The (non-)prototypicality of Direction

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The present paper examines the coding of Direction in Finnish. It will deal with both typical and less typical instances of Direction in light of features, such as animacy, size of the landmark and the nature of the reference to the landmark. The paper pursues two goals. First, it will show that the coding of Direction in Finnish is determined by markedness. In other words, the coding of Direction can be explained by referring to the typical vs. atypical nature of Direction (which depends on the landmark in question), and more importantly, canonical instances bear less elaborate coding than non-canonical instances. In so doing, the paper sheds more light on the semantic role of Direction, i.e. the question what the features are that should be considered in the studies dealing with Direction. Second, the paper aims at contributing to our understanding of the differences between cases and adpositions. Cases and adpositions unarguably share common features, and both of them can be used to express similar functions (such as coding of semantic roles). However, they differ crucially from each other as regards their use as markers of Direction, as already hinted at above. Keywords: Finnish; allative; illative; directional cases; markedness


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