|Title||Coordinated Verb Pairs in Texts|
|Year of Publication||2007|
|University||University of Helsinki|
This dissertation discusses the relation between lexis, grammar and textual organisation. The major premise adopted here is that grammatical structures are motivated both by semantic potential of words and by text-pragmatic demands. In other words, it is argued that grammatical structures form the interface between lexis and textual organisation, and that linguistic analysis should not concentrate on analysing grammatical structures in isolation, independent of context. From this point of view, grammatical structures are said to be 'well-formed' only in relation to the context they occur in.
This study is based on a corpus of three million words of recent Finnish fiction from which all the occurrences of the coordinated verb pairs ([V ja V] -pairs]) containing one of the intransitive motion verbs 'lähteä' (to go), 'mennä' (to go), 'päästä' (to get into), 'nousta' (to get up), and 'laskea' (to go down), were extracted. This set of verbs was established using methods described in earlier work by Lagus & Airola (2001, and 2005).
The quantitative analysis of the [V ja V] -pairs was used to carry out a qualitative analysis of individual texts. In analysing the texts, an analogy was made between musical and textual structure.
The results show among others that individual verbs specialise in different functions when occurring in coordinated verb pairs. One aspect was that those verb pairs including the verb 'nousta' tend to function as markers of textual boundaries and thus reflect the organisation of narrative substance. The verb 'mennä' has weakened literal meanings, but strengthened modal meanings when occurring in [V ja V] -pairs, and, in many cases, the verb 'lähteä' in [V ja V] -pairs function as an aspectual marker rather than a pure verb of motion. That there is a gradient from the concrete sense of motion into more differentiated senses of a verb in [V ja V] -pairs alongside the structure-creating potential of the [V ja V] -pairs themselves suggest an ongoing grammaticalisation process of the patterns discussed.