LINGUIST List 14.2006

Fri Jul 25 2003

Diss: Syntax: Thomas: 'The Partitive in Finnish ...'

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  1. rose_thomas33, The Partitive in Finnish and its Relation to the Weak Quantifiers

Message 1: The Partitive in Finnish and its Relation to the Weak Quantifiers

Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 09:57:26 +0000
From: rose_thomas33 <>
Subject: The Partitive in Finnish and its Relation to the Weak Quantifiers

Institution: University of Westminster
Program: Ph.D/M.Phil Programme
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Rose Marie Thomas 

Dissertation Title: 
The Partitive in Finnish and its Relation to the Weak Quantifiers

Linguistic Field: Syntax 
Subject Language: 
Russian (code: RUS)
Polish (code: PQL) 
Finnish (code: FIN)

Subject Language Family: 
Slavic Subgroup

Dissertation Director 1: Anand Syea
Dissertation Director 2: Wynn Chao

Dissertation Abstract: 
The thesis attempts to give a unifiying theoretical account of the
principle occurrences of the Partitive case, an object case which
alternates with Accusative case under various circumstances (which
include its use to give a predicate Imperfective meaning), in
Finnish. It proposes that Partitive case is licensed by the weak group
of quantifiers, and that such a quantifier is present whenever a
Partitive object is present in a sentence. It may be present overtly,
when the Partitive occurs on the complement of an overt weak
quantifier, or it may be present as a null quantifier heading a QP
which dominates the predicate VP. In the latter case, it is proposed
that it is Heim's (1982) operator of existential closure, and is
present to bind a variable in the predicate.

Chapter One outlines the main occurrences of Partitive case in
Finnish, and introduces the Heim/Diesing theory of indefinites. In
this Chapter, it is argued that bare Partitives introduce variables,
and thus require binding by the operator of existential
closure. Chapter Two considers this in more detail, and argues that
both the bare and aspectual uses of the Partitive are unified by the
presence of variables in the predicate (in the case of the aspectual
uses of the Partitive this will be a "period of time" variable) and
hence by the presence of a QP dominating VP in both cases. It is
proposed that, since the weak quantifiers license Partitive case, this
accounts for the occurrence of both bare and aspectual Partitives. The
use of the Partitive with overt weak quantifiers follows naturally
from this.

Chapter Three looks at the obligatory occurrence of Partitive case on
the objects of negated transitive verbs in Finnish, and proposes that
the operator of existential closure is present again, but this time to
bind a Davidsonian event variable.

Finally, Chapter Four looks at Partitive subjects (underlyingly
objects), where the problem is movement, not case. It is proposed here
that there are two subject positions in Finnish, and that Partitive
subjects are found in the lower one.
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