On distinguishing between ‘recipient’ and ‘beneficiary’ in Finnish

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Seppo Kittilä’s paper discusses the (formal and semantic) distinction between recipient and beneficiary in Finnish. The paper shows that the allative case is strongly associated with the notion of reception. This means that whenever a participant can be regarded as a recipient, the allative case is used in its encoding. The participant in question may also have beneficial traits, but if there is any reception involved, the allative case is used for its coding. On the other hand, Beneficiary coding (which uses different adpositions), is possible only if the notion of reception is lacking together and the participant in question is a pure beneficiary. This paper is of special interest to functional linguists and typologists working on similar phenomena in and across different languages.


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