Old innovations in South and North Estonian Cover Image

Old innovations in South and North Estonian

Author(s): Kristiina Ross
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Teaduste Akadeemia Kirjastus
Keywords: history of Standard Estonian; Literary South Estonian; Literary North Estonian; future

Summary/Abstract: The article focuses on the fate of the future construction /saama ’become’ + INF2/ in the two varieties of Old Written Estonian during the language reform at the end of the 17th century. The construction exactly corresponds to the respective (High) German construction and is generally believed to have been borrowed (ich werde lesen → mina saan lugema) although there are some similar constructions in Finnic languages as well. The construction was common in the most important text of Old South Estonian (New Testament 1686), and in Literary South Estonian it was actively used until the extinction of this variety at the beginning of the 20th century. As for Old North Estonian, the construction was excluded during the 17th-century reform. It was not used in the first complete Estonian Bible (1739), and North Estonian authors of the 18th century deliberately avoided it. In the 19th century the construction again became frequent in Literary North Estonian. It is argued whether the destiny of the construction in the two varieties was due to differences between South and North Estonian dialects or whether it was simply the result of chronological extra-linguistic circumstances of the language reform.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 58
  • Page Range: 210-224
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Estonian