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What's first?: on the left periphery in Swedish declaratives

Josefsson, Gunlög LU (2012) In Discourse & Grammar : A Festschrift in Honor of Valéria Molnár p.359-372
Abstract
I present the result of a small investigation of the sentence pattern in a sample of spoken Swedish. As expected, the typical constituent order is SV – more than 70 percent of the declaratives displayed this constituent order. This result is in line with previous investigations, but the figure is higher. An absolute majority of sentences have a pronominal element in sentence initial position, in most cases a subject pronoun, but it could also be an object pronoun or an adverb. Since information structure and prosody are interrelated, this means that there is a strong bias in Swedish to have a backgrounded or thematic element that is prosodically light, immediately preceding the finite verb.

Due to the fact that preverbal doubling,... (More)
I present the result of a small investigation of the sentence pattern in a sample of spoken Swedish. As expected, the typical constituent order is SV – more than 70 percent of the declaratives displayed this constituent order. This result is in line with previous investigations, but the figure is higher. An absolute majority of sentences have a pronominal element in sentence initial position, in most cases a subject pronoun, but it could also be an object pronoun or an adverb. Since information structure and prosody are interrelated, this means that there is a strong bias in Swedish to have a backgrounded or thematic element that is prosodically light, immediately preceding the finite verb.

Due to the fact that preverbal doubling, i.e. the sentence pattern XP – pronominal – FV, is quite common, I suggest, tentatively, a new definition of the V2 constraint, which is based on semantics. In one sense this means that Swedish can be a V3 language; V3 is grammatical, provided the elements preceding the finite verb are semantically indistinct. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
SVO, subject initial sentences, V2, V3, declaratives
in
Discourse & Grammar : A Festschrift in Honor of Valéria Molnár
editor
Brandtler, Johan; Håkansson, David; Huber, Stefan and Klingvall, Eva
pages
359 - 372
publisher
Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University
ISBN
978-91-637-0411-6
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f340b5e4-1223-4a60-9842-e438b9b5899a (old id 3403711)
date added to LUP
2013-01-22 11:46:33
date last changed
2016-04-16 09:07:57
@inbook{f340b5e4-1223-4a60-9842-e438b9b5899a,
  abstract     = {I present the result of a small investigation of the sentence pattern in a sample of spoken Swedish. As expected, the typical constituent order is SV – more than 70 percent of the declaratives displayed this constituent order. This result is in line with previous investigations, but the figure is higher. An absolute majority of sentences have a pronominal element in sentence initial position, in most cases a subject pronoun, but it could also be an object pronoun or an adverb. Since information structure and prosody are interrelated, this means that there is a strong bias in Swedish to have a backgrounded or thematic element that is prosodically light, immediately preceding the finite verb.<br/><br>
Due to the fact that preverbal doubling, i.e. the sentence pattern XP – pronominal – FV, is quite common, I suggest, tentatively, a new definition of the V2 constraint, which is based on semantics. In one sense this means that Swedish can be a V3 language; V3 is grammatical, provided the elements preceding the finite verb are semantically indistinct.},
  author       = {Josefsson, Gunlög},
  editor       = {Brandtler, Johan and Håkansson, David and Huber, Stefan and Klingvall, Eva},
  isbn         = {978-91-637-0411-6},
  keyword      = {SVO,subject initial sentences,V2,V3,declaratives},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {359--372},
  publisher    = {Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University},
  series       = {Discourse & Grammar : A Festschrift in Honor of Valéria Molnár},
  title        = {What's first?: on the left periphery in Swedish declaratives},
  year         = {2012},
}