Sijamuotojen käytöstä suomenvenäjässä

  • Larisa Leisiö
Avainsanat: genetiiviobjekti, kielikontaktit, partitiivi, suomenvenäjä, venäjä


Russian case forms used by Finns of Russian-speaking descent (englanti)

2/2004 (108)

Russian case forms used by Finns of Russian-speaking descent

The article examines the influence of Finnish contact on the Russian language by focusing on the following structures: genitive of clausal subject and object, genitive as an object of the prepositional phrase, and dynamic adverbials. The data were extracted from interviews with speakers of Russian who were born or have lived most of their lives in Finland. In addition to Russian, the informants all speak (at least) Finnish. The study data consisted of two corpora: a dialect corpus and an urban corpus. In the dialect corpus, the subjects are descendants of Russian peasants transported to the Karelian Isthmus from the area of Northern Russian dialects in the first half of the eighteenth century. Their variety of Russian has thus developed from a Northern Russian dialect that has subsequently been in contact with the standard Russian of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and with Finnish. In the urban corpus, the subjects are from families who were already living in Finland in the nineteenth century or who came to Finland as immigrants between 1917 and the early 1920s. Their varieties of Russian are orientated towards standard Russian and were last influenced by it in the early twentieth century. The speakers in both corpora have access to contemporary Russian.

The Russian genitive and the Finnish partitive of subject and object used to overlap. Throughout the history of Russian, the genitive of subject and object has been displaced by other grammatical means. As a result, the overlap with the Finnish partitive has narrowed through time. The study subjects who habitually speak Russian have retained the genitive of the object in the form it was at the beginning of the 1900s. The dialect speakers systematically use the genitive of the divisible subject in existential clauses. In these changes, the corresponding Finnish partitive has had at least a conservative effect. In the speech of a few of the dialect-speaking women, the genitive of the object in negation tends to be grammaticalised, influenced by the corresponding Finnish partitive.

The study subjects who do not speak Russian habitually use the direct object with those Russian intransitive verbs whose Finnish equivalents govern the direct object.

In Russian, any case except the nominative can become an object of a preposition. In the Russian spoken by the study subjects (which the writer terms Finland Russian), certain prepositions have changed their normative government for the genitive; some of them governed the genitive in old varieties of Russian. Otherwise the genitive object of a preposition can be affected by the genitive as the most common object of the Finnish adposition. Additionally, in respect of non-habitual speakers of Russian, a universal tendency for simplification may be responsible for this change.

The three-part system of local cases in Finnish (static place, directional source and directional goal) makes the language very sensitive not only to motional but also other dynamics of the situation. These dynamics are expressed in terms of the source, experiencer, destination, goal and recipient adverbials in directional locative cases. In Finnish, one says: to bury to somewhere, to build to somewhere, to buy from somewhere, to leave to somewhere. Such Finnish dynamic adverbials mostly have static counterparts in Russian. In the Russian spoken by the study subjects, directional adverbials are often used instead of standard static ones. In addition, a directional adverbial is sometimes used with verbs that do not normally collocate with a locative.

A comparison of the Russian spoken by the study subjects (Finns of Russian-speaking descent) with the language of immigrant Russians who are in contact with Indo-European languages provides evidence that the direction of changes in the immigrant language is strongly affected by the structure of the majority language. Having (partial) counterparts in Russian, the Finnish grammatical patterns are especially influential for Finns of Russian-speaking descent who habitually speak Russian. The non-habitual speakers copy the patterns of the majority language without there necessarily being counterparts in the immigrant language. In all immigrant languages, a certain stage of attrition is characterised by a tendency towards simplification and the use of unmarked patterns.

Larisa Leisi

tammi 2, 2004
Leisiö, L. (2004). Sijamuotojen käytöstä suomenvenäjässä. Virittäjä, 108(2), 162. Noudettu osoitteesta