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Grammaticalisation of the Finnish stance adverbial <i>muka</i>, &#8216;as if, supposedly, allegedly&#8217;

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Abstract

This article discusses the evolution of the Finnish stance adverbial <i>muka</i>, &#8216;as if, allegedly, supposedly&#8217;, in light of diachronic corpus pragmatics. The particle <i>muka</i> currently always implies a dubitative stance adopted by the speaker, and it is used as an evaluative response to a former discourse. <i>Muka</i> appeared in written Finnish as late as in the nineteenth century, since it is an element that is typical of eastern dialects, while the earlier texts were mainly based on western dialects. Nineteenth-century corpora and dialect data from recorded interviews show that the current meanings of <i>muka</i> can be traced back to causal and reportative contexts. The article also demonstrates that a parallel analysis of both written and spoken data has methodological advantages especially with phenomena that are rather recent or pragmatically complicated.

References

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