Viittauskehykset ja tarkastelunäkökulma - miten sijaintia perusakselilla kuvataan?

  • Krista Ojutkangas
Avainsanat: adverbit, käsitteistys, paikan ilmaiseminen, perusakseli, postpositiot


Frames of reference and viewpoints: Describing positions on frontal and vertical axes (englanti)

4/2005 (109)


The article examines the frames of reference within which certain locative grams operate in Finnish. The locative grams studied refer to the frontal axis edess-takana in front-behind and the vertical axis yll-alla above-below. Frame of reference means a system with which the spatial relations on an axis are characterised using a coordinate system and a viewpoint. The frames of reference are divided into three categories: relative, intrinsic and absolute. A relative frame of reference presumes a viewpoint beyond that of the variable and of the reference point, and its coordinates are based on those of an outside observer. An intrinsic frame of reference is object-oriented: its coordinates are based on the characteristics of the object that functions as the reference point. A typical characteristic is an enduring and significant front part. An absolute frame of reference, and the system of coordinates used within it, is based on a fixed orientation found in the environment, for example the Earths gravity or points of the compass, and the reference point for the situation functions as the coordinate origin.

The principal conclusion derived is that Finnish grams expressing location on the frontal axis function within intrinsic and relative frames of reference, while grams expressing location on the vertical axis function within intrinsic and absolute frames of reference. Importantly, the frames of reference were found to be overlapping and even inseparable from each other. This is seen synchronically in the means of expression of the language and also plays a role in the grammaticalisation process. The intrinsic and relative frames of reference overlap on the frontal axis. Important considerations here are the type of reference point and the particular end of the axis to which the speech refers. The front part of a person or other key object is usually so central in human conceptualisation that the description of being in front is easily placed on the intrinsic axis. By contrast, the placement of behind is typically associated with an external viewpoint, or a relative frame of reference, because the rear parts of things are generally not named separately and because behind often refers to something that is obscured from view.

On the vertical axis it is the intrinsic and absolute frames of reference that overlap. In this case, the decisive factor is the interconnection between the coordinate system and the topology, i.e. the closeness of the relationship between the variable and the reference point. If there is contact between the items, any vertical axis will be intrinsic, or based on the form of the reference point, but the looser the interpretation of the relationship, the stronger the absolute, gravity-based vertical axis is likely to be. There is also an important difference between one end and the other of the vertical axis: being supported by a horizontal surface against the Earths gravity is described as being on top or above, and in such spatial relations there is inevitably contact between the variable and the reference point; the concept of being below is more unequivocally related to the absolute vertical axis. Grams describing the vertical axis can form a continuum based on topological considerations (starting with the greatest impact): pll on top grams > alla below grams > yll above grams.

Krista Ojutkangas

tammi 4, 2005
Ojutkangas, K. (2005). Viittauskehykset ja tarkastelunäkökulma - miten sijaintia perusakselilla kuvataan?. Virittäjä, 109(4), 525. Noudettu osoitteesta