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Transitive expletive constructions in Swedish
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2017 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Linguistics, ISSN 0332-5865, E-ISSN 1502-4717, Vol. 40, no 3, p. 255-285Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses the existence of transitive expletive constructions (TECs) in Swedish. It is often claimed that TECs are a distinctive feature of Insular Scandinavian, but do not exist in Mainland Scandinavian. In this article, however, it is shown that such constructions do occur throughout the history of Swedish and, to some extent, still occur in present-day Swedish, although nowadays the language has none of the features previously proposed as licensing TECs. It is also shown that Swedish has a broader repertoire of associate subjects in TECs than does Icelandic. Unlike in Icelandic, associate subjects can also be definite in Swedish. The presence of TECs in Swedish calls into question the previous analysis of the licensing of this construction, and in this article a new explanation for the phenomenon is proposed. It is claimed that TECs are possible if the expletive can merge in a position structurally higher than the canonical subject position. In the case of V2 languages, this implies that expletives must be able to merge in Spec,CP, and it is shown that in Swedish they are able to merge in this position.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2017. Vol. 40, no 3, p. 255-285
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335321DOI: 10.1017/S0332586517000208ISI: 000417133800001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-335321DiVA, id: diva2:1162370
Funder
The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities (KVHAA)Available from: 2017-12-04 Created: 2017-12-04 Last updated: 2018-03-06Bibliographically approved

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Håkansson, David

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