Finnish Journal of Linguistics Suomen kielitieteellinen yhdistys en-US Finnish Journal of Linguistics 2814-4376 Reading Easy Language texts written by public authorities <p>Previous research has shown that word length, frequency and word repetition influence word reading times (Rayner 1998; 2009). Guidelines for Easy Language advise writers to use frequent and short words, and to repeat words instead of using synonyms. However, some of these guidelines are based on research that has been misinterpreted, simplified, or is outdated (Wengelin 2015), and studies focusing on effects of word length, frequency and word repetition among adult readers in the Easy Swedish target group are lacking. This eye-tracking study investigated the reading of Easy Language texts written by public authorities, as well as the effects of word length, frequency, and word repetition on readers in a day centre for people with intellectual disabilities. The results showed significant effects for word length and frequency in all readers. In addition, the effects were significantly greater in the target group than in the control group. The effects for word repetition were not as clear, affecting only one of the reading measures. Furthermore, the study revealed poor comprehension rates in the target group, i.e., when asked, they were not able to reproduce the main contents of the texts. The significantly greater effects of word length and frequency suggest that the related Easy Language guidelines are valid for this group of readers. The poor comprehension rates indicate that the texts were too difficult for these readers.</p> Carina Frondén Johanna Kaakinen Copyright (c) 2023 Finnish Journal of Linguistics 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 36 7–36 7–36 10.61197/fjl.126062 Towards a typology of demonstrative verbs <p>Demonstratives have traditionally been recognized as a semantic category in which different members are classified as belonging to certain lexical or syntactic categories. Current research suggests there are at least 7 different distinct lexical categories: determiners, pronouns, adverbs, non-verbal predicators, verbs, adpositions, and articles. This study looks at one of the aforementioned category of demonstratives, demonstrative verbs, based on a sample of 101 languages with demonstrative verbs out of a total of 1182 languages examined. We present a typological classification of demonstrative verbs based on semantics, an exploration on the morphosyntactic properties of demonstrative verbs and their use in different pragmatic functions, and vast illustrative data in support of our analysis.</p> Don Killian Ekaterina Gruzdeva Copyright (c) 2023 Finnish Journal of Linguistics 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 36 37–92 37–92 10.61197/fjl.126939 Syntax in transition <p>This paper is an investigation of a language contact phenomenon currently taking place in Aanaar (Inari) Saami, an indigenous minority language of Finland. Aanaar Saami people have been in contact with Finnish speakers for centuries, so much so that the language community has become bilingual. This has resulted in the borrowing of both numerous Finnish loanwords and even some syntactic constructions into Aanaar Saami and seems to herald a larger change in the language. The present study focuses on a type of syntactic change called <em>differential argument marking</em>, which is examined in three Aanaar Saami clause types: transitive clauses, existential clauses, and passive verb clauses. Finnish exhibits complex argument marking, characterized by a total–partial distinction, whereas traditional Aanaar Saami does not have differential argument marking in subjects or objects. However, new Aanaar Saami shows multiple emergent types of differential argument marking that vary between individual speakers and, while clearly influenced by Finnish, do not always mirror their Finnish equivalents one-to-one. This, and the observation that differential argument marking is non-existent in older language materials, suggests that the phenomenon is recent<br />Finnish influence.</p> Jukka Mettovaara Copyright (c) 2023 Finnish Journal of Linguistics 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 36 93–129 93–129 10.61197/fjl.113917 Finnic comparative constructions in an areal context <p>This paper discusses comparative constructions in the Finnic languages. The main focus is on the southern Finnic languages with separate attention paid to dialect variation. By including a maximally complete micro­areal dataset, the article reviews already identified patterns and their spread, while also introducing some (later) developments that have received less attention or gone unnoticed. The results are viewed in the context of neighbouring non­cognate contact languages (Latvian, Latgalian, and Russian); some parallels are also drawn with Lithuanian. As appears, due to being at the crossroads of Finnic and Baltic, it is in the southernmost Finnic languages where the genuine separative comparative construction meets various other patterns, including those borrowed from the Baltic languages. In general, the results enable us to shed more light on the outcomes of more ancient as well as more recent contact situations. The linguistic data originate from text collections, language corpora, example sentences in dictionaries and grammar books, and our own field work data.</p> Miina Norvik Eva Saar Copyright (c) 2023 Finnish Journal of Linguistics 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 36 131–176 131–176 10.61197/fjl.126225 Suomen putoamis- ja kaatumisverbit leksikaalisen typologian näkökulmasta <p>Artikkeli käsittelee suomen kielen ylhäältä alaspäin suuntautuvan liikkeen verbejä, joista keskeisimmät ovat <em>pudota</em>, <em>tippua</em>, <em>kaatua</em> ja <em>romahtaa</em>. Suomen 34 verbilekseemin käyttömahdollisuuksia tarkastellaan 42 eri kielen aineistoja käsitelleen tutkimushankkeen tulosten pohjalta. Hankkeen tulosten mukaan liikkeeseen ylhäältä alaspäin kuuluu neljä erityyppistä kehystä eli yleistettyä tilannetta. Ensimmäinen kehys on putoaminen korkeammalta tasolta alemmalle, toinen vertikaalisen orientaation menettäminen eli kaatuminen, kolmas jossain kiinni tai johonkin yhteydessä olevan olion irtoaminen ja putoaminen ja neljäs luhistuminen (romahtaminen alas alkuperäisen rakenteen menettäen). Tutkituissa kielissä näitä neljää peruskehystä voidaan kuvata 1–4 eri merkitykseltään laajalla verbillä ja lukuisilla muilla suppeamman semantiikan verbeillä.<br />Suomesta ei löydy verbilekseemiä, jolla voisi kuvata kaikkia näitä neljää peruskehystä, vaan siinä erotetaan toisistaan toisaalta horisontaalinen liike alaspäin ja vertikaalisen orientaation menettäminen (<em>pudota</em>/<em>tippua</em> vs. <em>kaatua</em>). Myös rakenteen menettämiseen luhistumalla liittyvät tilanteet vaativat omat lekseeminsä (mm. <em>romahtaa</em>, <em>luhistua</em>, <em>sortua</em>).<br />Suomessa, kuten monissa muissakin kielissä putoava tarkoite vaikuttaa verbin valintaan: sateen ja aineiden sekä samankaltaisista pienistä osasista koostuvien tarkoitteiden kuten lehtien tai neulasten putoamisesta käytetään erityisiä lekseemejä. Suomessa voi kuitenkin käyttää samoja verbejä elollisista ja elottomista olioista. Alaspäin suuntautuvat liikkeen lähtöpiste ei ole suomessa keskeinen verbilekseemin valinnan kannalta, mutta sen sijaan putoamistapaa, päätepistettä ja etenkin kontaktin tapaa päätepisteessä voi tarkentaa verbin valinnalla.</p> Johanna Viimaranta Copyright (c) 2023 Finnish Journal of Linguistics 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 36 177–212 177–212 10.61197/fjl.113910 Infinitives in transit <p>The study examines the use of two spoken Finnish features among Sweden Finnish adolescents in a formal education setting. The features in question are the colloquial versions of the A-infinitive lative (e.g., <em>mä saan pelaa</em> ‘I’m allowed to play’) and the MA-infinitive illative (e.g., <em>mä meen pelaa</em> ‘I’ll go and play’) forms when used with contracting verbs (e.g., <em>pelata</em> ‘to play’). These features are most prominent in the spoken Finnish in Helsinki, but the data shows it is also present in the speech of bilingual children in Sweden.</p> Lasse Vuorsola Copyright (c) 2023 Finnish Journal of Linguistics 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 36 213–228 213–228 10.61197/fjl.124673 Di Garbo, Francesca & Olsson, Bruno & Wälchli, Bernhard (eds.). 2019. Grammatical gender and linguistic complexity. Volume I: General issues and specific studies. Volume II: World-wide comparative studies. Language Science Press. Pp. 340 & Pp. 389. Patricia Carvalho Ribeiro Rahel Dires Copyright (c) 2023 Finnish Journal of Linguistics 2023-12-31 2023-12-31 36 229–239 229–239 10.61197/fjl.136275