Doctoral defence: Marili Tomingas „Pro-forms in spoken courland Livonian“

On 8 May at 10:15 Marili Tomingas will defend her doctoral thesis Pro-forms in spoken courland Livonian”.
Professor Karl Pajusalu, University of Tartu
Professor Gerson Klumpp, University of Tartu

Professor Johanna Laakso, University of Vienna (Austria)

The dissertation „Pro-forms in spoken Courland Livonian“ is focused on the four frequently used groups of pro-forms: personal pronouns (e.g., minā, ma ‘I’), demonstrative pronouns (e.g., se ‘this  ja tūo ‘that’), demonstrative proadjectives (e.g., seļļi ‘such’) and proadverbs which can be divided into locational proadverbs (e.g., täsā, täs ‘here’), manner-indicating proadverbs (e.g., ne’i ‘so’), and temporal proadverbs (e.g., si’z ‘then’). The use of them is diverse: for example, many personal pronoun forms show both long and short forms and among locational proadverbs one meaning can have several equivalents of different stems, e.g., the meaning ‘here’ may be expressed with the forms täsā or täs, but also with sī’ḑš, sī’ḑ or sīn.

For researching the pro-forms in more detail, two corpora of spontaneous language recordings with six native speakers were compiled. The recordings come from the University of Tartu Archive of Estonian Dialects and Kindred Languages and were made in 1986–2012. In the dissertation, there were six research questions about the diversity of the inflectional forms, the variety of long and short forms and their use differences; it was studied if the pro-forms in nowadays spoken language differ from these mentioned in earlier sources; if the distal demonstrative pronoun tūo said to be disappearing would occur; and which semantic-pragmatic functions do pro-forms show. It appeared that in the data there were also so far undescribed forms, especially in the nominative case of personal and demonstrative pronouns. Also, in nominative, most of the personal pronouns were more often stressed and appeared in the context of marking the referent’s individuality or of contrasting or narrating. The pronoun tūo appeared in the data, although the examples of it were rare. In addition to the main meanings described in earlier grammars and dictionaries, the pro-forms showed several different semantic-pragmatic functions in the data.

The defence can be also followed in Zoom: ID: 950 9908 9164, Passcode: 309487.

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