Bernard
La Garenne Colombes
e-mail: fournet (dot ) arnaud (at) wanadoo (dot) fr
Response to the review of Idström, Anna & Sosa, Sachiko (eds.) (2009)
Kielissä kulttuurien ääni [The voice of cultures is in the languages],
reviewed by Kalle Korhonen in SKY Journal of Linguistics, vol. 23 (2010),
pp. 351–355.
Response written by Maria Kela
I was delighted to notice that volume 23 of SKY Journal of Linguistics
included a review by Kalle Korhonen of the publication Kielissä
kulttuurien ääni, and I curiously read through the review – of course
focussing on what was said about the article I had contributed to the
publication. To my astonishment, in the eleven lines where my article is
discussed, the reviewer manages to present two peculiar “facts” that cannot
be found from my article – and to top of it all – that are totally untrue.
First, Korhonen claims that I took the metaphor ‘horns of Moses’ as
an example of a difficult biblical metaphor. I did not, because such a
metaphor does not exist in the whole Bible. The metaphorical ‘horn’ has its
origin in the shape of the ancient Jewish altar where the sacrifices were
carried out – it has nothing to do with the appearance of Moses. Korhonen
may have been thinking of the famous mistranslation by Saint Jerome in
Vulgata (405), where Exodus 34:29 seems to suggest horns to Moses, who
is descending Sinai. The Finnish Old Testament translations (1642, 1776,
1933, 1992) never repeated this lapse and thus this mistranslation is not
included in my corpus.
Second, he suggests having read from my article that the phrase
Ihmisen Poika (‘Son of Man’) “has disappeared from the most recent
Finnish Bible translation” (p. 352). This is of course not true and by no
means have I ever presented such a claim. A quick check from the
electronic Bible tells that there are at least 78 occurrences of Ihmisen Poika
in the newest edition of the Finnish-language Bible (1992).
As a review editor of the oldest Finnish linguistic quarterly, Virittäjä,
I know that the process of producing literary reviews often demands active
dialogue between the reviewer and the review editor. Unfortunately it
seems to me that this time there has been a gap in the process.
SKY Journal of Linguistics 24 (2011), 199–200
Biblia [Holy Bible] (1642) Se on: Coco Pyhä Ramattu, Suomexi.
<> (2 September 2011).
Biblia [Holy Bible] (1776) Se on: Koko Pyhä Raamattu, Suomexi.
<> (2 September 2011).
Pyhä Raamattu, Vanha testamentti [Holy Bible, the Old Testament] (1933) XI yleisen
<> (2 September 2011).
Pyhä Raamattu [Holy Bible] (1992) Suomen evankelis-luterilaisen kirkon
<> (2 September 2011).
Vulgata = Biblia Sacra iuxta vulgatam versionem (1994) Fourth edition; first edition
405. <> (2 September 2011).
Contact information:
Maria Kela
Department of Teacher Education
P.O. Box 9 (Siltavuorenpenger 5 A 326)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki
e-mail: maria (dot) kela (at) helsinki (dot) fi
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