syntax of "paljon"

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ml14
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syntax of "paljon"

Post by ml14 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:58 am

Hello,

I'm not completely sure about the rules for when paljon and similar words can be used.

For example, can paljon be used in contexts such as these?

Hän pyysi paljon ihmisiä auttamaan häntä.

Paljon ihmisillä(/ihmisellä) on pankkitili.

Paljon suomalaisilta(/suomalaiselta) on kyselty tästä asiasta.

Olen matkustanut paljon maihin.

Kiitti



syntax of "paljon"

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Pursuivant
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Re: syntax of "paljon"

Post by Pursuivant » Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:30 am

Paljon = a lot/many (uncountable)
Monta = a lot/many (countable)

So all your examples would be a form of 'monta'

Only the first one might be either, but he would ask montaa ihmistä but maybe paljon ihmisiä came and helped.
All the rest is moni/monta/montaa

Don' know if you can get the difference.

On paljon ihmisiä, joilla ei ole pankkitiliä.
Monella ihmisellä on pankkitili.

TBH, i can't say what the rule is there, "it just is"

Just thought of my ex...
Hänellä on monta pisamaa
Hänellä on paljon pisamia
Both just as equal, its if you intend to count them or not I suppose...

As to when to use which... Ask a 5-year old :lol:
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Something wicked this way comes."


ml14
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Re: syntax of "paljon"

Post by ml14 » Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:56 am

Hi Pursuivant and Tummasininen,

I appreciate your detailed replies, but I have to admit that I don't quite understand how countability is relevant to this question.

My initial question was: can a phrase consisting of "paljon + [noun]" appear in a role besides the subject (e.g., Paljon ihmisiä tuli) or the object (Hän näki paljon ihmisiä) of the sentence?

You seem to be saying that the answer is "no" -- i.e. you cannot use phrases such as "paljon ihmisiltä", "paljon ihmisiin", and so on -- but I don't understand how countability factors into this. Can you clarify?

Kiitos vielä kerran


Upphew
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Re: syntax of "paljon"

Post by Upphew » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:23 am

ml14 wrote:Hi Pursuivant and Tummasininen,

I appreciate your detailed replies, but I have to admit that I don't quite understand how countability is relevant to this question.

My initial question was: can a phrase consisting of "paljon + [noun]" appear in a role besides the subject (e.g., Paljon ihmisiä tuli) or the object (Hän näki paljon ihmisiä) of the sentence?

You seem to be saying that the answer is "no" -- i.e. you cannot use phrases such as "paljon ihmisiltä", "paljon ihmisiin", and so on -- but I don't understand how countability factors into this. Can you clarify?

Kiitos vielä kerran
If you can count the answer, then you use monta, not paljon. Check also this thread: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=64224
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ml14
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Re: syntax of "paljon"

Post by ml14 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:57 am

Upphew wrote:If you can count the answer, then you use monta, not paljon.
I'm sorry, but I can't tell what part of my question you are responding to.

Let me rephrase the question again. Assume that paljon ihmisiä means "an uncountable number of people"(*), and can be used as the subject or object of a sentence: Paljon ihmisiä tuli (subject), Hän näki paljon ihmisiä (object), etc.

Therefore, one might guess that paljon ihmisille means "to/for an uncountable number of people", paljon ihmisillä means "with/by an uncountable # of people", paljon ihmisiltä means "from an uncountable # of people", and so on.

However, it appears that the phrases paljon ihmisille, paljon ihmisillä and so on are not used -- instead, paljon can *only* be followed by the partitive singular or plural, not any other case forms. Is that correct?

Thanks,
M

(*I'm not sure I agree with the term "uncountable" here, but that doesn't seem relevant to this discussion.)


lindemaar
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Re: syntax of "paljon"

Post by lindemaar » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:30 pm

Hey,

I am a native finnish speaker and that uncountable discussion sounds so confusing to me. I am not that good at Finnish or English grammar though. Anyways, I don't know if i can help you whatsoever but that's how I would sum up the following sentences:

Paljon (/monia) ihmisiä tuli = A lot of people came. (larger number of individuals, more indefinite)
Monta ihmistä tuli: Many people came. (less indefinite, more concise, a smaller number of persons)
'
Hän näki paljon/monia ihmisiä: He saw a lot of people.
Hän näki monta ihmistä: He saw many people.

Please, correct me...


ml14 wrote:
Upphew wrote:If you can count the answer, then you use monta, not paljon.
I'm sorry, but I can't tell what part of my question you are responding to.

Let me rephrase the question again. Assume that paljon ihmisiä means "an uncountable number of people"(*), and can be used as the subject or object of a sentence: Paljon ihmisiä tuli (subject), Hän näki paljon ihmisiä (object), etc.

Therefore, one might guess that paljon ihmisille means "to/for an uncountable number of people", paljon ihmisillä means "with/by an uncountable # of people", paljon ihmisiltä means "from an uncountable # of people", and so on.

However, it appears that the phrases paljon ihmisille, paljon ihmisillä and so on are not used -- instead, paljon can *only* be followed by the partitive singular or plural, not any other case forms. Is that correct?

Thanks,
M

(*I'm not sure I agree with the term "uncountable" here, but that doesn't seem relevant to this discussion.)


Rob A.
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Re: syntax of "paljon"

Post by Rob A. » Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:30 am

This thread is getting a bit old, but what the heck....

You probably looked at these two papers:

http://web.stanford.edu/~laurik/publica ... paljon.pdf

http://www.ling.uni-potsdam.de/~zimmerm ... paljon.pdf

...and so you will know that getting consensus on the "proper" use of the word, paljon, is going to be a bit of a mug's game. The grammarians have heated arguments over this word... :) Paljon is a bit of an atypical Finnish word. Sometimes it acts as a noun, other times as an adjectival element....

I think as a language-learner you are probably going to find it better to just focus on how native speakers are using the word and copy them, rather than to expect to understand the word's precise grammatical role.

...but while I'm here...time for some fun. Consider this sentence:

Lisaa toivoi paljon sitä jäätelöä. Is, paljon, an adverb or an adjectival element? A native speaker unless they are trying to confuse would never say this without adding something else....

Finnish is generally much more precise grammatically than English....but I think, paljon, is probably more like a word you might find in English...a word that can be used in different ways with different effects...context then becomes very important....


...another link...this one is an abstract and is short and fairly tersely written....

http://www.search-document.com/doc/14/6/henno.html

Some aspects of what you are asking involves partitives and existential sentences. The "rules" are exceedingly complex....I doubt few people can explain this very well...they only know correct usage from years of practice....something a native speaker develops by....Oh, I don't know....by the age of five??? ... :)


Rob A.
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Re: syntax of "paljon"

Post by Rob A. » Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:39 am

....and yet another link about the partitive case...

http://herkules.oulu.fi/isbn97895262011 ... 201146.pdf

Of particular interest, I thought, is the three-page discussion starting at Page 25 about the history of the partitive case in the Finnish language.

It took many, many years for the grammarians to actually explain this case. And the term, "partitive"/"partitiivi", only entered Finnish grammar books in the mid-1850s.

Also at the end on Page 28 is one of the more succinct definitions I've seen for the partitive case:

"The primary function of the partitive case can probably best be described as an object, predicative and subject case that is used to express unboundedness, i.e. unknown identities, partialness and irresultative actions. The Finnish partitive case has thus developed from a general spatial case into a case expressing more abstract syntactical relationships."

Of course, there is a debate about whether the partitive case as the subject of a sentence is actually the subject, or if it is still the object of the sentence and the subject being impersonal or implied. I think currently grammarians are tending toward the view that there are partitive subjects to sentences, but then that leaves the problem of, in some instances, obvious non-agreement with the verb....

[Edit: I came across this sentence in the paper attributed to a Finnish grammarian back in 1984.....

Partitiivi on osoittautunut näytelmämme roistoksi, joka ei tiennyt paikkaansa ja sai aikann systeemihäiriön.

I thought that was kind of funny and a typically Finnish way of looking at things...if you step out of line or don't follow the rules you are the "bad guy"...the roisto....the häirikkö ... and in this instance, the systeemihäirikkö ...:) ]


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Re: syntax of "paljon"

Post by Upphew » Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:33 am

Rob A. wrote:I thought that was kind of funny and a typically Finnish way of looking at things...if you step out of line or don't follow the rules you are the "bad guy"...the roisto....the häirikkö ... and in this instance, the systeemihäirikkö ...:) ]
True dat! Might as well get mohawk and put safety pins into your face... you punk!
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ml14
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Re: syntax of "paljon"

Post by ml14 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 10:58 am

Thanks, Rob A.

My overall sense is that when paljon is used to modify nouns, it appears in the same contexts where the partitive can be used: as the object of transitive sentences (Näin paljon miehiä) or the subject of intransitive sentences (Heiltä tuli paljon kirjeitä).

In other words, paljon doesn't seem to function like an adjective in the way that (e.g.) moni does, but instead seems to be specifically tied to the partitive case of nouns (except when there is no accompanying noun, as in sentences like Hän näki paljon -- but even there, it is possible to follow paljon with a partitive noun like asioita or juttuja without changing the sentence's meaning).

The same seems to be true of adverbs like hirveästi, upeasti and vähän when they are used as noun quantifiers.


Rob A.
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Re: syntax of "paljon"

Post by Rob A. » Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:04 pm

Good observations.... The words, paljon and vähän, can be looked at as having similar grammatical histories...they are obviously two sides of a coin. It is complicated, of course, and the reasons lie deep in the history of the proto-Finnic language....the prefix, "proto-", implying that no one actually knows if it is true or not but rather is inferred to have been a language....

Anyway...paljon and vähän, in the modern era are viewed as essentially fixed-form, though they can decline in some situations. The basic form is genitive...[Dare I say, maybe "accusative"...:)]....and the grammatical role of these two words is essentially adverbial. From what I have read the reason these two words have a genitive form is exactly as you are saying....in ancient times they were closely associated with partitive-type word forms. [This was in ancient times when the partitive appears to have had a much narrower grammatical role that it does now.] ....and is related to how indirect objects, existential sentences, and transitive and intransitive sentences gradually develop into modern Finnish usage.

I'm not sure I want to go here, because I can barely understand this stuff myself, let alone try to explain it to others ... :) ...but the view that the partitive in ancient times tended to be confined to direct objects probably explains why, paljon and vähän, took on the genitive-accusative form....that is reflecting the Finnish partitive's really ancient origins as the way in which completeness and partialness of something tangible were distinguished.

The other adverbs you mention are probably not so convincingly tied to the history of the partitive case. I have read material on Finnish adverbial case paradigms, but I think modern Finnish grammarians tend to take the view that adverbs are essentially fixed-form words and generally, except in idiomatic expressions, don't following case regimes, though obviously you can see that there is a bit of a case-like feel to some of this stuff.... Of course you could say the same thing about English adverbs ending in "-ly"....


ml14
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Re: syntax of "paljon"

Post by ml14 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:40 pm

Rob A. wrote:The other adverbs you mention are probably not so convincingly tied to the history of the partitive case.
All I meant was that I don't recall ever seeing expressions like

*Hirveästi miehillä oli sateenvarjo. [adessive]
as opposed to
Monilla miehillä oli sateenvarjo.

Or

*Hän on matkustanut hirveästi maihin. [illative]
as opposed to
Hän on matkustanut hyvin moniin maihin.

Instead, I've only seen hirveästi used as a noun modifier in contexts where paljon could also be used, i.e. when the following noun is in the partitive singular or plural.


AldenG
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Re: syntax of "paljon"

Post by AldenG » Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:56 pm

In fairness, isn't paljon inherently an adverb 99.9999% of the time, while moni is a pronoun? Doesn't that explain most of the "oddness"? (Except, notably, the first and directly previous question, that is.)

Just because a word resembles a nominal form doesn't mean it isn't an adverb in practice.
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ml14
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Re: syntax of "paljon"

Post by ml14 » Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:40 am

AldenG wrote:In fairness, isn't paljon inherently an adverb 99.9999% of the time, while moni is a pronoun? Doesn't that explain most of the "oddness"? (Except, notably, the first and directly previous question, that is.)
Which questions do you mean? (I'm probably misunderstanding something, but I don't see how there can be a question directly previous to the first one. :))


Rob A.
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Re: syntax of "paljon"

Post by Rob A. » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:53 am

AldenG wrote:In fairness, isn't paljon inherently an adverb 99.9999% of the time, while moni is a pronoun? Doesn't that explain most of the "oddness"? (Except, notably, the first and directly previous question, that is.)

Just because a word resembles a nominal form doesn't mean it isn't an adverb in practice.
Yes...it's an adverb at all times...( or so I bravely postulate... :) ) Paljon and the related word, vähän, are unusual and have an ancient relationship with the partitive...or maybe more accurately with ancient partitive-like usages. [...and that's, of course, consistent with the nature of these two words.] These two words have come down to the modern area in an essentially fixed form, though they are the genitive form of the words. If they do decline they seem to revert in the usual way to declensions of the nominative form, paljo and vähä, eg. as with the so-called subject of a locational existential sentence.

In other words, with modern usage you might have expected, paljon and vähän to have reverted to a partitive form, but they rather retained the ancient form and for that reason tend to be viewed by grammarians as having a fixed form......and, of course, why these cause confusion for the ulkomaalaiset trying to learn the language. Yet at a very basic level it is a rational and, at least by grammarians, explainable....up to a point ...

The word, moni, has its own complications...and, due to brain-fade, I'll let others jump in with explanations on how it works...:)


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