Summary: Perception verbs used as deictic (or non-deictic)presentational particles

Nick Bailey nicholas_bailey at SIL.ORG
Fri May 12 07:54:01 UTC 2006

Dear Johanna,

thank you for this very helpful clarification about Finnic languages. László 
Honti had actually suggested that I write you or others for clarification. 
You beat me to it.

Thanks again.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Johanna Laakso" <johanna.laakso at>
To: <RELEASED MESSAGE>; "Nick Bailey" <nicholas_bailey at>; 
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2006 7:42 AM
Subject: Re: Summary: Perception verbs used as deictic (or 
non-deictic)presentational particles

Am 12.05.2006 7:08 Uhr schrieb "Nick Bailey" unter
<nicholas_bailey at SIL.ORG>:

> László Honti also suggested there might be something in Veps (Finnic) 
> based on
> nähdä 'see'.

Veps and some Karelian varieties do have a pronoun "nece" (c = shushing
affricate, "tsh") that goes back to a combination of '(you) see' and the
demonstrative pronoun 'it' or 'this' (Finnic _se_, in Northern Finnic
typically distal or anaphoric, in southern Finnic proximal). Similarly
another Finnic language, Vote: "kase" 'this', the first syllable of which
reflects _katso-_ 'look'. These, however, are no presentational particles
but regular deictic demonstrative pronouns.

Finnish has the particles _ka_ and _kas_ also going back to _katso-_, with
(discursive) functions hard to describe. As far as I can say, these are no
presentational particles in the sense of French _voilà_, although "kas
tässä" (with _tässä_ 'here') probably comes close to _voici_. Similarly
probably Estonian "vaat" (from "vaata" 'look!') -- its function is not
clearly "presentational", and this spectrum of "related" functions (calling
the hearer's attention, filling a pause, initiating a turn in discourse
etc.) needs further elaboration.

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Johanna Laakso
Universität Wien ? Institut für Europäische und Vergleichende Sprach- und
Literaturwissenschaft (EVSL)
Abteilung für Finno-Ugristik
Universitätscampus AAKH, Spitalg. 2-4 Hof 7, A-1090 Wien
Tel. +43 1 4277 43019 | Fax +43 1 4277 9430
johanna.laakso at |

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