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Object shift and optionality. An intricate interplay between syntax, prosody and information structure

Josefsson, Gunlög LU (2010) In Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax 86.
Abstract
The topic of my article is Object Shift and optionality, mainly from a Swedish viewpoint. I present the result of a survey, which shows that informant‟s intuitions concerning the wellformedness of shifted and non-shifted sentences vary to a large degree. For sentences with monotransitive verbs and monosyllabic object pronouns, such as den (it.common) ‟it‟, the shifted alternative is preferred, whereas there is a tie for sentences with disyllabic object pronouns, such as honom ‟him‟ and henne ‟her‟. The picture is similar for ditransitive constructions. Sentences with the order direct object > indirect object are generally rejected by the informants, even though such sentences are considered less ungrammatical if both objects have... (More)
The topic of my article is Object Shift and optionality, mainly from a Swedish viewpoint. I present the result of a survey, which shows that informant‟s intuitions concerning the wellformedness of shifted and non-shifted sentences vary to a large degree. For sentences with monotransitive verbs and monosyllabic object pronouns, such as den (it.common) ‟it‟, the shifted alternative is preferred, whereas there is a tie for sentences with disyllabic object pronouns, such as honom ‟him‟ and henne ‟her‟. The picture is similar for ditransitive constructions. Sentences with the order direct object > indirect object are generally rejected by the informants, even though such sentences are considered less ungrammatical if both objects have undergone Object Shift.

I also outline an analysis, according to which Object Shift is triggered by information structure, more specifically by a general propensity for old/thematic elements to appear in the middle field. However, Object Shift is blocked if ungrammatical structures arise, such as OV constituent order. The bias for monomorphemic pronouns to shift and a stronger tendency for bimorphemic pronouns to remain in situ is explained by the phonological properties of the lexical items involved. Thus, in order to understand OS we need to take different factors into account: information structure, syntax and prosody. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Working Paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
prosody, object shift, optionality, OV/VO, information structure, directionality parameter, Holmberg's generalization
in
Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax
volume
86
pages
24 pages
publisher
Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University
ISSN
1100-097X
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6bf88ca3-5036-4244-a349-576ccd8c6e1d (old id 1744713)
alternative location
http://project.sol.lu.se/grimm/working-papers-in-scandinavian-syntax/wpss-86/
date added to LUP
2010-12-15 16:26:00
date last changed
2018-05-29 11:23:13
@misc{6bf88ca3-5036-4244-a349-576ccd8c6e1d,
  abstract     = {The topic of my article is Object Shift and optionality, mainly from a Swedish viewpoint. I present the result of a survey, which shows that informant‟s intuitions concerning the wellformedness of shifted and non-shifted sentences vary to a large degree. For sentences with monotransitive verbs and monosyllabic object pronouns, such as den (it.common) ‟it‟, the shifted alternative is preferred, whereas there is a tie for sentences with disyllabic object pronouns, such as honom ‟him‟ and henne ‟her‟. The picture is similar for ditransitive constructions. Sentences with the order direct object &gt; indirect object are generally rejected by the informants, even though such sentences are considered less ungrammatical if both objects have undergone Object Shift.<br/><br>
I also outline an analysis, according to which Object Shift is triggered by information structure, more specifically by a general propensity for old/thematic elements to appear in the middle field. However, Object Shift is blocked if ungrammatical structures arise, such as OV constituent order. The bias for monomorphemic pronouns to shift and a stronger tendency for bimorphemic pronouns to remain in situ is explained by the phonological properties of the lexical items involved. Thus, in order to understand OS we need to take different factors into account: information structure, syntax and prosody.},
  author       = {Josefsson, Gunlög},
  issn         = {1100-097X},
  keyword      = {prosody,object shift,optionality,OV/VO,information structure,directionality parameter,Holmberg's generalization},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  pages        = {24},
  publisher    = {Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University},
  series       = {Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax},
  title        = {Object shift and optionality. An intricate interplay between syntax, prosody and information structure},
  volume       = {86},
  year         = {2010},
}