Reeli Torn-Leesik "An Investigation of Voice Constructions in Estonian" | University of Tartu

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Contacts of UT units

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5341
Faculty address: 
Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5341
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of History and Archaeology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5651
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5221
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5314
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 309–352, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Cultural Research
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5223
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 16, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Theology and Religious Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5301
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18–310, 50090 Tartu
  • College of Foreign Languages and Cultures
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 4, 50409, Tartu
  • Viljandi Culture Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 435 5232
    Faculty address: 
    Posti 1, 71004 Viljandi
Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5957
Faculty address: 
Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5900
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Education
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6440
    Faculty address: 
    Salme 1a–29, 50103 Tartu
  • Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
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    +372 737 5582
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36–301, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Economics and Business Administration
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    Narva mnt 18, 51009 Tartu
  • Institute of Psychology
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Faculty of Medicine
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  • Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine
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    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
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    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 5–205, 51005 Tartu
Faculty of Science and Technology
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Vanemuise 46–208, 51014 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
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    Faculty address: 
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  • Institute of Computer Science
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    Narva mnt 18, 51009 Tartu
  • Estonian Marine Institute
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    Mäealuse 14, 12618 Tallinn
  • Institute of Physics
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    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 14a, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
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    Narva mnt 18, 51009 Tartu
  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
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    Riia 23, 23b–134, 51010 Tartu
  • Tartu Observatory
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    Faculty address: 
    Observatooriumi 1, Tõravere, 61602 Tartumaa
  • Institute of Technology
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    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5835
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Institutions
  • Library
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5702
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
  • Youth Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5581
    Faculty address: 
    Uppsala 10, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Genomics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4000
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23b, 51010 Tartu
  • Museum
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5674
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 25, 51003 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6076
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Support Units
  • Administrative Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5606
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4809
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 18, 51009, Tartu
  • University Office in Tallinn
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6600
    Faculty address: 
    Teatri väljak 3, 10143 Tallinn
  • Estates Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5137
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Finance Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5125
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 4, 51005 Tartu
  • Grant Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6215
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 9, 51004 Tartu
  • Information Technology Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6000, IT-help: +372 737 5500
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Human Resources Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5145
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 302 and 304, 50090 Tartu
  • Internal Audit Office
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18-244, 51005 Tartu
  • Marketing and Communication Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5687
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 102, 104, 209, 210, 50090 Tartu
  • Office of Academic Affairs
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5620
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Procurement Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6632
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Rector's Strategy Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5600
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Student Council
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18b, 51005 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Press
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5945
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
Other Units
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    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5371
    Faculty address: 
    Ujula 4, 51008 Tartu
  • Tartu Student Village
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 740 9959
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 25, 51013 Tartu
  • Tartu Students’ Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 730 2400
    Faculty address: 
    Kalevi 24, 51010 Tartu
  • Tartu University Hospital
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 1a, 50406 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Foundation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5852
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • View all other units

Reeli Torn-Leesik "An Investigation of Voice Constructions in Estonian"

Date: 
27.01.2016 - 15:00 to 16:30

Reeli Torn-Leesik will defend her doctoral thesis titled "An Investigation of Voice Constructions in Estonian" on 27 January 2016 at 15:00 at the Senate Hall of the UT.

Supervisors: Professor Renate Pajusalu, dr Virve-Anneli Vihman (University of Tartu)

Opponent: PhD, Associate Professor Maria Vilkuna (University of Helsinki)

Summary:

The dissertation examines the properties of Estonian impersonal and passive voice constructions, showing that the impersonal voice (forms such as joonistati pilte ‘one drew pictures’) is a distinct voice category and not a sub-construction of the passive (forms such as spioonid olid kinni püütud ‘the spies had been caught’) macro-construction. The author focuses on relevant aspects in written as well as spoken Estonian, contributing to four specific areas of study.

Firstly, impersonalization and passivization exhibit distinct lexical, semantic and morphosyntactic constraints. The impersonal accepts transitive as well as intransitive (including unaccusative) and modal verbs, while the passive is limited to transitives only. The implicit argument of the impersonal is typically interpreted as human, unlike the logical subject of the passive. The impersonal requires verbs that take nominative subjects while the passive requires telic verbs that are compatible with its resultative meaning.

Secondly, the author clarifies the constructional overlap between Estonian periphrastic impersonals and passives, proposing different sets of spell-out features for the -tud participle.

Thirdly, the thesis shows that the use of agentive poolt adverbials (such as meie sõprade poolt ‘by our friends’) in voice constructions is subject to constraints concerning the type of the noun referent and the transitivity of the verb. Agentive adverbials in general are infrequent in spoken discourse, and when used, are usually expressed in the adessive. In addition, the interpretative range of implicit arguments in impersonal constructions in spoken Estonian appears to be wider than previously acknowledged in grammars. Significantly, spoken Estonian uses the impersonal relatively often to express specific and identifiable actors.

Fourthly, the acquisition studies reveal that Estonian voice constructions, especially the impersonal, are acquired earlier than voice constructions in Indo-European languages. This can be explained by the high frequency of the contexts in which Estonian children hear them as well as by structural differences that distinguish impersonals from passives.

Location: 
UT Senate Hall
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