Matti Miestamo matmies at LING.HELSINKI.FI
Thu Jun 13 08:22:09 UTC 2002

Dear Frans,

In Finnish we use -ttele- in this function. It is the regular
combination of two derivative suffixes: the causative -ttA- and the
frequentative -ele-. The combination is not restricted to the delocutive
function; it is productive, i.e. frequentatives can be derived from
causatives. The delocutive -ttele- can attach to your categories a-c (at
least; I can't think of any other uses right now).

In the following I will give the short form of the 1st infinitive and
the 1st person singular indicative present (in that order):

a) Pronouns:

sinutella, sinuttelen; 'to say "thou" to someone' (= German duzen); from
sinä 'you (sg)'

teititellä, teitittelen; 'to say "you" to someone'; from te 'you (pl)'
(the base seems to be teiti-, which is a form of the pronoun used in
some dialects, but in Standard Finnish only(?) in this verb)

b) Terms of address (basically anything goes, but pejorative terms are
probably more common):

raukoitella, raukoittelen; 'to say "raukka" to someone, to call someone
"raukka"'; from raukka 'coward, loser'

c) Interjections:

voivotella, voivottelen; 'to say "voi voi"'; from voi voi 'oh dear, dear
me, dear dear'


Frans Plank wrote:
> Dear colleagues knowledgable about languages other than Germanic and Romance,
> do you know of instances of delocutive morphology in any language you are
> knowledgable about?  -- that is, of bound morphology of whatever kind being
> used to form verbs which mean, basically, 'to say "X" (to someone)', where
> "X" can be
> (a)  a pronoun of (formal/informal) address,
> (b)  a term of (possibly abusive) address,
> (c)  an interjection,
> (d)  something else (please specify).
> Examples from German (where -en is the infinitival suffix, -z the
> delocutive one):
> (a)  jemanden du-z-en  'to say "thou" to s.o.'
> (b)  jemanden verhunzen (< ver-hund-z-en)  'to say "dog" to s.o' (basic
> meaning)
> (c)  aech-z-en  'to say "ach!"'  (a deep sigh)
> (d)  ---
> If there is such delocutive morphology in "your" language, is it dedicated
> to just this one function, or does it have other, and perhaps primary,
> functions too (e.g., aspect/aktionsart ones such as iterative;
> intensification;  derivation of verbs of sound/noise production or of other
> semantic domains)?  Whether dedicated or shared, would you know anything
> about the historical source of such delocutive morphology?
> You may know the famous paper on delocutives by Benveniste.  But I wonder
> whether anything seriously crosslinguistic has been done since.  Any leads?
> Frans Plank
> Frans Plank
> Sprachwissenschaft
> Universitaet Konstanz
> D-78457 Konstanz
> Germany
> E-mail:  frans.plank at
> Tel:   +49-(0)7531-88 2656, home +49-(0)7531-57450
> Fax:   +49-(0)7531-88 4190


(Mr) Matti Miestamo
General Linguistics, University of Helsinki
<matmies at>

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