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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton January 1, 2012

On gradualness of grammaticalization of desinential case exponents in Finno-Ugric languages

Robert Bielecki EMAIL logo

Abstract

The article aims to demonstrate the gradualness of grammaticalization of (what are traditionally regarded as) desinential case exponents in selected Finno-Ugric languages: Hungarian, Finnish and Estonian. Taking into consideration the specificity of the Finno-Ugric desinential case markers, the author develops a list of parameters which make it possible to fix the relative grade of grammaticalization of the analyzed linguistic entities. The computations show the heterogeneous and simultaneously dynamic nature of the desinential case category in each investigated language; one can trace in them the presence of more and less grammaticalized case endings which build up a kind of semi-continuum, i.e. there are no large gaps between different stages of grammaticalization. The diagram depicting the number of desinential cases occupying respective positions on the grammaticalization scale resembles the Gaussian distribution; i.e. the extrema are occupied by a relatively small number of cases, the majority of them being grouped in the middle of the scale.

Received: 2012-04-02
Revised: 2012-09-04
Accepted: 2013-01-23
Published Online: 2012
Published in Print: 2012

© Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland, 2012

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