omission of 3rd person subject pronouns (hän, etc.)

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ml14
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omission of 3rd person subject pronouns (hän, etc.)

Post by ml14 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:14 am

Moi kaikille,

In a different thread, a poster corrected something I had written by saying
Btw, note that in the standard language you shouldn't drop the subject and keep the predicate when you're talking in the 3rd person singular/plural: olen kotona, olet kotona, hän on kotona, olemme kotona, olette kotona, he ovat kotona.
Would it be correct to say that you cannot omit the pronoun hän because a 3rd person singular verb without a subject could be interpreted in a very different way (i.e., the "nollapersoona" construction)?

For example,

Kysyin häneltä, milloin hän lähtee lomalle. "I asked him when he is going on vacation"
vs.
Kysyin häneltä, milloin lähtee lomalle. ~"I asked him when one can go on vacation."

However, if this is true, it doesn't seem to explain why the 3pl pronoun he cannot be omitted: for example,

Kysyin heiltä, milloin (he) lähtevät lomalle.


If you leave out he in this sentence, does it lead to a different interpretation than you get when he is included?

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omission of 3rd person subject pronouns (hän, etc.)

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007
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Re: omission of 3rd person subject pronouns (hän, etc.)

Post by 007 » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:10 am

I think you are mixing spoken language (puhekieli) with standard language (kirjakieli)

Kysyin häneltä, milloin hän lähtee lomalle. -> kyysin milloin lähtee lomalle, sanoi .... ( I think one can get away with this.)
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jahasjahas
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Re: omission of 3rd person subject pronouns (hän, etc.)

Post by jahasjahas » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:48 am

I don't think there's any meaningful way to interpret that sentence as a nollapersoona construction.

I'm not sure whether we can pinpoint one specific reason for the need to include the 3rd person pronouns. But I'll point out that at least in my dialect you use the 3rd person singular verb form with both the singular and the plural ("se lähtee", "ne lähtee"), so the pronoun is the only way to tell the difference. (Of course, I prefer using the pronoun over the possessive suffix in all situations, not just the 3rd person.)


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onkko
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Re: omission of 3rd person subject pronouns (hän, etc.)

Post by onkko » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:02 pm

007 wrote: kyysin milloin lähtee lomalle, sanoi ....
Image

sorry :D
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Jukka Aho
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Re: omission of 3rd person subject pronouns (hän, etc.)

Post by Jukka Aho » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:56 pm

ml14 wrote:Would it be correct to say that you cannot omit the pronoun hän because a 3rd person singular verb without a subject could be interpreted in a very different way (i.e., the "nollapersoona" construction)?

For example,

Kysyin häneltä, milloin hän lähtee lomalle. "I asked him when he is going on vacation"
vs.
Kysyin häneltä, milloin lähtee lomalle. ~"I asked him when one can go on vacation."
Seems like one plausible reason. Even though “Kysyin häneltä, milloin lähtee lomalle” does not really match any “standard” nollapersoona expression and just sounds weird and incomplete; as if a word had gone missing.
ml14 wrote:However, if this is true, it doesn't seem to explain why the 3pl pronoun he cannot be omitted: for example,

Kysyin heiltä, milloin (he) lähtevät lomalle.
In some dialects (or forms of colloquial speech), you can. Although not all speakers would want to do that.

Maybe this discussion is related.

(The article discusses the need for personal pronouns in the presence of the possessive suffix. As it turns out, you’re also not supposed to drop the third-person genitive pronoun from expressions which employ the third-person possessive suffix — -nsa, -nsä — even though you can do that with the other grammatical persons. As mentioned in the article, the practice of dropping the third-person pronoun has become more common in the recent years. I personally find those missing third-person pronouns very distracting; to the point of wanting to use a red marker to correct the writer...)
Last edited by Jukka Aho on Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ml14
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Re: omission of 3rd person subject pronouns (hän, etc.)

Post by ml14 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:06 am

Jukka Aho wrote:
ml14 wrote:However, if this is true, it doesn't seem to explain why the 3pl pronoun he cannot be omitted: for example,

Kysyin heiltä, milloin (he) lähtevät lomalle.
In some dialects (or forms of colloquial speech), you can.
But why can't you do so according to the standard language rules?

It occurred to me that the 3rd plural present form is usually identical to the plural participle form (I think ovat is the only exception?), so perhaps the pronoun he helps (or originally helped) to indicate that you're dealing with a conjugated verb.

This could also be applied to the 3rd singular: I recall that the 3rd singular present suffix also comes from the participial ending -va (e.g., lähtee < lähtevi < lähtevä), so maybe the pronoun hän once served to distinguish a conjugated present-tense verb from a participle.

(I'll happily abandon these speculations if someone can bring in a more authoritative source on this. :))


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