ELTE BTK Magyar Nyelvtudományi és Finnugor Intézet

Yrjö Lauranto (Tampere – Helsinki)

nyomtatható változat

Finnish tulisit and tulisit nyt 'come (2nd person conditional) (now)': a grammaticalization of directivity?


The paper discusses Finnish clause constructions that begin with a finite verb conjugated in the 2nd person of the conditional mood but do not accept sinä 'you (sg) or te 'you (pl) as subject pronoun (e.g. näkisit tän 'see-cond-2p. this', tulisit nyt 'come-cond-2p. now'). The data consists of examples from everyday face-to-face interaction and from electronically mediated conversations on the Internet.
The constructions I shall deal with have been called optative constructions (Kauppinen 1998). The meaning of an optative has been described in terms of the wish of the speaker and it is, thus, connected with intentionality, as too is the meaning of a directive construction. Nonetheless, optativity is not sufficient for a construction to be considered as a directive (e.g. (1)). 
(1)    Leg (mobile phone conversation)
Tiina:     Onks se vielä turvoksissa?
’Is it still swollen?’
Timo    Vittu näk+isi+t tä+n. ’
fuck see+cond+2nd this-acc
'you should see it ~ I wish you could see it!’
The optative construction produced by Timo cannot be considered as a directive. As a meaning, directivity is more complex than the speaker’s mere intention. Directivity is primordially an interactive relation between the speaker and the listener in which the speaker tries to get the listener to do something. The non-directivity of the construction näkisit tän  produced by Timo is reflected in the choice of the lexical verb nähdä 'to see': verbs in directive expressions normally present an action thast is controlled by the subject of the clause, i.e. the receiver of the directive (ISK); seeing is not such an activity.
This  paper discusses the syntactic and semantic features of optatives such as the following (example 2) that do function as directives:
(2)    eksä tuu? höööh. tulisit nyt!
not+you come? aw. come+cond+2nd  now
'You won’t come? Aw. Do come!’ 
(Conversation forum for City (a Finnish magazine))
As in this example, an optative construction functioning as a directive often contains the particle nyt 'now'.
The construction illustrated by 2 has a tendency to be used as a persuasive expression (as in ex. (2)), though it has other functions too. The construction has the following features (Lauranto [forthcoming]):
·    the verb of the construction must be able to be interpreted in the way that the subject referent, i.e. the receiver of the directive, is the controller of the action
·    the 2nd person (singular or plural) is encoded only on the finite verb
·    the construction differs from a declarative construction in that the subject pronoun cannot be expressed (nonetheless,  the pronoun sinä ‘you’ can be expressed if it functions as a vocative rather than as the subject of the clause)
·    the construction differs from the ”basic optatives constructions” in that it contains the particle nyt ‘now’ (which does not function as a temporal adverb)
·    the basic function of the construction is persuasion, however, it can be used in other requests close to persuasion

The construction can thus be seen as a grammaticalized persuasion construction, i.e. as a grammaticalization of directivity. Together with the imperative clause, it can thus be regarded as an interpersonal clause type.
    The "missing" subject pronoun is a feature that is shared by both the basic optative construction (ex. 1 näkisit tän) and the directive persuasive construction (ex. 2 tulisit nyt). The missing pronoun is explained by Matihaldi (1979: 191) by the fact that the imperative clause, the prototypical directive, does not accept an NP functioning as the subject (see also Kauppinen 1998: 187–189). It may well be that the explanation partly lies in the directivity of the persuasion construction, but the question is probably more complex. The problem of the subject will be also treated in the paper.

References
ISK = Hakulinen, Auli – Vilkuna, Maria – Korhonen, Riitta – Koivisto, Vesa – Heinonen, Tarja Riitta – Alho, Irja 2004. Iso suomen kielioppi. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seuran Toimituksia 950. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, Helsinki.
Kauppinen Anneli 1998. Puhekuviot, tilanteen ja rakenteen liitto. Tutkimus kielen omaksumisesta ja suomen konditionaalista. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seuran Toimituksia 713. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, Helsinki.
Lauranto, Yrjö [forthcoming]. Direktiiviyden rajoja. Manuscript of a paper to be published in Riitta Juvonen &Anne Mäntynen (eds.). Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, Helsinki. 
Matihaldi Hilkka-Liisa 1979. Nykysuomen modukset I. Kvalitatiivinen analyysi. Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. Series B. Huomaniora No. 7. Philologica No. 2. Oulun yliopisto, Oulu.
The paper will be given in Finnish.