Concession: when’s it kuid and when’s it kuigi?


Keywords: concession, coordination, subordination, but, although, contemporary Estonian

The article analyzes the concessive usage of coordinative kuid– (’but’) and subordinative kuigi-sentences (’although’) in contemporary Estonian.

In this study, a corpus-driven analysis of 242 kuid-sentences and 263 kuigi-sentences was complemented with an experiment with 53 test subjects. The data from the experiment was also analyzed using Pearson’s chi-squared test for independence and correlation coefficent.

The corpus analysis found considerable semantical differences between the two constructions; which were categorized into a network, which was the basis for modeling the independent variables of the experiment.

The corpus analysis revealed that the contrasted situations in direct and indirect concession (see Izutsu 2008) can have a temporal (one situation logically entails that the second would not take place) or a conditional relation (one situation entails that the other situation is unexpected in terms of a cultural background), and that these sentences may be used to express an evaluation. With thoughtback concession (see Sokk 2013), the situations expressed in the clauses are switched (result → cause) to emphasize a different evaluation. The experiment revealed that kuigi-sentences are more often used to display a polite negative evaluation, by placing the subordinate clause (’although’) with a positive attribute at the end of the main clause which stresses a negative evaluation. In situations where politeness is not a factor, kuid is preferred in order to emphasize an evaluation. This may indicate that the choice between a concessive coordinative and a concessive subordinative construction lies greatly in pragmatics.

Olle Sokk (b. 1991), MA, doctoral student of Estonian and General Linguistics at the University of Tartu, olles@ut.ee


Croft, William 2001. Radical Construction Grammar: Syntactic Theory in Typological Perspctive. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dancygier, Barbara, Sweetser, Eve 2000. Constructions with if, since, and because: Causality, epistemic stance, and clause order. – Cause – condition – concession – contrast: Cognitive and Discourse Perspectives. (Topics in English linguistics 33.) Toim Elizabeth Couper-Kühlen, Bernd Kortmann. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter, lk 111-142.
Diessel, Holger 2004. Acquisition of Complex Sentences. (Cambridge Studies in Linguistics 105.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
EKG II  =  Mati Erelt, Reet Kasik, Helle Metslang, Henno Rajandi, Kristiina Ross, Henn Saari, Kaja Tael, Silvi Vare, Tiiu Erelt, Ülle Viks 1993. Eesti keele grammatika II. Süntaks. Lisa: kiri. Tallinn: Eesti Teaduste Akadeemia Keele ja Kirjanduse Instituut.
Erelt, Mati 2010. Vastandavatest sidesõnadest eesti keeles. – Eesti ja soome-ugri keeleteaduse ajakiri, nr 1-2, lk 55-68.
Erelt, Mati 2014. Eesti keele lauseõpetus: komplekslause. Preprint. Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli eesti keele osakond.
Handley, Simon J., Feeney, Aidan 2006. Reasoning and pragmatics: The case of Even-If. – Experimental Pragmatics. Toim Ira A. Noveck, Dan Sperber. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, lk 228-253.
Izutsu, Narita Mitsuko 2008. Contrast, concessive, and corrective: Toward a comprehensive study of opposition relations. – Journal of Pragmatics, kd 40, nr 4, lk 646-675.
Jürine, Anni, Veismann, Ann 2013. Katseline semantika: planeerimine ja teostus. – Eesti rakenduslingvistika ühingu aastaraamat, nr 9, lk 85-100.
Karu, Katrin 2006. Уступительные конструкции в эстонском и русском языках. Mööndkonstruktsioonid eesti ja vene keeles. (Dissertationes philologiae Slavicae Universitatis Tartuensis 17.) Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus.
Kortmann, Bernd 1997. Adverbial subordination: A typology and history of adverbial subordination based on European languages. (Empirical Approaches to Language Typology 18.) Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
König, Ekkehard, Siemund, Peter 2000. Causal and concessive clauses: Formal and semantic relations. – Cause – condition – concession – contrast: Cognitive and Discourse Perspectives. (Topics in English linguistics 33.) Toim Elizabeth Couper-Kühlen, Bernd Kortmann. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter, lk 341­-360.
Plado, Helen, Lindström, Liina 2012. Eesti keele mööndlause: markerid ning koht alistuse ja rinnastuse teljel. – Emakeele Seltsi aastaraamat 57 (2011). Tallinn: Teaduste Akadeemia Kirjastus, lk 131-161.
Sokk, Olle 2013. Osalausete rinnastamine konjunktsiooniga kuid. Bakalaureusetöö. Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli eesti keele õppetool. http://hdl.handle.net/10062/31595