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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Partitive in Finnish and its Relation to the Weak Quantifiers Add Dissertation
Author: Rose Thomas Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Westminster, Ph.D/M.Phil Programme
Completed in: 2003
Linguistic Subfield(s): Syntax;
Subject Language(s): Finnish
Language Family(ies): Uralic
Slavic Subgroup
Director(s): Anand Syea
Wynn Chao

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.