Closing seminar of the Mobility Project of the Estonian and Hungarian Academies of Science
The Republic of Estonia 100 Years of Innovation (jointly organized with Károli University)
12.30 Reili Argus: Acquisition of certainty and uncertainty in Estonian compared to Russian and Hebrew
13.00 Piia Taremaa: Reference in Estonian, Finnish, and Russian: Resources and practices
13.30 Nikolett F. Gulyás: Ditransitive Constructions in Eastern Khanty
14.00 Heete Sahkai: Directionality in the Estonian VP
The talks are preceded and followed by a poster presentation on the Estonian language, coffee/tea and a sandwich menu.
The abstract of the first talk
The presentation discusses the early means of expressing the epistemic notions of certainty and uncertainty (epistemic markers) in three typologically-different languages – Russian, Estonian and Hebrew. The results are based on an analysis of naturalistic speech samples of 9 typically-developing monolingual children, recorded from ages 1;3 to 6;2. The emergence of epistemic markers in child speech is investigated in relation to child-directed speech. Acquisition of means of expressing epistemic modality starts to develop at the end of the second year of life with the marking of uncertainty. The findings indicate an expansion of epistemic evaluation from objective situations in the physical world to the mental world. A comparison of child speech and input reveals that both the frequency of a marker in the target system and the degree of epistemic semantics influence its emergence and development. Differences between languages mostly concern the frequency of usage of epistemic markers and the degree of epistemic evaluation children start with.
Reili Argus is the Professor of Estonian Language and the Head of the Estonian Language and Culture Study Area. She has taught regularly psycholinguistics, first language acquisition, language editing and word-formation in Estonian. Her primary interest is the acquisition of Estonian as a first language. The main focus of her research has been on the acquisition of Estonian morphology, as well as on the acquisition of lexico-semantic and pragmatic categories. She works also on topics connected with language planning and practical use of Estonian language. She is a member of the Language Planning Board of the Society of Mother Tongue and the Society of Estonian Language Editors.