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>I think the best way to look at it is to consider:
>mutta=but
>vaan=but on the contrary
>
>following an affirmative clause the difference is not
>very noticeable.
>
>following a negative clause, mutta indicates a concessive
>alternative whereas vaan indicates the complete opposite
>
>Examples:
>
>En ole sairas, mutta heikko olen.
>I am not sick, but I am weak.
>
>En ole sairas, vaan aivan terve.
>I am not sick, but (on the contrary) am quite well.
>
>This is why I wrote that it depended on the degree of contrast.
>
>H.Ensle

I think I see what you mean. However, using "vaan" to join affirmative 
clauses still sounds wrong to me; I don't think it's standard Finnish, or 
part of any major dialect either, which is why I wrote it's only used in 
"not A but B".

John Vertical