eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society cover
The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society
Sise- ja väliskohakäänete kasutus määratlejaga nimisõnafraasides; pp. 120–150
PDF | 10.3176/esa67.07

Piia Taremaa, Helen Hint, Maria Reile, Renate Pajusalu

In this paper, we investigate the Estonian spatial cases by comparing the use of inner spatial cases (i.e., the in-cases) and outer spatial cases (i.e., the on-cases). We focus on two-word phrases in which a demonstrative pronoun or an adverb precedes the noun (e.g., selles/siin majas ‘in this house (here)’, sellel/siin lehel ‘on this page (here)’). The material is taken from the Estonian National Corpus 2017 and contains an equal number of sentences (N = 400) with the case forms of illative, additive, inessive, elative, allative, adessive, and ablative (2,800 sentences in total). In the analysis, we apply conditional random forests and inference trees to model the use of the spatial cases (inner vs. outer). The independent variables include variables of (i) noun semantics (e.g., concreteness, spatial meaning), frequency, length, stem vowel, (ii) verb semantics (concreteness and semantic class of the verb), frequency, and (iii) text type and sub-corpus (indicating the time period of the text). The multifactorial analysis shows that the choice of inner vs. outer case is primarily related to the concreteness of the noun. To a lesser extent, other semantic and formal features of the noun are also important. Furthermore, if the noun phrase contains a demonstrative pronoun as a determiner, the use of cases is predominantly associated with the semantic class of the verb and the spatial meaning of the noun. If the noun phrase contains a demonstrative adverb as a determiner, the use of cases is mainly associated with the concreteness of the noun and its stem vowel. Further studies are needed to investigate the use of spatial cases in broader contexts and by means of diverse methods.


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