Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Adventures in English Syntax

By Robert Freidin

Adventures in English Syntax "this book will enrich your understanding of English in ways that will make you a more effective user of the language."


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Modality Across Syntactic Categories

Edited by Ana Arregui, Maria Luisa Rivero, and Andres Salanova

Modality Across Syntactic Categories "Chapters in the book demonstrate that modality involves many more syntactic categories and levels of syntactic structure than traditionally assumed."



E-mail this page

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at https://new.linguistlist.org/!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at webdevlinguistlist.org***

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
Polish
Russian
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.