Rise and fall of the TAKE-future in written Estonian

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The paper presents an overview of the development of the Estonian take + Vinf1 construction from runic songs to modern Estonian, with an emphasis on the study of Old Written Estonian. Proceeding from construction grammar, grammaticalization theory and statistical corpus analysis we discuss three grammatical functions of the construction – aspect (volitional ingressive), agent-oriented modality and future. The main focus is on the vernacular usage of võtma ‘take’ in the Vinf1 construction as quasi-auxiliary of future in Old Written Estonian. In the 18th and 19th century the construction was widely used for expressing all three grammatical functions. By the 20th century its frequency had decreased considerably due to the prescriptive grammar approach and in modern Estonian the construction is no longer used for expressing future.


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