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Folia Linguistica

Acta Societatis Linguisticae Europaeae

Editor-in-Chief: Fischer, Olga / Norde, Muriel

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Volume 48, Issue 1


Bipositions and motion events: How verb semantics motivates prepositional vs. postpositional uses of Finnish path adpositions

Kersten Lehismets
Published Online: 2014-06-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/flin.2014.004


Finnish is one of the relatively few languages that have bipositions - adpositions that can be used both prepositionally and postpositionally. From a typological point of view, the class of bipositions is quite rare (Hagège 2010: 124). Prepositional and postpositional usages of Finnish bipositions may show remarkable differences, which are not only of stylistic but also of semantic nature. Semantic differences, for instance, may pertain to the opposition between actual and subjective motion. In this article, I discuss constructions containing the Finnish path adpositions (P-ADPs) läpi ‘through’ and yli ‘over, across’ and investigate the semantics of the verbs used in these constructions. I show that semantically more schematic motion verbs prefer postpositions, whereas more specific or contentful ones (such as those that elaborate the motion by emphasizing its incrementality or lack of directionality) prefer prepositions

Keywords: Cognitive Grammar; Finnish; bipositions; path; fictive motion

About the article

Published Online: 2014-06-28

Published in Print: 2014-05-01

Citation Information: Folia Linguistica, Volume 48, Issue 1, Pages 85–118, ISSN (Online) 1614-7308, ISSN (Print) 0165-4004, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/flin.2014.004.

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© 2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

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