Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki 2006
Toiminta ja tarkoite
Tutkimus suomen pronominista "tämä"
Väitöskirja, joulukuu 2006.
The study describes the use and meaning of the Finnish demonstrative pronouns, focus being on the pronoun "tämä" (roughly 'this'). The Finnish demonstrative system is a three way one, the other two demonstratives are "tuo" ('that') and "se" ('it'). The data consisted of 12 half hours of video- and tape-recorded face-to-face and telephone conversations. The method for the study was ethnomethodological conversation analysis (CA); in addition to CA, the theoretical framework consisted of functional linguistics and linguistic anthropology.
First, the study dealt with the syntactic distribution of the three demonstratives. The pronouns were analysed according to whether they are before or after the verb, and whether they compose an NP on their own or are determinants of a lexical NP. The study suggested that the form and the placement of the NP presents the referent as continuous/discontinuous or given/new. Givenness of a referent was defined as "identified adequately for the purposes of the on-going action". The so-called dislocated utterances were considered separately. It was found that left-dislocations are used for inserting referents in a particular relation to the on-going activity. Right-dislocations offer a solution for the sometimes competing motivations of newness and continuity: they are used for securing the identifiability of a referent that is implied to be continuous.
Second, the study focussed on analysing the meaning of the pronouns according to three dimensions of reference: referential, indexical and relational. It was found that the demonstratives can organize interactional or spatial context. When organizing interactional context, the demonstrative pronouns express the role of identifying the referent in relation to the on-going activity. The pronoun "tämä" expresses that the referent is referentially open and the characterization of the referent is given in the on-going turn. Furthermore, it expresses asymmetry of the indexical ground: it expresses that the participants of a conversation do not share a mutual understanding of the activity at that particular time. In addition, the referent of the pronoun "tämä" is central for understanding the on-going action. Centrality could be understood as the relational feature of the pronoun. However, it is a consequence of the referential and indexical features of "tämä". The pronoun "tuo" also expresses referential openness, but it implies indexical symmetry. The pronoun "se" implies that the referent is known enough, and implies indexical symmetry. When used spatially, the pronouns may refer to a physical space or to a situation. They express or imply that the speaker is inside or outside the referent. The pronoun "tämä" implies inclusion, and the pronoun "tuo" expresses exclusion.
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© Helsingin yliopisto 2006
Viimeksi päivitetty 06.11.2006