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Har folk blivit ett pronomen? Utvecklingen av ordet folk under perioden 1300-2013

Skärlund, Sanna LU (2014) In Arkiv för nordisk filologi 129. p.245-280
Abstract
The Swedish word folk ('people') is normally considered an ordinary noun. This classification is, however, not completely unproblematic, since it is sometimes claimed that folk is actually undergoing a word-class change, becoming more and more pronoun-like. Similar changes from noun to generic pronoun are also attested for words with the meaning ‘people’ in other languages, making this a possible grammaticalization path for such nouns. This article investigates the claim that folk is becoming a generic pronoun. Is this claim true, and, if it is, when did this development start? Occurrences of folk in texts and corpora from the period 1300–2013 are analysed with respect to both syntactic and semantic characteristics. The analysis shows that... (More)
The Swedish word folk ('people') is normally considered an ordinary noun. This classification is, however, not completely unproblematic, since it is sometimes claimed that folk is actually undergoing a word-class change, becoming more and more pronoun-like. Similar changes from noun to generic pronoun are also attested for words with the meaning ‘people’ in other languages, making this a possible grammaticalization path for such nouns. This article investigates the claim that folk is becoming a generic pronoun. Is this claim true, and, if it is, when did this development start? Occurrences of folk in texts and corpora from the period 1300–2013 are analysed with respect to both syntactic and semantic characteristics. The analysis shows that folk in the studied material is used more and more often without premodifiers, in a way similar to that of a pronoun. It is also apparent that almost all occurrences of folk today has a general, abstract meaning, compared to before ca. 1900, when the word was used with many different, more specific senses. This is typical for a grammaticalization process as it can be understood as a case of semantic bleaching, and it is argued that the development of folk is actually a case of grammaticalization taking place in the present. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
analogy, folk, reanalysis, semantic change, syntactic change, grammaticalization, generic pronoun, Swedish
in
Arkiv för nordisk filologi
volume
129
pages
245 - 280
publisher
ANF
external identifiers
  • scopus:84921831661
ISSN
0066-7668
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
01a4a958-f079-45cb-81c4-bc9f38ced6f3 (old id 4939248)
date added to LUP
2015-01-23 15:11:30
date last changed
2017-01-01 06:16:47
@article{01a4a958-f079-45cb-81c4-bc9f38ced6f3,
  abstract     = {The Swedish word folk ('people') is normally considered an ordinary noun. This classification is, however, not completely unproblematic, since it is sometimes claimed that folk is actually undergoing a word-class change, becoming more and more pronoun-like. Similar changes from noun to generic pronoun are also attested for words with the meaning ‘people’ in other languages, making this a possible grammaticalization path for such nouns. This article investigates the claim that folk is becoming a generic pronoun. Is this claim true, and, if it is, when did this development start? Occurrences of folk in texts and corpora from the period 1300–2013 are analysed with respect to both syntactic and semantic characteristics. The analysis shows that folk in the studied material is used more and more often without premodifiers, in a way similar to that of a pronoun. It is also apparent that almost all occurrences of folk today has a general, abstract meaning, compared to before ca. 1900, when the word was used with many different, more specific senses. This is typical for a grammaticalization process as it can be understood as a case of semantic bleaching, and it is argued that the development of folk is actually a case of grammaticalization taking place in the present.},
  author       = {Skärlund, Sanna},
  issn         = {0066-7668},
  keyword      = {analogy,folk,reanalysis,semantic change,syntactic change,grammaticalization,generic pronoun,Swedish},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {245--280},
  publisher    = {ANF},
  series       = {Arkiv för nordisk filologi},
  title        = {Har <em>folk</em> blivit ett pronomen? Utvecklingen av ordet <em>folk </em>under perioden 1300-2013},
  volume       = {129},
  year         = {2014},
}