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Emakeele Seltsi aastaraamat
The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society
ISSN 2228-1215 (electronic)   ISSN 0206-3735 (print)

Emakeele Seltsi aastaraamat
The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society
ISSN 2228-1215 (electronic)   ISSN 0206-3735 (print)

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Vol. 62, Issue 1
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POLÜFUNKTSIONAALNE PIDAMA-VERB XVII SAJANDI KIRJAKEELES; pp. 38–61

(Full article in PDF format) http://dx.doi.org/10.3176/esa62.02


Authors

Külli Habicht, Külli Prillop

Abstract

The multifunctional verb pidama in 17th-century written Estonian

 The article deals with differences in form between the lexical and grammatical meanings of the verb pidama ‘keep; consider; must, have to’ in 17th-century Estonian. Our approach is usage-based, relying on material from the Corpus of Old Written Estonian. We focus on the usage of past tense forms of the polysemous verb pidama in 17th-century North Estonian texts. The aim is to explain the background of the divergence in form between the two meanings of pidama in use today, as well as the relationships between its modal meanings. We assume that the influential translated religious texts of the 17th century created a tradition of usage of frequently occurring morphosyntactic constructions, wherein the choice of form emerged from the vernacular.
The analysis reveals that the lexical and modal meanings of pidama were distinguished as early as in the first half of the 17th century. This especially concerns the simple past tense forms of the verb, in particular the form pidi, which has become clearly associated with modal meanings.
The construction consisting of the past tense form of pidama and a main verb typically in the ma-infinitive (a.k.a. supine) form performed different grammatical functions in 17th-century written Estonian. An influence of the text type can be seen in that the most common meaning associated with pidama constructions was predetermination. This meaning is also a bridging context between deontic (obligation/compulsion) and epistemic modal meanings. The epistemic usage, typical of past tense forms of pidama in the 17th-century written language, has been supported both in meaning and in form by the German subjunctive, which indicates contact-driven grammaticalization.
The past tense forms of the verb pidama indicate, in addition to the most frequent predetermination, also participant-external deontic possibility, epistemic necessity and possibility, and indirect evidentiality, which can be regarded as a post-modal meaning. The study reveals that the writers of the first half of the 17th century used authentic constructions to express modal and post-modal meanings, but gave their individual interpretations to these constructions.

Keywords

Old Written Estonian, morphosyntax, modality, evidentiality, grammaticalization, verb pidama, Estonian language

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Korpused

EMK = Eesti murrete korpus. http://www.murre.ut.ee/murdekorpus/.

ERLA = Eesti regilaulude andmebaas. Eesti Kirjandusmuuseumi Eesti Rahvaluule Arhiiv. http://www.folklore.ee/regilaul/andmebaas.

VAKK = Tartu Ülikooli vana kirjakeele korpus. http://www.murre.ut.ee/vakkur/Korpused.

 
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