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Valency Reduction in Estonian
Author: Virve-Anneli Vihman
Publication date: 2004
Number of pages: 275
Format / Quality: PDF - Excellent
Size: 1.10 Mb
Theories of voice based on a model of passivisation such as that exhibited by English tend to characterise valency modifcation as primarily a syntactic phenomenon which preserves propositional content, involving the mapping of underlying semantic roles to non-canonical syntactic argument positions.

This dissertation finds such an approach insuffcient to account for the observed phenomena in the more complex domain of voice in Estonian.

The thesis provides a description of voice in Estonian, through an in-depth study of four valencyreducing
constructions: the impersonal, personal passive, generic apersonal, and anticausative. These all involve semantic and lexical-level changes to the argument structure of a predicate. In order to arrive at a satisfactory theoretical account of voice in Estonian, the analysis must consider semantic and pragmatic information alongside the realignment of syntactic rules linking argument places
with grammatical functions.

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