eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
SINCE 1965
Linguistica Uralica cover
Linguistica Uralica
ISSN 1736-7506 (Electronic)
ISSN 0868-4731 (Print)
Concerning the Relationship of the Comitative construction to the Coordinating Construction in Estonia; pp. 97-107
PDF | doi:10.3176/lu.2008.2.02

Mati Erelt
In many languages the comitative construction expressing the relation of accompaniment has developed or is developing into the coordinating construction. In Estonian the accompaniment comitative occurs as a verbal adjunct, e.g. Jüri läks (koos) Marega kinno ’Jüri went to the cinema with Mare’. However, the beginnings of coordination are evident in those constructions where a comitative-marked NP precedes the verb, immediately following the primary NP (i.e. the constituent that occupies a higher position in the hierarchy of grammatical relations than the comitative-marked NP), e.g. Peaminister NN (koos) abikaasaga jõuab tagasi visiidilt Soome ’Prime Minister NN with his spouse returns from a visit to Finland’. At first the contact position highlights relatedness and is highly natural where phrases denote internally closely related concepts – semantically or culturally. At this initial stage of coordination the number of the verb still reflects the number of the nominative NP, but occasional examples of a plural verb with the contact comitative indicate that coordination could develop further. More syntactic and semantic properties of the coordinating construction are manifested in the inclusory comitative construction, that is, in the construction where the referent of a comitative-marked NP is among the referents of the primary constituent, e.g. Meie sinuga (= mina ja sina) käisime maal ’We with you (= me and you) visited the countryside’. At the same time the comitative constituent of the inclusory construction has in addition to the properties of the conjunct also some properties of the apposition (specifying the composition of the group) and the adjunct (can be placed after the verb). For this reason, this constituent cannot be classified in the traditional manner.

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