The division of labour between synonymous locative cases and adpositions
In Estonian the location of one object placed on top of another object may be expressed using either the adessive case construction or the adpositional construction with the postposition <i>peal</i> ‘on’. This paper addresses the question which semantic factors determine the use of these alternative constructions. For this purpose two linguistic tasks were conducted – a forced choice task and a production task. The results of these studies indicate that there are differences in how these two constructions are used in Estonian: the adessive is used when there is an abstract relation between Trajector and Landmark and the Landmark is a place; the adposition <i>peal</i> ‘on’ is used when there is an unconventional spatial relation between Trajector and Landmark and when the Landmark is a thing.