Print

Print


The use of partitive for direct objects in the Finnic languages is best
described as telicity marking. Accusative objects are basically telic and
partitive objects atelic. Telicity, or the completeness of the action, is a
property of the whole verb phrase so it's equally natural to mark it on the
nouns or on the verb. The distinction between the perfective and
imperfective aspects comes close to the distinction between telic and
atelic and I can't claim to fully understand the difference between the two
oppositions.

   -Jyri



2014-05-14 11:58 GMT+03:00 Patrik Austin <[log in to unmask]>:

> Yeah, thanks everyone; it's been an interesting topic. I think Jeffrey
> explained the semantics quite neatly.
>
> Aspect is a really complex issue in language and it seems the
> (in)completeness can possibly be expressed by accusative/partitive OR
> absolutive/antipassive (?) in ergative-absolutive languages. I don't
> understand the latter well because I'm working on a minimalist model, and
> I'm not using it because it seems to demand an additional rule.
>
> But here's another couple of examples from Finnish:
>
> - To shoot someone: in PART you wound someone; in ACC you shoot someone to
> death.
> - To push someone: this works in PART, but if you put it in ACC, you'll
> normally have to continue the phrase, eg. 'push someone out (of somewhere)'.
>
> So the verb+accusative somehow changes the state of the object. That's why
> most verbs normally only ever use either partitive or accusative, such as
> 'Minä rakastan sinua' (I love you-PART). But honestly, if you can think of
> some words to add, to emphasize the change of state, you can use the ACC,
> at least in poetry: 'Rakastan sinut hengiltä' (I will love you-ACC dead);
> Rakastan sinut näännyksiin (I will love you-ACC exhausted) etc.
>