Departmental Bulletin Paper On the Reflexive Suffix and Its Predicative Function in Finnish

SAKUMA, Jun'ichi

12pp.15 - 22 , 2016-03 , School of Letters, Nagoya University
In the Finnish language a transitive predicate can be converted into an intransitive one by adding a so-called reflexive suffix expressing a reflexive relation. To indicate a reflexive relation, a reflexive pronoun is also available. However, a reflexive predicate is not a perfect equivalent to the corresponding transitive predicate followed by a reflexive pronoun. What is described in a sentence whose object is a reflexive pronoun is both a causal event and a resultant state. On the other hand, the description of a causal relationship is contracted in a sentence containing a reflexive predicate. Moreover, a semantic relation a reflexive predicate has with its subject and its complement varies. Considering various examples reveals that the predicative function of reflexive suffixes is not merely suppressing a causal event but also positively focusing on a resultant state, which is often desirable for an overt or a covert agent, if any.

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