The (non-)finiteness of subordination correlates with basic word order: Evidence from Uralic

É. Kiss, Katalin (2023) The (non-)finiteness of subordination correlates with basic word order: Evidence from Uralic. ACTA LINGUISTICA ACADEMICA, 70 (2). pp. 171-194. ISSN 2559-8201


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This paper aims to answer why the Uralic languages use, or used until intensive contacts with Indo-European languages, only non-finite subordination. It argues against regarding the evolution of finite subordination language development, showing that languages with non-finite subordination and parataxis have the same expressive power as languages with finite subordination. It claims that non-finite subordination is a concomitant of SOV word order, and the growing proportion of finite subordination in the Uralic languages from east to west, and in the history of Hungarian is a consequence of the loosening of the SOV order and the emergence of SVO. The paper examines two hypotheses about the correlations between SOV and non-finite subordination, and SVO and finite subordination, the Final-Over-Final Condition of Biberauer, Holmberg & Roberts (2014, etc.), a formal principle constraining clausal architecture, and the Minimize Domains Principle of Hawkins (2004, etc.), a functional principle of processing efficiency. The two theories make largely overlapping correct predictions for the Uralic languages, which suggests that the Final-Over-Final Condition may be the syntacticization of the condition that ensures processing efficiency in SOV and SVO languages.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature / nyelvészet és irodalom > PH Finno-Ugrian, Basque languages and literatures / finnugor és baszk nyelvek és irodalom
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2023 09:51
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2023 09:51

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