FiCLA - Suomen kognitiivisen kielentutkimuksen yhdistys

  Back to FiCLA home page



--> Subjectivity in Language -symposium

Tervetuloa kognitiivisen kielitieteen symposiumiin Turkuun kesäkuussa!

Ohessa on Suomen kognitiivisen kielentutkimuksen yhdistyksen (FiCLA) Turussa järjestämän symposiumin "Subjectivity in language" ohjelma. Symposiumiin ovat tervetulleita myös kuulijat ilman omaa esitelmää. Osanottomaksu on 20 euroa, yhdistyksen jäseniltä 10 euroa, opiskelijoilta 10 euroa ja yhdistyksen opiskelijajäseniltä 5 euroa. Pyydämme mahdollisia osanottajia ilmoittautumaan etukäteen sähköpostitse yhdistyksen sihteerille Anu Airolalle ( tarjoilun mitoittamiseksi ja osanottomaksun maksamiseksi.

--> FiCLA symposium Subjectivity in Language, Turku 18.-19. June, 2003 Fennicum, Henrikinkatu 2, 20014 Turku

Program and abstracts

(Monday 16.6. 16-18, Turku graduate school of linguistics: Ronald W. Langacker: Dynamicity, Fictivity, and Scanning: The Imaginative Basis of Logic and Linguistic Meaning)

(Tuesday 17.6. 16-18, Turku graduate school of linguistics: Ronald W. Langacker: Context, Cognition, and Semantics: A Unified Dynamic Approach)

Wednesday 18.6.2003
10.00 Opening and plenum: Ronald W. Langacker: On the subject of impersonals.
12.00 Lunch
13.00 Laura Visapää: Mission Impossible: on the use of infinitive and imperative forms within the MI construction
13.30 Ene Vainik: On the possibility of objective measurements of a subjective space: the case of Estonian emotion verbs
14.00 Jari Sivonen: Conceptualization of Path as an example of subjectivity in language: The case of the Finnish motion verb kierrellä
14.30 Coffee
15.00 Irmeli Helin: Implication of evidentiality by translator
15.30 Tuija Vertainen: A case in point for subjectivity and identity in literary discourse: Bardamu and Roquentin

(16.15 - 17.45 Turku graduate school of linguistics: Ronald W. Langacker: Constructions in Cognitive Grammar)

19.00 Dinner

Thursday 19.6.2003

9.00 Tuomas Huumo: Directional case marking of transfers between spatial and cognitive dominions
9.30 Ilona Tragel & Kaja Kährik: Motion verbs in Estonian infinitival and serial constructions
10.00 Heidi Merimaa: Quasi-adpositions: Adverbs or adpositions?
10.30 Paula Sjöblom: Cognitive linguistics and onomastics: How company names reflect subjectivity?
11.00 Lunch
12.00 Reetta-Leena Kenttä: The empirical limits in explaining subjectivity in a phrase
12.30 Martina Björklund: Linguistic subjectivity in narrative discourse
13.00 Jarno Raukko: Subjectivity vs. intersubjectivity
13.30 Coffee
14.00 Timo Honkela: Subjectivity in color naming
14.30 Jussi Niemi: Experiments on agency and sentence-internal constituency in Finnish

(15.15 - 16.45 Turku graduate school of linguistics: Ronald W. Langacker: Aspects of the Grammar of Finite Clauses)


takaisin etusivulle

--> Irmeli Helin
University of Helsinki
Department of Translation Studies

Implication of evidentiality by translator

Gutt (1998:43-48) notes that the claim to optimal relevance guides the recipient in identifying the speaker-intended context for a given utterance. The contextual information needed for the correct interpretation seems to be readily accessible. According to the relevance theory there are two psychologically distinct modes of using language: the descriptive and the interpretive use.

A translation is always an interpretation of what has been said or written. The ethics and working discipline of the translator and interpreter claim on faithfulness, close resemblance to the original. In practice, this resemblance seems to range from totally shared explicatures and implicatures to almost no common features at all. Since a translation can also be introduced as a potential aid to facilitate the correct interpretation of the translated product by the target audience, we already come to the realm of subjectivity. The subjectivity in interpreting a text occurs in reading or listening to novels, poems etc. but may take place twice in a translation. First in the cognition of the translator when reading and analysing the text, then, again, during the reading process of the recipient of the translated text.

In this paper I look at the methods used by translators of German texts into Finnish when transferring evidential information into the target language. What makes them to process the original information as evidential and how do they interpret it? Which are the implications in the source text which direct them to use evidentials in the target language? Are the some cognitive rules for using certain grammatical or lexical tools to express evidentiality in the target text, even if it is not explicit in the source text? Can we detect and categorize them?

Gutt, Ernst-August 1998. Pragmatic Aspects of Translation: some Relevance-Theory Observations. In: Hickey, Leo (ed.) The Pragmatics of Translation. pp. 41 - 53.

back to program

--> Jarno Raukko
University of Helsinki

Subjectivity vs. intersubjectivity

The notion of intersubjectivity is the cornerstone of a hermeneutic view on the existence, transmission, and negotiability of semantics in language. The system of semantics in language, which involves speakers communicating with some level of success, is found on the assumption of mutual comprehensibility. This, in turn, is based on an iterative set of beliefs about the interlocutor's beliefs: speaker A believes that speaker B believes (that speaker A believes, etc.) that "the system is working", that "A and B are using the same semantics".

As I concentrate on polysemy in my semantics research, my own view of polysemy as "flexible meaning" has intersubjectivity as one of the major operators. Furthermore, I focus on the question of (the foundations of) "categorization within polysemy", i.e., in Geeraerts 1993's terms, intracategorial distinctions. Finally, I have taken as a starting point that intersubjectivity causes a situation where speakers partly agree, partly disagree (or at least end up having different ideas) on the meaning of linguistic items.

Following from these premises, I have chosen to take such soft experimental methods as polysemy questionnaires as the empirical part of my methodology. Although an intersubjective view on semantics would somehow suggest the necessity of dialogistic methods (such as having two people "play a guessing game" where they need to extend meanings of words or just "negotiate over meanings"), so far my methods have usually only involved one informant/subject working on her/his own with a task (either a questionnaire or a sentence card sorting task). Thus, each response can be seen as representing a subjective view on the object of study - in my case usually the categorization within polysemy.

I have even dared to (in a 1999 article of mine) to call my questionnaire method "intersubjective" as such - that it is "an intersubjective method" - because the ANALYSIS of the responses entails "shuttling between subjects" and hence the results of my empirical research are necessarily "inter-subjective" rather than purely subjective - or "cumulatively, collectively subjective". One justification for this has been the simple principle that the more informants demonstrate a trend in their categorizations, the more relevant (central, salient, even prototypical???) this particular feature in the categorization is. Thus I have ended up, in the least, weakening the technical force of the term by increasing its polysemy.

However, the matter is far from straightforward. I will in this paper try to elucidate the notions (and roles) of subjectivity and intersubjectivity in such methodological-theoretical settings as the one I have been proposing.

back to program

--> Timo Honkela
Helsinki University of Technology

Subjectivity in Color Naming

Berlin and Kay (1969) found universal patterns in color naming in a variety of languages. Critism on the basic universalist conclusions has been followed by some further in-depth studies (e.g. Kay et al., 1997, Kay and Maffy, 1999). The comparisons have, however, focused on analyzing the similarities and differences in color naming over a number of languages. In this presentation, the basic idea is to study the variance in color naming among a collection of speakers of one language. In addition to a statistical analysis of the collected data, the themes of subjectivity, intersubjectivity and the relationship between linguistic and perceptual domains are discussed. This further elaborates the ideas presented in
(Honkela, 1997).


Berlin, B., and Kay, P. (1969): Basic color terms: Their universality and evolution. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Honkela, T. (1997): Self-Organizing Maps in Natural Language Processing. Helsinki University of Technology.

Kay, P., Berlin, B., Maffi, L. and Merrifield, W. (1997):  Color naming across languages. C.L Hardin and L. Maffi (eds.), Color Categories in Thought and Language, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Kay, P. and Maffi, L. (1999): Color Appearance and the Emergence and Evolution of Basic Color Lexicons. American Anthropologist 101, pp. 743-760.

back to program

--> Jussi Niemi
University of Joensuu

Experiments on Agency and Sentence-internal Constituency in Finnish

Psycholinguistic studies are accumulating evidence that speak for a slow (or for an emergent) nature of the development of our first-language grammars with the developmental changes extending well into the second biological decade. The present talk attempts to be a synopsis of experimental studies of (morpho)syntax administered to groups of Finnish speakers aged from the (pre)school years to adulthood.

In a classic Agency assignment experiment Niemi and Hägg (1999) observed that children undergo an intermediate stage when they move from the pragmatic-paratactic mode of processing to grammatically determined behavior. According to Niemi’s and Hägg’s data the two-stage model found e.g., in Givón (1995) should be enriched by a typologically-based intermediate stage. The authors go on as far as postulating the following developmental operational principles (op. cit., 80):

“Stage 1:     Language is used to communicate plausible events. Let pragmatics overrun morphosyntax.

Stage 2:     This [i.e., Finnish/jn] is an SVO language. Let canonical word-order overrun morphosyntax.

Stage 3:     The world and people are what they are. Take grammar seriously.”

In addition to the Agency assignment task, I have recently administered a relatively free-form syntactic constituency task using Finnish SVO/SV+adverb sentences (the so-called triad task, see, e.g., Zurif et al. 1972). The results show that syntactic constituency is indeed a flexible notion (cf. Langacker 1997), here depending at least on the syntactic category of the verb complement (N, adverb), or on the animacy of the nominal arguments. Moreover, one of the effects of increasing age is the decreased use of anthropocentric (Agent-centered) assignments of constituency to the test sentences.


Givón, T. 1995. Functionalism and Grammar. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Langacker, R. 1997. Constituency, dependency, and conceptual grouping. Cognitive Linguistics 8: 1-32.

Niemi, J. & M. Hägg 1999. Syntax at Late Stages of Acquisition. In B. Maassen & P. Groenen (eds.), Pathologies of Speech and Language. London: Whurr.

Zurif, E., A. Caramazza & R. Myerson 1972. Grammatical judgments of agrammatic aphasics. Neurospychologia 10: 405-417.

back to program

--> Heidi Merimaa
Turun yliopisto

Quasi-adpositions: adverbs or adpositions?

Adpositions are formed through grammaticalization from three word classes: nouns, adverbs and verbs. Most adpositions are historically nouns. They have originally had a very concrete meaning. Nouns refer to things. When they become adpositions through grammaticalization, they lose that meaning and begin to signify the relation between two or several things. Many Finnish adpositions mean location, some of them mean more abstract relation.

Adpositions form phrases with nouns. According to standard grammars, only phrases in which the noun is in the genetive or the partitive case are adpositional phrases. Adpositions signify relations much in the same way as case endings, which have analogous functions to English prepositios. This definition of adpositions is problematic because the line between adpositions and nouns is not clear. It also leaves outside words which are like adpositions but are used with nouns which are in other than the genetive or the partitive case. I call these words quasi-adpositions.

Sometimes we convey meanings in such a way that different categories signify the same meaning like Lähti ulos huoneesta ’Went out of the room’, where both the adverb ulos ’out’ and the case ending -sta ’from’ share partly the same meaning. We can also say Lähti ulos ’Went out’ or Lähti huoneesta ’Went out of the room’, which shows that adverbs are independent words, they function on their own like nouns. Some quasi-adpositions are not compulsory in the sentence, adpositions are. The meaning of the sentence is almost the same without the quasi-adposition. In this perspective they resemble adverbs.

    1. Hän tuli Ranskasta (asti). (S/he came (all the way) from France.)
        S/he came France-ELA (asti)

In example (1) case ending -sta already has the meaning of location and aspect of termination. Quasi-adposition asti ’all the way from’ functions to emphasize the terminative meaning of the sentence. Quasi-adpositions are like adpositions because they cannot be in a sentence without a noun, we can’t say *Hän tuli asti. Also their function is similar to that of adpositions. So there is a continuum adposition – quasi-adposition – adverb.

When we compare the following sentences:

2.    Kynä Pekan kädessä. (The pen in Pekka’s hand.)
       pen Pekka-GEN hand-INE
3.    Ratkaisu (on) Pekan käsissä. (The solution (is) in Pekka’s hands.)
       solution (is) Pekka-GEN hand-PL-INE
4.    Tien yli (Over the road)
       road-GEN over
5.    Ranskasta asti (All the way from France)
      France-ELA asti

we notice that in sentence (2) there is an atemporal relation. Kynä is the trajector, (Pekan) kädessä ’Pekka’s hand’ the landmark. In example (3) ratkaisu is the trajector and Pekka is the landmark. In sentence (4) there is a complex atemporal relation: yli means going over the landmark which is tien ’road’. First the trajector is on one side of the road later on its other side. The relation of the trajector to the landmark changes. Also in sentence (5) the relation of the trajector to the landmark changes. The trajector moves away from France. As we can see, in structures which contain quasi-adposition the case ending and quasi-adposition together signify the relation between things. Quasi-adpositions emphasize some aspect of the sentence (termination, direction), adpositions are more neutral. They signify only a relation and don’t bring any new meaning or emphasis to the sentence.

back to program

--> Reetta Kenttä
Helsinki University
Department of Linguistics


According to Benveniste (1971[1958]: 230) subjects constitute themselves as "subject" in saying "I" and in contrasting themselves with "you". ‘Subjectivity’ is a term used to denote a first-person perspective. It includes the vocabularies, expressions and structures that express first-person consciousness, awareness and perceptual states. It also includes the idea of a perspective on the world, and the linguistic means we rely on in the development and expression of narratives of self and identity.

Language can be subjective but cannot conceptually be private. Being understood by the means of linguistic signals presupposes the fact that linguistic meaning has been conveyed through the social institution of language. This argument against private language is found in Wittgenstein (1953) Philosophical Investigations. According to Wittgenstein it is a reductio ad absurdum that a private language could exist because language is constituted of rules. A rule needs the agreement of two or more participants to exist.

The publicity and experiential basis of language imply that not only language – but also subjectivity in language - belong to the empirical domain. Empiricism is a type of theory in epistemology holding experience as prime in human knowledge/justified belief. Whether a statement is true or false concerning a natural language depends on if the truth conditions of the proposition are fulfilled in a particular natural language used in some community at some given time: the propositions are thus not necessary truths (i.e. 2+2=4) of symbolic systems (mathematics or logic) without reference to the experience of real world. The study of natural language and its workings belongs to the realm of the empirical sciences, more specific to the humanities. Empiricism does not necessarily imply the use of an empirical method, but the fact that language is seen as a part of the real world, explicated as belonging to a spatiotemporal language community.
An empirical explanation is an act of making something intelligible and understandable. Just about anything can be the object of explanation: a concept, a rule, the meaning of a word, a structure of a sentence. There are two different kinds of explanations: causal explanations refer to the cause of the event, and rational explanations refer to actions of intentional human beings. Rational explanations can be teleological explanations, because they define a ‘function’ in terms of persistence toward a goal state under varying conditions. An explanation concerning a linguistic phrase can thus be explained etiologically: in terms of the contribution that a linguistic structure or action make to the realization of a goal state e.g. an individual expressing subjectivity.

According to some sociolinguistics and discourse analysts (Chafe 1998, Miller 1995) most human interaction is constituted of phrases. ‘Phrase’ is a term used in grammatical analysis to refer to a single element of structure, typically containing more than one word, and lacking the subject-predicate structure typical of clauses. Traditionally it is seen as part of a structural hierarchy, falling between clause and word. A phrase has specific structure; it is an information unit and often also an intonation unit. A valid explanation of ‘subjectivity in a phrase’ contains evidence referring to public experiential features of subjectivity. Those may be linguistic signals of first-person perspectives as well as spatiotemporal positions in a discourse. However there are several limits to be taken in account. The ‘private language argument’ logically implies that no references to the speaker’s mental states can be made without evidence. Empirical scientific knowledge is not simply true belief, it requires adequate indication that it is true – i.e. justification as evidence. Evidence is experiential information bearing on the truth or falsity of a proposition (that something is so). Dennett has phrased the problem of first-person awareness as follows "That of which I am conscious is that to which I have access." Only the subject has access to first-person perception, thought, memory, and body control. However, language is a social institution supplying the structures of understanding of what it is to be subject and have subjective experiences. Thus the understanding of a linguistic convention to be an expression of subjectivity can function as evidence. It is a posteriori knowledge depending on some specific sensory or perceptual experience. When using evidence based on corpus or a collection of native speaker intuitions, assumptions about homogeneity in language or in the linguistic community must be avoided. The spatiotemporal ontology of language implies variation both in time and space.

back to program

--> Laura Visapää
Department of Finnish language
University of Helsinki

Mission Impossible:
on the use of infinitive and imperative forms within the MI construction

Mission Impossible is not only a fictional series of TV shows and movies. In Finnish, it can also refer to a conventionalized way of reporting and evaluating unfavourable events. The utterances expressing impossible task (MI) appear as a rhetorical means of irony and dramatization: they are used in contexts in which the speaker has described some event in detail and then asks for identifi-cation with the frustrating fact that - as matters stand - the process expressed by the construction is impossible to perform.

The initial position of an MI expression is always specified with an imperative or an infini-tive. The verbal element is followed by the particles siinä ('there') and sitten ('then') which carry both deictic and pragmatic meaning:

1. Toinen vastaava tapaus muistui mieleeni: Jossakin Jane Austin -filmatisoinnissa oli kohtaus jossa käveltiin englantilaisella nummella. No, eiköhän juuri kuvaushetkellä taivaalla lentänyt suihkukone, joka jätti valkoisen vanan jälkeensä. Yritä sitten siinä kuvata 1800-lukua!

Another similar accident occurred to me: in one Jane Austin cinematization there was a scene in which people were walking on an English moor. Well, at the time of the shooting there was of course a jet flying in the sky, leaving a white trace behind. ('In those circumstances, it's impossible') Try there then to shoot/portray the 19th century! (Try-IMP.2SG there then shoot/picture-INF 1800-century-PAR.)

2. Vittu, seisoin siinä vessan peilin edessä tuijottaen paskaista naamaani ja pohdin käydäkö suihkussa vai ei. Buranan olisi pitänyt vaikuttaa jo parikymmentä minuuttia sitten, mutta hikipisaroita ei otsalla näkynyt. Mennä siinä sitten 40 asteen kuumeessa suihkuun. No way.
Fuck, there I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror, staring at my dirty face and wonder-ing whether to take a shower or not. The pain killer should've effected some 20 minutes ago, but there was no sight of beads of perspiration on the forehead. ('In those circumstances, it's impossible') To take a shower in a temperature of 40 degrees! (Go-INF there then 40 degree-GEN temperature-INE shower-ILL).

My presentation will discuss the dynamics of imperative and infinitive verb forms within the scope of the MI function. Although carrying out seemingly similar discursive functions, they impose a different kind of structure on the conceptualization presented – imperative being a grounded, proc-essual predication and the holistically processed infinitive profiling an atemporal relation (though imposed on a schematic, processual base, cf. Langacker 1999: 396). It is not hard to see why impe-rative fits well in the construction: when an order is carried out in circumstances in which the order is considered unreasonable, the imperative gets a rhetorical, affective interpretation (Kauppinen 1998: 189). The motivation for the use of the infinitive has to be searched elsewhere.

The infinitival MI construction belongs to a closed set of Finnish expressions that do not ha-ve a subject nor a finite verb, that begin with an infinitive and that always seem to carry affective meaning (see Visapää 2002). In such infinitive phrases, the process under evaluation is objectively construed and thus put onstage but, excluding the particles, there is no phonological marking of the subject – nor the patient being the object of conception. These constructions present a subjectively construed predication which is being displayed as if it were based on common knowledge about the appropriateness and predictability of the action under evaluation.

In actual language use, the infinitive can always be replaced by an imperative, but the range of contexts in which the infinitive can be used is limited. The main focus of my presentation will be on the limitations of the infinitival MI utterances, approaching them from the semantic nature of the predication. Consequently, I aim at shedding light on the pragmatic nature of infinitives when not being used as complementizers but as main predicates of grammatical constructions.

KAUPPINEN, ANNELI 1998: Puhekuviot, tilanteen ja rakenteen liitto. Tutkimus kielen omaksumisesta ja suomen kon-ditionaalista. SKS, Helsinki.

LANGACKER, RONALD W. 1999: Grammar and conceptualization. Cognitive Linguistics Research 14. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin–New York.

VISAPÄÄ, LAURA 2002: Finiittiverbittömien infinitiivikonstruktioiden affektisista käytöistä ja rakenteesta. Pro gradu -tutkielma. Helsingin yliopiston suomen kielen laitos.

back to program

--> Martina Björklund
Åbo Akademi University

Linguistic subjectivity in narrative discourse

By linguistic subjectivity I mean the expression of relations to a ’self’ and its spatio-temporal and interactive position through language. The various facets of linguistic subjectivity can be regarded as reflections of three roles that a ’self’ can be decomposed into. In the unmarked instance, a speaking ’subject’ can be said to perform three roles simultaneously: firstly, she is the speaker of the utterance (the one who refers to herself as I), secondly, the observer of the situation (from whose here and now the situation is viewed), and thirdly, the interpreter-experiencer of the situation (the source of various assessments of the situation, i.e. the one whose beliefs, opinions, attitudes, emotions, social perspective, etc., are expressed). But we can also construe an utterance so that it reflects the vantage point of another entity by displacing the anchorage points of the three roles from our own ’self’ to somebody else’s. It should also be noted that an entire uttterance or sentence need not be construed with reference to one single vantage point. Sometimes only one role is displaced, or even only some of its manifestations. The linguistic manifestations that express relations to the roles of a ’self’ include: deixis, aspect, referential resources, mood and modalities (including evaluation, connotation and expressive language), functional sentence perspective, and clause combination. The handling of the roles of the ’selves’ of the narrator and the characters through their linguistic manifestations is crucial to the organization, linearization, and perpspectivization of narrative discourse.

back to program

--> Ene Vainik
Institute of Estonian Language

On the possibility of objective measurement of a subjective space:
the case of Estonian emotion terms

Human emotions are probably one of the main sources of subjectivity in all cognitive processes. Omnipresent emotional background affects all kinds of human activity, including linguistic encoding and language itself as the result of the ongoing encoding processes.

Language provides the capability not only to express one’s emotions but also to describe a subjective emotional experience and enabling the linguistic meta-communication of emotions via emotion terms and concepts that are present in every language.

The part of a semantic space of a given language formed by semantic content of emotion terms can be distinguished and called the natural emotion category or cognitive domain of emotions of that language.

The domain of emotions is probably one of the most subjective ones among other cognitive domains. The difficulties of finding emotion terms which precisely match while translating from one language to another and misunderstandings in personal communication of emotions are the most superficial examples of mismatching semantic spaces between different cultures and even between individuals belonging to the same culture.

As the goal of a proper scientist is to share objective knowledge rather than subjective impressions, the objectivity of description is desired even in the case of highly subjective phenomena like emotions. In the field of psychology an enormous amount of investigation has been made to measure the semantics of emotion terms as objectively as possible (e. g Russell 1980, Romney et al 2000) i.e. – a wide variety of informants and statistical analytical tools are preferred to intuition based descriptions of emotion terms carried out in the framework of linguistics (e. g. Wierzbicka 1999).

In a present case study I will describe my own attempt to investigate Estonian emotion terms by using the field method of Urmas Sutrop (Vainik 2002a, 2002b) that enables one to gather linguistic data of one specific category and to distinguish basic terms from non basic ones according to their relative cognitive salience (Sutrop 2000, 2001). As my next goal is to describe the variation of semantics of those and other Estonian emotion terms forming the domain of emotions in Estonian, an objective methodology for more detailed measurement of semantics is required.

The cross-cultural similarity of so-called basic emotions is a widely known and promoted position (Ekman 1982, 1992), and probably this standpoint has lead the cognitive linguists to the conclusion that emotions belong to so-called basic domains (like time and space) that are given by human perceptual capabilities and should be described rather in terms of organising dimensions than in terms of conceptual networks or complex matrices (like so called abstract domains) (Langacker 1987).

What are the possible dimensions of emotion domain in Estonian, are the dimensions also psychologically relevant for ordinary language users, and how could they be measured meaningfully are the questions I am searching answers for.


Ekman, P. (1982) Emotions in Human Face. (2nd ed.) New York: Cambridge University Press.
Ekman, P. (1992) An argument for basic emotions. Cognition and Emotion 6 (3/4): 169-200.
Langacker, R. (1987) Foundations of Cognitive Grammar. Vol. I Theorethical Prerequisites. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Romney, A. K., Moore, C. C., Batchelder, W. H., & Hsia, T.-L. (2000) Statistical methods for characterizing similarities and differences between semantic structures. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 97 (1): 518-523.
Russell, J. A: (1980) A circumplex model of affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39: 1161-1178.
Sutrop, U. (2000) Basic terms and basic vocabulary. Estonian Typological Studies IV, Ed by M. Erelt. Tartu Ülikooli eesti keele õppetooli toimetised 14: 118-145.
Sutrop, U. (2001) List task and a cognitive salience index. Field Methods 13: 289-302.
Vainik, E. 2002a Kuumaverelised eestlased. Eestlaste rahvalikust emotsiooni-kategooriast. Äidinkielen merkitykset. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seuran Toimituksia 869. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. 228–244
Vainik, E. 2002b Emotions, emotion terms and emotion concepts in an Estonian folk model. Trames nr 4 Vol 6 (56/51), pp 322-341.
Wierzbicka, A. (1999) Emotions across Languages and Cultures: Diversity and Univerals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

back to program

--> Ilona Tragel & Kaja Kährik
University of Tartu

Motion Verbs in Estonian Infinitival and Serial Constructions

This paper analyses the meaning of Estonian motion verbs minema ‘go’ and tulema ‘come’ in the verb + ma-infinitive (supine) and the serial constructions. On the basis of examples from the University of Tartu Corpora of Spoken and Written Estonian, it is argued that whereas in many cases both constructions are possible, the choice between the two types of construction seems to depend on the degree of the conceptualizer’s subjective involvement. The serial construction always conveys intentionality not necessarily present in the verb+infma construction, as in e.g.,:

Ma    lähen               kelku           tooma.
I       go-PRES:1SG  sledge:PRT  bring:infma
‘I’ll bring the sledge.’

Ma    lähen     toon           kelgu.
I       go:SG1   bring:SG1 sledge:GEN
‘I’ll bring the sledge.’

While minema cannot be said to have lost its physical sense here, the motion component is included also in the verb tooma, which thus, in a way, makes minema redundant in a purely motional sense. In both constructions, lähen (the first-person singular form for minema) expresses the inchoative aspect; in (b), it additionally implies that the speaker has an intention to realize the envisaged event and he/she is taking the reponsibility for completing the event. The serial construction typically requires a human agent whereas minema+infma allows usages such as

Vesi           läks               keema.
water:NOM go-PST:3SG  boil:infma
‘The water started to boil.’

where minema has only an aspectual meaning. Furthermore, the serial construction, unlike the verb+infma construction, can be used only with verbs which describe events and activities that can be subjected to the agent’s volitional control.

The paper also reports the results of a series of experiments testing speakers’ intuitions concerning these usages.

back to program

--> Tuomas Huumo
University of Turku

Directional case marking of transfers between spatial and cognitive dominions

Finnish has a tripartite (‘to’ vs. ‘from’ vs. ‘at/in’) locative case system which it uses productively in expressing spatial, temporal, possessive, cognitive, and circumstantial relations. Many uses of the dynamic (‘from’, ‘to’) cases are not motivated by objective factors such as a change in an entity’s position with regard to the domain it occupies but rather by the conceptualizer’s dynamic subjective construal of a static relationship.

In my paper I study uses of the dynamic ‘to’ and ‘from’ cases in sentences that express a change in an entity’s relationship with a cognitive dominion (a dominion around a sentient reference point, such as possession, consciousness, or perception). In general, dynamic local cases are used to refer to the static spatial position of an entity that enters or exits a cognitive dominion. This indicates that a change in the entity’s relationship with the cognitive dominion involves fictive (spatial) motion. Thus the spatial position of an entity that enters a cognitive dominion is marked with a ‘from’ case, for example Löys+i+n seinä+stä halkeama+n [find+PAST+1SG wall+ELATIVE crack+ACCUSATIVE] ‘I found a crack in [lit.: “from”] the wall’; Ost+i+n talo+n Espanja+sta [buy+PAST+1SG house+ACCUSATIVE Spain+ELATIVE] ’I bought a house in [lit.: “from”] Spain’. Correspondingly, ‘to’ cases are used to mark the spatial position of an entity that exits a cognitive dominion, i.e., ceases to be possessed or cognized by a sentient being, as in Jät+i+n kirja+n pöydä+lle [leave+PAST+1SG book+ACCUSATIVE table+ALLATIVE] ‘I left the book on [lit.: “onto”] the table’; Unohd+i+n koira+n koppi+in. [forget+PAST+1SG dog+ACCUSATIVE dog-house+ILLATIVE] ’I forgot the dog in [lit.: “into”] the dog-house’.

Similar principles are at work in expressions where a sentient entity undergoes a change of state with regard to consciousness or existence. When the entity ceases to exist or loses its consciousness, a ‘to’ case is used to mark its spatial position, as in Koira kuol+i koppi+in [dog die+PAST+3SG dog-house+ILLATIVE] ‘The dog died in [lit. “into”] the dog-house’, Nukahd+i+n sohva+lle [fall-asleep+PAST+1SG sofa+ALLATIVE] ‘I fell asleep on [lit. “onto”] the sofa’. Correspondingly, if consciousness is gained, then a ‘from’ case is often used, as in Heräs+i+n lattia+lta [wake-up+PAST+1SG floor+ELATIVE] ‘I woke up on [lit. “from”] the floor’.

These examples suggest, first of all, that possession, consciousness, awareness and other cognitive dominions are conceived of as interacting with spatial dominions. The metaphor motivating such a conceptualization takes cognitive dominions to be places, and reflects the common principle of spatial motion where an entity can only move into a new location by leaving its original location. Thus, in the Finnish system, an entity that enters a cognitive dominion fictively moves away from its spatial position. Correspondingly, an entity that exits the cognitive dominion fictively moves into its spatial position. Furthermore, when sentient beings cease to exist, die, or lose consciousness, they are conceived of as leaving their state of existence or consciousness and entering their spatial positon, and when they gain consciousness, they are conceived of as entering their dominion of consciousness and leaving their spatial position. The system shows a deep interaction between dominions with a different level of abstraction, and explains the extensive use of the directional cases in sentences that refer to a situation where no actual spatial motion is involved.

back to program

--> Tuija Vertainen
Department of French Studies

A case in point for subjectivity and identity in literary discourse: Bardamu and Roquentin.

In my presentation I shall discuss the manifestation of the literary subject through his own expression, as illustrated in two contemporary French novels: Journey to the End of the Night (1932) by Louis Ferdinand Céline and Nausea (1938) by Jean-Paul Sartre.

My emphasis is on the subjectivity depicted in the stories told by two characters: Bardamu and Roquentin. I shall concentrate on both deictic and aspectual subjectivities in both characters in order to show, on the one hand, how they are positioned in time and space, and on the other hand, their understanding of the events described in the books. My main interest lays on the rhetorical subjectivity denoted by the sarcastic tone in their stories. In other words, the way they narrate reflects a gloomy and ironical insight into the world.

Telling about their lives is the key to identity construction for both storytellers. Based on Paul Ricoeur’s concept of narrative identity, my presentation on the characters’ subjectivity will reveal that language and discourse allow the creation of Roquentin’s and Bardamu’s own identity.

Keywords: identity and subjectivity, self-presentation, selfhood, identities construed as narratives, discourse.

back to program

--> Paula Sjöblom
University of Turku

Cognitive linguistics and onomastics:
How company names reflect subjectivity?

Mainstream linguistics has been interested in proper names mainly in terms of language philosophy, and linguists have not really studied with actual data the position of proper names in language. Onomastics is the branch of linguistics which is specialized in the study of proper names. However, the focus of onomastics has been more on description of separate name data, on etymologization and on solving general onomastic problems than on linking proper names to the wider system of language and its use. This may partly be due to the efforts of strengthening the disciplinary identity of onomastics, but one reason for this might also have been the fact that the formal linguistic models have not given suitable tools for the study of proper names.

The topics of onomastics have been place names (toponymics) and personal names (anthroponymics). In the same time with the rising interest to other names, like animal names or commercial names, it has been realized that the methods and models created for toponymics, do not fit for all names. One problem is the general assumption that proper names have no meaning, or that the meaning of a proper name is just to refer to an entity. On the contrary, the lexical meaning of e.g. company names can be quite important in practice: a ”wrong” meaning can lead even to a need to change the name. The lexical meaning needs to be taken into account also in the socio-onomastic study of many anthroponymic systems.

The topic of my doctoral thesis is the Finnish company names. I have studied the emergence of the category of company names, which can be dated in Finland after the 1840’s, and the forms and functions of today’s company names. I have found similarities with my own thoughts from cognitive-functional language theories. For example, the emergence of a new category of names and the development of different naming principles may reflect the change in our conceptualization.

In my presentation, I will describe how the new category of company names was born in the Finnish language, and how the emergence and development of the category can be explained starting from the assumption that company names are meaningful elements, and making use of the conceptualizer’s viewpoint. This study opens new scenes to the ancient debate about whether proper names have a meaning. If we understand meaning as part of encyclopaedic knowledge, proper names are as meaningful as any appellatives.

back to program

--> Jari Sivonen
Department of Finnish, Saami, and Logopedics
University of Oulu

Conceptualization of Path as an Example of Subjectivity in Language.
The Case of the Finnish Verb of Motion kierrellä

In Cognitive Grammar, one basic assumption is that linguistic choices signify different subjective ways of conceptualizing the external world. In my presentation, I will discuss the role of subjective conceptualization in language by using the Finnish verb of motion kierrellä (circle, circulate, go around, tour, roam, travel, equivocate, etc.) as an example.

From the Cognitive Grammar point of view, it can be said that, in the motion process profiled by kierrellä, the Landmark can be expressed by an adverbial (1) or by an object (2, 3). This variation has several semantic consequences. Consider the following examples:

(1)    Viime kesänä Esa kierteli Lontoossa (mutta ei käynyt missään erityisessä paikassa).
last summer-ESS Esa-NOM roamed London-INE (but NEG gone what-cl particular-INE place-INE)
‘Last summer Esa roamed all over London (but didn’t visit any particular place).’

(2)    Viime kesänä Esa kierteli Lontoota (ja kävi monessa nähtävyydessä).
last summer-ESS Esa-NOM travelled London-PART (and saw many-INE sight-INE)
‘Last summer Esa travelled around London (and saw several sights).’

(3)    Viime kesänä Esa kierteli Lontoon (ja kävi kaikissa nähtävyyksissä).
last summer-ESS Esa-NOM toured London-n-ACC (and saw all-INE sight-PL-INE)
‘Last summer Esa toured London (and saw every sight).’

What I find especially interesting here is the way in which the Path of this motion process is conceived of. If we accept the cognitive tenet that different constructions have different meanings, we should be able to define the semantic difference between the items 1 and 2. My suggestion is that one significant feature is the fact that the transitive construction (2, 3) implies some salient stages, certain intermediate stopping points, in the Path, which are highlighted. In figure 1, these are marked by black dots in the transitive construction’s Path.

[figure will appear to this page later...]

Figure 1. A Path expressed by kierrellä in an intransitive (a) and a transitive (b) construction.

It seems that the conceptualization of these stopping points is based on the definiteness of the Path. What follows, then, is that when the Path is conceived of as “Indefinite Path”, the Landmark is expressed by an adverbial (1), whereas “Definite Path” is expressed by an object as a Landmark (2, 3). As shown by example 3, it is even possible to conceive of the Path with a perfective aspect (with a total objective marker n-ACC), which results in the reading ’the Trajector visits all places’. However, because there are countless real-world places that could be conceived of as salient stages, this way of conceptualization the Path is purely subjective.

Keywords: Cognitive Semantics, Verbs of motion, Path, Subjective Conceptualization

back to program