Edited by Silvia Luraghi and Petra Sleeman
[Linguistic Variation 23:1] 2023
► pp. 75–94
The article takes a closer look at the partitive genitive constructions in Latvian, their structure, semantics, and syntactic functions. With the help of a corpus analysis, an attempt has been made to find out what determines gender and number agreement variations between the partitive genitive constructions in subject position and the predicate, if it comprises a declinable participle. Attention was paid to such features as subject animacy, voice of the predicate, word order (SV / VS), quantifier lexeme and grammatical number of the genitive. 320 examples with partitive genitive constructions were selected from The Balanced Corpus of Modern Latvian LVK2018, including such quantifier lexemes as daļa ‘part’, skaits ‘number’, vairums ‘quantity’, vairākums ‘majority’, puse ‘half’, daudzums ‘amount / quantity’, lērums ‘bagful’, simts ‘hundred’, tūkstotis ‘thousand’, daudz ‘much/many’, maz ‘little / few’. The best results are given by the combination of values ‘animate’, ‘active’ and ‘SV’, in which 93.24% of the examples are partitive genitive agreement. Data analyzed so far suggest that quantifiers involving the semantic element of partitivity (e.g., daļa ‘part’) favor partitive genitive agreement, whereas quantifiers lacking this semantic element favor quantifier agreement. This is an exploratory quantitative study on agreement tendencies in Latvian.