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Exploring possibilities for a syntactic account for the Finnish -han enclitic

Jennimaria Palomaki

University of Georgia

Abstract

This paper explores a non-cartographic and a cartographic approach for the syntax of the Finnish –han enclitic. These sketches are based on an analysis which posits that -han is used as a particle that can mark topic, focus, and contrastive focus. It provides some background on the pragmatic uses of –han as well as an existing account for its syntax. –han is a particularly interesting target of study because it must be approached from a point of view that is concerned with the interface between discourse functions and syntax. The tentative proposal will be made that –han heads a functional phrase in the left periphery of the Finnish clause. This paper sketches out the implications of a non-cartographic approach to –han as well as the implications of a cartographic approach. Given the variety of uses of –han a strictly cartographic approach to the syntax of the Finnish clause necessarily assumes a highly articulated left periphery, which leads to the assertion that a non-cartographic approach may have benefits in simplifying the syntactic account for –han and similar phenomena.

 

Palomaki, Jennimaria. 2013. Exploring possibilities for a syntactic account for the Finnish -han enclitic. UGA Working Papers in Linguistics 2, The Linguistics Society at UGA: Athens, GA.

 

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