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From zero to ‘you’ and back: A mixed methods study comparing the use of two open personal constructions in Finnish

  • Mikael Varjo (a1) and Karita Suomalainen (a2)

This article focuses on two Finnish personal constructions which can be used to create indexically open reference, i.e. they can be used to refer to generalized or shared human experiences. These two constructions are the zero-person construction and the open 2nd person singular construction. Using Finnish everyday conversational data, we (i) statistically analyze the distributional semantico-grammatical differences in the use of the zero-person and open 2nd person singular constructions, and (ii) examine these differences on a clausal and sequential level in interactional contexts. In our analysis, we integrate quantitative and qualitative methods. Our aim is to show that by mixing methods it is possible to both reveal the recurring semantico-grammatical patterns of the constructions across a large corpus and analyze how these patterns are shaped by the ongoing interaction.

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