Symposium B1: Cognitive linguistic investigations in Finno-Ugric languages

Organiser: Tuomas Huumo

Tuesday, August 23 – Wednesday, August 24, Dept. of English and American Studies (Anglistik)

(Original symposium call)

Tuesday 10:00–12:00: Grammar and construal 1 (chair: Szilárd Tátrai)


László Palágyi & Gábor Tolcsvai Nagy:

Motion and temporality in Hungarian futó ‘running’ participle

The aim of the research is to broaden our current knowledge on Hungarian present participle construction by examining instantiations of futó ’running’ participle. We also deal with the integration of lexical and constructional meaning from a theoretical point of view. The corpus-based study investigates spatial and/or temporal profile of futó in correlation with its nominal head and further modifiers. At the same time, the research focuses on how to describe the participle’s role in temporality as well as in factive and fictive motion (Talmy 2000) and points out that – despites Langacker (2008) – it demands a specific type of sequential scanning, more precisely, the imaginative mental simulation of dynamic 'subjective motion' (Langacker 2012). In addition, we examine functional variants of futó since it can be characterised by typical conceptual metaphorical extensions by which it contributes to cultural schemas.

Langacker, Ronald W. 2008. Cognitive Grammar. A Basic Introduction. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Langacker, Ronald W. 2012. Linguistic manifestations of the space-time (dis)analogy. In: Filipovic, Luna – Jaszczolt, Kasia M. (eds.): Space and Time in Languages and Cultures. Language, culture, and cognition. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 191–215.

Talmy, Leonard 2000. Toward a Cognitive Semantics. Volume I. Concept Structuring Systems. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.


Nóra Kugler & Gábor Simon:

Who can see, and what can be seen? 

The talk deals with the comparison of Hungarian verbal and -ó/-ő participle (PTCP) constructions of the perception and mental verb lát (‘see; understand’). The overall aim of the study is to explore the potential differences between construing a process with a verb or with a participle. Hungarian PTCP’s of the form V-ó/-ő typically have an active meaning, and inherit the polysemic character, as well as the argument structure construction of the verb. The phenomenon’s variability is demonstrated by a corpus study, based on a 200-token sample of verbal constructions and all occurrences of látó PTCP in the Hungarian National Corpus.

Special attention is paid to the type and frequency of 1) the profiled process of V/PTCP (visual perception; the state of having visual capacity; having visions; complex mental process etc.; releasing visual effect, e.g. ‘reflector that can see to the side’); 2) the trajector (Experiencer) (and its relation to the profiled process of the clause), e.g. animated > human (sensory organs, mental functions etc.); non-human (artifacts etc.), 3) the landmark (‘what can be seen’, and other landmarks).

We interpret the emergent meaning of the constructions as guided by a complex schematization process which makes varied instantiations possible (e.g. tájfunt ritkán látó vidék lit. ‘countryside that sees typhoon rarely’). Employing the control cycle model of Cognitive Grammar (Langacker 2016), we propose a comprehensive account for the emergent (and extended) meaning of the construal of verb phrases, PTCP phrases and PTCP-initial compounds (e.g. a csörgőkígyó alig lát két szemével ‘the rattlesnake can hardly see with its eyes’; jónak lát ‘she finds it good’; látóképesség ‘see.ptcp-capacity; visual capacity’; mesterséges látórendszer ‘see.ptcp-system’ artificial seeing system; látókövek ‘see.ptcp-stones; viewpoint on a hill’; látófa ‘see.ptcp-tree; tree serving as a viewpoint’).


Langacker, Ronald W.2016. Baseline and elaboration. Cognitive Linguistics 27(3): 405‒439.

San Roque, Lila – Kendrick, Kobin H. – Norcliffe, Elisabeth – Majid, Asifa 2018. Universal meaning extensions of perception verbs are grounded in interaction. Cognitive Linguistics 29(3): 371–406.


Réka Zayzon:

Up and down the Selkup Language Corpus. Linguistic representation of concepts related to the vertical axis by verb particles and directional adverbs in Selkup

Due to the ubiquitous nature of gravitation on the surface of our planet, the vertical axis is definite at every point on earth, furthermore, it is anchored in the equilibrium sense in human physiology. Therefore, the vertical axis may be regarded as absolute for spatial orientation.1 This might be the reason that directional spatial expressions (adverbs, verb particles) related to this axis are most common in various linguistic representations, including metaphoric. This paper follows a cognitive approach giving a systematic overview of such linguistic representations in Selkup dialects, based on the usages of adverbs and verb particles meaning ʻupʼ and ʻdownʼ.

The respective Selkup lexemes represent old (PS/?PU) vocabulary: innä < PS *i(-) (sk) ~ *ni ʻGipfel, das Obereʼ (adv., postp.) (SW: 26) and illä < PS *ilә ʻBoden, das Untereʼ (auch adv., postp.) (SW: 24). The corpus-based study explores language data provided in the Selkup Language Corpus (Budzisch et al. 2019), complemented by additional information found in specialist literature (Bykonja-Bekker 1980, Helimski 1983, Janurik 1977-78). It also makes an attempt to delimit linguistic representations that tend to be universal (or, at least, are common in many different languages that are not related genetically), and such that tend to be language specific (or, at least, could be good candidates for representing areal features).

I. The basic function of the adverbs ʻupʼ and ʻdownʼ is denoting motion in space along the vertical axis. The motion may be projected to both the vertical and the horizontal axis; the prominence of the vertical axis may vary on a scale, being most prominent in expressions such as illä alʼčɨ-/pɨŋgәl- ʻfall down ́, innä wätʼtʼi- ʻlift upʼ; illä tʼötʼöu- ʻclimb downʼ, innä nɨll- ʻstand upʼ, less prominent in qәnpa kɨ-š šüː-mɨt ınnä ʻgo up the riverʼ, and even negligible in ʻbring onto a surface – bring off a surfaceʼ, e.g. ʻput on – take off (clothes) ʼ, innä tottɨ- ʻwind up (a rope)ʼ. Combinations of a base verb and adverb/verb particle may lexicalize in specific meanings: innä wәšɨ- ʻget up ́; illä ɔlːʼčʼɨ- ʻlay downʼ > ʻgo to sleepʼ; illä omtɨ-ltɨ- ʻsit.down-TR > put so. to jailʼ; illä ütːɨ- ʻdown let.go > burryʼ, illä meː- ʻmake down > burryʼ.

II. Spatial concepts involving the vertical axis may be used metaphorically, being transposed in following domains:

a) open: up – close: down (from concrete to abstract metaphoric dimension): illä taqɨ- ʻclose (ex. tent door, shop, mouth)ʼb) temporal dimension: start: up – end: down (illä qәː- ʻfinishʼ, illä ute-r- ʻstopʼ; illä ütːɨ- ʻsendʼ > ʻlet or set freeʼ; upcoming of a certain or time period);c) brightness, light: up – darkness: down (conditioned by the concrete phenomenon of the solar trajectory from an earth-centered perspective): innä čʼelːɨ-nʼ- ʻbecome dayʼ; illä lɨpqɨ- ʻget darkʼ, illäqap- ʻblow out (a lamp)ʼ;d) consciousness: up – unconsciousness: down (illä qonta- ʻfall asleepʼ, innä qәn-, innä šittɨ- ʻwake upʼ; innä kә- ʻcome to one ́s sensesʼ);f) temperature, warm: up – cold: down: illä qantɨ- ʻfreezeʼ (however in illä čʼu- ʻmelt downʼ the concept is based on the direction of the melting water).g) freedom is associated with ʻupʼ and boundedness with ʻdownʼ: illä sɔrːɨ- ʻbindʼ;h) life and death are also aligned along the vertical axis: illä qәtt- ʻkillʼ, illä qәtt-ɔlː- ʻhit-MOMʼ; illä qu- ʻdieʼ, mitɨ qu-r-mo-n nɔ-ːnɨ ınnä šıŋ iː-ŋä-ntɨ ʻas if you pulled me (up) out of the deathʼ;

Following semantic domains that are typical for applying the concepts ʻupʼ and ʻdownʼ as scale poles in various languages, were not (or at least not clearly) represented in the corpus: i) speed; j) emotions; k) evaluative meaning (c.f. Szilágyi N. 1996). However, as this might be due to the limited size of the corpus, they should be investigated on further material.

III. Verb particles may grammaticalize as aspectual markers. For both innä ʻupʼ and illä ʻdownʼ, there are some examples in the corpus that suggest that the adverb or verb particle is used in telicizing function: innä am- ʻeat upʼ, illä tәkk- ʻdry outʼ. However, the assumption that the Selkup adverbs/verb particles are used as markers of the perfective aspect as a rule (cf. e.g. Kiefer-Honti 2003), is not corroborated by the corpus data, therefore, further research seems expedient.


Alatalo, J. (2004): Sölkupisches Wörterbuch. Helsinki: SFU (Lexica Societatis Fenno-Ugricae, 30).Helsinki
Budzisch, J. – A. Harder – B. Wagner-Nagy (2019): Selkup Language Corpus (SLC). Archived in Hamburger Zentrum für Sprachkorpora. Version 1.0.0.; 2019-02-08.
Bykonja – Bekker (Eds.) (1980) = Быконя, В. В. – Беккер, Э. Г.: Глагольные префиксы в селькупском языке (Языки и Топонимия, 7) – Томск.
Bykonja (1984) = Быконя, В. В.: Структурно-семантическая характеристика локальных уточнителей в селькупском языке. Автореферат. Москва.
Gugán, Katalin (2013): Aspektus és akcióminőség a hantiban (szurguti nyelvjárás). Szeged.
Helimski, E. (Ed.) (1983): The language of the first Selkup books. Szeged.
Janhunen, J. (1977): Samojedischer Wortschatz: Gemeinsamojedische Etymologien. (Castrenianumin Toimitteita 17). Helsinki.
Janurik, T. (1977-1978): Die morphologischen Typen der Sölkupischen Postpositionen, Verbalpräfixe und Adverbien. In Néprajz és Nyelvtudomány XXII-XXIII.
Kiefer, F. – Honti, L. (2003): Verbal ‘prefixation’ in the Uralic languages. In Acta Linguistica Hungarica 50 (1-2), 137-153.
Poljakova (2006) = Полякова, Н. В.: Концепт "пространство" и средства его репрезентации в селькупском и русском языках. ТГПУ. Томск.
Szilágyi N., Sándor (1996): Hogyan teremtsünk világot? Rávezetés a nyelvi világ vizsgálatára. Erdélyi Tankönyvtanács, Kolozsvár.
Virtanen, Susanna (2013): Grammaticalized preverbs of aspect and their contributions to expressing transitivity in Eastern Mansi. In Nyelvtudományi Közlemények 109, pp. 109–122.

1 Disregarded non-canonical situations when objects with a remarkably longer dimension in the vertical axis than the other dimensions and being upright their standard position (e.g. a bottle or a pillar), are positioned in a non-upright position (are laying, not standing).


Mari Siiroinen:

Is there any future for Finnish language? The case of construction tulla + MA-infinitive as means of expressing future tense in Finnish

The traditional view is that there is no grammatical future tense in Finnish. Finnish speakers still speak about the future. There are diverse means for this like Karttunen (2018) shows in her dissertation. Karttunen’s data is from spoken language and especially from the eastern dialects. One of the traditionally listed means of referring to future is the verbal construction tulla 'come' + MA-infinitive. However, this construction does not really occur in Karttunen's data. The reason for this is that the construction is mostly used in written language.

An example of the consruction tulla + MA-infinitive is

Leena tule- e             pääse-mä-än      pitkä- lle.
Leena come- 3sg+pr  get- MA-Inf-ill     long- all
’Leena will get far away.’

Since the construction is not used in spoken language I will investigate when and where it is used in written language. I'll also try to make an overview how its usage has developed historically. It is thought that it found its way in the language through translation thus being a calque of e.g. Swedish language. I'll also try to catch the cognitive construal behind it.

Tuesday 13.30-15.00 Person and reference (chair: Minna Jaakola)


Renate Pajusalu, Helen Hint, Tiina Nahkola, Maria Reile & Piia Taremaa:


Referential devices in Estonian and Finnish in spatial and narrative contexts 

Referential forms - NPs, personal and demonstrative pronouns etc. - have various systems, functions and usage practices across languages and usage-contexts (e.g. Diessel 2006, Kibrik 2011, Levinson 2018, Talmy 2018).

In this presentation, we examine the similarities and differences between Estonian and Finnish referential systems. Two production experiments are designed and conducted to elicit the use of referential devices in two distinct linguistic contexts in both languages. The first experiment (“Narratives”) is a picture-sequence based narrative elicitation task: the participants are asked to tell a story based on the events performed by animate referents in picture-books. For the second experiment (“Houses”), we use physical setting where participants are asked to describe and compare three houses that they can see around them. Thus, we investigate how the same referential devices are used anaphorically in narrative context as well as during describing objects in spatial context.

Some conclusions drawn from results are as follows:
1) In “Houses”, the connection between the use of demonstratives and referent’s distance is stronger in Finnish. The change in the deictic field (i.e., introducing a new referent) increases the use of the distal demonstratives in referring to the two farther referents. This effect was not detected in Estonian.
2) In “Narratives”, Finnish and (less frequently) Estonian speakers use demonstratives for human referents. Both languages use similar patterns for personal pronouns and zero reference. Overt third person pronouns can be described as a default choice for anaphoric reference.
3) Overall, Finnish speakers tend to rely more on demonstratives than Estonian speakers. In Estonian, the speakers use third person pronouns more extensively. This suggests that demonstratives are more dominant in Finnish referential practices than in Estonian.
4) In narrative context, demonstratives functioning as article-like definite determiners are common in both languages. Estonian differs from Finnish in the more frequent usage of indefinite determiners (e.g. üks ‘one’).
5) In our sample, there is a greater variation between two languages in spatial context than in narrative context. We suggest that having more terms in the demonstrative pronouns system has an effect on the whole reference system - the more terms a language has, the less other referential devices (Bare NPs and relative clauses) are used by the speakers.

Diessel, H. 2006. Demonstratives, joint attention, and the emergence of grammar. Cognitive Linguistics 17(4)
Kibrik, A. A. 2011. Reference in discourse. Oxford University Press
Levinson, S. C. 2018. Introduction: Demonstratives: patterns in diversity. In S. C. Levinson, S.Cutfield, M.Dunn, N.Enfield & S.Meira (eds.), Demonstratives in cross-linguistic perspective, 1–42. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Talmy, L. 2018. The Targeting System of Language. Cambridge/Massachusetts: The MIT Press.


Bence Pomázi:

The person construal of ethical dative in Hungarian

Ethical dative is considered to be a function that is applied to personal pronouns. The presentation deals with the possible ways of person construal of this type of dative in Hungarian. According to Rácz and Szemere (1985: 86) the ethical dative in Hungarian occurs solely on the first person singular form of personal pronoun (cf. nekem ’me.dat’). According to Janda (1993) and Fried (2014), ethical dative in Czech occurs on the personal pronoun of the second person of singular. The common characteristic of the two is that they are figures involved in the discourse. That is why Fried (2014) calls it ’interactional dative’ and distinguishes it from ’semantic dative’.

The presentation supposes that the application of ethical dative is more extensive than being only applied to first person singular pronoun, and it shows how it can be used on pronouns marking the 2nd or 3rd person or on other lexical elements than pronouns. It presumes that the conceptualization of the ethical dative case is a matter of viewing arrangement (cf. Langacker 2008: 73). If the arrangement of the perspective changes, dative case can occur on other lexical elements than on the personal pronoun of the first person of singular. The presentation also attempts to disentangle the process of pragmaticalization (cf. Diewald 2011), and shows the path from the prototypical realizations of dative to the more abstract occurences of ethical dative. The presentation is based on corpus data from the HGC which makes it possible to reveal the construction-specific realizations of ethical dative constructions.

Keywords: ethical dative, dative case, perspective, person construal

Sources: HGC = Hungarian Gigaword Corpus v2.0.5.


Diewald, Gabriele 2011. Grammaticalization and pragmaticalization. In: Heine, Bernd – Narrog, Heiko (eds.): The Oxford handbook of grammaticalization. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 450–461.

Fried, Mirjam 2014. From semantic to interactional dative: a preliminary investigation. In: Martinková, Michaela – Janebová, Marketa – Macháček, Jaroslav (eds.): Categories and categorial changes: The third syntactical plan and beyond. Palacky University, Olomouk, 12–20.

Janda, Laura A. 1993. A geography of case semantics. The Czech dative and the Russian instrumental. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin – New York

Langacker, Ronald W. 2008. Cognitive grammar. A basic introduction. Oxford University Press, Oxford

Oravecz, Csaba – Váradi, Tamás – Sass, Bálint 2014. The Hungarian Gigaword Corpus. In: LREC 2014 Proceedings

Rácz Endre – Szemere Gyula 1985. Mondattani elemzések. Tankönyvkiadó, Bp.


Krisztina Laczkó & Szilárd Tátrai:

Deictic usages of third person and demonstrative pronouns in Hungarian

The presentation applies a functional cognitive perspective to the study of deixis. The latter is viewed as a linguistic operation that crucially involves the physical and social world of the intersubjective context in the meaning generation (cf. Verschueren 1999, Tátrai 2017). This is achieved by the use of context-dependent reference-points providing access to spatio-temporal and sociocultural relations in the referential situation (cf. Langacker 2002, Laczkó–Tátrai 2012).

Such an interpretation of deixis attaches special importance to both the embodied and the discursive grounding of deixis (cf. Sinha 1999, Tomasello 1999, Brisard 2002, Tártai 2017). On the one hand, it cannot be overlooked that speakers experience spatial and temporal relations from within their bodies, which motivates the use of spatial deixis as a metaphorical basis for expressing temporal, discourse, and social relations (Marmaridou 2000, Laczkó 2010, Laczkó–Tátrai 2014). On the other hand, however, deixis also presupposes social interaction. Therefore, its functioning can be best described in the context of an intersubjective act by which discourse participants direct and monitor each other’s attention (Tátrai 2017).

Against the background of these assumptions, the presentation aims to account for the characteristics of Hungarian deictic expressions, with special regard to personal pronouns (in the 3rd person) and demonstratives (proximal vs. distal), which do not belong to the prototipical deictic elements of their cathegory. A key feature of Hungarian is the lack of grammaticized distinctions for gender, so that 3SG ’he, she’ can refer to any subject (human entity) outside of the speech event. By contrast, objects (non-human entities) are prototypically signalled by the az ’that’ and ez ’this’ demonstrative pronouns encoding spatial distance and proximity, respectively.

However, the borders can be crossed in both directions. Firstly, demonstrative pronouns can refer to persons outside of the speech event, in which case proximal pronouns may signal positive social attitude (rather than spatial proximity), with their distal counterparts having a negative connotation. Secondly, personal pronouns in the third person may also be applied to non-human entities (pets or even physical objects), often as a way to express social attitude.

The investigation is based on the Hungarian National Corpus available online at 

Brisard, Frank 2002. Introduction: The epistemic basis of deixis and reference. In: Brisard, Frank (ed.): Grounding. The epistemic footing of deixis and reference. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter. xi–xxxiv.
Laczkó, Krisztina 2010. Demonstrative pronouns in spatial deixis, discourse deixis, and anaphora. Acta Linguistica Hungarica, Vol. 57 (1). 99–118.
Laczkó Krisztina – Tátrai Szilárd 2012. Személyek és/vagy dolgok. A harmadik személyű és a mutató névmási deixis értelmezéséhez [Persons and/or things – subjects and/or objects. On third person and demonstrative pronouns as deictic expressions]. In: Tátrai Szilárd – Tolcsvai Nagy Gábor (eds.): Konstrukció és jelentés [Construction and meaning]. Budapest: Tinta. 231–258.
Langacker, Ronald W. 2002. Deixis and subjectivity. In: Brisard, F. (szerk.): Grounding. The epistemic footing of deixis and reference. Berlin, New York: Mouton. 1–28.
Marmaridou, Sophia S. 2000. Pragmatic meaning and cognition. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Sinha, Chris 1999. Grounding, mapping and acts of meaning. In: Janssen, T. – Redeker, G. (szerk.): Cognitive linguistics: foundations, scope and methodology. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 223–255.
Tátrai Szilárd 2017. Pragmatika [Pragmatics]. In: Tolcsvai Nagy Gábor (ed.): Nyelvtan. [Grammar]. Budapest: Osiris. 898–1057.
Tomasello, Michael 1999. The cultural origins of human cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Verschueren, Jef 1999. Understanding Pragmatics. London: Arnold.

Tuesday 15.30-17.00 Aspect and quantification (chair: Renate Pajusalu)


Tiina Onikki-Rantajääskö:


Constructions of continuous aspect in Finnish: Contextual comparison 

In this paper, contextual functions of different predications construing continuous aspect in Finnish will be handled comparing contextual tendencies between predicates. The hypothesis concerning the division-of-labour between different types of predicates are formed on the basis of my earlier studies (e.g. 2001, 2005, 2006), which compared predicates denoting a posture with three stems: istu- ‘sit’, maka- ‘lie’, and seiso- ‘stand’ forming different predicates such as

1.(hän) istuu lit. ‘s/he sits’,

(hän on) istumassa 3sg be+3sg sit-INF-INE ‘s/he is sitting’,

(hän on) istuallaan 3sg be+3sg sit-ADE-PX ‘s/he is sitting/in a sitting posture’

(hän on) istuvassa asennossa 3sg be+3sg sit-pctp-INE posture+INE ‘s/he is in a sitting posture’

(hän on) istunut 3sg be+3sg sit-pctp ’s/he has been sitting’

Earlier findings indicate differences on four levels: constructions and clause structure, agentivity and contextual functions. On the basis of the findings in the electronic corpora of the Language Bank of Finland, I will refine the preliminary results and hypothesis concerning the contextual tendencies of the meaning organization, that is construal in Cognitive Grammar, of different constructions of continuous aspect in Finnish. The hypothesis will also be tested against wider range of stative verbs.


Ayano, Seiki 1998: The Progressive in Japanese and Temporal Advancement in Narrative. – Belgian Journal of Linguistics (BJL) 12: 1-19.
Bertinetto, Pier Marco & Karen H. Ebert & Casper de Groot 2000: The progressive in Europe. – Dahl, Östen (ed.), Tense and aspect in the languages of Europe pp. 517–558. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Dowty, D. 1986: The effects of aspectual class on the temporal structure of discourse: Semantics or pragmatics? – Linguistics & Philosophy 9(1): 37–62.
Heinämäki, Orvokki 1995: The progressive in Finnish: Pragmatic constraints. – Bertinetto, Pier Marco & Valentina Bianchi & Östen Dahl & Mario Squartini (eds.), Temporal reference, aspect, and actionality. Vol 2: Typological perspectives pp. 143–154. Torino: Rosenberg & Sellier.
Hatcher, Anna Granville 1951: The use of progressive form in English. – Language 27: 254-280.
Langacker, Ronald W. 1991: Concept, image and symbol. The cognitive basis of grammar. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Pajunen, Anneli 2001: Argumenttirakenne – asiaintilojen luokitus ja verbien käyttäytyminen suomen kielessä. Helsinki: SKS.
Tamm, Anne 2011: Cross-categorial spatial case in the Finnic non-finite system: focus on the absentive TAM semantics and pragmatics of the Estonian inessive m-formative non-finites. – Linguistics 94 (4).
Tommola, Hannu 2000: Progressive aspect in Baltic Finnic. – Dahl, Östen (ed.), Tense and aspect in the languages of Europe pp. 655–692. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.


Tuomas Huumo:


What degree modifiers reveal about the semantics of Finnish quantifiers (and vice versa) 

Degree modifiers (DM) are scalar expressions that modify other words, typically adjectives and adverbs, and relate their meaning to a scale. Some DMs indicate an open scale, e.g. the Finnish hiukan ‘somewhat’, hyvin ‘very’, erittäin ‘extremely’, while others express a bounded scale, e.g. melkein ‘almost’ and täysin ‘completely’ (see Paradis 1997; 2001; Kennedy & McNally 2005).

In my presentation I outline a Cognitive Grammar account of the compatibility of DMs and quantifiers in Finnish. In general, DMs are compatible with quantifiers, since the latter also express scalar meanings related to a scale of quantity. Quantifiers typically measure masses (‘a lot of milk’) or discrete entities (‘many books’; see Langacker 2016). I focus on two main classes of Finnish quantifiers: mass quantifiers such as vähän ‘[a] little’, paljon ‘a lot of’ or tarpeeksi ‘enough’, which quantify substances (expressed by mass nouns or plurals), and number quantifiers such as usea ‘many’, muutama ‘several; a couple of’, or harva ‘few’ which quantify multiplicities of discrete entities. The scale of quantity can be conceptualized as bounded or unbounded. For instance, the quantifier vähän ‘little’ gives a negative scalar assessment of a quantity that approaches the boundary of zero, while its antonym paljon ‘a lot of’ gives a positive assessment of an increasing quantity with no upper boundary. This difference has an effect on their compatibility with DMs: for example, the closed-scale DM aivan (‘quite’) is compatible with vähän ‘little’ but not with paljon ‘a lot of’: aivan vähän is felicitous while ?aivan paljon is not (cf. Jantunen 2004).

In more general terms, there are quantifiers that allow DMs and others that reject them. More commonly, though, the compatibility depends on the nature of the scalar meaning expressed by both. Well-formed combinations include hyvin usea(t) ‘very’ + ‘many’, melko paljon ‘rather’ + ‘a lot of’, melkein tarpeeksi ‘almost’ + ‘enough’, and aivan harva ‘quite’ + ‘few’. By contrast, the combinations *melkein usea ‘almost’ + ‘many’, *hyvin tarpeeksi ‘very’ + ‘enough’, *melko muutama ‘rather’ + ‘a couple of’, or *aivan paljon ‘quite’ + ‘a lot of’, are ill-formed. My main argument will be that the nature of the scale (open or closed) evoked by a DM correlates with the boundedness of the quantity expressed by a quantifier , and that the direction of the scale follows the direction of scanning evoked by the quantifier.


Jantunen, J. 2004: Minulla on aivan paljon rahaa – Fraseologiset yksiköt suomen kielen opetuksessa. Virittäjä 113 (3), 356–381.
Kennedy, C. and McNally, L. 2005. Scale structure and the semantic typology of gradable predicates. Language 81: 345–381.
Langacker, R. W. 2016. Nominal grounding and English quantifiers. Cognitive Linguistic Studies 3(1). 1–31.
Paradis, C. 2001. Adjectives and boundedness. Cognitive Linguistics 12: 47–64.


Gábor Tolcsvai Nagy:


Aspect in Hungarian motion and posture verbs 

The presentation focuses on the dynamic aspectual nature of basic Hungarian verbs of motion and quasi posture. Aspect is construed in Hungarian on two, harmonized levels.

(i) Lexical aspect shows the imperfect – perfect distribution (e.g. megy ‘go’, imperfect – elmegy ‘go away’ perfect, ül ‘sit’ imperfect – leül ‘sit down’ perfect), with the unbounded or bounded nature of inherent temporality (the processed sequence of present points) and the path, whereby the verbal prefix expresses direction as ‘subjective motion’ by serial imaginative simulation, fitting to the temporal and event structure of the main verb.

(ii) The aspectual content of the lexical verb is adjusted to the more complex semantic structure of the clause mainly by tense, i.e. epistemic grounding (with present and past), also by temporal and spatial adverbials or word order in a complex network of varieties.

Three main construction schemas emerge this way: perfective (the prototypical schema is perfective verb + past tense), continuous (the prototypical schema is imperfective verb + present tense) and generic (generic present tense). Also, further frequent regular varieties (e.g. perfective verb + present tense, turning the main verb into imperfective) concerning the event structure (e.g. the manner or duration of motion or posture) and the schematic figures trajector and landmark are identified.

The aspectual character of motion and posture verbs are basically similar, but quasi posture verbs have an open end phase in most aspectual forms. The verbs and the clause constructions are investigated in relation to satellite framing, manner salience, path types, temporal and event structure, and processing modes (subjective motion, imaginative mental simulation). The research is completed on corpus data from the Hungarian National Corpus.


Gibbs, Raymond W. – Matlock, Teenie 2008. Metaphor, imagination, and simulation: Psycholinguistic evidence. In Gibbs, Raymond W., Jr. (ed.) 2008. The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 161–176.

Goschler, Juliana – Stefanowitsch, Anatol (eds.) 2013. Variation and Change in the Encoding of Motion Events. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Ibarretxe-Antunano, Iraide (ed.) 2017. Motion and Space across Languages. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Langacker, Ronald W. 2012. Linguistic manifestations of the space-time (dis)analogy. In: Filipovic, Luna – Jaszczolt, Kasia M. (eds.): Space and Time in Languages and Cultures. Language, culture, and cognition. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 191–215.

Pöppel, Ernst 1997. The Brain's Way to Create "Nowness". In: Atmanspacher, Harald – Ruhnau, Eva (eds.): Time, Temporality, Now. Experiencing Time and Concepts of Time in an Interdisciplinary Perspective. Berlin: Springer. 107 – 120.



Wednesday 10.00-12.00 Grammar and construal 2 (chair: Tiina Onikki-Rantajääskö)


Ilona Tragel & Kairit Tomson: 

Causality in Estonian: -ki/-gi clitic in a realization phase of the causative event

Causality is considered one of the basic cognitive domains. Linguists have dealt with causality in different aspects, for instance grammaticalization of specific verbs and typology of causatives in a sense of their form and meaning.

Our presentation focuses on the realization phase of the causative event in Estonian. We present the results of the experiment with 32 Estonian speaking participants in which each participant was asked to give a description of the video clips about causal situation. The clips come from the project Causality Across Languages (Bellingham et al, under review). The results of the narrative description task showed the patterns of how Estonian speakers tend to express (or not explicitly express) the realization phase, as well as offered the list of other means of how causality was expressed.

One of the earlier results of the task indicated that Estonian speakers relatively often did not add the realization phase of the causative event into the description. The short utterances, such as for instance naine käsib mehel palli kasti visata ‘the woman asks the man to throw the ball into the box’ was frequently used. It shows that, in the case of narrative task, Estonian VV-construction with INF1 and the finite verbs such as for example käskima and paluma already includes the realization meaning. (about construction grammar see e.g. Goldberg 1995)

As the focus of our talk, we look at the use of the clitic -ki/-gi in the explicitly expressed realization phase. The use of the -gi clitic is quite productive among Finno-Ugric languages (Alvre 1980). We discuss about the reasons of why the clitic -ki/-gi in the context of causality related narratives is used:

Naine käsi-b mehe-l pall-i kast-i visa-ta
Woman ask-3SG man-ADE ball-GEN box-ILL throw-INF-1

ja mees viska-b-ki pall-i kast-i.
and man does throw-3SG--ki clitic ball-GEN box-ILL

‘The woman asks the man to throw the ball into the box and the man does throw the ball into the box.’

One of the assumptions is that the clitic -ki/-gi expresses that someone has acted in a way that was expected the most. The clitic -ki/-gi is used also in other contexts for example to refer that speaker’s hope or promise that the action expressed in the clause takes place.


Alvre, Paul 1980. gi-liitelisist pronoomeneist. – Keel ja Kirjandus 9, 539–543.
Bellingham, E., Evers, S., Kawachi, K., Mitchell, A., Park, S., Stepanova, A., & J. Bohnemeyer. (Under review). Exploring the representation of causality across languages: integrating production, comprehension and conceptualization perspectives. In E. Siegal & N. Boneh (eds.), Papers from Linguistic perspectives on causation. Springer.
Goldberg, Adele E. 1995. Constructions: A Construction Grammar Approach to Argument Structure. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.


Gábor Simon & Tímea Borbála Bajzát:


Metaphor identification in Hungarian and Finnish texts – a language-specific methodological adaptation and its preliminary results

The paper is organized around the following questions: (i) how can we adapt the MIPVU method (Seen et al. 2011) for an agglutinative languages like Hungarian and Finnish; (ii) how can we refine the original method in order to explore the structural features of metaphoric expressions in these languages; (iii) how can we implement the adapted method on Webanno online annotation system; (iv) are there any similarity between the types of Hungarian and Finnish metaphorical expressions.

The paper details the process of adapting MIPVU for Hungarian (Simon et al. 2019), demonstrating its applicability in a small-scale research corpus. Moreover, also the improvement of online metaphor annotation is discussed in the presentation, including the annotation of Finnish data as well.
The analyses of the annotated metaphoric structures clearly show that both verb–argument structures, inflectional constructions and verbs with metaphoric preverbal suffix are frequent in the Hungarian corpus, whereas individual metaphoric expressions or nominal possessive constructions are relatively rare. Thus, metaphor in Hungarian is not an isolated expression, but rather an extended semantic construction initiating different semantic relations (e.g. trajector and landmark specification, meaning extension or possessive relation) in the process of the dynamic generation of meaning. From this perspective it is worth investigating whether there are similar tendencies in Finnish. Relying upon the adapted method, the paper focuses on metaphorical expressions organized around verbs, exploring the typical argument structure of these metaphorical structures in both languages.

Simon Gábor – Bajzát Tímea – Ballagó Júlia – Havasi Zsuzsanna – Roskó Mira – Szlávich Eszter 2019. Metaforaazonosítás magyar nyelv szövegekben: egy módszer adaptálásáról. [Metaphor Identification in Hungarian Texts: On a Methodological Adaptation.] Magyar Nyelvőr 143: 2. (in press)
Steen, Gerard J. ‒ Dorst, Aletta G. ‒ Herrmann, Berenike J. ‒ Kaal, Anna A. ‒ Krennmayr, Tina ‒ Pasma, Trijntje 2011. A Method for Linguistic Metaphor Identification. From MIP to MIPVU. John Benjamins. Amsterdam, Philadelphia




Minna Jaakola & Nóra Kugler:


Construing individual and shared access via Finnish and Hungarian epistemic-evidential adverbs 

The category of Finnish and Hungarian epistemic-evidential expressions include series of deverbal adverbs, for example tudhatóan ’sg can be known’, köztudottan ’generally, widely known’, feltehetőleg ’presumably’; tietääkseni ’to my knowledge’, luullakseni ’I suppose’, tiettävästi ’as far as is known’, luultavasti ’presumably’. These series illustrate the derivational and inflectional system characteristic of both languages: in addition to the verb stems, the different morphological constructions contribute to the emergence of evidential/inferential meaning of these lexemes. The talk focuses on the productive patterns of adverbs derived from cognition verbs (e.g. ’know; suppose’). Our analyses illustrate how the epistemic and evidential meanings of these adverbs evolve as an integration of the meaning of the verb and the derivational and inflectional schemas. These constructions differ in what type of access to the knowledge is construed (shared or individual, cf. Squartini 2008), and also in the way of construal of this perspective: whether the speaker or other possible mental agents (as the subjects of consciousness) remain implicit in the background (subjectified), or are they construed explicitly (objectivized) (cf. Langacker 2006, 2008, Pelyvás 2006).

Keywords: epistemic-evidential adverbs, morphological constructions, epistemic access, intersubjectivity, subjectification


Langacker, R. W. 2006. Subjectification, grammaticization, and conceptual archetypes. In Athanasiadou, A. & Canakis, C. & Cornillie, B. (eds.): Subjectification. Various Paths to Subjectivity. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 17–40.

Langacker, R. 2008. Cognitive Grammar. A basic introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pelyvás, Péter 2006. Subjectification in (expressions of) epistemic modality and the development of the grounding predication. In Athanasiadou, A. & Canakis, C. & Cornillie, B. (eds.): Subjectification. Various Paths to Subjectivity. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter. 121–150.

Squartini, Mario 2008. Lexical vs. Grammatical evidentiality in French and Italian. Linguistics 46(-5): 917–947.


Elsi Kaiser:

Reconciling pretense and doubt: The Finnish dubitative marker muka 

Evidentiality conveys information about the nature of the information source (e.g. Aikhenvald’07). Since information sources differ in their strength/reliability (e.g. visual, hearsay), evidentials also affect a speaker’s level of commitment to the proposition (e.g. Faller’02). To better understand the linguistic encoding of level of commitment, I use corpus data to investigate the Finnish dubitative particle muka (‘supposedly, allegedly, as if’). Muka signals the speaker’s level of commitment to a proposition (e.g. Kangasniemi’92, Kuiri’84, Nordlund & Pekkarinen’14). Prior work has identified two seemingly distinct uses of muka. However, I propose these two uses can be unified, yielding a more uniform meaning of the dubitative marker.

USE#1 Expressing doubt. Kangasniemi‘94 (i.a.) notes that muka signals the speaker received the information from someone else and doubts its truth/does not agree with it:

(1) Liisa asuu muka Lahdessa.
Liisa MUKA lives in Lahti
‘It has been claimed that Liisa lives in Lahti but I doubt this’

USE#2 Intentional pretense. Muka also has a use where the speaker says something that s/he knows to be false but someone (the speaker and maybe others) pretends to be true. This covers make-believe contexts involving children’s play (2a), and contexts where a person pretends something and hopes others will think it is real (2b).

(2a) Nyt hän on muka lentokone. (child playing; Kangasniemi’92:209)
Now s/he is MUKA airplane
‘Now s/he is pretending to be an airplane.’

(2b) Katselin muka näyteikkunoita (www)
Looked-at-1st MUKA shop-windows
‘I pretended to look at shop windows.’

My claim: While these two meanings of muka have largely been treated as distinct in prior work, I use corpus data to show that they can be unified if we conceptualize the meaning of muka as consisting of two components:

First, one component is the epistemic dubitative contribution: Muka signals that proposition p is not part of the set of things that speaker X believes (cf. Schenner/Sauerland‘13 on Bulgarian). The second component is that muka signals that there exists a person Y who said/conveyed proposition p. This stems from the fact that, on the doubt use, muka is not felicitious with out-of-the-blue propositions. (If no one has said/indicated anything about L. living in Lahti, (1) is infelicitous.) Here, muka expresses doubt about a proposition already introduced by someone else.

How does this approach unify the doubt use and pretense use of muka? I propose that both uses share the same two meaning components, but crucially differ in whether the person who does not believe proposition p (person X) is the same person who says/conveys proposition p (person Y). On the doubt use, X and Y are different people. On the pretense use, X and Y are the same person. This straightforwardly captures both the intentional pretense and doubt usages of muka.

This work provides a new analysis of dubitative muka and offers a uniform account of its two meanings.