Mitä syntaktisesti koodattu korpus voi kertoa sanajärjestyksestä? Predikaatti ja subjekti edistyneiden suomenoppijoiden eksistentiaalisissa lauseissa [What can a syntactically encoded corpus reveal about the word order?]

Ilmari Ivaska


Existential sentence is a clause type that is included in all clause‐type classifications of Finnish. A prototypical existential sentence differs from so‐called normal clauses of Finnish in the word order, case marking of the subject constituent and the lack of congruence between subject and verb. This paper discusses the word order in the existential sentences of advanced learners of Finnish. The study is part of the Advanced Finnish Learners’ Corpus  ‐project (LAS2) at the University of Turku. The results show that the word order is VS in 90 % of the existential sentences and SV in 10 % of the existential sentences. The division is roughly the same in the comparison material. The analysis of the co‐occurrences reveals that SV word order, the non‐prototypical variant in the existential sentences, is more probable in the negative sentences both in the study material and in the comparison material. This lexico‐ grammatical co‐occurrence works only in the context of the existential sentences as, in generaly, the negation does not impact on the word order of Finnish. However, while something invariably motivated the SV word order in the comparison material, those motivators could not always be pinpointed in the study material. This might suggest that given the analogy with the target language, negation may have become a motivator of word order inversion in existential sentences in the inter‐languages of the informants. The results show that analogical learning appears to be of great significance in the grammatical system of the inter‐ language. This enconrages us to recearch the quantitatively probable co‐occurrences in the learner language also from the syntactical point of view. A more thorough study on the tendencies pointed out in this article would hopefully tell us more about the grammatical and lexico‐grammatical colligations.


Finnish as a second language, corpus linguistics, word order, negation, syntax

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ISSN 2504-6616 (print/trükis)

ISSN 2504-6624 (online/võrguväljaanne)