The Finnish projector phrase se että as a fixed expression

Karita Suomalainen, Anna Vatanen*, Ritva Laury

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter shows that the Finnish expression se että ‘it (is) that’, consisting of a demonstrative followed by a complementizer, is a fixed projective element in talk-in-interaction both on its own and with collocating elements. It shares features with projector phrases identified for other languages: it is used both to prepare the addressee for the nature of the upcoming and to underline the upcoming as central to the ongoing interaction. The analysis of se että having grammaticized into a projector phrase is supported by prosodic evidence: the two elements are most often produced as one prosodic word. The findings support the idea that se että emerges in interaction with a fixed form rather than being generated by a syntactic rule.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFixed Expressions
Subtitle of host publicationBuilding language structure and social action
EditorsRitva Laury, Tsuyoshi Ono
PublisherJohn Benjamins
ISBN (Electronic)9789027260628
ISBN (Print)9789027207678
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

NamePragmatics & Beyond New Series
PublisherJohn Benjamins


  • conversation analysis
  • dialect interview
  • emergence
  • everyday conversation
  • Finnish language
  • interactional linguistics


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