Analyzing polysemy in Estonian
Täpselt ‘exactly, precisely’ − a word with many faces
In this article, one word in the Estonian literary language (täpselt ‘exactly, precisely’) is described over the past eighty years. Examples from written Estonian fiction and journalism reveal the emergence of parallel functions of täpselt, showing that it is mainly used as an adverb but can also function as a pragmatic marker. The study shows the use of this word and the frequency with which it has been used in its evolving functions. Quantitative analysis is performed to show how the function of täpselt in a specific clause is connected with predictors that determine the nature of the word. The methods used here may also be applied to study other polysemous items in Estonian, as well as other languages.