Beneficiary coding in Finnish

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This paper examines the beneficiary coding in (Standard) Finnish. Finnish has an elaborate system of coding benefaction. Finnish uses two cases (allative and ablative) for this, in addition to which benefaction can be coded by an array of postpositions. As will be shown in the paper, the markers are not in free variation, but formal variation has a semantic basis. For example, the three types of beneficiaries (plain beneficiary, deputative beneficiary and recipient-benefactive) distinguished by Van Valin & LaPolla (1997) are relevant to beneficiary coding in Finnish. In addition, I will discuss beneficiary coding in light of other features, such as animacy, volition and transitivity of the denoted event.


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