The Development of Finnish Comparative Partitives from the Ablative of Comparison

Rose Thomas


The following paper will investigate a type of Finnish comparative construction in which the standard of comparison is marked with Partitive case, and is placed before the comparative adjective, without any comparative complementiser present. This structure is identical to the well-known Ablative of Comparison, familiar from Latin and many other languages. As the Finnish Partitive is known to derive historically from an Ablative case, an account of the Comparative Partitive requires both a synchronic and diachronic perspective. The modern uses of the Partitive as a case of quantification will be considered, as well as its historical development. Then the question will be approached diachronically, dealing with how the Partitive developed from the earlier Ablative case, and how in consequence, Finnish Comparative Partitives developed from Ablatives of Comparison. It will be shown that the use of the Partitive in such structures accords with other uses of the Partitive.

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