Pitämisen polysemia: miten koehenkilöt hahmottavat pitää-verbin merkitystyyppejä

  • Jarno Raukko
Avainsanat: kognitiivinen kielitiede, kokeellinen tutkimus, merkitystyypit, polysemia, semantiikka


The meanings of pitää : how informants view semantic categorization within the polysemy of a Finnish verb (englanti)

3/2002 (106)

The meanings of pit: How informants view semantic categorization within the polysemy of a Finnish verb

This paper tackles the problem of categorization within polysemy; this issue is discussed in the spirit of experiential, intersubjective, and non-fixed semantics, taking as the cornerstone the notion of polysemy as flexible meaning. The paper uses experimental data and concentrates on the Finnish verb pit, which is extensively polysemous. Some of its meanings correspond to the polysemy of the English verbs hold and keep, but two other salient and fairly distinct uses can be translated as like / be fond of and must / have to. The latter items are more distinct semantic nodes, they are more monolithic, whereas the ones that partly intersect with the semantic spaces covered by hold and keep form an intricate network of flexible meaning, and it turns out to be a never-ending endeavor to find and establish distinct senses.

The results of three main kinds of experiments involving, altogether, 131 native Finnish-speaking subjects/informants are reported in this article. The production test is an explorative kind of experiment where informants are given the chance to produce their own examples to demonstrate differentiable meanings. The sorting test is based on giving ready-made examples to the informants to group into categories of free format. The similarity rating test has the informants react to the meaning difference found in ready-made pairs of examples with pit.

It turns out that in important points of categorization the production test and the sorting test give significantly different results. Yet they both suggest the salience and importance of the meaning types LIKING and OBLIGATION. Other fairly easily separable meaning types are CONSIDERING, MANUAL HOLDING, and MAINTAINING CONTACT, while there is an abundance of other meaning types difficult to keep apart, such as ORGANIZING, WEARING, RETAINING A STATE, UPHOLDING A CONDITION, and POSSESSION. It may be typical for the polysemy of frequently used verbs that some meaning types are fairly easy to establish, while a major portion of the polysemy forms a mass of flexible meaning difficult to organize into separate classes.

Jarno Raukko


pitää (kieli: suomi, sivulla: 354)

tammi 3, 2002
Raukko, J. (2002). Pitämisen polysemia: miten koehenkilöt hahmottavat <i>pitää</i&gt;-verbin merkitystyyppejä. Virittäjä, 106(3), 354. Noudettu osoitteesta https://journal.fi/virittaja/article/view/40193