ELTE BTK Magyar Nyelvtudományi és Finnugor Intézet

Onikki-Rantajääskö, Tiina (Helsinki)

nyomtatható változat

Contextual functions of the inessive form of MA-infinitive in Finnish

The functions of the so called third infinitive (or MA-infinitive) in Finnish have been attested thus far as well as the grammaticalization path from a phase when the infinitive had not yet differentiated from noun constructions to the present extent. However, the contextual functions of a gram or a construction form a second layer on the attested core grammatical functions. This paper aims to give an overview of the contextual uses of the MA-infinitive in its inessive form on the basis of a sample of dialectal interviews. It seeks the narrative and rhetorical functions of the construction. The occurrences of MA-infinitive are interpreted according to their place in functional or narrative sequences of the discourse. The progressive construction is often used to focus on the action of a character in the discourse. As such it can serve as a part of a backgrounding sequence of the story line (orientation, framing) as well as in the conflict peak of the story or in the evaluation or coda. The example is from the resolution sequence of a story:
mutta se [pääsiäisämmä] ko hep panih maata ni se käviki klasista kynsimässä, kraapasemassa
but it [eastern witch] when they lay+3P.PST lie+1.INF so it go+3P.PST+CLT window+ELA claw+3.INF+INE, scratch+3.INF+INE
‘but it [the eastern witch], when they laid down, went scratching the window’ i.e. ‘came to scratch the window’ [SKN 22:22]
The construction is also used in the descriptive sequences of the discourse. This raises the question, whether it is possible to find out a common function for the progressive MA-infinitive construction in its various contexts in a way that separates it from other near-synonymous constructions such as the simple present or preterite tense form of the verb.
References
Eerikäinen, Johanna 2009: Varhaisnykysuomen ja nykysuomen moni-ilmeinen rogressiivirakenne
kieliopillistumispolulla. Pro gradu -thesis. Finnish language studies, University of Helsinki.
Heinämäki, Orvokki 1981: On themeaning of olla + 3rd inf. Iness in Finnish. - Ikola, Osmo (red.), Congressus quintus internationalis fenno-ugriatarum Turku 20.-27. VIII 1980: Pars VI: 383-388.
----- 1995: The progressive in Finnish: Pragmatic constraints. - Bertinetto, Pier Marco & Valentina Bianchi & Östen Dahl & Mario Squarini (eds.), Temporal fererence, aspect, and actionality. Vol 2: Typological perspectives. P. 143-154. Torino: Rosenberg & Sellier.
Onikki-Rantajääskö, Tiina 2005: 3. infinitiivin inessiivi ja määräpaikkaisuuden arvoitus [About the grammaticalization of the so-called progressive form, the internal stative local case of the 3rd infinitive in dialects, old literary Finnish and folk poetry] In Herlin, Ilona - Laura Visapää (eds.): Elävä kielioppi: Suomen infiniittisten rakenteiden dynamiikkaa [Infinitives in Finnish] SKS, Helsinki. P. 173─193.
SKN = Suomen kielen näytteitä 22. Alatornio dialect. Kotimaisten kielten tutkimuskeskus.
Tommola, Hannu [1995] 2000: Progressive aspect in Baltic Finnic. - Dahl, Östen (ed.), Tense and aspect in the languages of Europe. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin. 655-692.

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