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Person in Finnish

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Abstract

The paper by Marja-Liisa Helasvuo and Lea Laitinen provides an overview to person marking in Finnish. It aims to contribute to resolving some of the long-standing confusions surrounding how person has been dealt with in Finnish grammar. In Finnish, the predicate verb agrees with the subject in person (1<sup>st</sup>, 2<sup>nd</sup> and 3<sup>rd</sup>) and number (singular : plural). The verb thus shows the same person as the nominal subject, and there&#173;fore, the nominal and the verbal person marking systems have usually not been discussed separately in Finnish linguistics (see for example Sulkala and Karja&#173;lainen 1992, Hakulinen and Karlsson 1979). Helasvuo and Laitinen show, however, that in colloquial varieties of Finnish the coding of person is more complicated. The verbal and nominal person marking systems intersect, but not in the straightforward manner assumed in mainstream Finnish linguistics. The connections between the two form an intricate network. Helasvuo and Laitinen demonstrate that the verbal person marking is not copied from the subject pronoun in a mechanical way, nor is the personal pronoun redundant. They therefore find it useful to present the nominal and verbal person marking systems as two different paradigmatic systems. They also discuss how the two systems interrelate on the syntagmatic level.

References

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