Mitä tarkoittaa epäillä? Epäillä-verbin polaarisesta merkitysvariaatiosta nykysuomessa

Jutta Maaria Salminen

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

Sammanfattning

This paper studies the polar ambiguity of the Finnish verb epäillä, which, depending on the context, may convey either doubt (negation-inclining) or suspicion/supposition (affirmation-inclining). The contextual semantic analysis is based on written Modern Finnish data compiled from several corpora (altogether 500 instances).

The analysis boils down to the two possible functional roles of the complement with regard to the process denoted by epäillä: First, the complement may function as the target of the doubt, in which case it is in the scope of the inherent negation of the verb and the reading is necessarily negation-inclining. Second, the complement may also express the content of the process denoted by epäillä, in which case the form of the complement determines the polar interpretation: the reading is affirmation-inclining unless the complement contains overt or implied negation (as in the case of embedded questions).

The analysis of different complement types (e.g. nominal object, finite että clause, non-finite complement, embedded question) brings forward factors which constrain the reading of the complement. For example, the definiteness of the NP object makes it the target of doubt, whereas its indefiniteness evokes the content reading. The että clause and non-finite complement usually express the content of the process denoted by epäillä. However, in favourable contexts, due for instance to the conditional mood, negative polarity items, or contrastive expressions, they may also function as targets of the doubt.

In addition to the polar inclination, epäillä usually conveys some tone of evaluative negativity, e.g. unfavourableness. These meaning aspects are, however, highly open to interpretation, and relatively neutral uses of epäillä also exist.
Originalspråkfinska
TidskriftVirittäjä
Volym121
Utgåva1
Sidor (från-till)4-36
Antal sidor33
ISSN0042-6806
StatusPublicerad - 5 apr 2017
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

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