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Dativ i modern färöiska: En fallstudie i grammatisk förändring
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Dative in Modern Faroese : A Case Study in Grammatical Change (English)
Abstract [en]

Faroese is known to lie grammatically between Icelandic and the Mainland Scandinavian languages and dialects. One example of this is that, on the one hand, Faroese is like Icelandic in having a basically intact morphological four case system. On the other hand case-marking in Faroese is linked to clause function to a greater degree than in Icelandic – but to a lesser degree than in the Mainland Scandinavian standard languages. In Scandinavian Linguistics, it has long been an axiom that in the longer term the aforementioned four case system will be reduced in all varieties of the Scandinavian languages. The present thesis investigates if, and if so how, this expected development manifests itself in Senior High School graduation essays in Faroese from the period 1940–1999.

A quantitative study forms the core of the thesis. The choice between the dative and other cases is related to eight syntactic variables whose effect on the choice of case is compared using methods from the variationist framework, among others. The results are partly surprising: the dative did not reduce in frequency from the 1940s to 1990s. There certainly is a tendency, however not a statistically significant one, that the dative is more often replaced by another case in contexts where the norm is to use the dative. On the other hand it also seems to become more common for the dative to be used hypercorrectly. Furthermore, the development is not linear, in that around the middle of the investigation period, the dative is used far more according to norms than otherwise. As expected, clause function is an important variable, but by the end of the period under investigation the placement of the nominal phrase within the clause becomes a surprisingly strong factor. It also becomes more important if the phrase takes the form of a first/second-person pronominal or not.

The results are theoretically interpreted in the light of, firstly, Generative Grammar, and secondly Construction Grammar. The modification of certain terms is discussed, such as lexical case in Generative Grammar or usage-based model in Construction Grammar. The conclusion is that the linguistic descriptive models of these theories can only partly cover the tendencies to change that are observed. Other parts of the results are best explained using aspects of sociolinguistics. The conclusion is that case studies on a micro-level are valuable in order to evaluate and develop theories of linguistic variation and change at a macro-level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för nordiska språk , 2015. , 404 p.
Skrifter utgivna av Institutionen för nordiska språk vid Uppsala universitet, ISSN 0083-4661 ; 93
Keyword [en]
Faroese, Scandinavian languages, grammar, syntax, dative, case, morphological case, linguistic change, lexical case, idiosyncratic case, usage-based model
Keyword [sv]
färöiska, nordiska språk, grammatik, syntax, dativ, kasus, morfologiskt kasus, språkförändring, lexikalt kasus, idiosynkratiskt kasus, usage-based model
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-253012ISBN: 978-91-506-2466-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-253012DiVA: diva2:812536
Public defence
2015-09-05, Ihresalen, Engelska parken, huvudingång, 3H, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-06-12 Created: 2015-05-19 Last updated: 2015-06-12

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Malmsten, Solveig
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