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MODALS IN FINNIC Petar Kehayov & Reeli Torn University of Tartu.

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Presentation on theme: "MODALS IN FINNIC Petar Kehayov & Reeli Torn University of Tartu."— Presentation transcript:

1 MODALS IN FINNIC Petar Kehayov & Reeli Torn University of Tartu

2 The aims of the study To examine the distribution of modal verbs in Finnic according to the type of modality To find out whether modal polyfunctionality is characteristic of all Finnic languages To present some evidence for particular patterns of grammaticalization

3 Modality types (van der Auwera and Plungian 1998: 82) Possibility Non-epistemic possibilityEpistemic possibility (Uncertainty) Participant- internal possibility (Dynamic possibility, Ability, Capacity) Participant-external possibility (Non-deontic possibility) Deontic possibility (Permission) Participant- internal necessity (Need) (Non-deontic necessity) Deontic necessity (Obligation) Epistemic necessity (Probability) Participant-external necessity Non-epistemic necessity Necessity

4 Finnish Karelian Veps Ingrian Votic Estonian Livonian

5 Data sources grammars and other language descriptions linguistic studies focusing on a particular aspect of the modal system of a particular language dictionaries texts published in these languages informants

6 Final selection criteria the verb must have modal reflexes at least in six languages the modal meaning must be distinguishable from the premodal meaning the verb must express at least two types of modality

7 The selected verbs and their premodal meanings  Fin. voida, Kar. voija, Veps voida, Ing. voijja, Vot. võd’d’a, Est. võima, Liv. veidə — ‘to be able/capable’ < *‘to be strong’  Fin. saada, Kar. soaha, Veps sada, Ing. sāvva, Vot. sāvva, Est. saama, Liv. sōdə — ‘to get’ <*‘to come’  Fin. pitää, Kar. piteä, Veps pidada, Ing. pittää, Vot. pitää, Est. pidama, Liv. pi’ddə — ‘to seize; to hold’  Fin. tulla, Kar. tulla, Veps tuлda, Vot. tulla, Est. tulema, Liv. tūlda — ‘to come’  Fin. lie-, Kar. lie-, Veps linda, Ing. lē-, Vot. leevvä, Est. leema, Liv. līdə — modal variety of auxiliary ‘be’

8 The distribution of the modal verb according to the modal meaning  – participant-internal possibility;  – participant external non-deontic possibility;  – deontic possibility;  – epistemic possibility ■ – participant-internal necessity; ■ – participant external non-deontic necessity; ■ – deontic necessity; ■ – epistemic necessity FinnishKarelianVepsIngrianVoticEstonianLivonian ‘be able’  ?? ‘get’ ■■■■■■ ■■■■ ■■ ■■■■ ‘hold’ ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■ ‘come’■■■■■■■■■■■ ‘be’ ■■ ?■?■ ■■■■ ■■■■

9 The semantic map of the modal ‘get’

10 The interaction between modal verbs and negation ▼ is used in ’  ◊ v’ ▼ is used in ’  □ v’ ▼ is used in ’  □ v’ and ’  ◊ v’ (= ’□  v’) FinnishKarelianVepsIngrianVoticEstonianLivonian ‘be able’ ▼▼▼▼▼▼▼ ‘get’ ▼▼▼▼▼▼▼ ‘hold’ ▼▼▼▼▼▼ ? ‘come’ ▼ ???? ▼?▼? ? ‘be’ ▼ ?? ▼ ? ▼▼

11 Evidence for grammaticalization Modal polyfunctionality Human/animacy constraints on the agentive phrase Disambiguating constraints on TAM Polarity Verbs that do not determine argument structure are taken to be more grammaticalized Morphological irregularity

12 Concluding remarks All Finnic languages exhibit modal polyfunctionality, in the domain of possibility as well as necessity. The modal ‘get’ is the most polyfunctional modal verb. The degree of grammaticalization is reflected in semantic and morpho-syntactic respects.

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