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Title: Demonstratives in Interaction: The Emergence of a Definite Article in Finnish
Written By: Ritva Laury
Series Title: Studies in Discourse and Grammar, 7

This book concerns one of the paradigm examples of grammaticalization, the development of a definite article from a demonstrative determiner. Although standard written Finnish has no articles, the demonstrative 'se' is currently emerging as a definite article in spoken Finnish. This book describes and explains the developing use of 'se' based on a database consisting of spoken narratives from three different periods spanning the last one hundred years. The author proposes that the development from demonstrative to article has its roots in the way that speakers ordinarily use demonstratives in conversation, and provides an analysis of the use of 'se' and the two other Finnish demonstratives, 'tama' and 'tuo' in a corpus of multi-party conversations, showing that speakers of Finnish use demonstratives to focus attention on important referents and to express and negotiate access to them in the interactive context of ongoing talk, and not primarily to talk about how near or far referents are. The development of se into a general marker of identifiability is shown to be connected with both the focusing function of demonstratives as well as its use for referents which the speaker considers accessible to the addressee.

Publication Year: 1997
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Subject Language(s): Finnish
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1556193734
ISBN-13: 9781556193736
Pages: 294
Prices: U.S. $ 155
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027226172
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 294
Prices: Hfl. 125