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The Emergence of Conditional Subordinators in Swedish : A Study in Grammaticalization

Rosenkvist, Henrik LU (2004) In Lundastudier i nordisk språkvetenskap. Serie A 62.
Abstract
This thesis is an empirical and theoretical study of the emergence of five Swedish conditional subordinators: utan, om, hvar, ifall and bara. The first changes occur in the 13th century, and the last in the 18th century. After a theoretical introduction, in which grammaticalization as well as conditionality and conditional structures are critically discussed, five paths of change are identified. The changes are analysed from a syntactic as well as a syntactic perspective; it is argued that such a mode of procedure is not only possible, but also desirable, since only a wide perspective of this type may reveal the interesting interaction between structure and meaning in diachronic language change. The changes of utan require an understanding... (More)
This thesis is an empirical and theoretical study of the emergence of five Swedish conditional subordinators: utan, om, hvar, ifall and bara. The first changes occur in the 13th century, and the last in the 18th century. After a theoretical introduction, in which grammaticalization as well as conditionality and conditional structures are critically discussed, five paths of change are identified. The changes are analysed from a syntactic as well as a syntactic perspective; it is argued that such a mode of procedure is not only possible, but also desirable, since only a wide perspective of this type may reveal the interesting interaction between structure and meaning in diachronic language change. The changes of utan require an understanding of the formal meaning of utan, I claim, and I suggest that utan is an anticonditional subordinator (matching PDE unless), the meaning of which may be paraphrased as 'it is not the case that if p then q'. Om in turn inherited meaning from the older æn, in a process of univerbation, while hvar has two sources, an adverb and a pronoun. Ifall developed through univerbation, and bara, finally, originated as an adjective but developed into an adverb, a sentence adverb and finally into an explicitly sufficient conditional subordinator. The five paths of change are eventually discussed in terms of grammaticalization, and three different concepts of grammaticalization are taken into consideration: grammaticalization as an empirical phenomenon, grammaticalization as a gradual, unidirectional type of language change, and grammaticalization as syntactic simplification. As for the examined paths of change, it is demonstrated that they are quite idiosyncratic and that they do not, in general, support the hypotheses that grammaticalization is a specific type of language change – the conclusion is that several irregular linguistic factors may affect a path of change (and such factors can not be reconstructed merely from synchronic data). (Less)
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author
opponent
  • professor Heltoft, Lars, Rosilde Universitetscenter
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Scandinavian languages and literature, conditionality, source determination, image schema, abstraction, bleaching, grammaticalization, reanalysis, language change, syntax, Nordiska språk (språk och litteratur)
in
Lundastudier i nordisk språkvetenskap. Serie A
volume
62
pages
252 pages
publisher
Scandinavian Languages
defense location
Sal Saxo Grammaticus (L201), Språk- och litteraturcentrum, Helgonabacken 12, Lund
defense date
2004-11-26 10:15
ISSN
0347-8971
ISBN
91-628-6309-6
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1c627086-8f42-4693-82e9-cefabf77a875 (old id 21698)
date added to LUP
2007-05-28 11:40:51
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:58
@phdthesis{1c627086-8f42-4693-82e9-cefabf77a875,
  abstract     = {This thesis is an empirical and theoretical study of the emergence of five Swedish conditional subordinators: utan, om, hvar, ifall and bara. The first changes occur in the 13th century, and the last in the 18th century. After a theoretical introduction, in which grammaticalization as well as conditionality and conditional structures are critically discussed, five paths of change are identified. The changes are analysed from a syntactic as well as a syntactic perspective; it is argued that such a mode of procedure is not only possible, but also desirable, since only a wide perspective of this type may reveal the interesting interaction between structure and meaning in diachronic language change. The changes of utan require an understanding of the formal meaning of utan, I claim, and I suggest that utan is an anticonditional subordinator (matching PDE unless), the meaning of which may be paraphrased as 'it is not the case that if p then q'. Om in turn inherited meaning from the older æn, in a process of univerbation, while hvar has two sources, an adverb and a pronoun. Ifall developed through univerbation, and bara, finally, originated as an adjective but developed into an adverb, a sentence adverb and finally into an explicitly sufficient conditional subordinator. The five paths of change are eventually discussed in terms of grammaticalization, and three different concepts of grammaticalization are taken into consideration: grammaticalization as an empirical phenomenon, grammaticalization as a gradual, unidirectional type of language change, and grammaticalization as syntactic simplification. As for the examined paths of change, it is demonstrated that they are quite idiosyncratic and that they do not, in general, support the hypotheses that grammaticalization is a specific type of language change – the conclusion is that several irregular linguistic factors may affect a path of change (and such factors can not be reconstructed merely from synchronic data).},
  author       = {Rosenkvist, Henrik},
  isbn         = {91-628-6309-6},
  issn         = {0347-8971},
  keyword      = {Scandinavian languages and literature,conditionality,source determination,image schema,abstraction,bleaching,grammaticalization,reanalysis,language change,syntax,Nordiska språk (språk och litteratur)},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {252},
  publisher    = {Scandinavian Languages},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lundastudier i nordisk språkvetenskap. Serie A},
  title        = {The Emergence of Conditional Subordinators in Swedish : A Study in Grammaticalization},
  volume       = {62},
  year         = {2004},
}